David’s Story


While my son was ill for 16 years, I kept scraps of paper where I jotted down all the crises we all experienced. Using all that information, I eventually wrote a book which I called ‘DAVID’S STORY’, even though his name was DORON. I have blogged for years about schizophrenia and the blame, shame, stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

Here is my last blog for this year.

DAVID’S STORY

This is the story of one family, the story of millions of families worldwide. My happy, busy, social son, changed. ‘A classic case of paranoid schizophrenia,’ the psychiatrist said. It took a long time before we learned that parents could not cause this illness; that we could not be blamed. We thought he would go into the hospital ill but exit healthy. Wrong. He tried psychotherapy, occupational therapy, dance therapy and group therapy yet he continued to be out of focus, angry, psychotic and paranoid and the army of psychiatric health workers and psychiatrists were unable to help him.

Our teenage daughters stopped bringing friends home. Fear crept in. We attended family therapy at the hospital, told them what transpired when he was home, yet, they sent him home for weekends. BUT, I noticed that in the hospital, the staff always walked behind him.

Meanwhile our daughters did without; without sufficient time from us, without vacations or extras as spare cash went into another prescription, another treatment, and for his psychiatrist’s fees. Our 13-year-old daughter summed it up. ‘IF David’s body were hurting, people would bring gifts and visit him in the hospital, but because it is his mind that is ill, they stayed away.

Our family remained together, took each day as it came, learned to find the positive things in life and even realized how lucky we were to have a father/husband who was so caring,  as well as parents who loved one another. Together, we forged new dreams.

 Our son could no longer bear the voices in his head and realized that he was never going to have peace of mind. All he had ever wanted was to hold down a decent job, have someone to love, and … peace of mind. So, he went to a place of beauty; a place suitable for the surfer he had been.

Our son’s name was Doron but when I wrote this book, I changed all our names and called him David.

In January 1996, three  months before his 34th birthday, we buried our son. On that dull winter’s day, the earth that had been dug out stood in a mound ready to be thrown back. For the last time I talked to my son, while in the cold, still air, I heard a thousand birds sing their songs of life.

All the people who loved my son said farewell, even those who had not coped with his schizophrenia but knew how to handle his death. So many friends, neighbors and acquaintances stood, shoulders touching, their breath mingling in the icy air into one great sigh for our loss. I whispered goodbye. So much left unsaid. I ached to see him on his surfboard There was a thud of earth, a marker – and he was gone. He didn’t even say goodbye. In a tumble of memories, I saw David’s superimposed on the painful image of his anguished expression.

I love you, David. Rest. 1962 – 1996.

David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky, can be bought as a kindle book on Amazon and Smashwords.

 

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12 thoughts on “David’s Story

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  2. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    My heart hurt as I read this because I can relate so closely. The brilliant 30+ son of my business partner had similar challenges and similar dreams to those of your son – along with the wistful desire to be able to lead the kind of ordinary life that most of us take for granted. He did not, however, take his own life.

    He was murdered by Cincinnati police who were called to take him to the hospital when, after 3 desperate calls (in the same month) to the office of his psychiatrist of 10 years, they still were unable to “fit him in” for at least another month.

    By the time the police were called, he had escalated to the point that he was no longer stable. He resisted, so 4 officers tazed him, holding him face down as he struggled in pain; a 5th panicked and shot him twice in the back at point-blank range “in self-defense.” [witnessed] The police knew exactly what they were walking into and that they had been called only to get him hospitalized.

    The reportage of the incident was skewed & sensationalized, of course, and the officers were not sanctioned because “they followed procedure” since, for protection in his paranoid state, J. had a gun tucked into the front waistband of his pants – pinned safely beneath him, btw. TAZERS?!

    My colleague and business partner (until that event) will NEVER be the same.

    What is also tragic is that the officers DID “follow procedure.” The REAL fault was/is inadequate Mental Health procedures and training (only 2 had received any mental health training at all). The mentally ill are not criminals and MUST NOT be treated with criminal procedures. (NAMI says, btw, 21% of all prisoners came in with recent mental health struggles).

    These stories must be told and retold until mental health awareness training reaches the police as well as the public. We also must insist that more money be allocated to mental health research. These tragedies must not be permitted to continue – and lives must not continue to be wasted because we don’t know what to do to treat them effectively.

    Thank you for the courage to write and post this touching article and for your wonderful blog.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Reply
    1. Jill Sadowsky

      Hi Madelyn,

      Thanks for taking the trouble to write. Before commenting on what you wrote, I would like you to give my email address to your business partner and pass on the message that he can contact me at any time. Here is my mail address: sadowsky.jill13@gmsil.com

      For years, I have been trying to introduce the CIT (crisis intervention program) here in Israel to the Police. Look up CIT Memphis, Tennessee on the internet. I was even invited to speak there. When police officers have undergone CIT training, people like this young man are less likely to get shot.

      You say that your business will never be the same. I would really like to help if I can. I receive hundreds of mails as well as calls and reply to each as well as talk to these people on the phone and in person. I have even received calls from Iraq and Syria (though they don’t want peace with Israel. Their mental health systems are in disarray and they need info…mail from Palestine and Egypt .

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Jill

      Sent from my iPhone Jillsmentalhealthresources.wordpress.com

      Reply
      1. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        How wonderful you are to offer to reach out to my former business partner – a woman named Peggy, by the way, should she reply.

        I don’t know if she is yet at the place where she is ready to accept a sincere hand reaching out in support so that she can move on, but I will most certainly pass your [amended] email address.

        I’m saying a prayer that she will respond to connect with someone who really can understand her pain. God bless – and thank you very much.
        xx,
        mgh

        Reply
        1. Jill Sadowsky

          Of course Peggy can reply when she is ready and I will always Reply. If she has whatsapp on her smartphone, we can talk free of charge Or on skype or can stick to emails. All the best. Jill

          Sent from my iPhone Jillsmentalhealthresources.wordpress.com

          Reply
          1. Jill Sadowsky

            Thanks to you too and may you and yours stay well and … May all your dreams come true.

            Sincerely, Jill

            Sent from my iPhone Jillsmentalhealthresources.wordpress.com

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