My husband will be moving back to where he’s from tomorrow. I have all his worldly possessions in boxes in my closet because he’s been homeless for a year. He asked me to look for some paperwork he thinks he will need when he returns to CA and I came across the evaluation he had at Emory psych ward when he was in GA a few months ago. They mentioned his disorganized thinking and said they had trouble following his story because he rambled on.
I realized, reading this, that I have become so used to his speech patterns over the past nine years that we’ve been together that I understand (to a degree) what he’s saying. These were professionals interviewing him. Emory, an esteemed hospital in Atlanta, was where he was. Yet they didn’t understand him.
It got me to thinking…have I become too used to his way of talking? Do I forget that he is severely mentally ill at times? Of course, the answer is yes. It has become the norm for me that he will ramble on and change the subject multiple times in one answer. But I follow it.
I have noticed in the past few years that he tells strangers too much about himself and that he likes to exaggerate aspects of his life, sharing what celebrities he has briefly met or whose neighborhood (a celebrity) he used to live in, that he’s been in prison and been legally insane and at a state hospital for many years. I advised him that when he returns, he should only share the minimum of history with people, that they will like him for who he is, not who he knows or who he has met. He has an engaging personality already and he doesn’t really need to exaggerate; I feel sorry for him in that way. I told him about this today and I could tell he was giving it a thorough consideration.
He told me today that he doesn’t want to deal with social services aside from the soup kitchen and food banks, so I am hoping that he puts his good energy into looking for work and finding a home and getting off the streets.
Anyone else out there feel that they learned to understand their loved one’s disorganized thinking? That you can understand them when the average citizen, at the grocery store, bank, gas station, etc., does not? Please share your stories.