Of late I have this strange feeling that I have disintegrated from a whole person into various disjointed parts (and not just mentally)... Most people who know me generally open conversations with questions like, “How is the head” or “How is the stomach”, “How is the back” ? And my identity now seems to rest in my various body parts , one or more of which are, mostly dysfunctional. It's like the days of the week when people ask , ‘what day is it today’, I am asked which body part I am being on a particular day.
And, of course, there is my husband who sees me in a ‘mood’, which he used to earlier ascribe to my phases of madness has now made great progress. When he sees me being quiet or ‘difficult’ as he would like to say and getting no particular ailment described, he has the ubiquitous description – “It must be menopause!”.
My daughter is the only one who is different from the lot; having migrated to study in the west a couple of years back, now inured in the comfortable and relatively easy going lives of a student in that part of the world, she tells me “Mom, you are an unrelenting To-Do list.” So She has turned me into an inanimate object, whether that is better or worse, I am yet to decide. Thankfully though it doesn’t just end there, she knows she has a very talented mother, she acknowledges that the grey cells are transmitted genetically. So every single time that I have a conversation with her, even if it is to ask her whether she is eating properly (Indian mothers!) she tells me “Mom, Please stop stressing out, calm down” and I look around me and wonder where the storm is because I have been talking in the perfectly normal “Indian” tone…It doesn’t help that she is studying to be a psychologist because all the new disorders that she is taught about, seem to be pre-existent in her mother to a certain degree and now I have lost count of the number. I only feel blessed to have such a multi-faceted (distorted) personality.
All this leads me to wonder “When did I stop being a whole person?” How am I the sum total of all physical ailments that plague me or the imaginary mental disorders which traumatize others? What happened to the ‘I’ who was capable of thinking and being an individual , not easily ignored..Have I let myself disintegrate or is it life which is doing this? Have I become lazy or laid back or maybe simply indifferent? These questions trouble my mind and I think I need to gather myself back , part by unhealthy part, put it all together again (Unlike the king’s men) and start being whole again…Until then I will abstain from sitting on any walls or fences, simply retreat and heal…