Friday, May 20, 2005

15# Home Again, Home Again

Jiggidy, Jig - when the kids were little I always repeated that last line of the nursery rhyme when we pulled into the driveway - It was Wednesday when David came home exactly a week since he had been admitted - it seemed much longer. My mom and I drove up that evening to get him and found him happy, but nervous waiting with all his things in a trash bag and a handful of projects that he had completed in Art therapy - He had one braided and beaded necklace that one of the girls had given to him. The girl walked over shyly to say goodbye - beautiful girl rail thin - anerexia I thought to myself. And then we were on our way home - Mom asked if he wanted to stop and go in to to eat - he declined - so nervous - he talked on and on about the medicine and the ward - none of us knew how to act - I could never have imagined that I would ever feel so uncomfortable with my own son. He was very upset that they had not given him any medicine for evening - "I have to have it Mom; they said that even one dose missed could be bad." Hearing the panic rising Mom, as usually was the calming force - "Don't worry we'll find a pharmacy open - and we did find it - when we parked David said he had to get some air for a minute - as he paced around the parking lot - I felt like crying - "Who was this person I was taking home?" How was I supposed to react - what was I supposed to say - what behavior was normal for him now? Nothing in my past had prepared me for this - I looked over and Mom seemed at ease - just as if her grandson, once brilliant and self possessed was now pacing around outside agitated and different, oh so different. Well, I thought if she can remain calm so can I - I tried to focus on the positive - at least he was here - at least he was outside pacing - we hadn't lost him - that did help - by the time he got back in and he took his medicine, rispardal, I was feeling much calmer - when we pulled into the driveway that old line spontaneously came out "home again, home again." David smiled ear to ear. "Oh, I've missed it so much." to be cont.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Quick Note and Man's Best Friend

A Quick note - I just posted a review on the resource page of a wonderful memoir

Man's Best Friend - this post is just to honor all loyal dogs everywhere by testifying about our lab, Bernie. He's seven years old and an inside dog. In all those years, every night he slept outside of our bedroom. That is until the day I brought David back from the hospital, since then he has insisted in sleeping in David's room. If we try to shut him out he barks, and whines till David finally gives in and opens the door. Its as if somehow the dog knows that David needs protection in some way and he is determined to keep an eye on him - it actually helps me go to sleep at night knowing that Bernie is on guard. So thank you Bernie and all man's best friends; I now know how true that phrase is.

14# It's You and Me Against the World

The break gave me time to recharge a bit and I thought I was ready to take back up the load the next morning. The day started well; David called and was very excited because they had told him he would be going home the following day. I said this was great and that I would see him that evening, but in my mind a hundred things began to flit around. I tried to pin one down: I needed to get his room finished - clean floor - make the bed up with new bedding - we needed to put up the hunting rifle - where should we take it - the pills - where would I keep the pills. My mind was busied with a list of things that must be accomplished before he came home - and so I managed to push out a rising panic about his homecoming. But slowly as the busy day passed something began to take over - a rising river of fear inch by inch began to seep into my awareness. The fear felt primitive and overwhelming - it urged me to run - to run fast, far, far away. It wasn't till the drive home from the hospital that evening that I realized what I so feared - it was the crushing responsibility of caring for a possibly suicidal son - Half of me wanted nothing more than to have him safe under our roof - to have that comforting physical proximity - but would he be safe? And if he wasn't whose fault would that be? And I knew right then how much my life, not only my son's had been altered irreparably - for a could not fool myself into believing that anyone else, not even my husband, who was himself on mental thin ice, could or would carry this burden. It was like bringing home that first fragile infant and knowing that whatever may come, when you boiled it down to the core; I could look at this fellow human whose fate is primarily, with God's help, in my hands and say, well it's you and me against the world, kid. To Be Cont.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

