These past few days have been hard ones, not physically but emotionally and mentally and sometimes even spiritually. The youngest is still struggling with the “I don’t feel safe when you are not here , mom” and this battle must be fought and won. Maslow posits that before anyone can move upwards to independence they must first conquer safety. So I have been thinking a lot about the process that we all go through from childhood to move out from the sheltered parental home into the big wide world. But the truth is I really do not have a clue as to how it happens – it just does.
we discussed this in family meeting today and one thing that stood out was that the youngest was robbed by schizophrenia of that time when he would hang out with friends and develop his own safe network. The psychosis stopped this and so we are now trying to get back on track and it is hard. As parents and because we are parents and we saw the youngest in psychosis; at that point it was circle the wagons, protect, protect,protect. The youngest needed that and indeed it was necessary for a time because of command hallucinations which were telling the youngest to do things which were potentially deadly, so at that point absolutely necessary.
But we are two years from the last hospitalization, and the youngest is in a much stronger place, so we need to give up the roles of protectors in chief and become cheerleaders in chief. Encouraging him to explore, seek out opportunities for his benefit and growth. This is hard because the youngest has become nested and comfortable and so now we need to do a little pushing knowing that he will not be comfortable. And he gets mad, angry not at us but at the psychosis which has robbed him of this. And we can not do anything except be his greatest cheerleaders and remind him that this feeling of being unsafe will pass, this sick in the stomach, nauseous, sweaty feeling passes because the challenge is real but the fact is he is ever so strong and courageous. Sometimes I remind that when he feels bad it is a feeling but the fact is he is ok and from that momentary feeling when it passes come the feeling of accomplishment!! So my prayer today is that he will be more than conqueror and that I will be part of the solution and not part of the problem!!!!