The Little Ones
Episode 4 “The Little Ones”
Guests: WONG Yan-lung, Apple, Jan
“All these years, it’s always been me taking care of you. But who’s going to take care of me?”
Since Apple was young, she already knew that her mother was mentally ill. Her father always physically abused her mother and her, and he even had an ex-marital affair, causing her mother’s even more unstable conditions. And she had attempted suicide many times. When Apple was still a junior secondary school student, she was determined to protect and take care of her mother for a lifetime, and she would never leave her mother.
After Apple’s parents had separated for years, her father intruded into her and her mother’s life again. At the hospital, Apple threatened her mother, whose mental illness had relapsed, to choose only one from two – the man who had abandoned them, or her daughter who had always been by her side and looked after her closely. Her mother chose the former, making Apple feel completely devastated. So she made a strong accusation, “All these years, it’s always been me taking care of you. But who’s going to take care of me?” Then she left the hospital. As a carer, who had always been strong, she collapsed and became a mental patient herself.
When Apple was at the bottom of life, she had the company and understanding of social worker Ms KWUN and a group of peer ambassadors, thus she came out of the dark gradually. She had learnt to respect people with mental illness and let go to let them grow. She had also understood that to find back the confidence in life was very important. With Ms KWUN’s assistance, Apple enrolled in a course about serving family members of patients. As an ex-mentally ill person, she hoped to serve other family members of patients who were in need. Turning from a person who needed help to one who offers help, Apple has put “to influence life with life” into practice.
WONG Yan-lung, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, has become “Friends for a Day” with Apple and Ms KWUN and they go on hiking. Through going into nature, they face the fluctuation of emotions, and explain to the audience the importance of the society “walking together, exhaling together and inhaling together” with the family members of mental patients.
During the journey of hiking, Apple teaches WONG Yan-lung crocheting skills, and the process arouses her beautiful memories of the good old days with her mother.