I love Sunday's...I have finally learned to nap guilt free, and Sunday is all out, full permission to be lazy. Even the boys are lazy, and that's quite alright. Monday will come soon enough, and we'll be back to our usual schedule. 

I just can't get into their video games.......I sit there, and then am bored beyond belief. You would think that at least one part of me would find them interesting, but nope.....no one is even intrigued to say the least. 

We took the boys fishing last night for catfish.....which meant we fed a lot of bait to the unseen. Aramis did great with his meds so late at night (for him), we ended up watching a water moccasin swim past (ewww, they are everywhere!) and for the first time we all were able to see fire flies! I think everyone inside was as delighted as everyone outside. They look like fairies.......Dad made their disappointed evening a success by stopping off at Sonic at 9:30pm (yeah Dad!!!). I actually ate some onion rings, which really means that I shared a small order with the three guys. 

I'm reading a (so far) fascinating book I saw while browsing at our local library. It's called: "Stalking the Irish Madness" by Patrick Tracey. Several generations of his family have suffered from schizophrenia, and after losing his way through drugs and alcohol (the strain and familial damage is far reaching) he finds sobriety, and begins to research more into what is know regarding his family history. I'm only half way through, but the studies he refers to intrigued me as much as they did him. Statistically, and it's been proven over and over with a multitude of studies as well as statistics related to schizophrenia, that the Irish have a higher likelihood of developing the disorder. 

Right now, he's stuck at "why", and the connection of Irish lore to symptoms that are similar if not spot on to schizophrenia. Of course fairies were to blame, which made me think a bit when I was watching the fire files last night. It would be very easy to find connections with nature if, as a society you are living in a closed, rather oppressed state and are seeking answers. 

Aramis is doing better, he's actually finding a sense of humor and handling things much better. He woke me up the other night (one of countless times I am waken at night for some reason or another) and I called him by his brother's name. That normally would have set him off for days, but instead he laughed it off. He woke me early this morning with "ARAMIS" written on his hand and a great big hug. Now, that's progress. 

Although, last night he saw the two red eyeballs again. Okay, we kept on walking to our fishing spot, but he had to make sure that we realized that "they" were there.....I finally whispered to Dad that if he doesn't say something in addition to my response, this will go on all night. So, we both agreed that "darn! those eyeballs are over there at that house! Well, it's a good thing we're walking to the other end of the lake." What else can you say? He sees them, we don't. That's it in a nutshell. 

At least the voices aren't nearly so bad, but he's starting to catch on that we don't hear "them", so like many with schizophrenia, he's decided that to talk about it just makes him seem "weird". That's his big worry now....being discovered. Ahhhh, the shame runs in every area of mental illness/disorders does it not? If I could take one thing away, it would be the shame. It simply adds an additional burden to an individual who has enough to manage anyway.

As someone who was raised by an individual with schizophrenia, as well as extended family members, this book is interesting from that perspective alone. He writes very well about his feelings, his anger, his confusion, and the constant questions of a bright mind in search of logical answers. Meanwhile, watching other family members react in their own ways......I can relate, and yet, find his writing quite validating. I don't know why I never thought to read regarding someone else's experiences......I just happened upon the book, and snagged it quickly as the boys were calling to me. However, there are so many similarities, and the mixture of his emotions, and subsequent interactions with others are things that I can relate to. 

His generations encompassed the years of seclusion in mental wards, so he provides a different perspective in the area of history, but as he enters the 70's and his sisters begin to display two different forms of schizophrenia, he's now caught in our era. The law says you can't put someone "away" unless they are harming someone else or themselves. Yet, with schizophrenia, that's like a shoe that drops when you least expect  it. 

No wonder my reaction with DID is to constantly be on watch, to be on guard for changes in the people around me. I watch the body language constantly, even of my therapist, the person who may stand behind me in line, the clerk at the counter, my husbands work mates. The sad thing is that generally I'm right......I can tell quick as a wink, there is something going on. It may take a few hours or a few days, but I usually find out that: yes, that person is struggling with something, or is having difficulties and is barely keeping the anger below the surface. It's my constant way of life, and what I've learned. Of course.......and I had no idea how much the schizophrenia played into it. 

Well, today is our "sleepy Sunday", and other than preparing for school this next week, everything important has been completed today. Ahhh, not too hot yet, and a day to relax. I'm finally accepting that it's "okay" to simply nap and hang out on Sundays......without guilt. After all, Monday is just around the corner, so I'd better appreciate the easy going attitude that Sunday brings to our home. 

All my best wishes for peace today.....

And Anna, please write.......we're worried about you.

Hang in there everyone, and try to give yourself some quiet time today.


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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