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The past few days have been busy, but have gone pretty well. A combination of things have been going on. David has begun his new job, Dalton is doing Special Olympics Golf, We attended an Indians baseball game in the rain, We floated down a river for 3 and a half miles, and I am weaning myself off my antidepressant.
Friday, we were to attend a baseball game with Gene's office. This was a company outing he decided to sponsor as the result of them passing a audit with flying colors. It rained! We did stay for 5 innings before it really started to pour, then went ahead and left. The experience was wet, but fun. David took his friend, David with us. I am not certain what the issue was, but my David was a bit irritable friday afternoon and especially, on the trip home. I think maybe too much activity??? Even good stress can be bad.
Saturday, David has his first day on the job. He worked almost two hours, pretty much an orientation session with his boss. He was still employed when he got off, so we figured it went well. :o)
We had planned to go on a tubing trip at Turkey Run State Park, but the weather forcast was showing severe thunderstorms over the river we planned to float on... so we delayed the trip. Unfortunately, this meant David was a bit upset over the change in plans, but in the midst of the 'whining' it was (Nice?) to hear him saying things like "I really wanted to go tubing". It is good to see motivation returning to his life. I haven't seen him motivated about much of anything in so long...
Dalton fell asleep for a nap in the early afternoon, and did one of his "Coma" sleeping jags! He slept until 8pm! there was no waking him. This kind of sleeping period generally is the warning of a mood shift onset... We have learned to "Let sleeping dogs lie..." Soooooo, it was a good thing that we did not do the float trip.
David took a short rest as well, since he was up early. I am trying to help him to see the importance of consistent sleep on his mood and well-being. From what we have seen, he does best on days when he gets a combined total of about 14 hours of sleep a day. I have learned that people with a mental illness are very sensitive to changes in sleep patterns. They need enough sleep, not too much. There seems to be a range that they need to fall within for stability, and the range is not very wide for the most part. David needs a consistent 14 hour average, daily. Dalton seems to range more withing a period of a week, 5-7 days. If Dalton sleeps less a few days, he makes up for it by sleeping most of a day, in an additional 6-10 hour "Nap". I think the difference for their response to sleep may be inherant in their diagnostic differences, but they both must get enough ZZZZZZZ's.
Sunday went wonderfully! We went to church. Donna, Dalton's volunteer shadow was back from vacation, after the past month, so Dalton was ecstatic about having her back during Sunday school. David was able to remember what his youth group spoke of. **This means he stayed awake! LOL**
We decided to risk the storms, anyway, and go tubing. We drove through lightning, rain, and thunder to get to the river! However, we were extremely lucky, and were not rained on the entire trip. It was a lot of fun. Both boys enjoyed themselves, and we took Sparky, one of our dogs. He sat on Gene's chest or mine most of the trip.
The past couple days, Mon and Tues have been busy. Dalton is doing Special Olympics Golf this week, and I'm picking up two additional kids to get them to and from. It was very hot and humid monday... downright horrid. However, Dalton had a wonderful time. They are learning skills training. Putting, chipping, and driving. Dalton really is enjoying the driving.
Yesterday, David had his first real shift at work. Monday evening he had been telling us that he was very nervous. It went wonderfully. David told me he was a cashier most of the five hours he was there, he served over 70 customers, and was only 3 cents off on his register. He also told me that he has been having an easier time remembering things he needs to, and memorizing! I have made sure to point our to him, that this is evidence that his medication is working well. This is one of the sticky points he gets into when he is not thinking clearly. So when things are good, I make an effort to remind him of obvious things that prove the efficasy of his meds. I hope that this will accumulate and prevent the liklihood of a future relapse caused by him ever deciding to go off his meds.
I took Dalton to see Spy Kids 2 after getting David to work, then we were home for lunch and off to golf. He had another great time, and got a hole in one on putting! He also did much better on the chipping, only missed the ball once.
After we dropped off the other kids and picked David up from work, we met David's supervisor. She told me that he is doing very well, and seemed very nice. I took David in for his weeky bloodwork, stopped to see Gene at work, and came home.
