Friday, August 02, 2013

"I Don't Know"

All of his life, often when questions were asked of Thomas ,his response was, "I don't know." I used to think he was basically being a brat and avoiding answering my questions. Then his schizophrenia roared to life and I started paying more attention to his "I don't knows". What I quickly came to notice is that he wasn't always just saying "I don't know" when I asked him about school related stuff or other critical information. What I noticed is that when I would ask him what he watched on TV last night he "didn't know." Or I would ask him if he had fun hanging out with friends and I would hear, "I don't know." As he fell further and further into depression and psychosis and all things schizophrenia his "I don't knows" became more frequent. One day I was asking him how he was feeling (because he was acting very agitated and angry) and he blew up at me and told me he "didn't know" and then he calmed down and said to me,

"Mom, I'm just not in touch with my emotions. I have never been."

Right then and there all of the years of "I don't knows" came flooding back to me and I realized, HE REALLY DOESN'T KNOW! It broke my heart and I wondered what it must be like for him to live in such uncertainty, or worse, that he couldn't label and FEEL his emotions accurately. Which brings me to this morning.

He came dragging out of his room this morning and came straight to me and asked for a hug. I asked him all the usual questions,
"How was your night?"
and
"Did you sleep ok?"
and the report came in good. Then he let me go and took his pills and then took his cup out to recycling and came back in and he looked so sad, heartbreakingly so. He stepped toward me and said,
"Mom? Can I have another hug?"
I reached out for him and he held me so tightly and wouldn't let go.
I asked him if he was ok,
"I don't know."
I asked him how he was feeling.
"I don't know"
Then it hit me and I thought I would try and label it for him and I asked him,
"Do you feel depressed?"
and of course I got back,
"I don't know."
The energy around him screamed "depressed" but without knowing what he doesn't know, I don't know how to help!
Then I asked him,
"Do the hugs help?"
He said that they did so I did the only thing I could and I told him,

"I have an unlimited supply of hugs so if you need more, come to me ok?"

Depression, or what looks like depression, frightens me because I know the very bad place that depression can go and I don't want to find Thomas there. He's been there before and I don't ever want him to be back there.

I know hyper-vigilance isn't healthy for me but can you blame me right now? With an overabundance of "I don't knows" and a pretty heavy feeling, low looking, depressed sounding, actively psychotic young man, I can't help but have an eagle eye on him.

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