I threw a chair, did you hear? Did you hear? I threw a chair.


 We were advised to book our son into a clinic and as he was not working, he slept by day and wandered around at night which was not a healthy situation for anybody. This clinic accepted psychiatric patients on a daily basis from 8 am until 2 pm. A few months later, the patient was then released and after being treated, and learned some life skills.

I decided to give this place a try as David’s doctor had recommended it so highly, so, clutching my son’s medical history in my hand, I drove to the clinic and waited  my turn to speak to the admissions clerk, who read the report I handed her then told me that they were fully booked and could only accept my son in a few months. By this time I was getting hot around the collar as David had recently been released from a psychiatric hospital and was in no condition to spend his time lying around our house all day long. The less he did, the worse he became and he had started talking about suicide.

I begged, cajoled, pleaded and then asked to speak to a social worker or psychologist. She asked me to follow someone in a white coat down a long, winding corridor and asked to sit and wait for a doctor, which I did. While waiting for him to arrive, my mind went into overdrive imagining life with David at home all day and I think I lost it. When the doctor walked in, I told him that I felt that they were behaving in an unacceptable manner even after he explained that there was simply no more room. ‘But my son is threatening to take his life,’ I said in a very loud voice quite unlike my own ‘and if something happens to him, I will hold you responsible, do you hear me?’ The doctor looked at me blankly and then, I did something that I have never, ever contemplated doing before and hope I will never do again. I picked up the nearest chair and threw it at the doctor. Yes, I did that. Me, a person who is usually well-behaved, and I would say rather mild-mannered. I lost it completely.  Of course I did not hurt the doctor, but he got the secretary to call my husband to report the incident and asked him to come immediately, which he did. My dear husband  left his office and rushed to the rescue, probably as worried as I was that my behavior might get me locked up in a psychiatric  hospital. He hugged me to calm me down, apologized to the doctor, smiled and somehow managed to change the atmosphere in that office. I have no idea how he managed it but it did not take long before our son, David, was registered and we were told to bring him to the clinic the following day.

The next morning the three of us arrived on time and David met with the doctor who was taking on his case. He seemed to be an empathetic man. His eyes reflected a lifeline and he looked like someone who had earned his wrinkles. If I closed my eyes when he spoke, I could conjure up the voice of the father bear in the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

“Why are you here?” he asked David.

“Because I heard that you have a great setup for playing table tennis. The guys also told me that the café opposite serves the tastiest felafels in town.”

“That’s as good a reason as any I’ve ever heard,” the doctor said with a smile.

David was drawn to his man the way he was drawn to his dad. They both had the same sense of humor. My son only spent a few weeks there as he failed to co-operate, so they released him and once again we had no idea of what we could do next.           

broken chair 1

The following day I found this poem on my son’s bed.

 For years, few people cared about me.

The voices tried to convince me it was all a dream,

But even Hitchcock couldn’t have contrived nightmares like mine.

And all this because of an illness, a mental illness?

Everyone is against me

Especially my parents.

         

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