Obsessive Behavior

Son is not much improved.  It’s terrible to bring your mentally ill family member to a hospital ER.  It is not set up to handle the kind of obsession, frustration, and anger.   When Son is in this state, he does not fully comprehend what is going on.  The longer the wait the more manic and frustrated he becomes.  There are a few Urgent Care centers for mentally ill, but they are not open 24 hou.rs a day.  When Son gets like this there is no where else to turn but to the ER.

It was all I could do to keep him in the ER long enough to be seen by a doctor.  Twice he’d run outside and missed a bed.  By 3:30 Tuesday morning I had to call 911 to get the cops to corral him and keep him inside the ER.  He was extremely agitated, belligerent, and combative.  Pacing wildly, and screaming at people in gibberish.  All in all a very pleasant Tuesday morning, especially after Son locked my keys in the car and I couldn’t rouse Husband to rescue me.  I ended up walking home at 4 AM.  Luckily it wasn’t a long or unpleasant walk.

Mental illness or alcohol?  Both probably.  We just don’t know.  I was going to call to make sure they kept him 72 hours, and ask them to keep him another 2 weeks, but never had the chance.  Son called first thing in the morning begging me to pick him up.  Sounded so contrite, talking in a small voice.  Nothing I’d ever heard before.  He admitted he’d been drinking, that he has a problem.  He said he’d go to meetings and all the group stuff, and everything, if I would just bring him home.  I said I wasn’t picking him up until I talked to a doc.  That happened in less than an hour.  The doc did not feel son was danger to himself or others, and despite reiterating the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, practically threw him out.

So angry!  We had hoped the hospital would keep him at least the 72 hours.  Give us a little time to find a sober living or halfway house for him and dismantle his business.  We did clean his room, picking up dirty laundry, general straightening, hoping if it was tidy he would not come home and obsess about his business.  Stupid me, for thinking it was a nice thing to do, but he was angry and belligerent about our help.  Apparently, we ‘threw everything’ away.  I handed him the trash can and invited him to go through what we tossed out.  He said something about how he feel’s he’s lost his mom, and that I don’t care or I wouldn’t treat him like this.  He doesn’t believe me when I try to counter that claim.

He is unable to comprehend my behavior and attitude toward him, and I don’t know why.  I’m here, available, and speaking to him, yet he thinks I sound angry.  He still angry, argumentative, and just plain wrong!  He believes I am angry with him, though I have tried to explain I am angry at the obsession.  I don’t hate him, I hate the addict in him.  To him that said I don’t love him, and am not willing to help him.  He feels I don’t care that he has a mental illness.  I told him it was a diagnosis, not an excuse.  You can imagine how that went over.

He has needed round the clock watching since coming home.  He is obsessing over these damn accounts.  Important stuff, sure, but he won’t write down his passwords, and he screws up his accounts every time he has an episode like this.  He has called help lines, tried a dozen different passwords and now wants my help!  How can I do anything with his accounts if he has gotten locked out?  I explained there is nothing I can do for him without his passwords.  So now I’m a shitty mom for ‘not supporting’ him, to hear him tell it.

And he’s not able to use his iPad since he somehow ruined the plug in and can no longer plug it to a charging cord.   He has a big expensive gaming computer that he barely knows how to operate, but he can’t obsess about learning how to move around on that.  Instead, he is using his dad’s iPad to sign into his accounts.  He keeps asking for his dad’s passwords.  When I asked why, he said he needed them to get into his email.  I don’t know what he is thinking.

He is putting words in my mouth, twisting what I say, and in general is just being a big dick.  He can’t seem to understand anything that is said to him, as it does nothing to change his behavior.  He is practically inconsolable in thinking I hate him and that hurts more than he could ever know.  Nothing I say comforts him or reassures him.  I don’t know what else to do.

He is driving me absolutely mad!  Where is the ‘throwing up your hands in surrender’ emoji?

The Ex Is Pregnant

She just told Son last night she was pregnant.  His Ex. She shouldn’t.  She had bad morning sickness for three months, and then spent the last six on bed rest because it was discovered she had something wrong with her uterus.

Here’s the worst-case scenario Son believes will unfold (and I have no reason to doubt this possibility):

Loses her $12/hr job – because she doesn’t work for someone who needs to provide benefits like sick leave.

