Lizia Batla, a single mother with a special child, on how she gained strength from her pain.
When I was pregnant with my second child, Jeevan, I instinctively knew something was wrong. But I relaxed when he was born. I enjoyed the first five months of motherhood all over again.
When he was five months old, we planned a month-long foreign trip. I took him to our family doctor for a regular check-up.
He asked me to consult an ophthalmic surgeon. I didn’t realise the urgency and told him that I would do that when we returned. But he insisted that I cancel my holiday plans. I was worried.
After the diagnosis, the surgeon told me that my son had the beginning of a cataract in both eyes and would have to undergo surgery. First it was the right eye, followed by the left after a month. I was also warned of the possibility that he may turn blind.
That was the beginning of a long ordeal for both of us. Jeevan had to wear extremely high-powered glasses. They were too heavy for him, so I got him contact lens. His eyes would often get infected.
Around this time, we also discovered that he had delayed milestones too; his crawling, walking, talking and even holding up his head were delayed.
My marriage fell apart. There had been problems for a long time. My husband and I had been living separately for many years. But a year after my second son, the marriage was finally over.
When he was one, I had been told of the possibility that he would not be able to walk. When he attempted to stand up, his legs would tremble. It didn’t look natural. But my doctor assured me there was no need for worry.
After a while, I took him to a physiotherapist. She wondered why I had taken so much time to approach her. He had to undergo physiotherapy for 13 years.
I kept asking, “Why me?” At times, I would get really frustrated because I couldn’t do anything for my son.
Someone recommended that I learn reiki. That helped.
Next I learnt crystal therapy. It gave me peace of mind, something I needed badly. During one of my meditative sessions, I got an intuition that I should go on the net and click on the first icon that would come up. That took me to astro-fengshui.com.
I was intrigued to read an article on a woman with a special child. She had made Feng Shui recommended changes in her home and discovered positive changes in her son. My work kept me busy and helped me to forget my pain.
Gradually, I got interested in alternate healing and learnt various disciplines. Now I help to alleviate others’ pain. I’ve derived strength from my own.
Jeevan is 17 now. He’s a slow learner and has low IQ but he can talk properly. He went in for intraocular lens implants when he was 10 and can see too. He can walk with the help of crutches. I’m happy to see that my son is independent. My older son, Ashwin, has finished his studies abroad and is working now.
At times I feel perhaps they missed having a father around during their growing-up years. My older son does not respond to authority. A father figure is associated with fear.
Still I didn’t want to get married again because I was worried of the ‘stepfather’ factor. I wouldn’t tolerate anyone being mean to my children.
Ashwin feels I’m more tolerant towards Jeevan and give him more attention. That’s not intentional but I guess I do have a soft corner for him because of his problems.
Ashwin also thinks I’m too pushy and expect too much from him. Maybe he’s right. I’ve realised that I should relent at times. Everyone has their own pace of doing things.
(As told to Prema K)
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