Friday, November 15, 2013

Who Am I To Judge?

I had one of those moments with Thomas yesterday that are few and far between. He opened up and talked to me about his delusions. You'll have to forgive me as I try to write this but also protect Thomas. It won't be easy but I'm going to try. The content of his delusions are integral to the story but I feel a certain need to protect him when I write.

To start, Th
omas believes that he is destined to become someone great in our future. He believes that he is the chosen leader of a movement towards change in our country's history and he believes this with all of is heart and soul. He told me, at length, yesterday all about it. I asked him questions about it and he was very forthright with his answers. Why shouldn't he be, I suppose? He believes this to be his destiny and figuring out how to get there is what he dedicates his time to and if he holds this belief then I can see why he wouldn't hesitate both in his work towards this destiny and in his telling of his story.

As I drove along and listened to him tell me how he is a peaceful person and wants to do these things without violence he also stated that he fears that others with him might take over the control and cause violence. Even in his grand plan he sees it as a peaceful undertaking because that is his spirit. I love this about him. I've always maintained that he is a sweet young man with the best of intentions however he does have this illness that drives him towards a destiny, either that first, he will follow the course of most people with schizophrenia and end up medicated and hospitalized or second, that he might actually follow through with his plans and succeed. I have to say, in this world where anything's possible, who am I to judge and say he won't be able to do this thing successfully?

I know I sound like I've tipped over into his world but in a strange way, I can't help it. To listen to him talk, to better understand his plans, I can see with the right education and preparation, that he could be successful. I'm not terribly excited about what he's doing but I also feel, in a strange way, who am I to say that that won't happen? I've struggled with this before, caught in a battle between his sanity and mine. I know that I want to have things stay just as they are but in a world of people who rise up out of nowhere and make changes in this world, why can't my son be one of those people?

I know, I'm hearing myself right now. I'm re-reading what I'm writing, I know what you are all thinking. I guess this is where the mom in me kicks in. He told me that his therapist is working like crazy to convince him that he is not destined for greatness and that his life will look more like working a nine to five job and having a family. Thomas on the other hand feels his destiny is what it is and he is hurting and depressed and a little bit angry that someone is trying to rip his dream away from him. I feel bad for him. Think of all of the people who wanted to be NBA basketball stars and worked hard and became them. Think about the people who started businesses when they were 12 and are now billionaires. There was no therapist once a week telling them they were crazy and who were telling them to think of their lives as settling for a nine to five job. No one told them they couldn't do the thing they loved and because of that they got to become who they really wanted to be.

Then, my support and enthusiasm for Thomas' destiny is tempered with the one reminder that he is sick. He believes that because of his future plans that right now, in this very moment, he is being followed, he is being tracked by electronics and he believes that the government comes into his room every now and then and goes through his things looking for clues to his plan. It is always when I hear that that I am pulled back to my reality and reminded of his unreality. And so, I struggle.

I want him to have dreams, I want him to believe in himself and his power to make change in the world, I don't want to take his dreams from him and stomp on them and tell him that the job that he hates right now is what he'll be doing whether it's at the place he's at now or even somewhere else. I don't want for him to sit at work, facing shelves, hating every second of it and have him think THAT is his destiny.

So, I listen to him talk and a part of me thinks,

"Who am I to judge what his destiny will be? Who am I to stand in his way?"

Rest assured, during the conversation I, in no way, told him that he could do what he plans to do someday. I, in no way, said I support him or like what he's thinking. I listened intently, I asked questions, and I reminded myself of the parts of his plan (like that he's being watched) that indicate that he is, in fact, schizophrenic. A little part of me, however, stopped for just a moment and asked myself,

"Who am I to say that what he wants for his future is wrong?"

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