Saved from Dementia
by John Vieira

"There appears no immediate relief from this prejudice, which has followed me throughout my life."

At a mere two months of age, Vieira is left in the hands of a small Hindu/Muslim community, essentially creating a dissonance of identity from birth. When the author moves to the UK at six, he is known as Young Master John Omar Vieira on his Guyanese passport. However, he is also viewed as Omar/Umar, with the stereotypes associated with the name. As he gains a sense of who he is, he falls prey to a dependence on social security to survive, unable to secure any strong prospects for work and housing despite having studied business at university.

A narrative of healing in the midst of great adversity, Vieira’s work is an extension of his own identity, a chronicle of his childhood and the ensuing struggles that lead to a path of mental instability and trauma. From the onset, the author is unafraid to express his frustrations and is vocal about condemning the search for one’s weaknesses and fallibilities. When Vieira’s life seems like an almost definite path to long-term hospitalization with no prospects of recovery, he finds respite and hope in the Eleventh Church of Christ, Scientist, London, where he attended Sunday School as a child.

Vieira is systematically passed around and rejected at nearly every turn, whether that be his dismissal from the City of Westminster University or a letter from his father to the government that emphatically states that Vieira will be kicked out. Interestingly, the author delves deeper than just his own story and provides thought-provoking commentary and essays on topics like one mind, one God, and manifested intelligence. Above all else, Vieira’s work is a testament to his resilience in the face of impending hospitalization for psychiatric illness, as this is juxtaposed with his search for the truth, the word of Christ.

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