Loses apartment – Possible, but they currently rent the back house of Ex’s boyfriend’s mom.

Apply for food stamps, WIC and other assistance programs – Which now require more paperwork, and provide less money for the recipient.

Can no longer afford to keep Grandson living with her – She will send GS to move back in with us.

Obviously, not a good scenario, but as I note, that would be the worst-case.  Hope springs eternal, and maybe somehow things will work out.  However, Son feels he is now burdened with ‘fixing’ any psychological damage to GS.  He feels pressure to make a success of his business.  He’s distracted by his grandma’s precarious health.  He’s in pain, both physical and psychological.  He’s feeling the pressure of wanting to be on his own, but unable to afford it.  He’s barely started paying us rent, and since he’s still growing his business, most of his money goes right back in for supplies.  It’s a lot of work too, running his little business.  He answers questions on Facebook all day, fills orders, looks for deals on his supplies, and constantly has to battle other vendors for his slice of the little pie.  Other people will steal sales right out from under him.  His site could be shut down at any time by FB if someone decides to play dirty.  It’d only be a couple days, but that could mean $100s of lost sales.  I hate to even suggest he find something else to do.

I understand his pressure.  I don’t understand why he has taken his Ex’s pregnancy as a sign that his world will come to an end.  He knows we’ve always supported him (in every way), and always will.  I know we helped create his monsters, but he won’t let us help destroy them.  We’ve allowed him to get this dependent.  Now it’s time to change things.  Since I have good psych coverage, he will come with me to counseling.  He can complain about everything, and someone with the proper training will help him change his life.  I just hope it doesn’t take years!

I’ve started looking at apartments in Spain again.

Life Can Be a Challenge

The past two years have been quite eventful between Husband’s retiring and our move, but they have been mostly happy.  In fact the reason I don’t think I’ve posted near as often as I used to, is that I don’t have any complaints, or issues to work out via the blog, until today.  Well it’s been building the past several weeks.

It’s the same things, of course, Son has serious issues.  Lately I have begun to despair that he is broken beyond repair.  I doubt he can ever maintain his own home and I’m in tears right now thinking about it. The plan when we moved is that Son would’ve been on his own by now, and we have made progress in that direction, since Son now is operating an online herbal sales business.  Still it will be difficult to secure an apartment since he is self-employed, so he has to stay with us until he has a steady income for a good year, unless we co-sign a lease for him.

It’s so hard not to blame yourself when your child doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.  I absolutely hate to hear about my nieces and nephews who have gone to or attending college, getting married, moving away from home.  While here I am still worrying about what’s bothering my Son.  Wondering how best to help him.  I try to support him, but it’s not easy.  Knowing I made serious mistakes along the way.  The feeling that I did this to my Son cannot be shaken.  I find myself becoming very depressed again.

Busy

I’ve been trying to work on my novel, but I was interrupted by Son starting an online business and I’ve spent the last

cats claw
cats claw

couple weeks setting up a website for him.  In just two months he has gone from one or two sales a day, to up to 20!  He is doing it through Facebook, though which was causing a lot of issues.  He spends hours explaining what he does and how and what a tincture is.  Many of his ‘friends’ have had some tough breaks, and many are trying to get off legal and illegal drugs.  He has sent some people with particularly honest-sounding stories free bottles of his products.  Unfortunately, there will always the people who give you a sob story every day, and of course, he can’t send free bottles to everyone who feels they might be worthy.  They only cost $20, but many of his followers are disabled and really have to stretch their income.

yellow passionflower
yellow passion flower

He has run into issues with some people who give him a sob story that didn’t ring true so they did not receive any freebies they were seeking.  Unfortunately more than one of these has then gone on to try to sabotage his business, causing his FB page to be closed for various periods of time.  Those people make him so angry, since they are being childish, and destructive to what he hopes will be a lucrative business.  That’s when I told him he absolutely needs a webpage.  And now it’s almost all done.  Just review and some editing.