I think the stress of having a good day at work resulted in a pretty good level of irritability for David, last night. However he managed to keep a lid on it with redirection. Dalton was being irritable as well. He is not toiletting well, all in his pants (BM), and this is reflecting in his mood. He was "Icky" twice yestereday.
Overall, I am very grateful for my live and how my family is doing. We are busy, life is controlled chaos, but the majority of things are positive chaos, instead of negative. Life is good, and God is great. There is always a light, no matter how dim, if only we seek to find it.
There is a line, far off into the distance
A separation which I strive to reach
The only site extant to reach connection
Hazy in the distance from my beach
This is the place where heaven meets the water
And skyline blends into the earth, below
Where angels mind the universe beneath them
The birthplace where his heav�nly breezes blow
Gracious, in his aspect shining radiant
Waves of purity have blazed a trail
A corridor of grace, to guide my footsteps
Where, bathing in his love,
I cannot fail
It was just yesterday when I lay back
on a bed of dreams, floating down the river
Gazing into heavens painted blue, washed in white,
and lightly marked with shades of gray
Blinding light shone brightly on my thoughts,
blazing ardor�s purifying heat banishing the night
Rapture�s breath delivered here, from paradise,
caressed leafy velvet greenery with whispers
Traveling on streams of happy tears,
I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of stillness
Serenaded by the sound of flowers birth,
I swear that I could hear the gardens grow
A feathered envoy, come to my utopia,
sang of times when bliss has conquered pain
And drifting past the shattered scars of sanity,
rejuvenating rays delivered strength
Filling up the reservoirs within my soul,
with faith, believing I can love again
Have you ever wondered�
Where the light was born?
Where a smile begins?
What a child has dreamt?
Have you ever pondered�
Why we were created?
Why some things are hated?
Why we were given tears?
Have you ever grieved for�
Lack of understanding?
Failing to be gracious?
Loss of our compassion?
Have you any hope that�
Someday we�ll be worthy?
Somewhere we�ll find solace,
and be safe from fear?
Have you found more questions?
God knows all the answers
He is waiting, patient
For us to come to him
and he'll share
She journeyed down into the room, and found a quiet space
Reclining on the carpet, with wonder on her face
She gazed into a universe where visions can come true
Illuminated by a thousand brilliant lighted jewels
Reflected in the tinsel, she glimpsed her hopes and dreams
Glowing purely clarified, wishes in the beams
Tiny toys were strewn throughout the place she lay enthralled
Choo-choo trains and shiny things, held her gaze beguiled
Candy canes were perched upon sweetly fragrant branches
And underneath the chimney, a wondrous enchantment
A family lay, there portrayed, with precious meaning true
With animals, and stables, and a baby lay there too
And gentlemen were gathered �round upon that special day
Staring at the family surrounded by the hay
Her mommy told her who they were, and how they came to be
Sitting in an honored place for all the world to see
Almost unbelievable, a joyous happy story
The reason for this holiday, a tiny baby boy
His mommy and his daddy had traveled through the night
And couldn�t find a place to stay �till someone saw their plight
For he was still inside him mom, waiting to be born
�cause God told us that he would come upon a certain morn
A dazzling star shone in the sky, lighting up the heavens
And angels came, singing songs to wish the baby welcome
Some shepherds stood out in the fields, watching o�er their sheep
And listened to the caroling, when normally they�d sleep
And when they heard the message, they knew they had to go
To see if what they heard was true, so went, with sheep in tow
Following a prophecy, there came a caravan
Trav�lers coming from afar to see the son of man
Laying in a stable, among the animals
To give him gifts of reverence, displaying them with gold
And there, within the stable, wrapped in swaddling cloths
Placed upon a manger softened with some straw
A baby lay there, radiant, shining in the night
Observed in adoration, they knew this was the �Christ�
I mentioned that this past weekend, David and his friend David S. had gone around town applying for jobs. I think they applied over a dozen places before they were done. This kind of motivation and initiative is certainly a sign of how well his medication is working. This is the kind of behavior I have not seen from him in years! David made certain to deliver the remaining applications hehad completed tuesday.
