Does it mean I love you any less,
if I want to keep the best of you,
but want to change the rest?
I don’t know why I’m feeling the way I do. The way I was last night, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t right. But he started up again; wanting this, wanting that. Throwing this, throwing that. He took my phone and jammed it into his wall. The glass is shattered, I can barely make a call. I tried to keep him in his room as you were moving his wooden toy toaster and his broom. Removing scissors, long objects, and most anything that he could turn into a weapon. We, unfortunately, know that part too well. I kept him in his room as long as I could, but I let him run out, thinking that it would help calm him. He said he was calmer anyway. What a good storyteller he is. Off to the sitting room he went, to put holes in the walls. I tried for ten minutes, but I wasn’t able to block them all. Out he ran, he said his blood sugar felt low –
“Ok, I’ll test you – let’s calm down, let’s go…”
He tried to go into your room – to put holes in the wall…he said.
My voice got louder, my face burned with confusion, exhaustion –
“Please calm down. Please go to your room and calm down.” Please, over and over again.
He punched my arms harder. I grabbed his arms just to stop the pain, and you thought I took it too far.
“Mom, give him space – let’s have space!” You repeated yourself louder and he felt more rage. I ignored you, concentrating on your brother, but I saw his wrath boil into a crimson fury. He was on fire and he kicked four new holes into our walls – big ones too, it was what I didn’t want him to do. I felt warmth escape my ears – I thought…
“Why does it seem nobody can hear?”
I collapsed to the ground and grabbed my head with my trembling hands and I wailed a scream I didn’t know I had. I became primal for about five seconds. I lost my sense for a fraction of time, I lost my wit – I witnessed my soul escape and enter again. My vocal chords instantly felt ripped apart; very fitting, they matched my heart. Something happened, something clicked. I’m one step closer to feeling insane. One step closer to losing my mind. It’s all so very unfortunate.
This above incident happened August 10, 2017, and it left me at odds with my youngest daughter for about two days. I felt decimated – perhaps even betrayed a little. I got over it – but I guess that’s what mental illness can do. It can turn loved ones against each other in the swirls of madness, in the twisting of insanity. Prompt loved ones to turn into frozen statues paralyzed with fear to only thaw out long enough to survive. That’s what we’re doing now, surviving.
These past two years have been really trying but something about these past few months have been especially sinister. His punches are harder, the damage is greater, and his thoughts are more tortuous. Is it the Abilify? Is it the antidepressant? Is it too much Abilify? Does he need a new seizure med? Who knows anymore.
I remember when a trial of Seroquel turned him into a demonic giant with powers that terrorized us day and night. Night and day. Two weeks of pure hell and the games got sicker when I had to increase it.
“We need more time to see if it will work,” the doctors would say.
I would nervously laugh, and think, “I pray we have more time.” It was just my youngest daughter, about 16 at the time, and I during five days of the roughest part of the med trial. My oldest daughter and husband were on a school trip to Paris. My Mom, who was staying with us at the time, went back to Missouri to help out my sister and her family.
My daughter and I would wake up to battles and the ritualistic dismantling of our house. I would stand at his doorway during an event to lessen most of his tornadic activity that could happen to the main part of the house. But most of his torment landed on various areas of my already bruised body. I would put on an old winter jacket that my husband used to wear and put on heavy utility gloves, but it offered only a bit of protection. I became the guard and he became the beast – with foam dripping out of his mouth, and my brain would have to recover from all the horrific words he shouted.
The longest event on one particular bad day lasted a little over an hour. It was one of the five or six events per day he would have during this Seroquel trial. My heart raced and I would feel like I ran a marathon after each event. Between episodes I would put ice packs on my arms and maybe even my face, rest, and pop Motrin like candy. My daughter would ask if I was okay, but her eyes had already been stained with his violence. There’d be no turning back.
We’d have a little reprieve where he’d act more “normal” and we’d take a walk or play a game, but we didn’t venture out during this time. We’d eat our meals between violent events and act as if nothing had ever happened. He’d say he loved me and I’d respond back with an, “I love you too.” Most always an event would happen before bedtime and then he’d collapse into bed, praise the Lord. Once he was asleep, we would assess the damage of the day and clean up accordingly. Put home decor back on their resting shelves, move end tables, and place remotes back to their original, eager location.
During this time, when he was asleep, the house was unnaturally quiet and appeared unshaken. My daughter and I would get our pajamas on, fix a snack, and fall on the couch. After a console session and a good cry, we’d put on a movie and zone out. Escape to a different world where we weren’t hurt, bullied, or terrorized.
Around midnight, we’d say goodnight, crawl into our beds, and pray for a better day to be waiting for us. We’d close our eyes and let the stillness lead us into calm waters. We would either dream of old ladies whispering hush or bloody mouthed wolves that chased. There was no in-between. It was madness.