Anosognosia

Beta

Well-Known Member
Completely Drained, I have no insight to add, but I read your post, and I too am heartbroken for you. I agree with you about our mental health system. We have a 28 yo adopted son who is most likely Bipolar and lives in another state. We are estranged from him. I'm sorry for what the grief and heartbreak you and your husband are dealing with. This site has been such a comfort and help to me so I'm glad you found it too.
 

Smithmom

Active Member
I have no idea when the time comes. But at some point you probably have to accept that there is nothing that you can do to change this and acceptance is the only way to your own health. Its a given concept in the substance abuse world. What you describe of your son echoes a lot of what the parents of addicts face. You can't control his behavior or change his thinking. He is self-destructive. He cannot get help unless he asks for it. And that's not going to happen in his current thinking. There is no forced treatment. He has so much wasted potential. For many of us, our kids blame us.

Some people don't see addiction as a mental illness. Reality is that statistically something like 75% of addicts have underlying diagnosable mental illness. Untreated of course.

What I'm suggesting is that given your husband's illness and all the other stressors in your life should you be thinking of this (getting him into treatment) as another battle you have to fight? Is it your battle? Can you win or are you Don Quixote? I know that my view is different because I have spent years with parents of addicts rather than parents of solely mentally ill. But I hope you give it some thought.
 
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Copabanana

Well-Known Member
What I'm suggesting is that given your husband's illness and all the other stressors in your life should you be thinking of this (getting him into treatment) as another battle you have to fight?
Hi Smithmom.

One thing I have learned on this forum is that there is no one size fits all response to our common plight. Even though our children share common profiles. The difference is each of us, what each of us brings in terms of our distinctive life stories, and needs and personalities and temperaments.

This mother seems to be struggling with the fact that her current situation, her responsibility for her husband, her age and the fact that she has faced so many battles, and won many, tells her one thing: She has too much already on her plate. And she is tired.

But her personality, her motivation, her heart, is telling her quite another thing. This is a mother that cannot rest as long as her child is suffering and vulnerable. She is valiant and she will only quit when she is out of energy...and nature stops her. And then, she will fight on.

My sense of you is that you are very much like her.
 
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Smithmom

Active Member
Copa,
Of course you're right. We are all different. And you will fight to the end for yours as well.

I was thinking back to the days when mine was very young. When he had a mental health diagnosis but before I knew about sub use. He was so young I still hope he wasn't using then. (There are some details I don't ask as it wouldn't serve either of us.) But I recall going to a support group for parents of the mentally ill. I was the youngest there by far. I listened to people over 60 talk about their adult children, getting placements for them, housing, spending money, etc. I didn't relate and certainly never thought that would be me. And its not. Mine doesn't have the schizophrenia that I remember them talking about, the inability to function independently, juggling medications, etc. Over time my son's issues became mostly about sub abuse.

So when I read completely drained I think of them. Older adults still fighting for their children as if they were children. And in a lot of ways, inability to remember medications, clean themselves, function in society, they are still children. I wonder if that is completely drained's son. Those people never talked about letting go, they couldn't.

So I guess I'm wondering if there isn't a fundamental difference between parent support groups of adult children who are mentally ill and those with sub abuse. Its only my limited experience.

Hope I explained this intelligibly. The idea of letting go was just not ever considered in one group but in the other actively encouraged. I make no judgements either way and we both know people who struggle to stay with either approach.
 
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Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Older adults still fighting for their children as if they were children
Those people never talked about letting go, they couldn't.
This was a sad post. I could picture those old parents, afraid to die, because I am one of them.
I'm wondering if there isn't a fundamental difference between parent support groups of adult children who are mentally ill and those with sub abuse
Well. This site was oriented, I guess, initially toward the conduct disordered...those kids who used drugs, would not accept authority or control of any sort, lied, stole stuff, etc.

