Well, the beautiful thing about Friday is that the weekend is literally hours away, it's payday, so since I've been out of cigs as of 3pm yesterday, I am now able to happily puff away like a dragon. (Okay, I know it's bad......I tell myself at least I wasn't smoking when the boys surprised us with their presence, nor during their early years....anything beyond that, I don't go there.) And, Aramis has a "date" to go fishing.....he is literally counting down the hours until Dad brings home the worms. 

Today makes two entire weeks that the boys went to sleep without me holding them. Now, that has taken years to bring about, and doesn't necessarily mean that they won't sneak into bed with me around 4am, but for now: I'll celebrate what I've got. Two weeks, I can lay Aramis down, and he will agree to "checks". "I love you honey, good night (kiss), I'll check back in 10 minutes, okay?" He agrees, and is out. 

Except last night Dad teased Dante about zombies, and I swear Aramis had to have heard him in his sleep. He was out.....deep into Sandmanville, when all of a sudden he comes bursting through the bedroom door frightened that we needed to be on "Zombie alert". Dad could have died, he felt so bad, but once again: Aramis went through the same steps, this time with reminders to breathe and was asleep by the next "check". Ahhhhh.....what life used to be like before medication. That one teeny comment/joke would have sent him off into the land of terrors for hours. 

But, he did spend about 45 minutes with me yesterday, just talking. Hmmmmmm, Aramis does a lot of things, tackles a lot of monsters, spiders, bees, and basically every terrifying thing that could happen to a person in a week, and does quite well. The only thing is: these events never happened! Never....I've been here all week, and no, they didn't happen. I know I didn't lose all week, just as I know he didn't fall from the upper balcony. But, in his mind, he did. It appears that the medication does not remove delusions......as this is the SAME child who still requires escorts to any room that I'm not in, including, but not limited to: the bathroom. 

I did receive some exciting news yesterday, and my email box was filled with wonderful notes from people all over regarding "the book". What struck me the most, was that a professor I had back at college, asked if I'd be willing to do a speaking engagement. She was concerned I might not be willing to, and understood if that was the case, but all the same: wow, didn't see that one coming. Yes, I'd be more than willing to speak on the subject of DID...... but the request surprised me a great deal. 

And of course, the questions....what if I switch, what if I don't want to talk about something, what if.......oh shoot. A lot of "what if's" slow a person down in life. I think Rosanna Cash says it best of all: “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.”

Husband came home later than usual, as one of the company's big wigs came to visit, and of course, took the crew out. It appears that our next stop may be Rochester, NY. Hmmmm, I've been to NY, and Rochester, if I remember correctly, is beautiful. A strange blue green compared to the West Coast, which reminds one of many of the scenes in "The Last of the Mohiccans". I was struck by many things during my last trip to NY, and am very excited at the prospect of returning. This time, I am making sure to enjoy a few of the NY locations I missed on my last trip......so keep the 'ol fingers crossed on that one! 

The boys are excited too, which only shows that children, even with challenges, can adapt to road travel much more than we feared. Even Aramis was jumping with delight......just to "see" a new place, and to experience a different culture, for yes, in America each State (we've learned) has it's own culture. It's the very essence of what the United States is all about. A melting pot? Well, perhaps....but each area is certainly unique unto themselves. I find it beautiful. 

Ahhh, but poor Dexter (my fox-service-dog).....he just now figured out where our apartment is! Up until now, we've been finding all sorts of apartments that are not ours! But, through practice, he has finally "found it", and will sniff around for a few seconds, then tap the door with his nose to let me know: "this is it". What a sweet little dog he has turned out to be.....really, he has always been sweet. And he has learned, that if he is really concerned about something, to go UNDER the bed, and growl. Please, please do not do the "scream bark" that Pomeranian's are notorious for. We don't like it, no one does, and it really reduces the likelihood of receiving any treats. Ah, there's the trick: find what motivates, and you can get anyone, even a little fox dog to do just about anything. 

Doubt it? Just watch how fast he comes running when husband makes Aramis' hot cocoa in the morning. That dog is a freak for whipped cream from a can. Personally, I think it's gross, but it's his huge motivator, and now husband is teaching him all sorts of tricks just for a dab of whipped cream. Really, people are the same way. 

Dante, I'm learning, is not one to respond to typical punishments. I was much like this: you will take away a week of a certain activity? Well, then I'll tell my mind I didn't want to do that activity anyway, I'm bored with it. Soooo, he requires a different approach: direct, to the point, and then "would you like me to end, or continue with my lecture, 'cause I've got about two more hours I could go on with this subject?" No.....he got the point. Really, just focusing on one subject at a time works with him, and for now it is: respect. Everything, and everything possible can be tied into "respect", which is rather enlightening to me. I had no idea until we had to go down this path. So many of our daily interactions are based on the many various components of respect. It's astounding to say the least. 

I'm doing okay with the DID.......this second book is much more triggering than the first, and I knew it would be. So last night, I decided that we needed a time out from the subject matter. I just stepped away from it.....but it helps that I only write in one area, and at a particular period of time, so I can maintain a boundary of sorts from my home life. I need the serenity that I've created within the home arena, and can't have it spoiled by tarnished memories. 

I'm having the strange nightmares again, which only means that things are being brought to the surface. The good news is that I am actually getting sleep, so that helps a great deal. I hope, even if the psychiatrist changes Aramis' medication, that whatever is prescribed always has the component of making him sleepy at night. That makes all the difference.....if he can rest, then I can rest. 

Well, that wraps it up for my corner of the world......we have art planned today, as one boy recommended one day a week to be dedicated to art solely. Cool, I can agree, and for negotiation purposes, I would like one day a week to be dedicated to MATH. Agreed? Well, what could they say? It's called "unschooling" and it's a new method of home schooling that's really taking off. I like the idea, and the flexibility it grants. And TX, just happens to be a state that requires very little by way of home schooling regulations. So......it will now be "Math Mondays" and "Art Fridays". 

Sounds fun.......now, to get everything together for the "Math Monday"! Art is already organized, as I had a project prepared yesterday. 

Take care of yourselves today....the weekend is just around the bend! 

All my best wishes for peace and joy,



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    Shelly Dowen-Johnson

    I am currently traveling with my husband across the United States, due to the nature of the work he does. 

    I am the mother of two boys, one who has recently been diagnosed with Early Onset Childhood Schizophrenia (Schizoaffective Disorder). 

    It appears the Dowen family gene sequencing contributes much more than the darling dimples both boys have inherited!  But, as always, with love, tender care and support....we will thrive! 


    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012