Friday, November 22, 2013

Yin And Yang (Part 1)

Well? Leave it to me to make things hard for Thomas. I am feeling a lot of heartbreak and guilt today because I feel responsible for Thomas having had a rough day in therapy yesterday. Here's why.

Thomas has been having a lot of ups and downs lately and I thought it might be a good idea to fill his therapist in on the things that I had seen. On top of that, j
ust before therapy, Thomas had been at a friend's house and found out that another friend of his had gotten fired from a job and Thomas felt that he shouldn't have been. He was angry. Really angry. Not only was he vibrating with anger, wide-eyed, squirming in his chair, couldn't find words to complete sentences to describe what had happened but he looked to me like he was going to explode. I wanted to go into therapy with him to help him find his words and to let his therapist also know just how angry Thomas was. I felt he needed my help with a lot of things and it was my intention to get him some.

Everything started off innocently enough. There I was a concerned mom talking about Thomas' depression and
anhedonia. I brought up the anger too. Then somehow...somehow the session took a dark turn, veering off of my original reason to be there and suddenly Thomas was being drug through his past and not the good stuff either.

I learned so much about him yesterday, mostly about how he FELT about events that had taken place in his childhood. I found out that he had been bullied as early as 5th grade (it was 8th before) and I found out the answers to a lot of things he had kept hidden from me for all of these years but that I suspected were going on. I learned more about the source of his delusions, learned that he had, a few times in groups of friends when he was in junior high and high school, openly talked about those things and people had walked by and called him cruel names and labeled him anti-American. Effectively he had been taught by all of that cruelty to shut down, keep his mouth shut, stuff his feelings and NEVER talk about what went on inside of him. There it was, the answer to why sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get him to talk to me.

I also learned (but I kind of already knew this) that he is virtually unable to label his emotions and he agreed with his therapist that I am the one who understands and labels them long before he can. In that session though, his feelings came flooding out and every last one of them he could label and all of the feelings of hurt and anger and sadness put him on the 1-10 scale as a 6. He's rarely a 6 in anything. Even when he was his most paranoid he labeled the paranoia between a 2 and a 4 so I knew that labeling how he was feeling in that moment a 6 showed me just how much pain he was in.

I will say this. The session was very productive. We learned a lot and were able to put pieces of the puzzle together. We got the beginnings of his schizophrenia traced back to 5th grade and probably even earlier. What I got in return for all of that was a hurting young man sitting in the car beside me afterwards, stunned into virtual silence and desperate for human contact. I felt horrible for him. I felt horrible for myself because my original intent was just to report in about the depression, not to help provide answers to a lot of painful events in Thomas' past. All of it had started innocently enough and ended in terrible wreckage with Thomas' heart and my heart tangled in the proverbial mangled metal of a past that had been pushed deep inside where no one was supposed to find it and bring it to light.

(I titled this post yin and yang because out of the day yesterday came some kind of, sort of positives too but in the interest of keeping my postings shorter I will write about the other half of the day soon.)

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