And when I came here, I was in a battle for control with my son. I felt that my job was to make him adhere to a life path that I considered the right one (it is clear I still struggle with this)...and his job was to do what he wanted, to get support in the way that he wanted it, and to resist my control. For the life of me, I hung on to the idea that he CHOSE to be the way he was and that he could un-choose it. The mothers here right away got that I was fighting a war I could never win...and called me on it.

The prevailing ethos here was detachment. I tried and I tried.

Only SWOT from the beginning saw that there was a vulnerability and a sweetness in my son, that was different than many of the kids here. She urged and urged me to think about him this way, that he needed more support than many of the other kids. I thought so too, but I was so confused. Most everybody else was telling me to let go, which I could not do. I tried and tried and tried. And he did not. The very thing that gave me the most trouble, was his vulnerability, because my heart could not stand it. Because this was the son I had lost, because of how much he was resisting me. I understood it intellectually, but my heart could not. I could not bear my son's hurt, because I could not bear my own.

You see. I wanted to think my son had a substance abuse problem, because then he could stop the marijuana and be okay. I did not want to be those old parents in the Nami group who knew it would never got better, and they would die and leave intensely vulnerable adult children.

You know I think there are parents of schizophrenic adult children, or other seriously ill children that do let go. The parents who went to that meeting were self-selected. You never met the other parents.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I agree with you. That there is a difference. But how much? I think a lot about Anthony Bourdain, the chef who became an emmy winning TV producer of travel documentaries who recently committed suicide at age 63, I think he was. He was brilliant and innovative and at the top of the world. He also had been a heroin addict for 25 years or something...and he also was famously depressed, they say he was fixated on death and suicide. He was dazzling and handsome and brilliantly creative. He was beloved and admired. He did work he adored...that sustained him and redeemed his life, it seems. He had a beautiful child and friends galore. He could not hold on.

His mother after his death said that he was the last person in the world that she would have expected to kill himself. What in the world could she say?

So. I am left with wondering if the mother was in denial, like I was. That she could not bear her child's pain. She would not see it. And then it prevailed.

I am not saying that the difficult children here are crippled inside like Bourdain seemed to be. Because he had to have been crippled inside. Many of us are devastated and crushed by life, especially when we have achieved our dreams. And nothing is left, and we are more miserable and desperate than ever. But many of us become motivated by the despair. We push against the bottom, over and over again, and we make meaning, miserable moment after miserable moment. Spirituality. Yoga. Politics. Art. Friendships. Dancing. Why could Bourdain not take this route? Why did he choose how he did? How could he leave his beloved daughter? I don't know.

So after I write all of this I see huge differences between parents, but not because their kids are in one group or another. I believe it is because the parents differ. It is not that they started out different. I think they worked it through. And died trying. I think those old parents in your groups had heroic lives. They never ever quit. I am filled with admiration for them. And a kind of love.
 
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Smithmom

Active Member
I feel your pain. I wish I could make it go away for you.

Everyone is different including as parents. Every child is different. For every sad story there's a happy one, or so I'd like to believe anyway. My own son's former co-dependent heroin addict girlfriend is clean 2+ years and working as a rehab counselor. Obviously I always wished this for her and encouraged her to walk away from my son, myself and my family when my son went to prison. She needed a clean slate to get clean. But I wasn't sure how it would turn out. No one can see the future. I thought she was a terrible girlfriend for him then. Now maybe not.

Undoubtedly there are parents who keep fighting and those that give up. Those that give up don't go to parent support groups probably. No doubt the group I went to were only the ones who couldn't give up. But then, if my adult child couldn't function more than as a young child I probably would be in that group too. I have a conviction that mental illness is as much an illness as diabetes or heart disease. So why do I see my son differently? Because my son could function. I made sure over years that he learned tools to control his impulses. So I see it as a choice. Yes its an illness. But its one that he chooses to go untreated. As I write this I have tooth pain. I am terrified of dentists and so refuse to see one. I choose this pain over the dentist. At what point is that different from my son? I don't know. But I see it as different from the adult who is in a psychotic state and can't think clearly enough to know that they need a dentist.

