Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Know Better

My husband and I got in a fight last night.

You know the kind. Both of you are yelling, both of you want to be heard and both of you can't seem to walk away to cool down.

It was about Thomas and how he behaves and his lack of ability to remember to do certain chores and basically it was about his schizophrenia. I'm still reeling from it, I didn't sleep last night and here I sit with a headache and an upset stomach, holding my head in my hands.

But I am ok. My husband is no worse for the wear. But during the fight my very sensitive son stood outside the house listening to us fight and felt trapped outside in the dark and bewildered by the content of the argument. Let's just say that this has been my lowest point as a parent to Thomas in a long time. I failed him miserably last night and more than anything the most damage after the storm is inside my son.

After I asked my husband to get out of the house I went outside to find Thomas. He came inside wide-eyed and I asked a question that I already knew the answer to,

"are you ok?"

No.

He wasn't.

I'm still kicking myself for having done this to him. The thing is, my husband and I rarely fight so when we do, it's an event and everyone suffers for it. But my Thomas, my boy who suffers from schizophrenia, my boy who is sweet and sensitive and scared, suffers the most. I stood there with him and apologized for him having had to witness that and I hugged him over and over and still he stood there, a deer in headlights, a trembling leaf, and finally he asked for one of his lorazepam to calm him down.

How could I have done this to him? One of the things that set off a major psychotic episode in the hospital was 2 strangers fighting on the ward and now here he was witness to his parents fighting in what was meant to be his safe place. I gave him the pill and he retreated to his room.

Needless to say I didn't follow my husband to bed after he returned home so I was up in the living room watching TV. I went in after 20 minutes and asked Thomas is he was ok and if he was going to be ok to sleep and he said he was but then he launched into a frantic rant about how the WiFi wasn't working and he couldn't get his tablet to work and YouTube to load. Then it clicked in. He needed those things because they were his distraction from the encroaching symptoms of his schizophrenia brought on by fear and anxiety.

I invited him out to watch TV with me and we sat together and watched a show. By the time it was over it was late and he said he wanted to go to bed. He stopped by my chair and waited silently for me to get up and give him a hug. I knew it wasn't enough and I told him to please come get me if anything was upsetting him during the night.

Why did I do this? Why did I let my anger and frustration get out of control? Why did I not think sooner, faster, more clearly about its effect on my boy? All I can say it that I am thankful Thomas has therapy today. It is morning now and I sit here waiting for him to get up and I pray he is unscathed from the previous night's events but I know better.

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