Saturday, November 30, 2013

Russian Roulette.

I have watched in the last week and a half as Thomas' work has increased his working hours from 6-10 to 6-10:30 and they have called him in one time and he has worked an extra shift. All of this added up to 6 days of work in a row with late hours and the end result being Thomas beginning to hallucinate again, ramp up his delusional thinking, and his sleep has suffered. He got his hours yesterday and now they have him working Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 6pm to now, yet again increased hours where he will be working till 11pm. The agreement between his job rehab specialist and the company Thomas works for was that he would work till 10 at the latest and the company is not holding up their end of the bargain. That is retail for you though and I'm not the least bit surprised that they are doing that.

What concerns me though is the toll that the hours are taking on Thomas. That and the increased customer activity because of the holidays which will put Thomas smack in the middle of crowds of people. He went in yesterday to pick up his check and came out lightening quick because he was afraid of the crowds. I didn't know that was the case until he got in the car and told me that he didn't want to work when there are so many people. He's always been a solitary soul, preferring to be alone or with just a couple people around. The fear of crowds goes back a long ways and rooted in it is one of his biggest delusions where ultimately he feels his life and the life of people in the crowd are in danger and he feels a great responsibility for their safety. That is a lot to put on a young, stressed out, tired kid. Imagine feeling responsible for the very LIVES of the people around you and feeling your presence around them is the cause of their life being in danger.

Admittedly I am getting worried for him as the days pass by and the hours increase and subsequently his illness starts to ramp up. I don't want him to quit work altogether because I want him to see that he can hold a job and be successful but to what end? None of the "professionals" in his life felt working was a good idea for him but Thomas wanted it so badly for himself that I overrode the professionals and agreed to let Thomas go ahead and work. I am seeing now why they weren't crazy about him working.

Now, as his mom, I am wondering what to do about the situation. How far do I go to protect his sanity and how much do I let him figure it out for himself? There is the part of me that I term the "typical" mom of a teenager who thinks her kid is an adult now and needs to take care of himself and learn his limits even though he may pay a price but honestly that way of thinking has backfired time and again in the past. Left to his own devices, he ends up quite sick. Then there is the other part of me. The mom of a son with schizophrenia that thinks that he's pushing himself too far right now and I want to rush in and help him protect himself. I think there is a place for me somewhere in the middle of all of that but figuring out what that is, is what is tripping me up a little right now.

What I have opted to do is let it go another week and see what happens. I can't help but feel like I am playing Russian Roulette with Thomas' sanity but waiting a little and seeing if it sorts itself out seems like a relatively fair option. I will watch him though and I can guarantee you that if he gets worse over the next week that I will be calling his job rehab specialist to see what she can do about working with the company that Thomas works for and getting his hours cut back.

I am tired. My dad is getting worse and worse VERY quickly and that is taking a huge toll on me and I just can't pile on a psychotic son and a hospitalization with accompanying meds changes on top of that right now. I am Thomas' mom and it is my job to protect him and I won't hesitate to do so if the need arises. It just seems to me that that need is approaching quickly.

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