Hey, I know.....where did Tuesday go? Well, I didn't lose it, it happened, and I'm pleased to say that I was "present" for all of it. (Only a DID'er would understand what a feat that can be at times!) 

Hmmm, Dante is still desiring to return to public school, which is great! Poor dude will have to wait until September, and since we have no clue where we'll be in September, then, guess what?! It'll be a surprise! The earlier he learns how to adapt with people and situations the better off he'll be in adult life. 

I've been thinking about this new request of his, and although it's filled with "I love home school mom, but....", there's something that lies just below the surface. Then, this morning, I realized it: he needs an identity separate from his brother. Even with the medication, his brother is no longer the person he was close to. It just happens, the closeness dissipates when so much psychosis comes into play. Fortunately, Aramis is still closely bonded with me, but I'm mom, so that's normal. And he seeks out Dad sometimes.....but his brother? Nope, his brother Dante is sometimes his playmate, sometimes the person who drives him nuts, and sometimes is the person who is "out to get him". Only two of the three are true, and as far as driving him nuts, Aramis' tolerance level is just above zero. 

Dante ends up on the end of taking care of him more than anything: as bathroom escort, get a glass of water escort, check under the bed person, don't move the door at night, don't turn on the fan (it might fly off and chop you up in your sleep), and the "what time is it again?" person to go to. For schizophrenia, the fact that he's going to someone other than mom is great....but I can understand Dante. He's starting to think about jobs, college and girls......in a random order depending on his hormones (or if Wizards of Waverly Place is on, then Selena Gomez REALLY  has his attention! Great, my future daughter-in-law will have a hint of orneriness to her....I can see it now!!) 

I'm very proud of Dante being willing to spread his wings, and to establish his own identity with that strong spirit that he has. HA! I also said it will require school all summer long just to make sure he is "caught up". I know he's caught up, but a little more than ahead will help him out. He's already tested several grades ahead of his age, but let's just rule out any troubles in that area. 

He'll still learn how to be a support to a sibling with a disability, but I agree as to his establishing himself as a separate person. For so long he clung to his brother with a protectiveness and yet a strange dependency. For once, he can concentrate without having to "watch his brother" for those behaviors that we knew meant a lot more than mere oddities. 

So, to my surprise, Dante conducted home school yesterday. I got a note that said: "Mom, Goddess of Love and Joy. Mom you help me get through life even at it's worst." Then I was to "take a break", while he decided to print off activities, and quiz his brother and himself, putting together a document on our recent study of the Egyptian culture. Hey! Little did they know they had a test coming up on it, and instead, they did it. Way to go Dante! Aramis was so proud, as he completed all the activities, to the point his hands were "sooo tired", but they were proud of themselves. 

ME? I took a break........it was fascinating to watch them conduct their own school, and I really could use the mental time off. A win-win all the way around. I took Aramis on a long run later, which he craves now that this medication has helped his coordination (he couldn't run well before), and by bedtime he was done. Emotionally spent and crying a bit, definitely "done". He was out after a few minutes, just needed to be reminded that the fan wasn't going to get him, and all was safe. 

I found an old school chum on IM, and we have a lovely time catching up. I was open as to why I left school, and she was shocked to say the least. She said she would never have figured that I would have a mental disorder, after all, I "smile all the time, and [am] always so encouraging!" Well, it's the way the pie crust spreads my dear......wasn't this in Social Work 101? Oh yeah, we both laughed over the memory. I then found out that several other classmates also had been struggling with similar issues: severe depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. 

It's the shame and secrecy that hurts these people more than anything, and really has to change. In general, to mention these names scares the average citizen, and yet 1:4 individuals who can reach out for assistance are diagnosed with some mental challenge or disorder. Those are just the people who can reach out towards assistance! What about the many more who are in denial, or don't realize that they can be helped to find a way towards hope and a future? Ahhh, but I'm on my soap box again......I just wish that the US put more emphasis on understanding the entire society that surrounds us daily. 

Well, that's all from our corner of TX......they keep telling me it will get hot, but not so far. I'm still wearing my light weight coat, but then again, I'm always cold. Probably these dang cigarettes! 

Hope the world presents itself as warm and peaceful to  each of you today....

And Anna: you're very special. How's school going so far? 

Have a good day everyone, 


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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