Modern Australian

my father was always told his mother was dead, but a birthday card revealed she was living in a mental institution

  • Written by Dr Alison Watts, Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Southern Cross University

As a child, I found a small, brown suitcase in my wardrobe. It had two silver latches and a squeaky wooden handle. I didn’t recognise the name inscribed on the bottom in pencil: Ada.

I asked my mother, “Whose suitcase is this?” Mum replied, “Your grandmother’s.”

I was confused about who my grandmother was. Born...