This World Down Syndrome day, we wanted to move away from the medical conversations that surround the lives of differently-abled individuals. It’s very important that we pave the way for narratives of love, joy, hurt, and excitement in the same way we highlight the stories of neurotypical individuals.
Chaanan, Chief Psychologist at heyy, speak to Vanshika of her life with her sibling who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Below is the narration in Chaanan’s words.
Given her unique point of view, the perspective she has lent to this discourse really helps to see a side of things we’ve not really had the chance to.
She shares, with us, the first moment where it felt right to write out the story of her brother- as a writer with multiple articles to her name. It seemed only natural that one day she would pen down the words describing a love that filled her life. This seemed to be the best place in which to put her story- as a writer and to talk about her brother as freely as she wanted.
“My mother took a breath to pause and as she vividly recalls so often, made a split-second decision. Whether to beam back at me for uttering my very first few words or act on the bomb I had just dropped on her. After all, her 11-year-old child with Down’s syndrome did give her a run for her life, and how! The mischievous kid that he was, he made sure that he kept us all on our toes. Pulling off the vanishing act every now and then just to make sure he has our attention glued to him!
The spark in his grin, fresh to this day. And 25 years of fuzzy memories haven’t really been able to erase the charm he exuded in every move he made, everything he said. As the sibling of a child with Down’s syndrome, I have a lot of untold stories like that. Most would warm your heart, others would make it fall with a thud. I assure you though, every story I bring across will change the shape of your heart, for the better.”
This sense of warmth washed over me while Vanshika narrated this piece. And as you continue to hear the flow of words out of your mouth, a wondrous picture is painted. One where you feel as if you’re bonding with him through her.
Losing him six years ago was one of the most difficult things she’s lived through. With a heavy heart and skepticism, she also began her journey of sharing his story. Not only as a writer but also a sister- the pain and sense of loss that remained was addressed in therapy.
The idea not to move on and forget, but to recognize that love and connection in all the different spaces. It was present-cut to today where Jijo has made a permanent mark in her life. Her superhero best friend, her drummer buddy, the most spectacular of International artists and designers one would ever meet.
In the process of looking for a healing, conversations, and a community to call her own. She stumbled upon an abundance of love and care- something she would love to give back. So to anyone out there who doesn’t know more understanding of Down Syndrome. Please reach out to Vanshika on twitter or Instagram. You can also join us at heyy for support and a listening ear. Life is all about making the changes you’d like to see in the world. Here’s hoping you found our conversation insightful.
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