Monday, August 18, 2014

A Mother And Her Baby Boy

There is a special population of people here on my page made up of mother's with son's with schizophrenia. It seems that more often than not, they are the ones that I hear from in private messages asking me for support and advice. Beyond the private messages, out in the general population of those living with and loving someone with schizophrenia, there are these same mom's trying to cope with losing their child, their baby they once knew. I don't use the term baby boy to be cute or minimizing in any way. I use it because I know, just like me, there are so many mom's of sons who look at their now twenty-something struggling, sick, child and wonder what ever happened to the little boy they once held in their arms. I have a picture over on my regular blog of me holding Thomas in my arms the day that he was born. I held him and looked into those eyes and wondered what his future would hold. I looked in to those eyes and thought about how much promise he had but when I looked in to those eyes I never once, not even for a second, thought he would end up with schizophrenia.

I watched my baby boy grow into a toddler with a great curiosity and together he and I laughed at the bubbles in his bath or the kitty cat chasing a ball filled with catnip. I saw promise and I had hope and still I didn't know the darkness that awaited him. There were times that now, with 20/20 hindsight, I could see that something wasn't right. What I now understand as hallucinations, I once wrote off to a child's imagination. Never once did schizophrenia enter my mind but I began the now long battle that has since stretched out behind me, of helping Thomas deal with the demons around him.

By grade school my once happy, curious, lighted little boy became someone different and while he had good times and met many milestones shared by his "normal" peers, he still struggled with a monster I didn't understand and couldn't name. As grade school wore into junior high and then in to high school, the baby boy I had held in my arms in November 1994 slowly disappeared until finally the beast that is schizophrenia finally made itself known in bold and undeniable fashion. It was out and we found Thomas diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia. The journey we have taken since is the same one all of us mother's with sons with schizophrenia now take together.

Then, for me, a private message or two come in to the page. Desperate mothers full of questions about their twenty-something sons begging for help and hoping to understand what happened to their once handsome, clean, cognizant, happy boys they once held in their arms and had hope for. Some are fighting with "the system" just to get rights to get some sort of information about their son locked behind psychiatric hospital doors and some are like me, living day to day watching the ebb and flow of this illness make it's way through their (once) baby boy.

We are mother's of sons with schizophrenia. I do not intend to discount the other relationships out there by singling out my fellow mom travelers but there are many of us standing here, rooted in one spot after having gotten another denial for information about our son's locked away or rooted here in one spot watching as our son displays some behavior that troubles us. We are mother's of sons with schizophrenia and we stand here or sit here bewildered at what has become of our baby boys, who our young adult son's are now. We are mother's of sons with schizophrenia who hope against all hope that the "better days" that we are promised by our sons' doctors and our peers in our same situation and our family members searching desperately for a way to help us feel better, are somewhere just around the corner. And, in the end, when there are good days, and they WILL come along, we are mother's of sons with schizophrenia and we succumb finally to a peace of mind that what we thought was once lost, is found again in a smile, a hug, a milestone met and a vision of what we had hoped possible for our sons from the very day we first held them in our arms just after being taken from our bodies and handed to us crying and bewildered or peaceful and wide-eyed.

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