As everybody probably knows my son, now 33, has been in remission of the positive symptoms of his Disorganized Schizophrenia and his seizure disorder has also been under control, both for well over 2 years now steady. Life is good. We have a routine. Peace prevails (mostly). I am truly grateful for how far he has come.
He still has all the negative symptoms everyone talks about, but he and I both manage with all of that pretty well I think, we just have much lower expectations than most families. With me being home we just keep life as simple as we can and it works.
I am writing because last year I had the joy of getting reunited with my best girlfriend from high school, we are as close as sisters, and even though we had not seen each other in 40 years when we met again it seemed that not even a day had passed. She is still as much my “sister” as she was during high school.
So today we talked and she knows about my son and she wants me to come and visit with her in Michigan, (I am in Ohio) the trip is about 5 and a half hours one way. She wants me to spend a couple of days with her without my son, only so we can have some time together and because my son has already made it clear he would hate being a “third wheel”. He has often said he thinks I should go and that he will be just fine.
I am seriously planning to do this in a month or two, whenever I can find a couple free days, I am thinking of leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday and returning on a Thursday or Friday, making it about 72 hours away.
I feel like my son deserves a chance to see how he can do on his own, we do have a predictable routine, he knows he will have to pick up the slack. I know he will do things his way and that will not be my way and I can deal with that so long as no serious health or safety issues arise.
More than that I feel like after more than 12 years of daily care for my son since his diagnosis and never really ever being apart except for hospitalizations -I deserve time away on my own. I want to know what that feels like again.
The problem I have is I am just scared. Best laid plans, and all that. I don’t have a support system around me, no family that backs me up and most of my local friends are more friends in name only it seems, because they are younger with busy jobs and young children and never seem to have any time for a visit with me, we were close when I worked and we could meet after work for a drink or whatever, something I never do anymore and haven’t done for many years.
So I have no one to check up on him and he would actually be appalled if I even suggested he needed to be “checked on”.
Regardless of my fear, I think it is sound with the evidence I have on his wellness thus far to take the chance and leave, I understand things can change but I don’t know if that is enough reason to never leave him alone when he is not exhibiting any positive symptoms. I worry about the seizures but he hasn’t had one in 3 years and I worry about him suddenly becoming delusional but he hasn’t been seriously delusional for at least 5 or 6 years, there has been a few moments and a couple of delusional arguments that lasted 2 or 3 days where he sulked because I wouldn’t go along with what he was trying to make me believe. He came out of it though on his own and in a relatively short time. Above all he is miraculously very med compliant.
I would appreciate hearing some thoughts on the subject. How has this type of thing worked out for others if at all and how do you manage your own fears even when they seem to be leftover from surviving a very traumatic past.
Either way I am making plans and truly just hoping for the best. Trying not to feel selfish or irresponsible.