Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Mom's Boyfriend

I have been thinking on this since last night. My son refers to my hubby as "My mom's boyfriend". He is my son's step-dad since hubby and I are common-law. The thing is... He is not just my boyfriend. He is not just my son's step-dad. No disrespect to anyone however my hubby as been there for me, my son and my daughter since he came into our lives, to the best of his ability.

So today I wanted to take the time to acknowledge my husband and all that he is, has been and continues to be for me and my family. He may not always have the patience or understanding that I sometimes expect from him. Really who does?

In September 2012 I decided to leave my job with my hubby's support. In April 2013 I brought my son home with my hubby's support. In July 2014 we drove across Canada for my daughter's grade 12 graduation. Three months ago we decided it was time to move to a bigger place as it looked like my daughter was going to be moving back with me. Of course my daughter has decided not to move and my son is currently in a shelter... So now we are moving into a 3 bedroom town-home and it's just the 2 of us :)

Yesterday evening my son called: Are you bringing me smokes? Without even hesitating my hubby was there to drive me to my son even though he had worked all day. Today he was there to drive me to the shelter for a scheduled meeting. Just like always he is there. He may not have a very good understanding of mental illness but he is trying and he is trying very hard. No matter what it is he says to me: Barb whatever it is you know that I'm behind you 100%. Do what you gotta do... The best part of that is that I know that I can count on him to be true to that.

He may not be my son's biological father however he has been there for over two years now for my son. Yes he finds it hard. We all find it hard. BUT he is willing to try. He is willing to put himself out there emotionally and financially for me, my children and by extension my children's family. It's my husband that is there trying to understand. So much to say however I will leave it at that and just say that he is the one making it all possible.

So thank you to my hubby for being a better husband and step-dad then I could have hoped for! To quote the movie Avatar: "I see you" and I love you for all that you are willing to put up with from me and my children.

Back to my son... I had a fairly nice conversation with a taxi driver today as hubby couldn't come back to get me after the meeting which I will discuss shortly, so I took a cab home. He asked me if I was working in the town he picked me up in? I said no that I didn't work and that I was visiting my son at the shelter because he is there due to mental illness. He asked me what mental illness? I told him schizophrenia and addiction. We actually had a nice conversation about it as he himself used to work in a facility that dealt with mental illness. A very nice man and he wished me good luck when he dropped me off. I thanked him stating I could use some ;)

I did go see my son at the shelter last Saturday and meet with the lady that I had spoken to on the phone. We went over my son's medications a little bit. They don't oversee medication compliancy so my son has been missing some doses here and there. Discussed my son's level of self-care which is pretty non-existent. They may not equipped to handle the support my son seems to need. I didn't put him there... Discussed his need for drug treatment which my son still doesn't want to acknowledge. I had taken him his winter jacket and brought back his other one. He called me later that night. I'm not sure what happened but his roommate accused him of touching his stuff and threatened him. I talked to the shelter the next morning and that guy was no longer there. The person I spoke to was working when my son arrived there so he was aware of my son's case and we talked for a minute about what was going on.

I went to see my son last night and bring him some smokes. Not sure what my son is saying however they were under the impression that my son was without the proper clothing and needed assistance with that. He has winter boots and a dresser full of cloths. He only has... Yes that's because he packed himself and his goal at the time had nothing to do with what he was going to wear but with the opportunity to get high. So I packed a small suitcase this morning with his boots, another pair of jeans, long sleeved shirts and more socks and underwear. Last night he was supposed to have a shower. That didn't happen. It probably won't unless someone 'guides' him into having one.

Today I went to the shelter and meet with my son's case worker from PACT, the lady from Ready4Life and one of the shelter staff. Actually the guy I just spoke about. I wasn't sure how it was going to go with the lady from Ready4Life or how I was going to react to her... but it was fine. We discussed my son's possible housing options. We are all in agreement that he isn't capable of living on his own. He can't see that which makes it harder because they can only do what he will agree to. As far as I can tell the goal is to get him into the group home that better fits him because he can't be in the one that expects him to be out during the day.

I guess the shelter had tried to have my son agree to go to Safe Beds as they can offer more support and oversee medications however as usual for my son he declined. I explained that because my son is not stable that I think he confuses this time in the shelter with September 2014. He put up resistant to getting the right kind of help then too. He turns his back on and puts up road blocks to those trying to help him because right now his addiction is controlling him. He doesn't want support... He wants freedom. One comment he made was the he wants to snort percocets for the rest of his life. Not hard to tell where his thinking is at since he used to snort his Nana's perks.

At least this time we all seem to be on the same page and because we were all together my son didn't put up much resistance to all of us working together to help him achieve his long-term goal of having his own place. It came up about him coming home... That's not an easy question to answer. I would love to have my son come home however the reality is that once he gets it into his head that he wants to use then all of his promises of not being disrespectful or violent and doing chores etc, all go out the window.

We all tried to impress on him that this is the time that he needs to start making the right decisions. He can only stay at this shelter for 30 days. I'm ok with him coming home in between if it's needed however he still needs to participate in making choices that are going to keep him stable. He has it in his head that he doesn't have to worry about it because he will have his own place by then. Or he thinks he will be in British Columbia? Not if I have my say. I can't see him getting the same assistance as last time from the case workers here as they seem to already have a much clearer picture of how my son is acting. It wasn't even me this time that first commented that certain behaviors could be considered manipulative. Yes A++ in that skill ;).

I think the short-term goal is to get him into Safe Beds as they are much better equipped to deal with my son's issues. He did agree to have Safe Beds oversee his medications as I guess they are in the same building. It's a start. I did on several occasions speak to my son and try to get him to pay attention. I can't say I like it when people talk to him and he is obviously not paying attention to them and they keep talking... So I step in and get his attention and repeat what they had to say in words then I think will make sense to him. I asked him what he plans on doing if it comes to the point of his 30 days being up there and he doesn't have housing in place because he is not going back to BC. I had to repeat that scenario twice which is fine because that means he was listening. He seemed less resistant to Safe Beds after that and agreed to them overseeing his medications.

Whether we can get him into some sort of drug treatment is still up in the air. The lady from Ready4Life will be contacting ADAPT which is for addiction services. Maybe they can help to teach him how addiction is controlling his live. He doesn't see it as a problem. I explained to him that if his need to use is affecting his life and choices then it is a problem. Someone doesn't have to be drunk all the time or high all the time to have an addiction problem. If it changes who they are then it's a problem and my son's need/want to use changes who he is and how he acts. Also it furthers his schizophrenia which keeps him unstable.

Not sure exactly what is happening with disability. They still haven't called me back however my son says he is getting a check direct deposited next week. They did process him a drug benefits card which PACT has so they are now taking care of ordering and getting his medications.

Poor hubby... He is getting off of work, taking me to get my son smokes which is a 20 minute drive each way and then he may have to go work his second job of snow plowing.

Oh... Did you see that my blog got accepted here: Mental Health Writer's Guild. My Facebook page reached 500 likes yesterday. Ya me!


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