Am I saying that my son knowingly chooses to use? Yes.

Does he have an illness that he tries to avoid by using or self-medicating? Yes.

Would my having the legal right to force him into treatment change anything? No. Might keep him off the streets and thus alive temporarily. But he has gotten himself kicked out many times, he knows what buttons to push. Waste of govt resources that could be used on someone who really wants to change. Yes, probably.

All of this very different from the adult in psychosis.

Bottom line is I think as parents we need to periodically re-evaluate our course. Are we doing the right thing today based on the parents' and the child's current situation? No definitives, no judgements. Just encouraging awareness.
 

Crayola13

Well-Known Member
I know what you mean about the anosognosia. I used to volunteer at the homeless shelter. So many of the people there are afraid to take their medications because they think the pills are actually devices that the government will use to control their thoughts and behavior. Many of them don't believe they have a mental illness. It drives them away from society so that they don't even want to be part of society anymore.

My city has had some very tragic incidents resulting from anosognosia. Ten years ago, a highly intelligent computer programmer suddenly walked out of work one afternoon, went to his psychiatrist's office, and killed two nurses because he throught the medications were a camera that allowed the government to watch his thoughts.

Around that same time, a guy killed several people at a restaurant because he thought they were aliens. He was clearly off his medications and hallucinating.

The nature of the Illness makes them paranoid and scared. They always feel persecuted and scared. I don't know why they think the government is always after them.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Crayola thank you very much for volunteering with the homeless.. I have in the past. You have s keen understanding of why many mentally ill people wont take medications...they are paranoid and even think the goverment is poisoning them. What a sad way to live yet many average Joes have no compassion for the homeless believing that all of them are just lazy. Makes me feel like crying.

Crayola, you are a kind soul. Your child is lucky to have you.
 
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Elsi

Well-Known Member
Would my having the legal right to force him into treatment change anything? No. Might keep him off the streets and thus alive temporarily. But he has gotten himself kicked out many times, he knows what buttons to push. Waste of govt resources that could be used on someone who really wants to change. Yes, probably.

I've had these same thoughts. Can treatment ever really work if it is coerced? the one thing I know would happen if I had a way to force mine into treatment against their will - it would break the relationships I have left with them. I don't think they would ever trust me again. I don't know what the answer is, for our children specifically or for society as a whole. I wish there were gentle, caring places they would be willing to go do voluntarily to get help and treatment and learn how to live like human beings. More supports for people to get back into society. I have had very poor luck finding mental health services in my area. they have their hands full with the ones who want to work with them and are trying. Who wants to work with someone belligerent and non-compliant?
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
I dont think forced guardianship works. My autistic son thought it was a good idea. But we didnt force him to do anything. We just were overseers until he felt confident enough not to need us anymore. I dont know that it would work for the mentally ill.
 
I have no idea when the time comes. But at some point you probably have to accept that there is nothing that you can do to change this and acceptance is the only way to your own health. Its a given concept in the substance abuse world. What you describe of your son echoes a lot of what the parents of addicts face. You can't control his behavior or change his thinking. He is self-destructive. He cannot get help unless he asks for it. And that's not going to happen in his current thinking. There is no forced treatment. He has so much wasted potential. For many of us, our kids blame us.

Some people don't see addiction as a mental illness. Reality is that statistically something like 75% of addicts have underlying diagnosable mental illness. Untreated of course.

What I'm suggesting is that given your husband's illness and all the other stressors in your life should you be thinking of this (getting him into treatment) as another battle you have to fight? Is it your battle? Can you win or are you Don Quixote? I know that my view is different because I have spent years with parents of addicts rather than parents of solely mentally ill. But I hope you give it some thought.

Yes, the statistics regarding addiction as self medication for mental illness are well known to me. Although this looks and acts like mental illness, it is technically a head injury. Drawing the difference matters little when the symptoms he is displaying appear to be the same. But I really disagree very strongly that the principals of letting go are very different when dealing with mental illness. Tough love does not help. It only makes matters worse. Although I wrote the following many years ago, I still feel the same.

