My son, David was rocking backwards and forwards on a straight-backed chair at a family session at the hospital when he turned to the psychologist saying; “I am sorry that I agreed to come here. I know that you are part of The Establishment that is trying to to ruin my life. ” And then, he said something in a quiet voice that shocked us all; “Anyone who thinks that dying is the worst thing that can happen in the world, doesn’t know the first thing about life.”
There was nothing more to be said so we took our leave and walked to our car. The three of us loved one another, yet on that day, I felt lonely, helpless and scared. I, who have always coped with life in a sensible way, could not find a way to calm myself. The acceptance of David’s diagnosis, paranoid schizophrenia, was a final recognition of something that had been there, simmering, and partly hidden for a long time. I could barely comprehend that this terrible thing was happening to my child. Would I ever fully accept it? It has taken over our lives completely, lurking, hurting, ever-present.