Why did I feel a line between me and the rest of the world? Because my son was in a psychiatric hospita. I no longer felt like other people. I knew that I had to cope. There was no time to slip into a depression or anything else. I repeated the following mantra to myself. Someday, I want to walk in a forest, dance, explore the beachfront on a cool evening or go sailing. It’s not possible now, but maybe someday.
I had to concentrate on getting my son well. Friends asked how I learned to accept my son’s illness. I didn’t have time to accept nor reject. I went from support groups, the pick up prescriptions, to the drugstore where I waited for the pharmacist to collect the varied assortment of medication for my son. And I repeated, someday, I want to walk in a forest or dance, or swim on a clear summer’s evening. It’s not possible now, but someday.
Why that line between me and the rest of the world? Because after trying to get better for 16 years, my son was unable to handle his voices. And the world didn’t understand fully. Nor did I. How could I imagine what it must have been like not to have the peace of mind he ached for?
I thought that nothing else could occur in our family, but then I discovered that widowhood was/is the single, most common personal catastrophe. My feelings changed like the weather causing me to feel uprooted like a huge tree blown over in a gale. I alternated between feeling weak or strong, happy or angry, sad and lonely, alone, overwhelmed and no longer fitting in anywhere. There were times when I found myself standing in front of our large, often empty refrigerator in the middle of the night, searching for something to eat, but the few remaining items were way past the printed expiration date. So, I learned to expect the unexpected.