I’m going to share a very very personal story. I hope I don’t regret it.
My older son (27), lets call him SJ, left Michigan where he lived near his mother and brother last year to move to Washington, about 20 miles north of Seattle. I haven’t heard from him in over three months. His brother (in Michigan) told me SJ lost his phone.
I heard from him about 2 weeks ago. He was picked up by police (no criminal or civil charges) and sent to a Psychiatric Hospital for bizarre and incoherent behavior.
I have spoken with his social worker. They diagnosed him as a Paranoid Schizophrenic.
I can’t begin to tell you the pain and heartache this has caused me. Of course, I’ve been blaming myself for the past 14 days. I was a “tough love” kind of father. Was I too tough? Did my divorce from his mother ruin him? Did I tell him “I love you” often enough? What did I do wrong???
I find it unfathomable that the diagnosis is correct. My little boy? This kid who was so quick to hug me at a moment’s notice, or no notice at all? This kid who stood up to any kid who bullied someone else, even if they were twice his size? This kid who actually played his violin on stage with Izhak Perlman when he was just 10 years old? That loving, talented kid … my boy …. is a schizophrenic???
So, he’s coming home, here in NJ, on Wednesday. We were able to insure the clinic in Washington that we will continue his care here (along with a lot of proof.) I probably won’t be posting too much, if at all, for the next few weeks.
But, I’m a bit scared.
Not for our safety. The social worker says SJ is completely non-violent … she actually said he is “very sweet and caring”.
But, I am scared as to what I will say. What should I say? Will I make things worse if I say too much .. or too little?
I’m just wondering if any of you out there have personal experience with a loved one or friend diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. Do you have any advice? If so, I’ll thank you in advance, and even if I don’t reply (which I probably can’t) you can be assured I will read every word … even if it’s 4,000 words long.