1. The marriage did not last.
Her husband complained she starts yelling and throwing things at him, as soon as he closed the bedroom door. His family said they cannot handle her insanity.
Her father remained silent, but had tears in his eyes. He had to fight to get her out of the clutches of an abusive boyfriend. He couldn’t share this with her husband and in-laws, as that would have tainted her reputation further.
Being alone with a man in the room instilled fear in her. She wanted to escape. She wanted to run out for her imagined fear of what could happen,
2. A very confident-looking teenage girl admitted to cutting herself in her manic phases. She said it made her feel in control – to cause herself to bleed, and then stop the bleeding.
In a private conversation with her, tumbled out a story of being locked in the house with a stalker who assaulted her. The maid had locked them inside for a bribe from the attacker. She fought back bravely. She managed to find a key in the drawer and ran out.
Unbelievably, the parents took quite some time to get rid of the domestic help, because she was indispensable to running the household.
I wondered who had hurt her more – the stalker, the maid or her insensitive mother?
3. I was walking behind a guy who was to have a coaching conversation with me, and did not realise that he was on an artificial limb – a Jaipur foot. He was struck with cancer in the foot at the age of 22. He lost his girlfriend and his startup forever, and his sanity for …..? He recalled with horror the day he tried to walk holding his father’s hand after the surgery, and thought he will never take a single step.
I was seeing months of practice of walking on the Jaipur foot, while he grieved over all that he had lost. He specifically asked me not to share any pictures of him on social media.
4. A gay who looked normal displayed a different glint in his eyes, as he talked about being stripped and attacked by his classmates on the way back from school.
There are organisations like Living Books and Human Library, which arrange for these interactions with coaches and therapists.
I’ve come back wondering about the layers of insanity. Seeing a mad woman on the street being stoned, makes me think what she has been through. What was her journey from a place she belonged, to wherever she is today?
Who were the insane people who sent her here, and she got labelled insane in the process?