After almost a decade of utter happiness, things took a sharp turn, immediately after one of the happiest days of my life. My wedding day on August, 16, 2014 marked the end of my Bliss and the beginning of my purgatory.
For now, I choose to share events from the year 2017 forward, as this is when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, but they did. These documented here, are surely the darkest of my days so far.
The late Summer of August, 2017, is when my perfect etch-a-sketch world was was shaken into an unrecognizable mess for years to come.
I got news that My life long good friend died unexpectedly, leaving behind her five small children. In my early grief, the very next day, I got even more horrific news.
I will never forget that August afternoon that I received a call from a stranger in a local clinic frantically stating that my son (who was missing for 3 years), was rushed to a nearby Emergency Psych hospital because he was suicidal and placed on a 5150 hold. Yet, before he was whisked away, he somehow managed to provide the stranger with my phone number. The last thing the lady said was, “He’s really scared and he needs family right now, someone who loves him.”
I can replay this moment clearly now, I was at work, close to finishing up a crucial, time sensitive project. I knew this project was due by the end of the day and would have monetary penalties for being turned in late. I tried my very best to focus, but my brain shut off. All I could hear was the echo of that lady’s last words. Soon after that, my thoughts went completely black and I felt my heart dismantling. My breathing changed and I thought I was going to pass out. I could not think of anything else but my boy. I decided his life was priority. I clocked out for the day. I prayed for him to be ok and for the strength to face whatever was next. Since that day, Complete fear of the unknown was mine.
I learned from the hospital, that my son was having a full blown Psychotic episode with Suicidal ideation. These were medical terms that I never ever heard of before. The severity of them slapped me just a few weeks after I brought my 22 year young son (Joey) home to care for him. Weeks later, he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
Now I was barely processing all of this when three short months after, his younger brother (Noah, 17 yrs) had an unexpected and undeniably severe Psychotic episode, which I witnessed from the beginning. An extremely frightening experience. I was taken aback and propelled into a new reality.
I just knew that Life for us would never be the same and all my hopes for my sons’ futures were shattered. There would be No more Happily Ever, for us. I am still so confused and terrified with our new life path..Lord have Mercy.
Unfortunately, Noah managed to manipulate the doctors during his short stay at the youth mental health hospital, which delayed his diagnosis for almost another year.
I spent last year (2018), juggling between both son’s episodes, therapy and psychiatrist appointments. It’s been tough to watch medication barely stabilize Noah. I hated that he had to get used to visual hallucinations every day, for almost a year! Sadly, his Manic episodes push him into paranoid aggressive modes which all ended badly. In and out of these months he got himself in some serious trouble with the law. It became an exhausting race to find the right medications so he could stop getting into trouble. The search continues.
Now, this year, I’ve been slowly recovering physically and mentally from a bad car accident which occurred November, 2018. A three car accident, where me and my son Noah were sandwiched between two cars. My BMW and the Big GMC truck that hit me from behind, were both totaled into crushed pieces of metal. Me and my boy were in instant pain. This day was a Very close kiss of death for us. I couldn’t walk without pain for weeks. I felt really bad for Noah because he had just returned home two weeks prior, from a two month stay in juvenile hall, he just had his 18th birthday, and his anxiety level seemed like it was beginning to decrease. Then this trauma occurred.
As for me, I was in my early days of processing and accepting the astonishing news that was revealed just right before this accident; The fact that I now have a second son (Noah), officially diagnosed with severe mental illness; Schizoaffective Bipolar 1, with Social Anxiety. 😦
I had no idea how I was going to be able to fit in time for physical therapy on top of weekly meetings with two different therapist, monthly injection appointments, and monthly psychiatrist follow ups. But I had to find strength and energy for the Chiropractic therapy three times a week.
Here I am, (4) months later, finally I am able to sit longer without excruciating pain. I can walk now too. I work part time from my home office. Since I couldn’t sit for long without my legs going numb and sharp pain down my back, I fell behind. I’m now rushing to catch up on the two months worth of work piled on my desk for the companies I am in charge of.
I have to take many breaks to feed my sons or get them through their episodes; my two Schizoaffective sons. I also have their brother, my youngest son, at home taking online school courses. Half of my breaks are dedicated to lovingly coaching my eldest through his severe delusional episodes which peak sky high most times. Oh yeah and let me not forget to mention that I have to squeeze in babysitting for a preschooler every week-day from 1:30pm to 10:30pm.
Between double triple checking my (8) eight calendars, I Somehow, manage to grab groceries and cook dinner at least half of the week. In between all of this, I find myself mustering up every bit of left over energy to spend a wee bit of time with my loving husband. However I’m bad company right now, beyond exhausted and in chronic pain.
Yet my BIGGEST trial nowadays is the terrifying fact that all of my sons’ ailments and suffering may be my fault. I may be the only common denominator to all that plagues them.
You see, it was with my second son’s recent diagnosis that forced me stop and take a deeper, disected look at myself . Not at first of course, but after having several professionals from my son’s whole team of four support people, separately ask me about me about my past, they got me thinking. Their screening questions had me realize that I was a crucial part of the mental evaluations of both of my sons.
Let me tell you, these folks probed way back, all the way to the beginning, they started from my infancy and then dragged me forward through the murk of my childhood, then pushed me past my teen adolescence into my young adulthood that I vowed never to look back on, because this past of mine, contains-only dark, painful memories. When sharing, I brisked through my adolescent teens and shameful young adulthood.
These people wanted to know if I had similar “experiences”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I know that this was their way of saying, Psychosis. They wanted to know what kind of parents I had, my family dynamics. I’m guessing what they really were searching for was the possible family member who may have passed down mental illness to my two sons who have two separate fathers. I desperately wanted to know the same.
I was certainly caught off guard with these interrogating interviews and not at all prepared to exhume and relive the hurtful past that I worked so hard to burry deep down into that unreachable dark place inside of me. But I did it, For the love of my sons, I took deep breaths and burrowed down into my uncomfortable seat. Cowardly and brave at the same time, I openly shared all that I could in hopes that they could connect the dots and help my Noah out of this dangerous episode he seemed to be trapped in for some time now. I wanted them to help save my boy, immediately.
These reminiscent moments were just short segments to what later would be an ongoing series of somber self sulking and fighting to once again save myself.
I had to open locked chambers within my heart that I was now unable to shut. My mind is constantly searching backwards through my “time capsule” of random memories. Many of these Awakened Memories are now haunting me in my dreams, making me dread sleeping and so insomniac nights are mine again.
I am constantly asking myself what these two sons have in common that could have caused their similar mental illnesses. Was it that both their fathers were street drug users? Was it that these fathers turned out to be shitty absent parents? Was it because both of these boys were born several weeks prematurely, sooner than their original due dates? Certainly these are things they have in common. And then there is me, they both have me for a mother.A successful strong mother I am. However I was not always this way.
Could it be me? Do I have AN undiagnosed mental illness that I backhanded down to my sons? I did more than struggle in my late teens all the way through my early 30’s. I have a decade of therapy under my belt. Meds that helped me along the way too. I just never ever thought to ask my doctors back then what was wrong with me. I never asked why they gave me antipsychotics and antidepressants. I just knew I felt better with talk therapy and taking the meds. Now I regret not asking, yet why would I, when I felt like nothing was wrong with me back then. I mean I know I had social anxiety and depression during my divorce but it was situational. Or was it??