He feels good to be so productive and proud of what he is doing.  He is good and chemistry and botany and is very knowledgeable about the herbs he uses in his tincture.  He has to be so careful about what he says about how to take the tincture, and how to tincture bottleword things on his website, because herbs are not regulated (for the most part) by the FDA.  He has to be very careful to not make any claims for cures or even indicate what the herbs uses are or their effect on a person.  That’s been the toughest thing to do.  So much information is already out there on how lavender and chamomile acts on the body, and has been pretty well tested and documented.  However, there are many herbs labeled “considered to be safe” but I don’t think it’s the FDA that puts that label on them.  Obviously, we need to do more research, but I enjoy that and don’t mind helping S with it.

fda logoAll these precautions are so ridiculous though, since the FDA has no problem with tobacco companies making “vapor cigarettes” (which they are finding have very high metal concentrates), not to mention, they still allow the production and sale of cigarettes when it is so well-documented that they are harmful.  So it’s regulations regarding herbs seems a bit of twisted logic.  Especially since most herbs have a well-documented (if unverified) history often spanning eons.

For now, though, I think I can go back to working on my novel and play catch-up with all of you wonderful people!  I look forward to checking in on all of you!

My Muse is Gone

Writing for me has always been therapeutic.  I had always written the most when my life was at it’s worst.  Until the past 6-7 years.  I’ve had some seriously rotten times these past couple years, but I am no longer driven to write.  I have been mourning this fact for the past couple years and hoping that the ideas would come again.  They haven’t.  I’ve tried, too.  I’ve picked up my novel numerous times, worked on it for a bit, then put it aside, where it now sits, dormant for 6 months.

booksMy writing was driven by a need.  Some indefinable something I had to give in to.  20 years ago I wrote nearly constantly.  I’ve completed four novels and still have two more outlined and sitting in boxes.  It’s been more than 8 years since I had anything published, and the way it looks now, I won’t be publishing any time soon.

I know it is something many artists fear.  That once they are whole and addiction-free their ability to continue their craft.  That something would change and not for the better.  Stephen King had that fear during his drinking years.  So did Jack Kerouac, and I’m sure many others whose suffering created their art.  Pretty easy to see it would be frightening to give up drink, knowing that’s when you were at your best.  That becoming whole and sober might mean the end of your career.  I think King is one of the few who managed to give up their vice and continue their success.  So it has been with me and my depression. (My depression, like it was some sort of evil pet.)  A fear that I would lose my art if I were well.

Writing was always an outlet for my pain.  It was an escape.  It kept my mind occupied on something positive.  It often held the depression at bay.  Of course these past few years of my deepest depression I wasn’t writing.  So there seems to be a limit.  I guess that should be obvious, and consider the suicides; Spalding Gray, Robin Williams, Hemingway,  John Belushi.  Now that I am no longer in pain, my ‘talent’ such as it was, is gone.  Is it gone?  Is it the ability that is gone, or just the desire that has left me?

I think sometimes if I just disciplined myself and sat every day for an hour and tried to write, it might come back to me.  I see my novel sitting gathering dust on the shelf and wonder if I should try (again) to finish it.  It’s nearly done.  All the  pieces of the story have been drafted.  It still needs two or three editing sessions, but the hardest part is done.  I think.  Maybe that’s why I am putting it aside, that the editing will turn out to be the biggest hurdle and I subconsciously put it off?

So I ask you, does one need pain to create art?  Or maybe I need to simply find another outlet?

Well, I’m Pretty Sure it’s Not Schizophrenia

Just simple alcoholism.

jackI confronted son about the bottles of alcohol and he totally had me believing he didn’t know he’d bought them.  Put on a great act about how angry he was with himself about losing his sobriety after 8 years.  He even made a show out of throwing the bottles in the trash.  I told him I was proud of him for tossing the bottles out.  Why I didn’t toss them myself and dump them out first I’ll never understand.

How could I have been so stupid not to see through these lies.  I guess I really wanted to believe he hadn’t taken up drinking again.  That somehow drug addiction wouldn’t be so bad.  But addiction is addiction no matter the substance.  And my son is an addict and will always be one.  I just hope to be able to say he’s a recovering addict.

Things went along relatively smoothly in the afternoon, and I believed he was sober.  Until a few hours later when he began to talk gibberish again.  I hoped he was still sobering up.

