Slowly but surely, we learned how to avoid or diminish a disaster particularly during the festive season. We learned that it was better to speak softly and use short sentences when our son was agitated. We learned how to help him regain control when he was probably feeling terrified by the subjective experience of hearing voices giving him life-threatening commands OR, he might have been receiving messages from the paintings on the wall OR imagined that people were trying to break into his bedroom. He accused us of ‘planting microphones’ in the house to broadcast his every word and let ‘them’ know his whereabouts at any given time.’ We knew how important it was to keep calm. There were times when our son needed to be hospitalized and there were times when we persuaded him to go voluntarily.
We knew better than to threaten him, shout or criticize, which could only make the situation deteriorate. Avoiding eye contact with him was the best way to behave.
There were times when holidays came and went without incident, but far too often we needed a psychiatrist when they were away holidaying with their families. Somehow, we got by.
To all the ill people out there, I hope that you have relatively calm holidays together with relatives or friends. To your families, I hope that the New Year will bring health and happiness.