How has your child’s illness changed you? Did you ever imagine being where you are now? What have you learned and what do you feel about the future?
My son lives as though he is homeless. He sleeps at random houses, doesn’t shower, and will only eat a small variety of foods. He will not take meds. He hangs out in a mountain town during the summer and collects money by playing a guitar on the street corner. He smokes weed as often as possible, and If you had told me five years ago that that this is how I would describe my son, I would have called you a liar.
My son has a sister who is two years younger. She is graduating high school this year and plans to go to college. She plays sports, is in student council, has a job, and lots of friends. She hated her brother two years ago. He did some pretty bad things, but now she understands why, and for the most part, has forgiven him. She stays with me a few days during the week, when she wants, I’ve left it up to her, because my son lives with me. It’s hard for anyone else to listen to him when he is delusional. Nobody else wants to try to understand him. All of his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents ( except on my side) have bailed on him, and therefore bailed on me. I’m not sure I can ever forgive them.
So how have I changed?
Well, I’ve become a little numb ( and this is a raw emotion- no antidepressants…yet). I don’t laugh like I used to, and I don’t cry very much anymore. I need to save that emotional energy. Three of his hospitalizations have taught me this. ~ I’m much more patient. If things escalate, I go to my room and chill. I now think before I speak, and have found that many times it’s just better just not to speak. I’ve learned to let go.
What about you?