In this post I will narrate the incidents briefly that were main sources of delusional thinking. I will analyze them in more detail in future posts.
(1) It was 8 January 1996. I was in Kohat undergoing aptitude tests for induction in Army. Far away, my grandfather aged 80 placed his stick, Jinnah cap and a suicide note at bank of Jhelum river and handed himself over to the river. I came to know about his death after returning home. He had given me my name. He had confided to my father that he wanted to see me wearing a p-cap. My father never told me about his desire as instructed by my grandfather until very recently. Just a few weeks earlier he was in our home and very well knew the dates of the test. Yet he opted not to see the result. Was it a message to me in particular and the world in general?
(2) It was 10 October 1996. There was a passing out parade of 15th Integrated Course (IC-15) and a Graduate Course (probably TCC-4) at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. During the rehearsals, Subedar Major Farman, the man most responsible to conduct the rehearsals, singled out me, from the start, for my parading standards and decided that I would stand outside the ceremony. I did not make any appreciable effort to join the parade either by requesting SM Farman or the Adjutant. My other partner was chosen after some scrutiny. As I stood to take oath along with the other cadet I made a weeping face for a very short time out of emotions. I quickly composed myself and took oath in a weak voice. Many people in the audience took notice of it. Subsequently SM Farman went on leave and never returned. It was widely held that he was an Indian spy and had prepared a list that might be in Indian hands. I remained ignorant of all this for 8 years. In end 2004, an officer mentioned to me that SM Farman was caught at Pakistan India border and a list, probably containing thousands of officers’ names and their real value, was recovered from him. Though it was difficult to keep AWOL (Absent without Leave) part a secret, the “list” part remains some sort of a secret. This single incident was most important cause of delusional thinking, yet I was not able to discuss it with psychiatrists. They never allowed me to open up. Even if had I discussed it, they would not have reflected it in my papers! Why I was kept in dark about it, even AWOL part, for 8 years? I think I became a hostile target for one group of people and a sacred cow for another group who knew of the incident. Was there any credibility to the list? Who had access to the list and what they did of it? What might have been the real motive of India in preparing such a list? I will address these questions in a separate post.
(3) It was summers of 1997. Two new courses i.e. 106 GDP and 53 E.C reported at PAF Academy, Risalpur. Two cadets, a Christian and a Muslim died because of excessive and uncontrolled ragging. Earlier I myself fell victim to excessive ragging. I developed shin-bone fracture in my one leg in first semester. I was advised six months rest but this privilege was quickly withdrawn. These three incidents in quick succession were followed by worsening of India-Pakistan ties i.e. atomic explosions, Kargil debacle, a dubious military coup and military standoff. I saw the “list factor” in all that. It convinced me that either I or my grandfather had been monitored as some important religious figure.
(4) Things remained normal for me till end 2003. While serving in Quetta, an event took place that shook me from the core. In October 2003, an officer man-handled one of my under command in front of me. I reported the incident to the Commanding Officer. The officer concerned, accompanied with other officers, tried to prove that I had not been present at the scene of incident and no man-handling ever took place. The Commanding Officer took their side by pressing me through various tactics. I submitted a “redress of grievances” against the Commanding Officer to the Corps Commander. The matter that should have taken a month by all powerful Corps Commander, Lt Gen Shahid Hamid was stretched to 3 months. This became the most stressful event of my life. It was the event that triggered the initial onset of the disease. It was during this phase that questions were raised on my character too. No one had the courage to say me on my face and I remained aloof to it for a year or so. One of the guiding principles during this phase was a quotation by Einstein. When a book was published entitled “100 Authors Against Einstein”, he retorted, “If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!”
(5) Then there were most visible and expressive part of delusional thinking. It was my strange personal history. It started soon after I got commissioned in 2000. It was the girl’s side that showed the initial interest. I took time to reciprocate and became overwhelmingly involved in 2001 as the girl was my next-door neighbor. I waited for a clear cut answer and got a negative reply in April 2002, for which I was well prepared by the time. I entered in an arranged commitment in 2003. But after a year, problems began to rise. The girl concerned expressed directly to me that they had not done the necessary homework (Chaan Been) and given the nod in hurry. I took a strong exception to that and broke the commitment sometime later. I must admit that I had entered the psychotic phase by that time. Obviously my so-called “association” with my next-door neighbor, that I confided only to 3 friends, had played a major role. In December 2004, my father suffered a sudden severe heart attack and he was handled in emergency by the first girl. I came to know that even she was experiencing difficulty in getting married. Believing that some sort of filmy story is in making I turned my attention to the first girl. She quickly entered in a marriage in a horrible way. I must admit that she did it for me! I refused to believe that and thought people, especially my parents were playing some sort of games with me. The girl thought that I had been playing games with her! Meanwhile I developed some serious religious delusions due to first 4 factors. I landed in hospital in August 2005. I made the third attempt in 2009, though the time was not ripe for that. Already in psychotic phase, it took few dreams and a big coincidence to proceed. I got difficulty in getting the message across. In the end it was treated like an engineering problem by both sides. I am very unclear at this juncture of life whether I would make any further attempt. I have written in my G-52 course group that I am waiting for December 21, 2012, a possible end of world date given by the Maya Civilization.
Whereas all these real life factors were responsible for my first psychotic phase, my entry into the second phase in 2009 was mainly due to visual hallucinations. I will discuss the visual hallucinations in next post.