Yesterday morning, he got a call from the Dollar Tree, a local "everything is a dollar" kind of store for an interview at 11am. He went in and was hired on the spot! He is to go in for a couple hours training Saturday, and already has a 17 hour schedule for next week! This is a wonderful thing.
I think this may be an ideal kind of job for him. It is a very small store, with few employees. It is not very intellectually challenging, and should be relatively stress free. I am so proud of him. The fact that he initiated the process, applied, followed through and got the job on his own is a miracle.
There is a blessing under every rock, we just need to keep turning them over!
David is still continuing to have a daily time of irritability that can easily fall into paranoid, delusional ideations... since this weekend, but he is coming out of it, each time, sooner than the time before. I think the stress of the weekend is still telling, but things are working to level out.
Unfortunately, we are still working on the self-awareness thing. When he gets upset, David still falls into the trap of refusing to take his medication, as "It is not doing anything, so why should I take it?" We did this conversation again yesterday. :o(
When David is calm and clear, he understands, but in the heat of his delusional thinking, I have to force the issue of medication, as a requirement of living at home. This and physical aggression are the two ABSOLUTE rules that Mom must have her way on, period. No negotiation allowed... I hate having to play the heavy.
The call soft and low whispers in the night
A frequent warble velvet on the breeze
Hidden in plain sight, though oft� unseen
Silently, he sits, perched upon a dream
Luminous, he flies on wings of brilliance
Resplendent, radiance glows in the heav�ns
And covers all our souls with tenderness
Salvation is delivered as we breathe
Songs of peace fall from his feathered fingers
Itinerant, they land in open hearts
Down into our cities filled with darkness
Causing voiceless anguish to depart
Floating high on currents of the faithful
Acquiring vigor from their lifted prayers
Hopefulness� expression falls like droplets
Cascading o�er the universe with light
Hardly has a word been heard, e�er spoken
But these, from heav�n inspired:
�This is my son�
It is night
Silence rules the room
The magic hour when every sound is magnified
Echoing, reverberating, ringing, clinging to my skin
and I can identify each heartbeat in my home
Breathing breathy snores, whisper
softly in one room, louder in another
Snuffles, sniffles, snorting
proclaiming ownership of a portion of my soul,
a piece of my heart, and, a plot of my time
This is the point when I can sit
and bathe within the peace
warm, imbued with fragrance of elapsed serenity
Love�s perfume is raining, falling gently on my ears
Heard in every shuffle of the sheets
There is no explanation for the happiness I feel
in these times of fleeting fancy, that I find when others sleep
For here I dream, wide awake, and pray, with open eyes
talking to myself, and answering in silence
soft, between my ears
and the clarity I find within responses I create
exceeds the wisdom, anywhere, contained in daylight�s gates
This is a thrilling spell, an enchanted, charming dream
when darkness soothes my eyes and leads my heart to sing
hymns of gratitude for the gifts my family are
Indebted, here, to heaven�s grace
for the chance to have this place
to live this time, to feel this love
to sit this night, and hear them move
This is the magic hour
It is night�
The rungs of time hover overhead
Tempting, in their propinquity
Taunting, with their imagery
Guiding gaze� objective
Toward an undiscovered path
Hanging at the boundary of his grasp
Forcing him to reach beyond his ease
To step outside his comfort place
Into the world beyond
Toward unfamiliar treasures
Shining in the sun, they catch his eye
Urging him to enter into dreams
Of Herculean bravery
Daring to intrepidly
Advance into a heavenly
Like so many other "normal" days, today is a day of contrasts....
Ups and Downs...
Hills and Valleys...
Stress and Relaxation...
Cycles within Cycles...
On an afternoon full of shattered dreams,
she wanders silently across the sand.
Abandoning her children for a time
to another who can survive the pain.
Thank God he is there.
The wind whispers gently,
blowing sadness from her shoulders.
