Yesterday was therapy day for Thomas and we talked a lot about his cognitive deficits. Thomas has written an amazing post on this for today (to be posted at 10 a.m. PST) so I won't say much about the session here. One thing that did come up were a couple comments from Dr. K. that really struck me. He said to Thomas,
"I notice that in your blog you are very well-spoken. When you're in here, however, you don't speak as much. Why is that?"
We talked about that a bit and part of it we discovered is because he feels like he writes better than he speaks. Ah, like mother, like son. I could totally identify with that. I did mention to Dr. K. though that I do help him a little bit in developing his posts by asking him questions to answer. Usually when the day comes to write a post he is a bit frozen about what to write about. I tell him now that people care about what he writes and want to hear from him and they are interested in any facet of his life. I also am trying to teach him how to tell a story about his life instead of just writing out a few sentences. He has always been a good writer but lost that along the way once schizophrenia came along. I know he can write about Gundam's in the future but he has to learn to find value in himself and his story so that he feels free to share. His self-esteem has taken a huge hit over the last few years and I want for him to find himself a valuable person once again. I think back to when he was younger and that kid had amazing confidence. In his circle of friends and even often with strangers there was no shell that he hid behind. It is that kid (young man) that I want him to find inside himself again through his writing.
I will say, happily, that it appears that Dr. K. really approves of Thomas writing his blog. Ever since I shared the link to this blog and my website with Dr. K. I have waited in a kind of fear for his responses to what I write. I respect him and I want his respect in return. I don't want for him to feel like what I am doing is somehow damaging Thomas or the cause in general. So far, however, it appears that he's happy about the work I do and even happier that Thomas contributes like he does. He has even commented here on the blog on Thomas's posts to help encourage him and Dr. K. making his presence known here on the blog and in support of Thomas is greatly appreciated by me. He believes Thomas is making a difference and that makes me proud of my son.
In talking a bit yesterday about Thomas's contributions here Dr. K. made the most profound statement. With Thomas being stable now and his delusions having evaporated that has meant that Thomas's belief that he was a world leader and would lead a revolution has disappeared. Dr. K. however took a moment to make a point to Thomas:
"It's not the revolution you thought you were going to lead Tom but in another way you are leading a different kind of revolution with your writing and how if affects others."
There it was, the statement that changed my life and I believe changed Thomas's too. His revolution isn't about exacting change in American government or in the world as a whole but here he is, with an audience of over 5000, sharing his life and he IS making a difference. His revolution now is within the mental health education community and he has the power to make a HUGE difference.
HE WILL LEAD A REVOLUTION AFTER ALL!
After session we drove over to get his prescriptions and I generated an idea for his post today. We came up with a plan and I took the opportunity to remind him of what Dr. K. had said.
"Thomas, you have to change your focus. You aren't the world leader that you thought you would be but you, my son, are going to make a difference in this world after all. Embrace your new role and make it your mission to change the world through telling your story and helping others."
I also told him,
"I know of a young woman who is struggling right now with cognitive difficulties and she is hating herself right now and wants solutions to her problems. She is desperate for relief and she is asking for help. I promised her I would share what I could about what you and I learn in therapy about your cognitive deficits and how to handle them but it is you that should be doing the teaching. I may have only talked to one person about this but, out there in the world, there are so many others struggling with the same thing you are and you have a forum where you can share your experience and educate others at the same time and you will help them through their struggles."
He smiled and I could see light in his eyes. He has got to realize how lucky he is and how special he is and I think he's slowly starting to get it. I know that he had a different dream (delusion) but our dreams don't always come true in the way that we had hoped. Sometimes we are a bit off the mark in how our dreams will come to fruition but as long as you hang onto the dream it will become reality. In Thomas's case his ultimate belief was that he was going to change the world and while he's let go of the delusion that he's a world leader in government, he still is headed in the direction of making his dream come true. I am pretty biased, I am his mom after all, but I do see a life for him where he can be important and valued and I think that life has begun here every Friday for over two months now. Friday's With Tom is his platform, his posts are his battle cry and with love and encouragement and strengthened self esteem, he will be a leader within the mental health community someday.
He will lead a revolution after all.
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