Alanon's 'Letting Go' Versus Mine
The mother of a son with mental illness on 'Letting Go'

I learned the previous words on 'letting go' through Alanon. I understood them and practiced them. Then my son was diagnosed with mental illness. I have been struggling for nine years to apply the principle of letting go to this disease and my life.

How do I apply the principle of letting go to mental illness?

Give him the services designed to address his disease. Give him the skills and tools he needs, so I can let go.


Alanon's "LETTING GO"

"Letting go does not mean to stop caring;
it means I can't do it for someone else."

What does doing it for himself mean if he can't fathom the process needed?

"Letting go is not to cut myself off;
it's the realization I can't control another. "

How do I continue to be available when my availability is viewed through the skewed eyes of a disease that often sees me as the enemy through no provocation of my own?

"Letting go is not to enable;
but to allow learning from natural consequences."

What do 'natural' consequences mean to someone who keeps making the same mistakes over and over expecting different results? Forgetting the lessons?

"Letting go is to admit powerlessness;
which means the outcome is not in my hands."

How productive is the acknowledgement of my own powerlessness over a disease that has no cure? It is a feeling we parents are struck with on day one that never, ever leaves.

"Letting go is not to try and change or blame another;
it's to make the most of myself. "

How do I make the most of myself when no one else is willing to meet the actual need for assistance in his life?

"Letting go it not to care for;
but to care about."

How effective is just caring about my son without caring for him when his disease and the disenfranchised system of care deems my care giving as a "natural support' necessary?

"Letting go is not to fix;
but to be supportive, not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being."

What are the boundaries between letting my son fix his own problems to the extent he is capable and stepping in to teach and teach and re-teach him how to do it on his own?

"Letting go is not to be in the middle of arranging the outcome; but to allow others to affect their own destinies."

How much can he effectively affect his own destiny? How much of his destiny is in his hands when he is so easily controlled and used up, and victimized by others?

"Letting go is not to be protective;
it's to permit the another to face reality."

What does reality mean to someone who accuses one of the only people in his life who has never betrayed him of doing just that because paranoia rules his emotions?

"Letting go is not to deny;
but to accept."

How much does lack of insight limit his ability to accept his disease? Who's responsibility is it if he can not? Who's responsibility is it to call 911?

"Letting go is not to nag, scold, or argue;
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them."

How many times do I have to take an inventory on my own shortcomings, dig back in, revise my behavior, try again to meet only what is NEEDED of me, before I do just give up purely out of a need to survive ?

"Letting go is not to adjust everything to my own desires;
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it."

How do I cherish myself in my own life, when it is constantly interrupted by yet another crisis in his?

"Letting go is not to criticize and evaluate anybody;
but to try and become what I dream I can be."

How do I avoid criticizing and evaluating him when almost everything I say is perceived as criticism?

"Letting go is to not regret the past;
but to grow and live for the future."

How can I live and grow for my future, if I don't do everything I can to help him do exactly the same? My independence depends on his independence.

"Letting go is to fear less and live more."

How do I learn to fear less with a son who has become one of the most vulnerable people the world knows because of a disease? How do I fear less when the prison system looms over him with a perrnnial net?
 

Smithmom

Active Member
Like I said, we all have to do what we feel we have to do. No answers, no absolutes, no judgements. No one size fits all.

Just to go to your last paragraph..as a parent who has detached, I never feared it less than you do. I live it now. I just reacted differently. I continue to react differently. Neither of us is right or wrong. Is your suggestion that I don't care as much as you do? I don't think so. Is mine that I cope better than you do? No. Not at all. Just differently.

Do I think tough love helps addiction? No. Do I think it helps mental illness? No. I don't think either is "cured" by disengaging. I think both can only be improved with help. Tough love isn't about refusing to help. Its about the kind of help being offered. And the kind of help depends on the kind of need. That's really what you're talking about. That the needs are different. I submit that the needs are different not because of mental illness or addiction being the primary diagnosis. The needs are individual. Each of us has different needs.