Her hair flows from her neck,
the heat cools from her skin,
and tears fall from her heart,
as she cries.
Her heart, engulfed with pain, is brittle.
Fragile, her sanity hovers precariously.
Suspended in time,
afraid to step into the room,
she has become delicate and bowed
under the weight of love.
Serenity�s fingers brush waves against her feet
seeking to stroke softness back into her soul.
In need of mending by someone who cares,
angels caress persistently
until she feels needed once more.
Clouds drift in heaven�s canopy,
dispensing forgiveness with beauty.
Slowly her load seems to lighten,
her ability to smile returns,
and she is able to go home
Her children - Her tormentors
Her treasures - Her despair
She loves them - They are afraid
She yearns to hold them close to her heart,
knowing that they will pull away,
still she will remain to try again.
She collapses in his arms,
grateful that he remains by her side.
Clinging to his love, she manages to stay afloat.
Taking comfort from his embrace,
she dreams of a time they can believe in peace.
And she sleeps, sheltered, within his arms�
At times I feel imprisoned by the challenge of my world
And am caught in the intensity of living
My children push and pull me, and I cannot take a step
Toward the peaceful coexistence that awaits me
Sometimes I feel I�m shackled, weighted down beneath their pain
Caught within distorted pictures they have formed
Of this world, of safety, of love, of aching grief
My heart and eyes clench trying to escape
When I take the time to stop, and to relax
And take the time to breathe, and not look back
When I take time to look up, and time to see
And open up my eyes to what can be
Then I realize his freedom can be mine
If I stop to pray and ask him one more time
He sits within his heaven, leaning down to lend a hand
Shining light to find my way ... into a safer land
I am not alone, I have never been
He is here with me, beside me, �till the end
He will hold my hand, and guide my feet
And pick me up, and carry me
His light has drawn a path to sanity,
He waits for me to turn my eyes toward him
I can lead my children, �till they see in me
That his peace is unconditional, and free
And from within
Absolved from sin
We all can win
His gaze glows pure, and soft, and warm
His love flows deep, and swift, and strong
He offers comfort for us all�
Enough to fill the ocean
I can set my feet upon his path,
Ankle deep in rushing seas
And walk, confident that he will hold me safe
He�ll watch above with utter love
Until the day has come for me
To join him on his soft, and sandy beaches
Her thoughts are blue, and the world reflects
Her breath of blue, becoming the sky
Her tears are blue, filling an ocean
Her memories tug at her heart
His smile is so precious and rare
Love is a treasure hard to imagine
Other tints never seen,
His heart is blue, and shivers with cold
His tears would be blue, instead, they are frozen
Icebergs of cobalt have grown in his soul
Glaciers cover his eyes
His memories are painful
Her touch, soft and warm
Yet, love isn�t seen or e�en felt
Her world, decorated,
Rests, sadly painted, masked
with cerulean blue
In the paths she has trodden
Slightly distorted, illusory, faded
Creating their lives,
from the blue
Waves cautiously brush the edge of their world
Rimmed with the smallest suggestions of light
Washing against his indigo heart
Seeking to serve relief to his eyes
A taste born anew,
out of blue
The heavens cover their souls with protection
As, shyly, infant clouds begin roaming
Caressing whispers, waft soft on breezes
Blowing kisses into his mind
In shadows of white
The color of love
Glowing on the horizon
Sails are unfurling within her soul
Reaching out creating a life preserver
On cresting waves built of hope
Far in the distance his gaze has landed
Upon the lifeboat crafted within her dreams
He sees her dressed in robes of love�s light
And catches at threads floating past
Gradually, grasping handfuls of sweetness
His notice has developed awareness
That blue has given way to a hue
Grown carefully, surely
'til his eyes can view
We had a fun weekend. Way too much fun! We did a bit too much, but managed to keep just shy of crossing the completely overstimulated line that we have to watch for with my children. I greatly enjoyed my visit with my sister, Dalton enjoyed seeing Christopher, and we had some good time with Jeff. I think Jeff really enjoyed out church's patriotic service Saturday night. Unfortunately, I think we did do a bit too much for Jeff's comfort, and his moods shifted a bit yesterday. However, we did manage to alter our plans so that he was a bit more comfortable.
