I sent my daughter to Togo for schooling. She then returned to Ghana and did her diploma in pharmacy. I always wanted to make sure that she gets the best of education and gets the opportunities I never had. But I never saw her life to be like this. She wasn’t born like that. It was when my daughter was pregnant when things started to change. One day in 2007 she came home running and yelling: “I saw something and it is rising”. As a mother, I knew something was wrong so I immediately sent her to the hospital. Rosaline’s mother explaining her first encounter with her daughter’s condition.
That day I didn’t know what it was nor where it came from. I couldn’t hold back my tears as I was scared to death. My mother took me to the Ketu South Municipal hospital and from there to the Psychiatric Hospital in Accra. As they put me on medication I was slowly recovering. But now not only was I fighting to get back my sanity but what was I to do with that life growing on the inside of me? Praise be to God months later I could give birth to my son: Lawrence. A healthy and lively young boy. But I could not enjoy this new life given to me as I wanted to. The man supposed to raise our son with me began to maltreat me when I needed him most.
“This is not the type of woman I want to marry “, he yelled at my mother. But he still wouldn’t let me leave. He used to lock me in a room and leave the house. One day my mother came to our house to take me with her and not only did he refuse to let me go but he pushed her into a fire. That day the matter became a police case. So the officers came and finally released me. I could escape one nightmare still confronted with another.
It’s funny how my middle name is Happy and that was the last thing I felt like. From the time I escaped from my husband, I’ve been staying with my mother. She is now taking care of me and Lawrence. Even the people around me were avoiding and at times even insulting me. Claiming that I got all kinds of sicknesses including HIV. The other day my aunt and cousin were ridiculing me. “..Your colleagues [the] mental patients are in the market, are you not seeing them to also go to the market?“, they said.
And all I want them to understand is that all those diseases that people are perceiving against me are not true. I was not born like that.
I am one of eight testimonials sharing my story. A lot of people have left and abandoned me due to my disorder. No one should go through the same. I believe that if someone is in need he should get advice and treatment. Luckily I have a mother that is still doing everything to see me through and I hope that I will be able to take care of my son that way.
My name is Rosaline Happy Dadar – thank you for listening to my story!
Rosaline Happy Dadar was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2017. She is not married and has one son. With this collection we are raising awarenes on stigma that affect people that have been diagnosed with mental health disorders.
A collaboration with On The Move e.V. A charity that furthers brain awareness activities all over the world and opened the first holistic Center for Mental Health, including vocational skills training and rehabilitation programs, in Ghana.
Rosaline participated in a seven-months vocational IT training. She is currently saving money to open her own pharmacy.