The holidays never fail to come around year after year, and I sat back and watched others enjoy their holiday shopping; spending time choosing suitable gift wrapping and fantasizing about the upcoming festivities. All I could do was wonder what schizophrenia would hold in store for us and it always produced some drama. David always needed his psychiatrist during the holidays when the doctor was away. He often became psychotic when there was a skeleton staff at the psychiatric hospital. We worried that he might hole himself up in his bedroom and refuse to join us for our festive meals; unable to process the noise levels, the groups of people and the odd snatches of conversation that he could hear. So, holidays meant nothing to him, and subsequently, to me too. Even today, so many years after David’s death, I am unable to enjoy any holiday without thinking back to the anguish and the disasters that befell our family due to schizophrenia. All we wanted was to enjoy one another’s company, laugh a bit, and maybe have friends over to visit. There were times when we were forced to call the police and other times when they knocked at our front door wihout being summoned. We lived a rollercoaster existence.
OF course my husband and I argued a lot as we had different ways of looking at the situation. I remember a time when we were arguing pretty loudly and on the spur of the moment, I said; ‘I didn’t say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you,” and that broke the ice and we hugged.