Part of what I'm trying to say is that no where in your reply above do you address your needs or that of anyone but your son. As Copa said, we're all fighters willing to give our all to our kids. I gave my all when my son was young. And now there's a lot less of me. The toll that took on me was life-changing. I also sacrificed the childhood his bros would have had. As mine is now an adult I will not do that again. For me its not just about my adult addict son's needs. Its about my needs and those of my autistic son. I have work yet to do for my younger sons. I deserve a decent stress-free life.

Again, all I'm suggesting is that we re-evaluate periodically to be sure we have considered all angles and that where we are headed makes sense. You've done that and determined that you have the strength to do it all.

Maybe I see myself as a non-profit. LOL. What resources do I have, where are they needed most and how can they make the biggest impact? I have to manage my own resources. LOL.
 
Hi Smithmom.

One thing I have learned on this forum is that there is no one size fits all response to our common plight. Even though our children share common profiles. The difference is each of us, what each of us brings in terms of our distinctive life stories, and needs and personalities and temperaments.

This mother seems to be struggling with the fact that her current situation, her responsibility for her husband, her age and the fact that she has faced so many battles, and won many, tells her one thing: She has too much already on her plate. And she is tired.

But her personality, her motivation, her heart, is telling her quite another thing. This is a mother that cannot rest as long as her child is suffering and vulnerable. She is valiant and she will only quit when she is out of energy...and nature stops her. And then, she will fight on.

My sense of you is that you are very much like her.

Copabanana, Thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel.
 
Copa,
Of course you're right. We are all different. And you will fight to the end for yours as well.

I was thinking back to the days when mine was very young. When he had a mental health diagnosis but before I knew about sub use. He was so young I still hope he wasn't using then. (There are some details I don't ask as it wouldn't serve either of us.) But I recall going to a support group for parents of the mentally ill. I was the youngest there by far. I listened to people over 60 talk about their adult children, getting placements for them, housing, spending money, etc. I didn't relate and certainly never thought that would be me. And its not. Mine doesn't have the schizophrenia that I remember them talking about, the inability to function independently, juggling medications, etc. Over time my son's issues became mostly about sub abuse.

So when I read completely drained I think of them. Older adults still fighting for their children as if they were children. And in a lot of ways, inability to remember medications, clean themselves, function in society, they are still children. I wonder if that is completely drained's son. Those people never talked about letting go, they couldn't.

So I guess I'm wondering if there isn't a fundamental difference between parent support groups of adult children who are mentally ill and those with sub abuse. Its only my limited experience.

Hope I explained this intelligibly. The idea of letting go was just not ever considered in one group but in the other actively encouraged. I make no judgements either way and we both know people who struggle to stay with either approach.

After spending 15 years of my life in the addiction world for parents, and siblings. And then in the world of NAMI and other support and information groups for mental illness since 1997 I can say there is an extremely fundamental difference. I remember my son's first appointment with his neuro psychiatric. His most emphasized advice to us the parents was "No stress". After finally learning through much personal hard and long work on myself I had finally gained the strength and confidence to be a person who could express her feelings instead of holding them inside. And then bam, suddenly I had to become someone who had to hold any feelings that may be upsetting to my son inside, until I could find someone, somewhere to safely bring them to. The difference is stark and compelling.
 
This was a sad post. I could picture those old parents, afraid to die, because I am one of them.
Well. This site was oriented, I guess, initially toward the conduct disordered...those kids who used drugs, would not accept authority or control of any sort, lied, stole stuff, etc.

And when I came here, I was in a battle for control with my son. I felt that my job was to make him adhere to a life path that I considered the right one (it is clear I still struggle with this)...and his job was to do what he wanted, to get support in the way that he wanted it, and to resist my control. For the life of me, I hung on to the idea that he CHOSE to be the way he was and that he could un-choose it. The mothers here right away got that I was fighting a war I could never win...and called me on it.