He woke us about midnight wanting to turn on our bedroom light because the dog was coughing.  He said he needed a bowl because he thought the dog was going to vomit.  I asked him why he wanted a bowl from our bedroom and he just repeated that he thought the dog was sick.  I asked him why he didn’t just put the dog outside, and that just seemed to confuse him.

A quiet confrontation began and I demanded his stash and started to go through his dresser right in front of him.  All he kept saying is “What the fuck?” Husband demanded he leave the house and after some back and forth, he finally got dressed and left.  We heard him drive off and then sat around waiting for him to come home or the cops to call.  Turns out he didn’t even make it very far from our house.  He came stumbling back saying his car had stopped just up the road.  Then he took a shower and after that ranted a bit more.  A short while later he made coffee.  (Spilling it all over the floor I noticed this morning.)  He was in and out of the house all night.  Getting dressed and undressed, slamming doors and muttering until he finally fell asleep on the living room couch.pills

That takes us to this morning when he wakes me up wanting to know where his dad put his car.  I told him he drove off in it and left it somewhere.  Then he said his dad sabotaged his car and (of all things) his Facebook page.  I can’t imagine what is going on with his car, I haven’t been out looking for it yet.  As for his FB page, I imagine he’d been posting all sorts of incoherent rants and got himself taken off by the powers that be.

I feel like shit today in many ways.  I’m running on about 5 hours sleep.  My ms pain is acting up big time and in new uncomfortable places.  One positive; I’ve been trying to taper off Abilify, and am surprised this hasn’t sent me scurrying for the medicine cabinet.  I have done pretty good at not beating myself up too much, but I can’t believe I still believe his lies.  I was always able to read a lie from a mile off–from anyone but my son, I guess.

Got to take the dogs for a walk and get some air, then probably go back to bed.  Hope my day improves.

Thank you all for your support during this latest crisis in what has become my life.

He’s asleep again and hopefully will only be hung over when he gets up.

Don’t Even Know What to Say

Son remains off the wagon today, despite my and husband’s attempts to reason with him.  We’ve planned on getting him set up with his own place when we move, but with the understanding that he remain clean and sober.  Thought I got through to him yesterday.  I’m not sure if he’s still on whatever shit he’s been taking, or this is residual or schizophrenia.  I thought I was handling things well, but today I question everything I’ve said and done in the last two weeks.  I am beside myself with grief and self recriminations today.  I can’t figure out what uppers he’s taking, or where he’s hiding them. I don’t want to have to kick him out!  I don’t want to have a big raging argument!  I don’t want him to lie to us anymore.  I don’t want to remain ignorant and blind to his self-destructive behavior.

Our conversations today have gone like this:

Son:  “I almost yelled at one of the students when picking up son.”

Me:  “Really, why?”

Son: utter silence as if I’d not said anything.

later he told me:

“The kids are dressing up on the computer.”

When I explained that statement needed some elaboration, I got no response.

Still later, he was watching Cosmos.  They were discussing DNA and genetic codes.

Son:  “You know that drink they had the women drink?  You know what I mean?  That drink.”

Me:  “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”

Son:  silence.

Is he still taking something or has he done brain damage to himself?  The last two days he’s cleaned the house top to bottom, then was falling asleep (passing out?) at the dinner table.

I’m frightened, angry, and heart-broken.  I’m having a tough time today and blame myself for all of it.  I was good yesterday, telling myself that he will face the consequences of his actions by being arrested for DUI, but somehow he was able to get about town.  Today too.

When I first got home from the shelter today he seemed back to almost his normal self, then he took this dramatic down turn and started speaking in incomplete and incoherent snippets.  Perhaps he took something after I got home.  Probably.

I just went through his drawers and found two bottles of alcohol.  That doesn’t explain all of it, but certainly part of it.  I’ve placed the bottles on the table and now am waiting for him to come out of the shower.  I don’t know what I’ll say, or how he’ll react.

All because he had words with his uncle?  Of all the people who shouldn’t take up that much space in his head, it’s his uncle.  I hate that he’s drinking again, and afraid he’s still doing something else.  Because the alcohol doesn’t explain the manic cleaning binge he’s been on the last three days.

He’s coming out of the bathroom now.  I wonder how it will go?