Thursday, January 15, 2015

Is He Reading My Mind?

Coming from me, the above question probably sounds like nothing. However, in the context of this illness, that kind of question is a bit concerning, a delusion if you will. One of the symptoms of schizophrenia is a belief that someone is inserting thoughts in your head or that someone can read your mind. In mine and Thomas's case, it is me that has questions about that right now.

Thomas and I are so linked. We are mom and son. He is literally a piece of me. So knowing that and knowing that my own mom and I have a similar connection makes me wonder about the above question. With my mom and I, I literally just have to think about her, think about wanting to tell her a story and she'll text or call me within seconds of those thoughts. We've always been like this but in the past couple of years as we have grown even closer through taking care of my dad when he was sick and then being there for each other once he died, we have become even closer and these phenomena happen more often. I believe that with Thomas, like I do with my mom, that it's possible he and I are solidifying this kind of connection.

I tell you this because of what happened last night.

I took Thomas to work and then came home and turned on my music very loud on the surround sound throughout my house. I'm fairly certain I was blowing my neighbors out of the neighborhood but I didn't care. In those moments, I just needed to get lost in some music, an outlet for me and my emotions.

I started off by listening to one of my favorite playlists. I know all of the words to the songs and I sing them like I can actually sing them. I often feel like I have a halfway decent voice but last night my voice wasn't cooperating with me. As time passed I found my way to a playlist I made called "Afterlife". It is filled with songs about my dad, about losing my dad and about coping with that loss. It's really one of the most beautiful playlists I own. In listening to it, I lost my voice, literally, and got lost in the music too. I began with the lighthearted songs as I was trying to keep from digging into the sadder ones but within a few songs I was surrounded by the music of the loss of my dad and how much I miss him. I sat in my chair and choked back tears but finally a flood came through and I sat there crying and found myself in the middle of full blown grief all over again. I wiped away tear after tear and looked at pictures of my dad, something that I haven't been able to do for a long time because they make me realize that he's actually gone. I sat there in those moments and felt a great pain and terrible heartbreak. Finally I turned off the music and began to watch TV.

Later that night I went and picked Thomas up from work. He got in the car and immediately I could tell something was wrong. It was so glaring because he's been fine after work for so long and I had grown used to his decent mood after work. Last night was a different story. I asked him how his night had gone and he faltered and finally told me what happened.

In the middle of his shift, he told me, he had been overwhelmed by a horrible depression that "was so strong he almost cried". Thomas doesn't cry. Not very often anyway. In fact his last tears were at the ceremony my family held to spread my dad's ashes back in July. So the fact that he had been moved almost to tears by this depression and I had had the night that I did, I had to wonder, had he been "reading my mind"? Had he picked up on my intense grief and felt it himself? I had to wonder that because he's been connected to me like that a lot lately. Like I told you in an earlier post, he has been calling out for me thinking I have been talking to him only I haven't been. He is hearing me talk to him and I am in the other room not saying a word.

So do we have the same connection that my mom and I have? Is he picking up on me thinking about him and thus thinking he hears me calling him when in fact it is my mind that has wandered to him and how he's doing? Perhaps I, too, am a bit delusional. Perhaps my own bipolar is playing tricks with my mind like it does with his. Or, perhaps, like last night with me, my music and my grief, he is picking up on our connection we share, our molecular mom and son connection.

I can't say for sure but one thing I do know is that we have been closer lately. Between last night and other events that have happened including him "hearing" me call for him, a part of me wants to believe that he truly is a part of me in a way that only some people share with the people close to them.

I don't know for sure but I do know this. In the exact moments that I was lost in my grief over the loss of my dad, across town, inside a big box store, alone stocking the shelves, Thomas felt a terrible sadness too.

In the car, I put my hand on his knee and squeezed it and told him, with tears in my eyes, that I was sorry that he had had to deal with that at work. He's such a sensitive, sweet young man. Regardless of whether or not he was picking up on my own emotions, he had experienced a terrible pain last night and for that, my heart breaks.

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