The prevailing ethos here was detachment. I tried and I tried.

Only SWOT from the beginning saw that there was a vulnerability and a sweetness in my son, that was different than many of the kids here. She urged and urged me to think about him this way, that he needed more support than many of the other kids. I thought so too, but I was so confused. Most everybody else was telling me to let go, which I could not do. I tried and tried and tried. And he did not. The very thing that gave me the most trouble, was his vulnerability, because my heart could not stand it. Because this was the son I had lost, because of how much he was resisting me. I understood it intellectually, but my heart could not. I could not bear my son's hurt, because I could not bear my own.

You see. I wanted to think my son had a substance abuse problem, because then he could stop the marijuana and be okay. I did not want to be those old parents in the Nami group who knew it would never got better, and they would die and leave intensely vulnerable adult children.

You know I think there are parents of schizophrenic adult children, or other seriously ill children that do let go. The parents who went to that meeting were self-selected. You never met the other parents.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I agree with you. That there is a difference. But how much? I think a lot about Anthony Bourdain, the chef who became an emmy winning TV producer of travel documentaries who recently committed suicide at age 63, I think he was. He was brilliant and innovative and at the top of the world. He also had been a heroin addict for 25 years or something...and he also was famously depressed, they say he was fixated on death and suicide. He was dazzling and handsome and brilliantly creative. He was beloved and admired. He did work he adored...that sustained him and redeemed his life, it seems. He had a beautiful child and friends galore. He could not hold on.

His mother after his death said that he was the last person in the world that she would have expected to kill himself. What in the world could she say?

So. I am left with wondering if the mother was in denial, like I was. That she could not bear her child's pain. She would not see it. And then it prevailed.

I am not saying that the difficult children here are crippled inside like Bourdain seemed to be. Because he had to have been crippled inside. Many of us are devastated and crushed by life, especially when we have achieved our dreams. And nothing is left, and we are more miserable and desperate than ever. But many of us become motivated by the despair. We push against the bottom, over and over again, and we make meaning, miserable moment after miserable moment. Spirituality. Yoga. Politics. Art. Friendships. Dancing. Why could Bourdain not take this route? Why did he choose how he did? How could he leave his beloved daughter? I don't know.

So after I write all of this I see huge differences between parents, but not because their kids are in one group or another. I believe it is because the parents differ. It is not that they started out different. I think they worked it through. And died trying. I think those old parents in your groups had heroic lives. They never ever quit. I am filled with admiration for them. And a kind of love.


When my first son became ill with schizophrenia it looked and acted just like drug addiction. I remember my husband and I hoping against all hope that it was. We knew how to deal with that. We knew how to behave toward it. My husband got him a job where he was working, hoping he would make it through the first 30 days to get health insurance because we knew he was going to need it for substance abuse. Then came the day for a random drug test at work. He came out completely clean. And we cried. We cried because we knew we were facing an entire new chapter in our lives with no map to navigate. Once again we were becoming the pioneers in a very large extended family who had no idea where to even begin how to help him. Substance abuse we understood. This? This was the most difficult journey we had ever embarked upon and there is no complete recovery of the person we gave birth to. And now? Now we have to do it again.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
completelydrained Hopefully I will respond later to your wonderful post about letting go, but for now I will quickly respond to your latest beautiful post, and to Elsi.
Can treatment ever really work if it is coerced? the one thing I know would happen if I had a way to force mine into treatment against their will - it would break the relationships I have left with them.
I dealt with men who were forced into treatment. Against their will, some of them flowered. They did not become different people but they turned toward the light. They responded. That is all that is needed, sometimes. To wake up. Like a Sleeping Beauty kiss.

There are all kinds of treatments. Sometimes, in this society, we conceive of treatment like work. Sometimes, treatment, all it is, is connection. Sometimes, treatment works on the body. Sometimes treatment is only to listen. Sometimes, treatment facilitates expression and it does not seem like "treatment" at all. I hate that word, treatment. Because it suggests submission or being worked on or treated...like an object.

