Monday, April 14, 2014

Trying To Ignore What's Right In Front Of Us

I made a decision yesterday that I was going to go back to not questioning Thomas about how or what he was feeling. I think part of it was to give him a break but another part of it was self-preservation. I was so tired for so long dealing with this illness and then he started to get better, a lot better, and I actually started to get a taste of freedom. Then it went awry and it seemed like in a split second's time I was right back in the same place I was for all of those months. Since Thomas' symptoms showed up again I have also watched as my family imploded around me as we all watched our hopes and newfound freedom start to go up in smoke again. My husband is the least moved by any changes in Thomas. He looks at the bigger picture most of the time and feels like things will never change, at least that's how I see it. I was a little surprised to one night be on our walk and I was lamenting what was happening to Thomas and I stated that I was so mad that we were back where we were. He was quiet for a while and then he quietly said, "So am I." I knew then that he had, in fact, been moved by the changes and he was in the same place that I was. Nobody's mad at Thomas, he can't help what he's going through but he just happens to be the vessel that holds this nasty illness and because of that, because he's family, we get mad (or sad or even happy when things are going well). It's really a shame because the unfairness of it is twofold on Thomas. Not only does he have to deal with schizophrenia but he also has to deal with our leaking frustration which inevitably comes out on him sometimes. I am not proud to say that but it's true. So yesterday I decided to take a break from it all and just ignore it.

That was easier said then done as the night came to a close and I picked Thomas up from work. We stopped at a light and in front of us crossed a police car. It's funny how in a way Thomas' paranoia becomes mine because undoubtedly he noticed the police car but so did I. Without him in the car I'm not sure I ever really "see" police cars. Because I am functioning rationally, unless a police car is behind me and I've been speeding or I ran a yellow light, I don't really care about them. However that one that crossed in front of us last night made me aware and made me paranoid, not for myself but for Thomas. I watched his eyes narrow as it drove by and he watched it as we turned and ended up following it down a long stretch of road. I felt his demeanor change from a tired young man to one who was completely on alert. I, for one, felt "safe" behind the car because I knew he couldn't "get us" from that angle. The thing was, that was actually a conscious thought of mine because Thomas was with me and keeping an eagle eye on it. How is it possible that his paranoia becomes mine?

We came to the next light and the police car pulled into the left turn lane and we pulled up next to him. I was afraid to look over at Thomas because I could just feel him watching the car with those wild eyes of his. I asked him then, "Are you worried about that police car?" I knew the answer, I knew it but I hoped and prayed that a different answer would come out of his mouth. It didn't and yes, of course, he was worried about the car.

Why oh why does this illness do this to him??? Why oh why does it also manage to take out me, my husband and Thomas' grandma? How is it that in just a few days time we go from seeing a different kind of life back to seeing the life we are most often just resigned to anymore? I don't want this to be our life. I don't want this to be Thomas' life. Instead here we are, all of us together, trying to muddle our way through yet another episode. I'm so tired of it. Aren't you all? You're here too, in the same or similar places. Do you get sucked into the paranoia? Do you finally start to plan a life only to discover that what you had planned was just not going to be?

I don't know. I just hate this. I hate it for Thomas, I hate it for my husband, I hate it for my mom, I hate it for me and I hate it for all of you. I guess what good I can say is that I am so thankful that we have each other to go through this.

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