Saturday, January 03, 2015

When Is The Light A Glimmer Of Hope Or A Dying Star?

I went and got my hair done yesterday and the same woman that does my hair also cuts Thomas's. She has a sister with schizophrenia so she's very involved in wanting to know how Thomas is doing. Of course I bragged about how things seem to have turned around quite a bit and she was so happy about that. I was thrilled to be able to say with confidence that he was doing better.

Then I came home from the appointment.

That was where I was met with a pacing Thomas, a Thomas begging me to take him somewhere, ANYWHERE, so that he could burn off some of the energy that was making him crazy in that moment. I hadn't seen him like this in a while so I was concerned.

We took off for Costco, a "big box" warehouse store, and I made him do all of the lifting of heavy things and I made him push the cart. All of this in an effort to help burn off the energy. In the end it didn't work.

Then we came home and I suggested that we sit together and watch a show that we had recorded. It was called "Revelations" and it was about the "end of days" as described in the Bible. The miniseries was on the History Channel. He and I had recorded it days before and I thought, somehow, that it would help him relax to sit and watch a good show. I told him if it triggered him in any way to let me know. My thought was that a show about "the end of the world" would upset him because in the past he had been quite worried about the world ending and him dying. He promised me he'd let me know so we started to watch the show.

Instead, about 20 minutes into the show, he looked at me excitedly, with THIS LOOK in his eyes, almost a wild look, and he said,

"This isn't triggering me at all! In fact, this is exactly what I've been wanting to write a lot about!"

...Exactly what he's been wanting to write about...

"How so?"

I asked.

He went on to describe how he's wanting to write this prolific story about this very subject because it interested him.

...the wild look and an intense interest in a new subject....

Hmmmm.....

The more the show went on, the more he questioned me about it. There were many quotes in the show from the Bible and he asked me about just about every one. He wanted to understand fully what was going on.

"Where did the children disappear to?"

"They went to Heaven in the Rapture."

"What does that mean when they say...?"

And on and on it went with me trying my best to explain scripture to him with the only education I had, which isn't much, and comes mostly from my childhood when I was an avid churchgoer.

I watched him light up over and over as the show went on and I've got to say, his demeanor took on the quality of a delusional person. Perhaps, maybe, I was seeing something that wasn't there however the only time I have ever seen him like this is when he was excitedly telling me about a delusion of his. What I pictured this time was what I had heard and read about others living with schizophrenia. Some had developed intense religiosity and went on to be quite vocal about their beliefs, often taking it to extremes.

I began to feel a little nauseous as I wondered what was happening here. He was so intensely interested in the show and I wondered,

"Should I be stopping this or what?"

Instead I erred on the side that he was just interested in something he didn't know much about and I had a couple of talks with him about educating himself fully about these things before he just went off writing about it. I told him that he needed to read the Bible and I showed him where mine was and I told him that when it came to things like this, education was power. I told him not to go to just one source but to find many on the subject and form his own opinion but have his opinion based in a solid education. Then I tried with all of my might to make myself believe that he is just a 20 year old kid in the prime of his life wanting to learn about something new and use his creativity to tell his story. After all, his friends are in college and are learning about various things so why can't he be doing the same thing in the only way possible for himself right now?

After watching the show and spending time with him talking about it and feeling uneasy about it what I was left with is the question that started this post. When is the light (in his eyes) a glimmer of hope and when is it a dying star? In this case, the "hope" I wonder about is the hope that he's found something interesting to learn about but the dying star...

...oh that dying star...

is the light from the dying star that of a facet of his schizophrenia taking over, the always ugly, invasive, trickery of a delusion in formation?

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