As we near the end of National Family Caregivers Month, I’ve been thinking about the less obvious form of caregiving: the fact that so many of our kids return to their old twin (or larger) beds in the family home, long after we’d imagined we’d have a nest empty enough to turn their old bedrooms … Continue reading The Refeathered Nest: Not So Empty. Not Just Us!
Author Judith R. Smith had me at the first glance of the callout quotes: “You can divorce a difficult spouse. It’s much harder to give up on a difficult child.” and “When a child is diagnosed with serious mental illness, they do not die – but they are changed.” How do we continue mothering, when … Continue reading Difficult: Mothering Challenging Adult Children through Conflict and Change, Book Review
Have you seen the new docuseries on AppleTV+, “The Me You Can’t See” First of all, thank you, Oprah and Prince Harry, for joining the ranks of advocates who are becoming more open, honest, transparent about mental health issues, barriers, and some solutions. In this 5-part series, people from celebs (like Lady Gaga to the … Continue reading Oprah, Harry, and Schizophrenia: The “Me” My Son Still Can’t See
Listen, I want Britney Spears to be happy too. She’s incredibly talented, seems nice, obviously loves her children, and has worked her ass off pretty much all of her life. And, yeah, her dad seems like a controlling asshole. Also, it has to suck to have your adolescence questioned and paraded all over the media. … Continue reading The Public Cry: #freebritney! Is There More to the Conservator Story?
One week from today, Ben will be discharged from the longest hospital stay of his life. Five months. Five months! Believe me, I am grateful. Grateful that he was safe, cared for, and somehow has returned from the abyss of his illness. Again. Not gonna lie, though: we’re also very grateful for having had a break from living with him. What a blessed … Continue reading Five Months a Patient (Psychiatric Unit): Daring to Hope Again
I highly recommend this memoir for anyone who wants to know more not only about the family experience with schizophrenia, but also why it can be such a long and difficult process to change the legal barriers to getting our loved ones the help they so desperately need (but think they don’t).
Another hospitalization for Ben, another crisis. Another round of uncovering the truths behind the life he’d sworn he was managing well (“it’s none of your business, Mom”). In the five weeks since this latest breakdown, I’ve been unraveling and trying to piece together the strands of the web he’d woven, and all that was caught … Continue reading Can I Divorce My Child? : How Schizophrenia Splits Families Apart
Book Review: Losing Aaron I keep thinking of the line in a Phil Ochs (google him:) ) song: There but for fortune go you or I… This book is a painful reminder of how fortunate we are to have gotten some extra time with Ben – and of how schizophrenia can happen to any family … Continue reading Another Mom’s Story of Schizophrenia in Her Son – and Suicide
Sometimes I open an e-mail from a reader that not only touches me, but teaches me…and these words, from the sibling of a man with schizophrenia, are in my heart forever. The author has granted permission to reprint his words here, for which I am so grateful – and hope you will feel the same way. … Continue reading One Reader Speaks: Siblings, Schizophrenia, Support, Strength
I am a firm believer in the possibility of Recovery in Mental Illness. Does “recovery” mean “cure”? How I wish it did – but, at the present time, it means management of symptoms, and it means rebuilding – of one’s life, and also of neural pathways. I have watched and guided my son Ben through … Continue reading “Socialization Over Isolation”: Jani, Ben and Community