Tuesday, August 19, 2014

If You Are Here On My Blog And Live With Schizophrenia, Please Read This.

It has been made known to me in spectacular fashion through a private message that I need to remember that there are people living with schizophrenia here on my blog and that I need to be more sensitive to their feelings. This broke my heart to read because I didn't realize I was hurting feelings with what I was writing. I would like to take today to address those of you living with schizophrenia who are here on my page and most especially those of you who are hurt by my words.

I began this blog in May 2013 because I wanted to get the message out there about schizophrenia and try to share some of the truths about it so that people who didn't understand the illness would hopefully learn something and ideally seek more information and most importantly change their views of it. I'll admit I began this page with a great deal of naivety but a lot of heart and determination. At that point Thomas had only been DIAGNOSED 7 months but we had been living with schizophrenia far longer without knowing exactly what was going on. From the get go my heart was always in the right place with this project and it was never my intention to hurt anyone.

By the end of May 2013 Thomas had a major psychotic break and without thinking it through much, I posted a sentence or two to the page that he had just been hospitalized having had a psychotic break. What came of that was an outpouring of people that cared about Thomas and cared about me and wanted to hear how everything turned out. From that point forward I began to mix Thomas' story and MY story into the page along with information I found about schizophrenia. My blog took shape very quickly and with the exception of a couple of stumbles along the way, it has become very successful in my opinion.

Along the way I heard from many people with schizophrenia that they appreciated what I was doing because it helped them understand what their caregivers were going through. This was an unexpected benefit to my blog in my opinion and with many more similar blessings from people living with schizophrenia about what I am doing here since then, I kept writing.

I will be honest though. I didn't fully think through my entire audience. I wrote with my heart and soul about what Thomas goes through and my feelings about it. I know that oftentimes my feelings felt like facts to many of you but what I tried to get across was that for today, for that particular day when I was angry or hurting or joyous, those were my FEELINGS for that day and they were guaranteed to change and are still from this day forward going to change. I realize I don't always paint a pretty picture and I realize that my thoughts and feelings might not be what people want to hear but this is my personal blog and I write and will continue to write about MY perspective of this illness and my perspective of this illness as it manifests itself in Thomas.

Now, again, the part of my blog that is me writing, like right now, are my feelings. They are not facts. I don't believe that in any way, shape, or form that I tell everyone's story by telling my own. There are people in much worse situations and there are people who have lost their loved ones to this illness in irreparable ways. Thomas and I are blessed in that regard because so far, for the most part, Thomas has been what I term a "quiet schizophrenic" meaning that his illness, while strong in it's manifestation at times, is manageable because he doesn't act out by hurting me or his family or society and he doesn't leave home searching for answers, peace of mind, or an escape from his demons. But he is still living with schizophrenia and I will continue to tell his story along with mine for as long as people care and want to learn.

Now, I want to address Thomas' role in this blog. He is not a writer of it nor is he a reader of it. Oftentimes I share with him what I write or what you guys say so that he feels supported by society and so that he doesn't feel alone. I have asked him repeatedly both when he was his sickest and when he was his healthiest if he minds if I write our story and he has been extremely supportive of it every time I asked him. To add a little perspective, we were offered a chance to be on Dateline (A nightly television news magazine here in the U.S.) and I explained to him that there would be TV cameras in our house and people asking questions of him about what he thinks, feels, and deals with. He was excited about the project and ready to get started on it. Since then, after that fell through, I have written articles or have had articles written about us and

every

single

time

I have run them past Thomas to see what he thinks and he has supported them completely.

All of this I direct towards those of you on my blog here that are living with schizophrenia that worry about Thomas. He is ok. I am not so arrogant as to believe that I am alone in this journey, in fact, he is my ONLY (when it comes down to it) fellow traveler and his heart and mind are my responsibility when it comes to this blog and to life itself, as his mother, to protect and love. I've done it since the day he was conceived and have done it all of his life and will do it in to perpetuity.

I also want to say to those of you living with schizophrenia that are here on my blog, that I am sincerely and deeply sorry if I have hurt you with my words throughout the time you have been here. That has never EVER been my intention and I will make it a point to pay attention to your feedback if you choose to give it to me. From day 1 your contributions to my blog have been very much appreciated and I have always considered them priceless because you give me and everyone else yet another perspective to consider. Your stories and thoughts will always be welcome here and I can guarantee you that they will be received with appreciation, with love and with compassion. While there are many who do nothing but lurk here on my blog, there are many more valuable people who do speak up and who do care and who do want to hear you.

While this blog is my PERSONAL blog and while it is MY OPINION and MY FEELINGS, I have never placed blocks on this page or on people so that they wouldn't be able to speak freely. I am an open book which is made apparent every day that I write and share my story and as such my heart is wide open to take in whatever anyone has to say.

So to those of you who live with schizophrenia who feel lost or ignored or insulted by my blog, I hope that this post has helped you better understand my intentions. I care about each and every one of you as a part of me because you are here. I know that oftentimes your lives are a struggle, that many of you have little to no support at all from friends and family, and that you feel alone but right here and now I offer my support to you and will always be here. If you don't want to speak out on the page, private message me. I will read what you write, I will give it wholehearted consideration and I will do what I can to offer you what you need.

I hope that today with this posting, I have given you a better understanding of my intentions. My love and support does not discriminate. It may be naïve at times but it is all backed with the best of intentions.

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