Friday, October 11, 2013

The Price He Pays

I was so thankful that yesterday included an hour of therapy for Thomas after the night we had as a family. When we went in, his therapist did a review of Thomas' symptoms and then I spoke up about the argument with my husband. I felt it was of importance because of how it affected Thomas. I told the story and before looking down at my folded hands, I caught the wince and the shaking head from his therapist. Even he knew that this had a real potential to wreck things for Thomas. I definitely hadn't misjudged that at all.

I tried to provide as safe a place as I could for Thomas to speak his heart since I was in his therapy with him and so he wasn't alone and it seemed to me that he was able to speak freely.

To his therapist's surprise, and mine too, we discovered through some digging that when things like this happen in Thomas' life, the residual tension--for him--hangs around for another week. His therapist clarified that with him by asking him if his dad and I were loving on each other again would he still feel the tension and he said that in fact, he would.

I was dismayed by the length of the residual on Thomas and felt horrible that he had to live with that far beyond the argument which has blown over by now.

I didn't think in the moment about his pain. I was vehemently defending him and was stuck inside my pain and anger. I just didn't realize the effect it had on him until it was too late. I can't say it enough that no matter the way your loved one manifests schizophrenia, be sure to consider their presence when something emotional is taking place. They are affected so much deeper inside and for longer beyond the event. Thomas says he will live with this, in general, for 5-7 days beyond the actual argument.

Beyond that, Thomas and I had a talk on the way home and I discovered how much his Grandpa's dementia was affecting him. He is scared of him but even more so, scared about if I'll end up that way or if he will end up that way too. He has sat so quietly during the talks about my dad that I was having with various people in my life that I didn't think about the level it was affecting him.

I'm not here to feel sorry for myself and garner sympathy. I am writing because I want you all to think about how seemingly ordinary things affect our loved ones. They are common everyday things and they have far-reaching effects and they must be considered. For me, taking a step back and looking at what I share with him about my life is something I need to do because the price he pays for my cavalier attitude about things in my life is of great importance and needs to be considered from this point forward.

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