Wednesday, December 24, 2014

He Killed My (Our?) Christmas Buzz

Yesterday was therapy for Thomas. It's been a little while because the office has been under construction but we finally made it in and it really turned into a real bummer.

It began with Dr. K. asking Thomas how he's doing. Has he been paranoid? (No) Has he had any anxiety? (No) Has he gotten really angry and had the urge to harm? (No) Has he had that feeling of being evil inside? (No). Then he turned to me and said to Thomas, "I want to get mom's opinion on how things have been."

The thing was, I could tell he wasn't in the best of moods. He seemed to me to have been a little irritated with the office staff and he just looked like he'd had a rough day. He was just rough around the edges a little bit. So when he turned to me to ask me how Thomas was and my answer was, "He's been doing really good", I sensed annoyance. Now if my track record stays what it's always been with people, I can usually pick up on people's moods but more often than not people tell me they are just fine when I call them out on it. Is this a flaw of mine or are they just not wanting to acknowledge their mood? I imagine if Dr. K. were reading this he'd say he was perfectly fine. Still, though, I picked up on something and my answering that Thomas had been fine seemed to me to kind of annoy him. All of the usual detective work about Thomas's well-being yielded nothing but positive results. It was a good day. It has been a good few days.

Then Dr. K. took out his digging tool and started to question Thomas about if he had been sorting schizophrenic thoughts into the schizophrenic bucket and Thomas said he forgot to and/or that he hadn't had any of those thoughts. Dr. K. quizzed him on the acronyms that he had created for Thomas to use to judge his well-being and Thomas, with everything really that was asked of him, replied that he forgot. He was in a great mood but his memory was shot. Perhaps he picked up on the same thing I did with Dr. K. and he felt a bit of pressure to answer and when Thomas is under pressure, he is pretty much useless.

Then Dr. K. got into Thomas's anger. He felt that Thomas's anger correlated with his feeling of being evil which I think he is exactly right about but he pushed Thomas to talk about his anger and the mounting pressure I felt as he dug at that aspect of Thomas's personality became somewhat oppressive. At one point he came to asking Thomas what he would do if he got angry and Thomas said that he felt like expressing that would hurt someone.

Hurt someone?


When questioned, he said he was worried that he would hurt someone's feelings by expressing it and that he would hurt someone physically. Dr. K. and I didn't miss a beat and we shot each other a look, something akin to a concern about Thomas's response. It seems to keep coming up that Thomas feels he will hurt someone physically if he's angry. Dr. K. took stock of Thomas's history of physical confrontation and of course Thomas has never lashed out physically at another human being. Never once. Still, though, it was a little scary to hear. I think it's because it feels a bit like walking on a minefield. You never quite know where to step that is going to set off an explosion that causes serious damage to the traveler across the minefield.

In the end, though, we accomplished very little other than to remind ourselves that Thomas still has these issues and they need to be addressed. What got me, though, was that all I really wanted to talk about was how Thomas has been doing so well the last few days. He's happy, he's loving and caring to the animals, he's helpful around the house, he's content being in the living room with me and staring at the lighted Christmas tree and he's loving holiday movies on TV. My kid is in the Christmas spirit!! Apparently the BEST THERAPY EVER!

So, we walked out of therapy in silence and I felt a weight on my chest. I feel like therapy, like Dr. K., had killed mine and Thomas's Christmas buzz. Digging into the difficult stuff and throwing the dirt on the Christmas spirit Thomas and I felt was really a bummer.

We got in the car and Thomas immediately turned the radio station to the "all Christmas music, all the time", station and I asked Thomas how he was doing after the session. He had faired better than me. His buzz was still intact for the most part but mine was in need of repair. That's the thing about therapy. A lot of times it has the knack of taking a perfectly good day and turning it into a bummer of a day. Many a time I have, myself, walked into my own therapy and been in a good mood, full of good things to talk about, and somehow it ended with me crying, my nose running, and a weight on my chest I couldn't lift off to save my life.

It is Christmas Eve today, though, and I know Thomas is going to wake in a good mood. He does work tonight but he doesn't seem fazed by that and I know that the only thing on his mind is getting to open his one Christmas Eve present. He's got 5 sitting under the tree so I wonder which one he'll choose. All I care about, though, is that he wakes happy, content and excited about today and tomorrow. I want him to keep that beautiful Christmas spirit of his. It's been wonderful having him doing so well. I never want it to end.

Is it possible to keep the Christmas tree up year round? It's certainly been better than any medication I've ever watched go into Thomas's body.

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