When I started reading the book “Don’t Mind Me” I thought it would be another book that would tell me what, when and where to do to make my life better or make me less depressed. So I sat down and started scrolling the pages of the pdf and soon I was drawn by what I was reading. Soon I was captivated by the story of a woman, a story that kept me reading for next hours without a stop.
If I saw that in a cinema or rather as a short TV series, I would say the screenwriters went definitely far too far in their creativity and that so many bad things could not happen to one person. Obviously life writes its own tragic plays that sometimes are beyond belief.
When I read a book the story telling is very important for me, through the story telling we can see our lives, too. It is crucial to be able to think and learn through the book as well. Definitely this book makes a reader think, sometimes even leaves us in disbelief of how human brain works, how the society and those who should help are unable or unwilling to do so, but also how much one can bear and still survive.
The first thing that made me think deeper was the behaviour of mother, it was a typical example of the behaviour forced by the society and rules of that. For ages I have been interested in this matter, how much society, culture and religion cause harm in our lives through decisions we take based on the rules forced on us.. The obvious tragedy of a woman who, due to different reasons and decisions, put herself in dysfunctional relationship. I have written about the mother as father’s behaviour, sick and dysfunctional as it was, in my mind was tolerated by the society, especially in the 1950s.
This led to even more oppressive marriage. At first I also asked myself a question: why didn’t she leave the monster? But very soon I realized how hard it is to do a simple step, obvious one may suggest. What may go through our mind, what excuses we are able to find to justify , in our opinion, staying in even a horrific relationship. I also recalled a conversation with a friend who is a social worker and who told me that about 70% of women who escape the pathological relationships, returns to similar ones!
I was very happy to read the part of the book from the perspective of a patient, what one can feel and think while observing the outside world, what thoughts and fears can go through one’s mind. That, sadly, also showed me how bad or not good enough the so called specialists are; how little do they know or rather want to feel to help the patient. How important it is for them to feel empathy, not only prescript medications, how important it is to be just humane when trying to cure a human.
This part of the book is also very crucial to show that recovering from an illness is a process, not a short one and that we should realize the bad days can return, even in the most sudden and unexpected times of our lives. I believe though, also from my own experience, that with each return we as patients are stronger as we know more about illness and our own bodies or functions of our brains. We simply mature in our mental states and can heal faster having that notion.
To conclude – books like that and this one in particular are telling the story of people who went through hell, but managed to come back. Who were on their knees, but stood up. The book gives us hope that even in the darkest moments we may find the strength to get better and to change the life. The most important though it speaks openly about the problem that is somehow a taboo in any society, but touches countless lives all around the world. By reading the story of one woman, everybody can learn something about their own life too.
Brygida Biedron, Poland
Don't Mind Me