David's friend David stayed overnight. David slept until noon today, and Dalton, though awake early, fell asleep and took a very long nap until 3:30pm! Both Davids are runnign round town today picking up job applications! I haven't seen my David this motivated, since I can't remember when! Hopefully he will get a job. I think that would be a wonderful thing.
I wrote the above poem, Saturday. It is amazingly joyful to see the mists parting and clear sight glowing though your child's eyes after they have been so clouded with their illness.
There is always a light, no matter how dim, if only we see to find it.
Thursday was a busy day. My sister, brother in lawm and their youngest were driving up, to arrive Friday morning, so, we spent much of the day, taking it easy, inbetween cleaning projects. Gene and I both asked David to do far more than we have done in one given day since he was hospitalized... Dalton was hyperactive and excited over the plans to see his cousin this weekend... Therefore, Dalton was in David's space a bit more than usual, David was a bit less tolerant than he has been lately, because he was being asked to do chores, and being questioned on whether they were done or not, and did he remember all the details.
I know this has been a trigger for him in the past, but even so, I went ahead and remained firm about expectations. Actually, David did pretty well, all things considered. He did get upset with Dalton and with me. He did a shoddy job on the basement, but minimally adequate on the porch, and did his room passably. In addition, he mowed a new account (neighbor's yard), and in all honesty, this is MUCH more than since long before he was hospitalized, let alone, since!
David's friend came over in the afternoon, about the time Gene got home from work. Dalton followed them to the basement (teen hangout area) and crossed David's boundaries... David lost his temper and control and escalatted into the agitated, delusional, paranoid stuff. Loud and cursing. he was directable enough to get him and Dalton upstairs, I was able to have him go back and tell his friend to please leave, maybe come back tomorrow. The rest of the evening was touchy, but okay. For a situation of decompensation, he did manage to regain a pretty good level of control, relatively quickly. He spent time cleaning the basement a bit better and rejoined the family for a while, before bed.
Yesterday, David was a bit lethargic, and hung around doing not much of anything most of the day. he showed no interest in calling any friends or doing anything, though I tried to point him that direction.
In the evening, after Dalton and his cousin ran all day, swimming and playing, we went to a carnival. David did run into a friend and had a good time. When we got home, we did fireworks, and came in. Unfortunately, it was about 11pm, by this time, and David had netted 3 or more hours less sleep than normal. He was very tired. Dalton crossed a boundary, one of David's videos was messed up in a broken VCR, and he lost control again. I managed to get him to bed, after a period of paranoid accusations, and curses. He slept well.
This morning, we went to a local parade. It was a lot of fun. David's friend (same as was over thursday) arrived at 9am! unexpectedly. David had not told me he was coming. I got David up, and his friend went with us to the parade. Overall, today is going well, though David is tired and bit edgy.
I am pleased. given the amount of additional stress and stimulation this past few days, it has been difficult for David. he has had a hard time maintaining control in some areas, but he has managed to keep from getting violent, and is able to take time to calm even if he is not happy. I thank God that his medications are working as well as they are. I think this weekend has been proof of just how far his current treatment has brought him, in comparison to what was going on two months ago!
Rhythmic churning from the other room
Cyclic ringing of metal on metal
As the barrel turns round and round
Low thrumming coming from the distance
Pushing air, cooling, softly blowing
through each room
Muffled voices, rambling, chatting
Nonsensical matters in the background
Sighs and whispers of blankets
Rasping against clothing and skin
Almost silent mumbled groaning
Music drifting from somewhere, out there
Birds chirping, dogs barking, cats yowling
Crickets singing welcome
High pitched voices laughing, screeching
Calling out to sluggish souls
Come and join the glory
Of a new day
It is a beautiful day.
The temperature is lovely,
not too hot, not to cool.
A light draft is blowing
through the screens on my porch.
My children are smiling,
and laughter is rolling by
on gentle breezes.
