Ben is taking two classes this semester: Directing 101 in the Theatre Department, and Creative Writing. The directing class requires a lot of him, things that his illness have compromised: insight into one’s own emotions and the feelings of others, social awareness, stillness, complete connection. Do I tell the professor that Ben has this illness, so she is aware she needs to grade him in accordance with his disability?
And…creative writing. Ben’s writing used to look like this:
– and that was before it began to look even more scattered and illegible. Now he is writing haikus, and keeping up with assignments. 200 pages of reading assigned between classes, I fear, may cause him too much stress; yet, it is his journey to complete. He is getting assignments in on time, so far – even, in one case, a day early. That requires a connection of cause and effect I haven’t seen in years. Still, I want to make sure he gets a fair shake…do I write to the professor?
Meanwhile in this letter, from a Mom in England who has lost her son to schizophrenia, the story has unfortunately ended quite differently.
She writes this, in The Guardian:
“So the main reason I wanted to write was to say sorry. I did the best I could with you and for you at the time, but it wasn’t good enough and I ultimately failed to protect you and keep you safe. I wish I could go back in time and do things differently.”
Maybe with support, and without the stigma, her son’s life could have been saved. Here is the link to the letter, which breaks my heart: