Middle school can be tough for many kids. It’s a transition to a higher degree of learning which includes more work and, in some cases, more stress.
Growing up as a model student, Tianxue from Liaoning Province, China, started her middle school year off strong and full of confidence. But, her poised footing soon met with trouble.
Tianxue stopped talking at age 15. “No matter what people said to me, no matter how they shouted or yelled, I couldn’t respond, as if I didn’t hear them,” she said, according to Minghui.org.
An unimaginable obstacle was placed in front of her and no one understood why this happened. Tianxue’s mother took her to see the best psychologist around.
But, things weren’t going to get better any time soon.
The severity of her condition only escalated. She began to suffer from strange symptoms that prevented her from attending school.
“I couldn’t stop washing my hands over and over,” she said.
This behavior was so intense that she would wash her hands until her skin was raw and peeling: a process that would repeat anytime she touched something.
She was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Thankfully, things improved a few months later and Tianxue was determined to go back to school—making her mother very happy—though it wouldn’t last for long.
She managed to go back to school, but the bizarre symptoms continued to plague her during her studies.
About a month later she started to feel fidgety during class and couldn’t concentrate. Then she started to develop anxiety, making her school life even more impossible.
“I couldn’t focus on the teachers’ lectures. When the school day ended, I waited until everyone had gone before I left,” she said.
After a few days, Tianxue’s mounting anxiety and inability to focus on school work resulted in her dropping out for the second time. The thought of not completing her education only troubled her more.
With a broken heart, she went home and locked herself in her room. This was the beginning of a 15-year period of isolation.
She was put on medication to deal with the anxiety, but it wasn’t helping, even though the dose continued to increase. Her mother would take her out once every 6 months, but with every outing, Tianxue’s symptoms were noticeably worsening. She became so fearful that she was no longer able to leave her house.
Scared and nervous, she feared the world. Doctors said that she had “lost all social functions and had to be hospitalized.”
But she refused, eventually getting to the point of locking herself in her room. “Whenever someone mentioned the hospital, I went crazy,” she said.
She even stopped taking showers and changing her clothes. Months turned into years until she had lived almost half her life in isolation.
Throughout all of it, Tianxue’s mother continued to care for her daughter as best she could.
She would bring her daughter food and water along with other necessities whenever needed. These were the only times that she would see her daughter as Tianxue would lock the door immediately after receiving the items.
Her brother noticed her endurance and praised her for not giving up on her daughter, saying, “My sister is made of steel.”
For years, her mother had been practicing Falun Dafa: a traditional Chinese self-cultivation practice of mind and body that follows the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
Tianxue knew that this was the main reason her mother had the strength to deal with her. She saw the changes in her mother after picking up the practice and saw how her mother would try to follow the principles in her care of her.
She’d always offered to teach Tianxue the Falun Dafa exercises and meditation, hoping it would help with her anxiety, but Tianxue always refused, not believing it could help. However, she loved her mother deeply and knew that her mother was suffering a great deal because of her mental illness.
One day her mother said something to her that struck her to the core: “Someday when I leave you, there will be no one taking care of you like I do. I cannot stay with you all your life. I know you don’t want to be like this but you feel you can’t get out of this, am I right?”
Tianxue was over 30 years old. She decided to try to escape her situation. Her mother taught her the exercises and an extraordinary thing happened—she felt calm. Once Tianxue read the book Zhuan Falun, the main teachings of Falun Dafa, she started to see her life in a different light.
She saw how even though her mother provided her with love and care, she didn’t show or feel any gratitude toward her mother’s efforts to make her daughter happy. In her heart, she knew she had to do better. Following this change of heart, the ominous atmosphere surrounding Tianxue began to subside.
Good Things Follow
“The next morning, I walked into the bathroom and started washing myself,” she said.
As soon as Tianxue entered the bathroom and began to wash herself, she began to cry. Her mind couldn’t believe that she was in the bathroom after so many years of avoiding it. The positive turn of events didn’t stop there as she went into her grandmother’s room afterward.
“I walked into my grandmother’s room to see her. Seeing me outside of my room, she started crying and laughing at the same time,” she said.
After practicing Falun Dafa for about two weeks, she woke up feeling very energized and had an urge to go out for a jog. So after putting on a fresh pair of clothes, Tianxue left the house.
To her surprise, her walk felt completely natural and her once-present anxiety and nervousness were nowhere to be found. She sat down on the curb and started to cry. The moment was truly overwhelming.
As soon as she got home, she buried her head into her mom’s arms and began to cry.
“More than a decade of misery, suffering, depression, and hope had been released like a tidal wave; our tears mixed together as we held each other tightly,” she said.
Her mother was incredibly relieved and happy with the profound changes in her daughter.
They both couldn’t be any more thankful for the changes that were brought upon their lives by following the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
For more than a decade, mother and daughter endured through the toughest of times and, finally, they both found the peace they were looking for.
“On this Chinese New Year, I saw friends and family that I had not seen for many years,” she said. “They couldn’t believe their eyes. I had changed so much; they still remembered me when I was fifteen and I was 32. They all believe the extraordinary power of Falun Dafa now.”