13# The Light, the Vent, and the Rock

You know I have always believed in mother's intuition; it probably saved my son that fated night in January and I'm sure it often lead my mom to call me when I most needed it. She did so on that day, as I waded around in a mire of faded anger, hopelessness, and growing apathy. When I explained what had occurred on the phone, she paused and then as always came up with just the right words. Well you know, you are his vent; he needs someone that he can share these tough emotions with and obviously he is not opening up to the staff up there. He trusts you and knows that you will love him no matter what he says; you are his vent. But I would say that it would be good for you to take a break today - you do not want to break down in front of him - why don't you see if Nicole (name changed for privacy) could take the other kids with her to visit tonight. Feeling much better I got off the phone and decided it would be good to take an evening off; I called my oldest daughter and she agreed to make the trip herself. After work I sat with my husband trying to relax; I knew that I had to let myself heal a bit so that I could help David (name changed for privacy) - but I spent most of the time jumping to get the phone every time it rang - afraid that something would be wrong - I shouldn't have worried - the kids took him a large meal from Taco Bell and they had a great visit - a lesson all caregivers need to learn is that it is OK to let someone else help - you not only can, but need to give yourself time to recharge - that night as I lay in bed sleepless, as I had been for a week - I suddenly laughed - actually laughed - the first time since the suicide attempt - my husband rolled over and asked me what was so funny - "It's just that Mom the other day said that I had to be the light in the dark - then my aunt said that I was certainly the rock that the family depended on, and just today Mom said I had to be David's vent - I was thinking it sure is hard to be the Light, the Rock, and the Vent - I wonder if I could hire someone to take over the position" My husband looked as if I too was losing it - "I don't think so" - "No, I suppose not" I sighed "The problem would be getting anyone to apply!" To be cont.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Important Additions

Sorry its been so long since I posted, but I have been working on some exciting changes to the blog - I am adding two new pages - one about resources: books, movies, websites, etc. - the other dealing with news - you can access the pages through the links to the right - I have added the Resources link today and will add the News link soon - I hope you enjoy the new additions!

Monday, May 02, 2005

12# Shattered Glass

Morning brought a new prospective - I felt my energy creeping back and I was able to at least plan for the day. After work my daughter was going to drive me up to the hospital and until then I tried to concentrate on getting prepared for class - I had been sleepwalking through my classes the week before so I felt that I had better get my act together. Then the phone call came in - it was my son, obviously tremendously agitated - "mom, get my out of here - right now - I mean it - I'm not going to any more of their stupid group sessions" - I attempted to calm him down - "it will only be for a bit longer - the more you cooperate the faster you will get out - remember you are there to get help." His voice rose in decibal "help - this place isn't helping me - it is making me crazy - mom, please come get me!" By now I had started crying, but I didn't want him to know "I can't do that son, you must stay till they say you are better" - then he really lost it "you won't get me out of here - well then I'll find a way to kill myself - I'll throw myself out the window - I'll smother myself with the pillow" Something about this hit me like a full slap to the face - I geuss I had a lot of anger, as well as sadness in me and it came bursting out, cascading down into the phone and across the miles - it was boiling water, rolling and frothing "you're not the only one who could kill themselves and I have many more implements here" - it was out before I could take it back - why did I say that - why was it up to me to deal with this - I gripped the phone till my hand hurt - he hung up and I sat there in a fit I can't adequately describe - it all felt so unfair - why? why? I sobbed - I had the terrible desire to grab a bat and break every window out of the house howling out the pain and the anguish - if I couldn't break something I was sure I would break - instead I sat alone racked with sobs, pouring out my fury in sound instead of action - I finally relaxed my death grip on the phone and hung it up - immediately it rang "mom, I'm sorry - could you bring up my acne medicine and Arby's" - I got out ok and he hung up - I was left shaking and weak - drained of the anger, but also all energy and will - it didn't make sense "how could someone say they were going to kill themselves and then the next minute be worried about their acne and food - I myself felt that I would not ever want to eat again - and I knew that somehow I had to drag myself up and go to class. To be cont.