Thursday, March 27, 2014

Back To Square One

You see? The minute I make the decision to give Thomas space it all backfires on me. Why does this happen?

About a week ago Thomas seemed to start improving and I made the decision to back off of him and just let him live his life without me always in his face. I made a slight mistake the other day by checking in with him a little bit because I had come home at 3pm and every curtain in the house was closed. It was strange. It was still light out and wouldn't be dark for hours. It concerned me so I went in to see Thomas in his room and mention the curtains. He said that he had done it "to be courteous" but I hesitated and began to say that it worried me. Well, I got as far as saying,

"It's not dark out and won't be dark for hours so it worr.........."

And he snapped at me saying he was fine and that this was not his schizophrenia. I backed down immediately and apologized but he was unmoved. I, then, went back later and after rehearsing it, said another apology about how I shouldn't have assumed anything and I thanked him again for being courteous and taking care of the house for me. He said thank you and turned back to his computer. I felt awful because I had gone back on my word that I had promised myself and I had said something. I had good reason to ask him what the deal was with the curtains because of his history but I had broken my promise to myself to back off of him.

Then last night it all came crashing down for him. He went to work and I made sure not to quiz him about his anxiety and I barely said anything to him the whole ride there. He did say he was doing ok so I left it at that. I came home from dropping him off and began my usual evening of TV watching and snacking and walking the dog. I was going to leave the house without my phone to walk the dog but something told me to grab it anyway. The walk was uneventful but no sooner did I get back and get settled in, my phone rang. It was Thomas. He told me that he had an upset stomach and was dizzy and could I come get him. I told him I'd be right there and I drove over to his work.

As I pulled up out front he was standing, stressed out, by the big front window waiting for me and I watched as he punched the clock and left work. I told myself to be sure to stay off his back about what he might be feeling but when he got in the car he was shaking and obviously struggling. I had to ask him if he was ok and he repeated his physical symptoms. Though it was killing me, I pretty much kept my mouth shut and then he started talking.

It turns out that a police car had been parked outside the store for an extended period of time and there was an officer sitting in it. According to Thomas is was there a long time. I guess I didn't get what was going on right away because he's never had a problem with the local police before that I knew of. This time, however, I was wrong. Apparently the fact that the police car sat outside his work for so long piqued his paranoia and anxiety to a pretty high level. I asked Thomas why he thought he might be out there and he said he didn't know. I asked him if he thought there was something he could have done to cause the officer to be outside and he said he didn't think so. Then I completely threw my commitment to not bother him anymore out the window and asked him what his level of anxiety was and a few more questions. I then asked him if he had used the tools his therapist had given him to deal with these sorts of things and he said he had tried. I looked at him and he was terrified. I felt horrible for him.

As we drove the rest of the way home I'd take little peeks at him from the corner of my eye and he was struggling a great deal. I reached over and squeezed his leg and told him that I was sorry that he had had a rough night. He didn't reach for my hand at all. I asked him as we drove into the driveway if he wanted one of his lorazepam's and he said he did so I told him where they were and left him alone.

The thing that plagues me as his mom is that as usual when I make the decision to leave him alone, something comes up where he needs me in some way or something goes completely haywire. I do this dance inside my head all the time. Do I ask? Do I leave him alone? What is the right thing to do? In this case, in my mind, I left him alone and in the absence of my concern, he fell apart.

So, now I'm back to square one. The truth is, he has been decreasing his clozaril slowly and last week was a decrease point and now today will be yet another. So I wonder, was last night's fear of the policeman the beginnings of his illness taking a turn for the worse because he is not properly medicated? I don't know. What I do know though is that I'm back, in my mind, to wanting to check in with him every now and then.

It never ends, right?

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