Monday, March 4, 2013

The Impossible

I really Tried to find a way to get out of signing the papers for my son's transfer this morning. I called legal help lines and mental hygiene and the county health department. I sent emails, one especially long email to his primary therapist asking for him to seek some kind of least restrictive setting. I promised a kind of true vigilance that I've never even thought about before. I envisioned myself sleeping outside of Seth's bedroom door at night to keep him safe.
And I spoke to other family members to see you how they felt about me keeping him at home. He had promised me, even sworn that he was not suicidal and even his brothers were upset with me for being scared to have him home. I believed him to a certain extent, enough to have him home. I believed I could keep him safe. It was obvious that his judgment was still impaired but suicidal he was not. I am not blind or deaf or dumb and I can see that his thoughts are disordered and his judgment is impaired. But I want to do my job and keep him safe. I don't want to trust him to strangers. I am his mother and I doubt that anyone knows him as well as I do. I just want to love him and make him well.
And there are three definite criteria involved for a child to be committed to a state institution. My son was not suicidal, is not a danger to himself or others, and there really were no true safety issues that I could think of, at least that I could not resolve quickly if I had to.
Mostly, it was hurting me to see him running around looking out windows, a hamster running through tunnels hoping for an exit. It hurt to see him confined. It hurt to see him begging for freedom and know that it was not up to me anymore.
Finally the hospital called and told me to come in for a meeting at 2:30 PM. His father would Attend the meeting through speaker phone. His doctor would attend as with his therapist and I hope my son would be there also. I had to pick up the girls from school to take them to a doctors appointment and they had to wait in the waiting room While I had the meeting.
Just before I left the house I received an important phone call from my mom. My brother is being re-deployed to Afghanistan. He is having a quick wedding before he ships out and it's very important that my son be allowed to attend this wedding.
My only thought was of missing him. I kept thinking if how i wanted him home with me again. I just want everything back to normal. I want to keep my own child safe and hold him in my arms. I don't want to trust him to the state. And I feel like I know him better than anyone else.
I would have to persuade the doctors that Seth could be safe at home. But I was told on the phone that if they truly wanted to hospitalize him they could call the hotline and report me for not doing my job as his mother. I can't allow that to ever happen, i have to protect all of my children not just my eldest.
The kids on the unit wanted a pizza party with Seth before he left. I stopped at Pizza Hut with my girls and bought two pizzas and dessert for the kids up on the unit. They were so happy to receive it and their smiles and their hugs were so good to see. I told my son i loved him and I asked him what he wanted me to do. he told me he had met with the doctors and that they had convinced him this was not something we could fight. He had resolved in his mind that this was what would happen and wanted me to sign the papers. He thought anything would be better than the boredom and loneliness he had been feeling, many times the only kid on the unit. I had stayed up all night wanting this out of my hands and after the meeting with the doctors I knew finally that it was out of my hands for good. His main concern was his education. He is falling behind in school and it was going to take a lot to catch up. Apparently at the state hospital they have full-time school and staff that can help him catch up. He will be allowed to walk and exercise and play at the bowling alley and the gym.
I have hired some people to help me redecorate his room while he is gone. He has a new computer from grandma and a new bedroom set coming and we are going to make it a nice safe retreat for him when he returns. I don't know when that will be and that scares me.
I have adjusted my mind and let go of expectations. Have gone to the confusion and the grieving although the grief is still there and I'm not sure when it will end. And i am ready to put 1 foot in front of the other and move forward . I am ready to love that child just as he is and i will never stop loving him.
Tomorrow at 8:00 AM i have to be at the hospital and I will follow the ambulance to Elmira state psychiatric hospital. It is a trip I do not want to make. I wish this was a dream. It's a nightmare tinged with love. And hope. And great trepidation. I wonder if I'll sleep tonight. I wonder if I can rest by mind. All I really wanted was to drive him to the hospital myself, to have one last ride with him before this journey begins, to stop at a fast food restaurant in buy him a big mac and soda. The normal things. The things I missed most these two weeks. I wanted to blast the music in the car and left with him just one more time before he enters the place that we really don't nothing about. I have the worst decisions of this place although I'm sure by everyone that it's really quite nice. It may be nice but its a jail filled with doctors and nurses and they're not his mother and will not hold him when he cries and they will not comfort him or give him spiritual advice or smile at his jokes like we do.
Finally he is taking a journey that I can't go with him on, his first real journey alone. I can love him behind the scenes but I cannot make him well. Love will not move this mountain although I hope in time it will tunnel through it.
I know that I am not alone and that there are many parents in the same confusing situation. My prayers and my thoughts and my heart go with them tonight and I share this with them. For them. So they know they're not alone. It's very hard to not feel alone. It's very easy to be consumed by stress. I have four other children that need me and I have to be the strong one. And I am.

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