Tuesday, April 30, 2013

History (Part I)

I thought I would give you a little backstory. I realize I am coming into all of your lives in the middle of my struggles and it might seem like I've been at this a long time. In a way I have but in the biggest way, I haven't.

Thomas exhibited signs that something was wrong from a very early age. I worried for him, tried to fix what I could but was unsuccessful most times. I got him into therapy and was assured that what we were dealing with was garden variety anxiety and depression. Then I started noticing things that set off alarm bells about 2 years ago. Thomas was starting to accumulate and use things every now and then like a respirator mask (used in an effort to, in his opinion, protect himself from terrorism directed at him). These things were fleeting and easy to write off as quirks. At least that's what I did. Schizophrenia did cross my mind but I didn't see enough in him that would warrant such a diagnosis and I certainly didn't want that to be what was wrong.

Then last year is when it took a serious turn. In April his previously decent grades took a nosedive in about 2-3 weeks time from A's, B's, and a C to a couple D's and mostly F's. He was wrapped up in an online girlfriend at the time, who he broke up with, so I thought that might be a part of it. What I didn't know was that there was a storm brewing underneath.

Meanwhile every part of me was screaming that something was wrong with him but I couldn't put my finger on it. I became so stressed out because I couldn't shake this feeling that he was going to a bad place. All I can say, and this is going to sound crazy, is that I felt like some kind of force, perhaps malevolent, was ripping him from my grasp. I had no definition for what I felt so I put that sort of label on it but whatever was happening I was desperate to keep him healthy and safe.

Then one day, on beautiful perfect sunny day, I came home after having been grocery shopping and spending the afternoon with my mom, and found him in the house with all of the curtains closed and he was standing stock still in the center of the room and with a look of utter terror on his face that I will never in my whole life ever forget. He was shaking. When I went to him and hugged him he was vibrating...it was an odd feeling to hold him because his entire body was actually humming from the tip of his head to his toes. I asked him what had happened and he simply stated,

"He's out there, he's trying to kill me."

I was worried for my son but puzzled at who might be outside the house (because I had just come in from outside) and I looked out and no one was there. I told him no one was there, told him he was safe and then had him explain to me who was outside. I'm keeping the content of his fear off the blog out of respect to him but needless to say I had to explain to him that it wasn't happening and I got him seated on the couch and I sat there holding his hand and watched as he remained caught in some other world where he was about to be killed. I tried to soothe him but nothing worked so I left the curtains closed (because he begged me not to open them) and I slowly began to unload groceries while he became occupied with a TV show and began to settle a little.

What I didn't know at the time and was woefully unequipped for was that this was his first psychotic break and the beginning of his downward spiral into psychosis and subsequently full blown schizophrenia.






(My Facebook Page About Schizophrenia)

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