Monday, May 20, 2013

"Oh, so he has the "flu"

I am amazed and disappointed when I tell some people my son has schizophrenia and their response is very casual and/or is followed by them saying something like:

"Oh, well, I hope he feels better soon."


I'm trying to figure out what that is a product of. Of course it's first a lack of education but what if they have some idea about the illness or worse yet, I've explained it and they STILL think he can just "get over it"? What exactly is happening there?

Nothing frustrates me more than hearing someone tell me:

A. "Tell him to quit screwing around and grow up."
B. "He's just being a typical teenager."
C. "Can't you just tell him to stop it?"
D. "Can't he see that what he thinks is wrong?"
E. "If what he's seeing isn't real then how come you can't just explain that to him and those things will stop happening?"

and my most favorite of all:

F. "Well, he LOOKS FINE and/or he's SO EASYGOING AND ALWAYS HAS A SMILE ON HIS FACE"

and then they write him off. If they stick around long enough to listen to me explain his life and his thinking a little better, they nod, some squirm, and most people's expressions just glaze over. I've even stood by and watched and listened in horror as someone LAUGHED at my son and his delusions!!!! Needless to say, they lost all of my respect but since I have to interact with them I don't ever stop explaining to them a little more about the illness. To be fair, I seem to be getting through a little bit now, but still......he laughed.

Let it be known though that this is the reason I am here. This is the reason I am speaking out. This is the reason I'll never stop talking about it. I have made a difference. There have been many people that have learned from me and from knowing my son and they stand by us and offer support in the ways that they know how. Advocating for schizophrenia awareness is not a lost cause and as long as I'm moving forward I will keep talking and writing and educating. If somehow I get stopped in my tracks, I am a patient woman, I'll wait.

Giving up or giving in is not an option.

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