I have never been successful in forcing my son into treatment. But he could choose it. That could still happen.

I am with smithmom. I would like to think that I could do it, stay in the game, trying over and over again to present a different facet of hope and belief in my son.
Then came the day for a random drug test at work. He came out completely clean. And we cried. We cried because we knew we were facing an entire new chapter in our lives with no map to navigate.
This is so very sad. I think that this sadness is what I have not wanted to completely feel. And by hiding, I have been unavailable to my son. I keep wanting for him to get motivated, to stop the nonsense, to wake up, to get over it, etc., and I am the one who wants to stay in the dark. I sound completely heartless here. But it is true.
This? This was the most difficult journey we had ever embarked upon and there is no complete recovery of the person we gave birth to. And now? Now we have to do it again.
This is so sad.

I will say something here that will seem really clueless and hard. I am speaking to myself here and not to you. Life is hard and then we die. What other way is there to look at it? We can only meet the challenges of our lives and our blessings as they come, and as we make them.

The other day SWOT who has been a real blessing for me, in seeing the way with my son, referred to my son as my beloved. He is my beloved. And my love for him, for all of the pain, and frustration, and trials...has shown through the internet, so that she felt it too. And I owned, not for the first time, that my son is indeed my true love, my beloved. And I said a blessing of gratitude that I could love him so much, and that I could fight for him so hard. And that because of this, I did not live in vain. Not any other thing, no accomplishment, no nothing, has defined me as has my great love for him.

I lose sight of this, because it is so damn hard and I fail so much, and my limits and my own pain are exposed. And I just hate this.

But I need to remember that this is about my love for him, and his for me, more than anything else. We fight for their welfare but more than that we fight for our love of them. Do we ever lose when we love?
 
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I know what you mean about the anosognosia. I used to volunteer at the homeless shelter. So many of the people there are afraid to take their medications because they think the pills are actually devices that the government will use to control their thoughts and behavior. Many of them don't believe they have a mental illness. It drives them away from society so that they don't even want to be part of society anymore.

My city has had some very tragic incidents resulting from anosognosia. Ten years ago, a highly intelligent computer programmer suddenly walked out of work one afternoon, went to his psychiatrist's office, and killed two nurses because he throught the medications were a camera that allowed the government to watch his thoughts.

Around that same time, a guy killed several people at a restaurant because he thought they were aliens. He was clearly off his medications and hallucinating.

The nature of the Illness makes them paranoid and scared. They always feel persecuted and scared. I don't know why they think the government is always after them.


Paranoia is almost always directed toward any authoritarian figure, employers, FBI, CIA, Police, any agency, group etc. that has more power over them to begin with or at the very least, the belief that they do. With all of the technological advances that exist today in the world of spying they can literally convince themselves their delusions are true. Sometimes, it can be difficult to separate truth from fact in their claims of what is happening to them. Sometimes, we start to feel a little nuts just listening to them.
 
completelydrained Hopefully I will respond later to your wonderful post about letting go, but for now I will quickly respond to your latest beautiful post, and to Elsi.I dealt with men who were forced into treatment. Against their will, some of them flowered. They did not become different people but they turned toward the light. There are all kinds of treatments. Sometimes, in this society, we conceive of treatment like work. Sometimes, treatment, all it is, is connection. Sometimes, treatment works on the body. Sometimes treatment is only to listen. Sometimes, treatment facilitates expression and it does not seem like "treatment" at all. I hate that word, treatment. Because it suggests submission or being worked on or treated...like an object.

I have never been successful in forcing my son into treatment. But he could choose it. That could still happen.

I am with smithmom. I would like to think that could do it, stay in the game, trying over and over again to present a different facet of hope and belief in my son.
This is so very sad. I think that this sadness is what I have not wanted to completely feel. And by hiding, I have been unavailable to my son. I keep wanting for him to get motivated, to stop the nonsense, to wake up, to get over it, etc., and I am the one who wants to stay in the dark. I sound completely heartless here. But it is true.
This is so sad.

