Sometimes when I sit down to write I have trouble. It’s not that I don’t know what I want to say. I do, mostly, but some things are hard to put into words. Sometimes I feel that a brainstorming style word cloud would better convey the disarray that exists in my tiny, tiny head.
Where to begin?
My mother. Those of you who read regularly will know that I recently severed ties with her. Well, to be honest, my exact words to her were “I can’t see you for a while”. I just couldn’t bring myself to make a more final statement than that. Not with her. For my father it’s easy. I know that I will never want to see him again. It is pure relief to have him out of my life and I would not go back to what was. Not for anything.
My mother though. It is so much more complex. While she was living with him, I told myself, I had to separate myself. For my sanity, for my heart. It had to be done. I feel guilty at how brilliantly easy and peaceful this last little while has been without her around. I have found more serenity than I have felt in a long time.
Around Christmas she reappeared in subtle ways. At first asking to buy gifts for the children. I thought about denying her that but then decided that I couldn’t do that. Either to her or the children.
When I saw her on Christmas day she seemed so fragile and small and….. on the edge. Just at the edge of tolerance for what life could throw at her. I couldn’t bear to tell her that she had to continue to stay away. Instead I told her that we would see her again. I held the little woman and said that it would be okay. That she could see her grandkids and us and we would be there for her again. I felt very ashamed at the gratitude she showed me then. She has done some things that were not okay, I don’t always respect her actions but I hadn’t meant to cause her the kind of pain that I saw.
She was still living with him though. Telling us that she was making plans to leave, that things had progressed and that they were moving towards the sale of the house and separation. This, to my mind, is far too sane a path to take in this situation but we just haven’t been able to get through to her.
Thursday night I get a call from Patchouli! (my sister). Have you had Mum’s message? She sounded very shaken, not okay. My first thoughts are always what has he done?, what has happened?, is she hurt?
The message says that nothing has happened. Nothing dramatic. She has left though, is staying with my aunt. Nothing dramatic but she just feels that he has drifted so much closer to that edge. He is not really there at all, he is becoming psychotic, he is warning her to get out, leave the house. He has done strange things. She knows she just can’t go there again.
I tell her he is dangerous. She doesn’t want to believe this but agrees that it could be true. She has left.
He has gone around the house and smashed things while she has been out and then hidden the evidence. Mostly inconsequential things but also a beautiful statuette that was his grandmothers. I have always loved it. I know that he did too.
He stands in the yard and stares at the sky, muttering to himself for hours.
Realistically he is barely holding it together. He is already psychotic.
And people? Do you know why? The antipsychotic drug was causing some (quite bad) long term physical side effects and so the fucking arsehole psych took him off of them. Sent this man who, without anti-psychotic drugs is, well, psychotic, home to live with my mother. Knowing they are in the midst of separating. Knowing he has planned, let’s just say violent things before in a state of psychosis.
No extra monitoring or plan in place for his care.
If it weren’t so exhaustingly predictable it would be laughable. Does he think that my father will recognise his own psychosis and trot himself off to Glenside? Yeah, realistic.
There is nothing that anyone can do. The last time that we tried to have him sectioned under very similar circumstances it was a farce. They had “lost” all record of his two previous sections. His doctor would not recommend section as it was a breach of trust with his patient (no, not joking). We just had to wait until he attended a psych appointment and the psych was able to talk him into voluntary hospitilisation.
It makes me feel so…. tired.
I wish that I cared to intervene but I don’t. I will not write here what I wish to happen.
I am not letting myself hope too much. We have been here before and she has returned to live with him. If we can just get her to make a decent break this time though….