Monday, April 13, 2015

How do you stay so calm? Behind the Wall

This is what my husband asked me last night. "When I hear him talking like that my blood boils. All I can see is it all happening all over again." Yes me too...

I'm doing my best to learn to let go of things that I can't change or have no control over. My hubby: "Yes but I have seen you, when you put your mind to it, and you do have control and you are able to stop it." Yes but only for a little while... It's raining outside. I can stand under an umbrella but eventually I'm going to get wet. I'm just putting off the inevitable.

I recently purchased a book: Behind the Wall. Click on the book title and it will take you to it. I have barely started the first chapter and already I have felt a connection with the writers and the families they are writing about. In the preface something stood out for me:

"No parent, for example, ever wants to admit there are times when one secretly wishes her child to precede her in death. No one ever thinks that. But this is not an uncommon or unjustified thought for a parent to have while her child is suffering from a particularly devastating episode related to mental illness."

Widdifield, Mary; Widdifield MA, Elin (2015-03-02). Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents (Kindle Locations 175-177). Langdon Street Press. Kindle Edition.

No I'm not secretly wishing my son was dead nor is he going through a bad episode right now. Still the ideal expressed in this quote is somewhere that I have been in the past and most likely where I will be in the future, again...

On Saturday while we were setting up the backyard and my thoughts were wondering as they usually do. I asked my son if financially his Nana and I were the same and I couldn't provide him with the things that I do, would he want to stay with me? Of course his first question was: Why are you broke? ;) Over $30000 in debt but that's not the point... I wasn't really expecting a black or white answer and told him that I was just curious as I don't want our relationship based on my ability to be a bank account to him. I purposely didn't say the word love as I don't think my son feels or reacts to things based on love. Not saying he doesn't feel it however it's secondary to his own needs or wants. Anyways he basically said that he is comfortable with me, Dad and Nana...

I use tinctures or herbs to treat my menopause and keep my hormones regulated. My son knows this. He has tried a tincture in the past for anxiety however abused it so I ended up getting rid of it. Just because they are herbs or natural it doesn't mean that they can be abused without harmful side affects.

Because he is struggling with anxiety most likely due to no alcohol now since Wednesday and he knows that he can't get any benzos prescribed, he is looking for another means to self-medicate. I have told him that I'm willing to work with him on things like this to help him with withdrawal and anxiety  however he is not going to find the relief he is seeking through a supplement. He says that is not looking for benzo relief however I know better. So we tried a tincture... Yesterday he tells me that it isn't working and asked if we can try another one. Tinctures are not cheap. They range from $20-$50 CAD a bottle.

What do you think preceding me saying no to another tincture? Maybe it would be best if I lived with Nana. That was the agreement anyways that after 6 months I could do that...

It wasn't my agreement and still isn't. This is from when my son was in the shelter the last time and as best that I can tell the agreement was that after 6 months of my son being in a group home and participating in addiction recovery that his Nana would start saving money for him to go out there.

All fine and dandy... What does this mean for my son though? It means he doesn't have to put forth any effort into managing his own life or trying to get better because Nana is waiting in the wings and life with Nana is certainly a lot easier then life with me. I have rules. I have boundaries. He can't manipulate me the way he manipulates her.

My love for him is different. It can see past his feel sorry for me manipulations and half truths that schizophrenia and mostly addiction allows him to speak without so much as batting an eye... Getting what he thinks he deserves is his priority and what others go through to make this happen doesn't matter to him. He knows that Nana would give up anything to give him what he wants. He knows that she can't say no to him. Whether it's good for him or not doesn't fit into the equation. In his eyes that is what love is... Be his minion and put him on a pedestal and you have proven that you love him...

How can that compete with my version of love that says yes I love you but I love and respect myself too. Yes you are special. So are others special too. Yes you have wants and needs. So do others. Yes you have experienced pain. So have others. Yes you deserve a good life... You get my point. I can't compete and I'm not going to try. He can accept my love for what it is or not. A love that sees past right now to a future that could be so much more then burying himself in the fake euphoria that addiction gives him. I use the word euphoria because two nights ago this is what he told me he wanted and what he was looking for.

So the conversation started to get a little heated. He got mad or upset that he is not getting the money that he thinks he should get. Some time ago we signed a room and board contract stating that he would pay me $700 a month because I pay for everything including cloths etc. Disability knows about this contract. I came to this dollar amount by spending considerable time going over the disability website and how they break down their funding. Because he is room and board instead of rent and paying for his own groceries, utilities etc then his payments are $841 instead of 9 something. While living with his Nana they said that he was paying his portion of the rent plus utilities etc so he got a bit more then here. Because it was rent then he got his money at the end of the month for the following month. Here he is room and board which gets paid at the end of the month for that month. You would have to ask disability why they do it this way however he does now have clarification from disability that it works that way so at least we don't have to have that argument anymore.

It clearly states on the disability website that his personal spending amount or money not for basic needs is $119. Do the math. $841 - $119 = $722.

While he was in the shelter the last time I did tell him that I would consider looking at $600 a month instead of $700 IF he was to start buying things for himself like he was supposed to with that money. Not drugs, alcohol, games... Since March 21st we have spent over $200 on him in extras. Not counting McDonald's, Tim Horton's, Chinese food... or the cloths we have gotten him since he loses items while in the shelter system. We have paid for cigarettes for him. I didn't take any money from his disability payment for February and he got the full payment, so that he could buy items for his room.

Givers have to set limits because takers never do...

So no I'm not changing the $700 to $600. Can you guess what followed? The phone call to Nana.

If what you are doing is making an addict happy then chances are you are enabling instead of helping.

Then I'm being asked to talk to Nana and make arrangements. No I'm not talking to Nana and I will not so much as lift a baby finger to help with something that I am dead set against. Considering what has happened in the past, why would I help make that happen again?

My son's case worker from PACT just left...

The kicker is this... Thursday and Friday my son was asking me to help him get his GED (high-school equivalent) because he needs it to work with my husband in construction and he had decided he wanted to do that. Today we were supposed to be looking into either getting him back with the YMCA or into another school that does adult learning.

Nana's intentions may be good and I know are coming from a place of love... When my son pulls on her heartstrings with how much he needs to drink or get high because he is so unhappy, stressed, anxious and there is nothing for him in this world... Will she have the willpower to say no? Will she be able to put aside how much she loves him and how much her heart is breaking for him to make the right decisions? Will she be able keep her home drug and alcohol free even if that means him 'going to the streets' to get it?

My son just admitted to his worker that 30% (I say 60%) of the reason he wants to go live with Nana is because it's easier there and because she won't be able to say no to him...

Today for the first time in a very long time I had trouble getting him to take his medication. He doesn't want to take his Olanzapine any more. Why would he? He is already plotting to get the life that he wants which is addiction and psychosis. Both of those worlds are so much happier for him. It's the collateral damage and who he will take with him when the time comes that I am all to aware of. What if it's my daughter the next time or prey tell some innocent bystander...

Am I calm? Inside I am seething that no matter how hard I try to change the path that two dysfunctional families have set my children on... I feel like I'm losing the battle yet again. Is dysfunctional love better then no love? I don't think so. Without dysfunction one can find healthy love and a better life.

As long as this relationship is part of the picture and my son has the freedom to run away time and time again and hide in his schizophrenia and addiction... For my own life and sanity I have to learn to accept and let go. Maybe send another prayer to Donna, my mom in heaven, to once again watch over her first born grandson and if possible interfere so that I can give him the future he deserves.


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