The dogs lay quietly under my chair,
and the bunny is hopping by,
whiskers twitching in question
at the scented wind.
Soft country melodies
waft on cushioned notes
and eyelids begin to drift away.
Half eaten luncheon sits
lone and forgotten
on plates drawing buzzing flies.
Birds are twittering in the trees,
clouds are drifting along on the wind,
and God's smiles are landing light at my feet,
delivered on rays from the sun.
My home is redolent
with the silence of peace.
Life is good�
My sister, BIL and their youngest are to visit this weekend. Dalton is so excited, he is already taking a nap as he has exhausted himself. LOL David is off mowing a new account, and my home is redolent with the silence of peace. I wish everyone a wonderful 4th of July.
What did I ever do to deserve a second chance?
Why would he think to offer one?
Every day of my life I have sinned against heaven.
I have failed to be what he made me to be.
Why does he continue to love me,
when I stumble with every step,
when I kick down the guidelines he's given me?
How many times will he continue to reach out,
holding his arms open wide to soothe all my hurt,
healing my spirit of self-inflicted pain?
How can he love me when I can�t seem to learn,
when I trip over promises, and break every one?
Regardless of my intent, I can�t meet the goal,
which I set out in my path to achieve.
Nothing I do�
Nothing I try�
Nothing I say�
�till the day that I die�
will ever give me the strength and the power
to achieve the level of grace given to me.
What did I ever do to deserve his love,
held out to me for the asking?
How can I partake of this glorious repast?
I am unworthy.
I am unfit.
I am unclean.
I sit here alone, desolated and dry,
despairing and hopeless, unable to cry.
Why is it so hard to ask and receive?
To understand that he is offering, free,
his love and acceptance,
forgiveness and peace,
and all that is asked,
is that I believe.
He loves me.
Sometimes life is simply too hard
and I yearn to just disappear
Sometimes I�m unable to think what to do,
I wish you�d acknowledge I�m here
At times I huddle alone in the dark
and wonder where joy has gone
These times I shiver in the chill,
as my soul is pierced by your gaze
Nighttimes are often most dreary,
when I�ve kissed your stiff cheek in the gloom
These times oft� rise to o�erwhelm me,
as the pain of our day closes in
Yet times remain in my memory
of occasional smiles, unexpected
This time urges me to keep striving
in hopes that you�ll yet find the dawn
Daytimes leave me drained and exhausted
after chasing your contrary soul
At times I watch you and wonder
how you�ll survive when you�re grown
Naptimes are a God-given mercy
allowing me time to regroup
Soft times when you drop your defenses
and I can hold you close as you sleep
Most times I collapse in the dark
when all of you kids are in bed
Prayer time delivers my spirit,
descending on me in my doubts
When times, arrived, seem to crush me,
I remember your place in my heart
Your time�s here at this exact moment,
and I�ll love you no matter what
Drained, I feel deserted
Where has my day gone?
How did I get here?
When did my dreams of motherhood
transform into portraits of despair?
My eyes burn, dry, salted from years of tears
Desiccated, my heart seems a desert
Parched for love, thirsting for hope,
craving a single drop of rain
to fall on my waterless soul
How long ago did I open
my arms to his hurting spirit?
How many times have I stood
battered under the hail of his pain?
How can I stop and walk away
when he remains within his cage?
How did my plans to rescue him
draw me, instead, into his prison?
How can his small soul
have endured so much pain,
and be so resistant to change?
Every day I dig a little deeper
Every hour I pray a little harder
Every minute I search for a sign
Every moment I hope to see
a drop of moisture, at the bed of his well
a spot of light, breaking through his eyes
an instant of recognition, connection,
a return on my investment�
I will not give up
I cannot give in
He sits alone in dungeons of desolation
just as I found him, not that long ago.
There has to be a pathway,
a stairway, a rope to reach him
I took this task, willingly
I love this child, consciously
I hold his heart in my hands, gratefully
and sometimes, in the black of day,
I feel his hand reach out to mine
I can go on, one more day