Monday, November 25, 2013

Yin And Yang (Part II)

After being in the car for a little bit and riding along in silence I began talking to Thomas about feelings. I told him how sorry I was about the turn that the session had taken and I asked him how he was feeling now. He was struggling and launched into a calm but delusion-based conversation with me. We talked about how a certain type of creature feels and while I gently argued what I felt to be true about them, he held tightly to his line of thinking. I let it go because I felt that at the very least he was talking about feelings even though he had to remove himself from the equation and attach himself to these creatures.

Delusions are still a troubling aspect of this illness to me. While he seems better in some ways, those delusions hang on tightly and still, even with my best attempts at dispelling them, they hold tight.

The beauty in that session came as the night wore on. We got home and talked about things. It was like someone had unlocked the floodgates, lowered the protective fortress around his thinking, and he was painfully (to me) candid about things that had been bothering him outside of therapy.

I had tried for weeks to understand his lackluster attitude about work and I discovered in that conversation that his (online) girlfriend had been giving him grief every time he had to go to work. Every night before work she had been texting him begging him not to go to work and leave her and every night it had been so hard on him to cut her off and leave for work. I told him that he needed to take care of himself and his happiness in a relationship because trying to keep her happy at his own expense made for two unhappy people and subsequently an unhappy relationship. To him, getting to admit this to me, helped him begin to like his job. In the days since, when he's worked, he's been excited to go to work, has talked with me afterwards about what happened during his evening at work and when he had gotten called into work last minute a day later, I asked him how he felt about it and for the first time I got out of him what I have waited to hear since the beginning,

"More hours, more money." He said.

That's what I had been waiting for him to attach to all this time and since he's been working more hours in the last few days he has been very excited about his paycheck on Friday.

One of the last things that we talked about that day after therapy was about how his best friend Patrick wanted to move out on his own. We talked a lot about what that meant as far as affording it financially and the more we talked the cold, heartbreaking truth came to light. I asked him if he wanted to move out and his response was something like,

"I do want to move out because Patrick needs a roommate but I am worried that if I have an episode in the middle of the night that there would be no one there to take me to the hospital."

That, for me, is one thing that I just can't guarantee won't happen. I can do things to ease him into independence as far as financially and moral support goes but what I cannot do is take away the nighttime episodes that leave him terrified and alone, locked in his bedroom. I hate this about this illness. All of the normal things that are easy to control are just that. Easy. But anything related to this illness is completely beyond my power and worse, beyond his. We came to the conclusion that it was best for him not to move out right now until he felt more stable and I watched as he slipped into a disappointment that I couldn't ease for him.

Virtually the entire evening, off and on, we talked about all sorts of things. His openness was such a gift to me because there were things that I was able to help him with that had he not talked to me, he would have had to deal with them alone. We talked about hallucinations and he asked me if I could help him sort out his environment as long as he felt they were around and I was happy to be able to do that.

All in all, the evening for he and I was a time to decompress from that horrible session and because his walls came down, we were able to sort out many things that had been bothering him. I hated sitting through that session, hated the way it left me feeling scorched and blackened emotionally and I hated that he had come away from it holding onto memories he had long since filed away to protect himself. From it, though, came a better mom and son relationship.

So as you can see, just like yin and yang, there was a light that came from the darkness. He lives to fight another day and I can finally breathe again knowing that, as his mom, I have much to offer him as far as comfort goes and where I can't comfort him, I will be his "reality checker", his driver to work, his emotion labeler and most importantly his mom who will love him with all of her heart until her dying day.

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