He did not have much to do with me for 14 years after that, except for casual visits and sporadic phone calls. Although he had never admitted it to me, I knew in my mother’s heart that he had left angry and heart-broken because he felt betrayed, rejected and unwanted by his mother.

It felt as though I had lost my son forever and I never stopped blaming myself for causing this to happen. I have been riddled with guilt, sorrow, and remorse (not to mention several physical ailments) ever since that fateful day when he walked out of my house. 14 years later, I received the news that my son was acting in a bizarre manner and having difficulties with work, sleep, communication, attention, and memory.

He was admitted to the hospital due to an emotional episode and soon after that, was diagnosed with a mental illness. I rushed to his side and provided all the support and care during this critical time, while keeping a tight rein on my feelings lest the lid blew off and the demons came charging out.

At my core, I knew that my son first of all needed maternal love and care, and secondly, psychotherapy. No amount of medication or psychiatrists could treat the root cause of his malady. Everyone’s physical eyes saw a disturbed mind, but my heart “saw” a diseased, sad, rejected soul that was crying out for love and acceptance.

At this point, my son was not ready to receive care and attention from me, so I attempted therapeutic intervention. I read all I could about various therapies that had proven success in dealing with his condition.

This is what led me to contact Atul in the spring of 2014. Unfortunately, my son steadfastly refused to go for therapy, which brought me to a dead end. In speaking to Atul about my son, he suggested that I come in for therapy to deal with my own overwhelming anxiety and anguish. And so began my own healing, which I now know was absolutely essential in order to bring healing to my son.

During my sessions, I felt every rainbow of emotions — charged, raw and tumultuous. Many times I was left confused and dazed by the narratives that emerged from my deep subconscious. Slowly, I dug into my deep-seated fears, anxieties, sorrows, and feelings of loss that had remained buried for a very long time. Atul was patient, understanding, and gentle. He guided me with expert questioning, allowing me to go only as far as I was willing. He gave me assurance at the right critical moments, and the courage to take the next step in my healing.

Over a period of 5-6 months, I learned what created my fears from the times past and how it impacted my present and future. At the end of my sessions, I felt like a new person, recharged and energized. I feel that therapy with Atul has made me more mindful in situations that are anxiety-producing, allowing me to dissect my own reactions as they occur and to tell myself that they are unwanted and unnecessary.

Now, I am learning to this even before these situations arise because it is a lot easier to record experiences in a positive way the first time around rather than having to replay, delete, and re-record over negative recordings time and again.

During my last month of therapy, I sold my house and bought a house in Brampton to be closer to my son. He moved in with me almost immediately afterwards, and life has made a dramatic turn for both of us. He is now in Life therapy with Atul and under Naturopathic care as well. He says he feels fulfilled, calmer, and more at peace being back with me.

It warms my heart to hear him say that he is back home where he belongs and that he feels much healthier and happier. I am thrilled to have my son back and am grateful to be given a second chance to renew our loving bond. We are learning to live in the present, one day at a time, in order to heal and strengthen our spirits.

I am humbly grateful to Atul for opening the door for me so that I could walk through. He is a remarkable therapist, and an equally remarkable person. Without him, I wouldn’t have known the power of love and second chances. Thank you so much, Atul, from the bottom of my heart. I am eternally grateful.

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