Friday, May 31, 2013

Dream State

I sent my son off this morning to his final graduation practice and went for a walk. When I got home all I wanted to do is go back to bed, I couldn't fight off the overwhelming tiredness and sadness that had taken me over during my walk. While I slept, messages and a call came in and while I was caught in a dream state, I was conscious enough to register what each alert tone meant because I've assigned every person and event their own tone.

It's always funny to me how being awake enough in a dream state makes everything feel like waking life except it's a little off kilter in some form or another. While caught in Never Never Land, my own Peter Pan (my son) texted me from the graduation venue and said he was going to a friend's house for lunch. I texted back "ok" and drifted back to sleep.

It has to be said that that feeling of being caught in the two worlds of dreams and wakefulness must be what it's like to have schizophrenia, at least that's how I imagine a part of it must be. It's almost like drowning in a skewed version of reality and fighting like hell to regain a foothold in real life.

So, in my dream, I was at my front door with my son and he was leaving somewhere and I was worrying about him and his medications and how he might be feeling later in the day. He got a bit mad at me and said to me,


"Mom, it's not like I have cancer. Stop worrying so much about me, it's annoying."

And out the door he went. In my dream I cried quiet tears while hunched over my desk holding my head in my hands. All I could think as I cried was,

"Doesn't he see that he may as well have cancer?
Can't he see that if he's in his friend's house late at night and he sinks into psychosis that I won't be there to help him?
Can't he see how alone he is in this world when it comes down to it, when this illness decides to grab hold and change his current path?"

So many dream questions with no answers. My boy had run out the door to live his life and I was left worrying about the fact that while he wants to live like his friends, he won't always be able to and there is no one on this earth that will know how to help him in the critical moments at 2 a.m. when the hallucinations fill the darkness of the room and threaten to engulf him.

That dream was a nightmare and really, when I woke and as I process it here as I write this, I am now painfully aware that that nightmare is my real life. I have so many questions about the future, so much knowledge about how hard it is to be an adult (and not even an adult WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA), I know what it takes to survive (and have almost not survived many times in my own life) and I'm terrified for my son. All he wants is to go out with his buddies and have lunch at McDonald's and play video games and stay up till 2 a.m. All he wants is the red-blooded American young man's life but he will have to do all of that with schizophrenia and a pill case full of anti-psychotics in tow.

So, I wake from a nightmare to find that in some ways my nightmare is real, only there's no chance to fight my way out, to get a foothold in reality, to right the injustices that have overtaken my son's life and brain because my dream state is my reality.

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