I will say something here that will seem really clueless and hard. I am speaking to myself here and not to you. Life is hard and then we die. What other way is there to look at it? We can only meet the challenges of our lives and our blessings as they come, and as we make them.

The other day SWOT who has been a real blessing for me, in seeing the way with my son, referred to my son as my beloved. He is my beloved. And my love for him, for all of the pain, and frustration, and trials...has shown through the internet, so that she felt it too. And I owned, not for the first time, that my son is indeed my true love, my beloved. And I said a blessing of gratitude that I could love him so much, and that I could fight for him so hard. And that because of this, I did not live in vain. Not any other thing, no accomplishment, no nothing, has defined me as has my great love for him.

I lose sight of this, because it is so damn hard and I fail so much, and my limits and my own pain are exposed. And I just hate this.

But I need to remember that this is about my love for him, and his for me, than anything else. We fight for their welfare but more than that we fight for our love of them. Do we ever lose when we love?


When I think about their childhoods, and all the beautiful memories, all the hope and confidence I had that their futures would be remarkable, because they were both such remarkable, loving, kind, smart, fun people? Sometimes, I wish I could have stayed there for just a little while longer knowing what I know now. Being their mother was the greatest love of my life. The greatest joy. The very best job I ever had. The most meaning and purpose my life ever had. It was a cinch compared to this. And I am so damned lucky to have been given all those moments. I cherish them. I GOT to have them! That is something that no person, no disease, no diagnosis can ever take away from me. That is where my gratitude lives. And it always will whether they remember it or not. I do. I remember it all like it was yesterday. We were so, so happy. Thanks to everyone for sharing in this thread with me. For entering your voices into the mix. For the compassion and understanding, the questions, the wondering, the acceptance. I have so much more to say and I will over the next coming days. But for today, I will spend the rest of the evening watching MY favorite super bowl. The Midterms. Snacks and beverages are ready and so am I. The coffeepot will be doing overtime tonight as we try to stay awake and watch America take Democracy back! love and gratitude to you all!
 

Elsi

Well-Known Member
I dealt with men who were forced into treatment. Against their will, some of them flowered. They did not become different people but they turned toward the light. They responded. That is all that is needed, sometimes. To wake up. Like a Sleeping Beauty kiss.

Of course, this was N’s path too. But that was something society forced on him, not me as a mother. I don’t think it would have worked if it were me doing the forcing. He would have me to blame, and it would have broken the trust between us. As parents we are in a tough spot. The last time I forced one of mine into an emergency hold situation it was S, at 19. It did not good in the long term. There were no available follow up services. No beds available in long term facilities even if she had been willing to go. Minimum 6 month waiting period, and she had to be willing to do it. Private facilities are completely out of my reach financially and I don’t think anything is going to effective anyway if they don’t have some desire to change.

Do we ever lose when we love?

I don’t think love is ever wasted. Love is valuable for its own sake. Sadly love alone is not always sufficient to get the results we hope for.

When I think about their childhoods, and all the beautiful memories, all the hope and confidence I had that their futures would be remarkable, because they were both such remarkable, loving, kind, smart, fun people? Sometimes, I wish I could have stayed there for just a little while longer knowing what I know now. Being their mother was the greatest love of my life. The greatest joy. The very best job I ever had. The most meaning and purpose my life ever had. It was a cinch compared to this. And I am so damned lucky to have been given all those moments. I cherish them.

Completelydrained, this is beautiful. I know what you mean. The years when my children were young were not easy ones for me. But I do miss the innocent times and the hope i had for all of them. I’m glad you have such cherished memories.

But for today, I will spend the rest of the evening watching MY favorite super bowl. The Midterms.

I’m not sure I’d call this my favorite super bowl but I will be closely watching the results with you!
 
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