Personal Front

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This was the most visible and expressive part of my illness. It was an important but not the only part of the disease. Whereas I remained secretive about my religious delusions, I was more than vocal about my personal delusions. This was very clear indication to my family and friends that I had some psychotic problem. In fact, in March 2005, 5 months before I got admitted, my father took me to a civil psychiatrist. He even asked the Deputy Commandant to refer me to psychiatrist but he declined politely due to some reasons. When I eventually got admitted, my parents told about this aspect, but psychiatrists opted not to consider it, even in passing. This is very controversial and misunderstood part of my life. There are various stories and opinions, especially in my city, about this aspect. Some consider that it was a setback of love. According to some I was under some sort of pressure from my family side. Some say that I did some sort of ‘drama’ or planning. I am writing about this to dispel these impressions. It provides a classic example of ‘withdrawal from reality’, an early warning of schizophrenia. I know it is a bit sensitive issue as personalities of two girls are involved. I will try to be honest and clear about it. In no way, the two girls were responsible for my disease. It was a very well written episode by the Providence.

I got commission in Army in 2000. In end 2000, my mother told me something that triggered this whole important episode. She told me that the younger sister of our next door neighbor, who was doing MBBS at that time, had given some piece of information. I will not share it but it got my immediate attention. I do not know the source of this information from their side. I believed it to be true at that point but now I think it was a lie to draw my attention. I had strong feelings for the girl but I had suppressed them due to various social factors. The girl was quite intelligent and I had seen her a few times. I developed various theories and fantasies around the information. In mid 2001, I took the fateful step. I asked my father to talk to her father for her hand for me. They said that they would give an answer after termination of her MBBS. I could not ascertain whether the girl or her family was interested. I opted to wait as I thought I would have a better chance after her completion of MBBS in either case. It also affected my studies and I performed poorly in my Army basic course. By the time I had reached the conclusion that it was a one-sided love and was ready for any outcome. I got negative reply in April 2002. By the time the girl had reached a conclusion that it would be better for her to marry a doctor instead.

The girl did her house job at Lahore and settled there for a job. There she met her future husband whom I will call Mr. X. She asked X to send his parents to her house as is a norm in our culture. This was sometime in 2003. It is at this point the things got complicated for her. My previous experience with her surfaced somehow. I had only confided about it to three friends and she must have kept that to minimum. However some members of both families knew about it. The parents of X did some character probing of both of us. They got very unclear picture. I think both of us were portrayed as having loose characters. People in Army, especially my Squadron in Quetta, made various stories about my character for reasons I will speculate later. It is for this reason I was grilled so heavily about my personal matters as discussed in previous post. I think this was the matter that was investigated by intelligence agencies and the CO meant while referring me to the psychiatrist. The girl/her family did not share these happenings with our family and I remained ignorant of all that. The parents of X refused to come to girl’s parents. Meanwhile I entered in arranged commitment in mid 2003. I knew the girl but I had not suggested her name. I fought the battle for my character on a completely different front in form of ‘redress of grievances’ against the CO as discussed in previous two posts.

In 2004, I was posted to Rawalpindi. The girl had to move to Wah for some reasons, while X moved to Islamabad. In December 2004, my father suffered a serious heart attack. He was handled in emergency by the first girl. The girl waited for me to come and confronted me along with my mother. She explained the situation and left. In my opinion she wanted to dispel any negative impressions about us. Meanwhile I was experiencing some problems in my current commitment. Firstly the family of the second girl tried to delay the marriage. Then the girl expressed directly to me that they had not done the proper character probing and given the nod in hurry. I did not react at that point as I was unaware of the things in the background. While discussing some points my younger sister told me that the first girl had obviously decided not to marry. This was really shocking to me. I concluded that our parents had earlier done some trick with us and that the girl was very much interested in me. This was my first ‘unshakable belief’.

I was deeply moved by all that. I took the direct route and proposed to the first girl. She replied that she had a commitment that had not been announced. I thought that she was purposefully lying. I must admit that it was morally wrong on my part to do this while my commitment to second girl was still officially intact. Instead of rectifying my fault I decided to ‘drop’ the second girl due to earlier reasons. Meanwhile I had developed reasons to speculate that my association with the first girl had been portrayed in bad terms. I asked my parents to break the commitment. They refused. I told them that I was interested in the first girl and they had played some trick with us. My parents told that the girl had recently done the Nikkah. I refused to take them at their word. This was my second ‘unshakable belief’.

Meanwhile my father cleverly took me to a civil psychiatrist. The psychiatrist did not comprehend the gravity of the situation. I had developed a strange kind of delusion that the Army in conjunction with my family is planning my wedding in big way. I thought that people had been lying to me purposefully to give me a surprise. After rectifying some delusions, I went to the brother of the second girl, who has been my friend, with the unshakable belief that the first girl was not married. I explained to him the entire situation. It effectively broke the commitment. It also let the cat out of bag. Some friend of second girl had told her that I had some sort of ‘affair’ with the first girl. Later I had come to realize a much harder fact. No one from the bridegroom’s side participated in the Nikkah of first girl. Her ‘association’ with me had played a major role in that unfortunate arrangement too. If God wanted me to marry, he would not have given me such an extra ordinary disease at that juncture of life. I think it was better that I did not get married at that point. I would have been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2005, in any case.

I still wonder what were the motives of the people who spread such stories about our character. I never talked to girl on any topic and yet rumours were circulated that I had some sort of ‘affair’. Why I was made such an important figure? Why my character and honesty was targeted? The only answer that comes to my mind is the PMA incident and subsequent recovery of the list of officers from the Indian spy. It was not an isolated incident. It might have affected a group of officers as I speculated in this post. The group, in return, targeted my honesty and character. I still enjoy a very good reputation among the people around me, except perhaps the officer’s corps of Pakistan Army. It also highlights the fact that in our culture, the people raise more fingers on girls/women and they had to suffer more. I suffered in a completely different way in form of a severe mental illness. Some people still feel that the two girls, especially the first, were to blame for my disease. They were not. The PMA incident and the suicide of my grandfather were the sources of more serious delusions. I still feel that there is something special about me and my life.

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