I know it would likely be healthier for me to just let all this stuff with my brother’s clinic Terros go, and focus more on the productive aspects of his move, but I just feel like it all needs to be documented. And I guess here is the place I’m doing that. When I say documented, I also mean, exposed.
Yesterday, after a couple of emails to his terrible, inept case manager, she got back to me with this one line:
I called several times and was unable to leave a voice mail. He did show up today and I met with him.
This is her response to my question about how she expected my brother to show up for his appt. to retrieve his weekly meds (before running out) without informing him of said appointment. Of course the only reason he showed up, was because I spent nearly an entire day making phone calls trying to obtain information and finally getting the time and date for this appointment so he didn’t run out of meds (again). The case manager was unreachable, per usual.
It was also cc’d to her supervisor, as were my emails to her. Her CYA moment.
My response to her began with the sentence, “I don’t believe you.”
I called my brother’s voicemail and it’s working. I was in touch with him via my Dad’s phone all that day and he kept checking his phone for calls/messages and relaying to me what was on his phone.
She never tried calling, much less leaving a message. She’s lying.
But even if you take her at face value (which I don’t), her own story is she couldn’t get this critical information to my brother so she did nothing further. She didn’t try phoning my Dad to tell him (who she knows he lives with and has his number), emailing me, phoning me, nothing. But I’m sure she did document it as “billable hours”! The bare minimum she claimed to have done.
Also, while John was sitting in the waiting area yesterday, waiting for his appt. to get his meds, my father who was sitting a few feet away, saw the case manager “come out to retrieve another patient” from the waiting area and stop to say hello to my brother.
She has somehow parlayed that little breeze-by as a “meeting”. Oh I feel certain she documented it as billable hours as a full blown case management meeting. I’m also sure she didn’t realize, when she wrote me that email, that I was aware she had seen my brother in the waiting area as my father had already detailed the visit for me.
God I hate liars.
Anyway, John did fill out the paperwork to be transferred to another team. Hopefully that happens, because even if it’s just another month or so before we can extricate him, it’s still four weeks of having to live in that mine field.
The hospital social worker has escalated all of this too on her end and has been sending me emails about who is being informed of what. She’s not happy at all about this.
I’m just keeping records of everything and once John is freed from their clutches, a full report will be made.
Then I’ll be able to focus all my undivided energy on setting him up here. So many of his day to day activities will be met at the Community they are moving to. They are opening up their classes and activities next month after a year of Covid closure. Right on time.
There are all kinds of things he can get involved with from art classes to movie nights to special dinners to outings. My Dad is especially interested in the courses provided by visiting Bucknell professors and similar outings which they provide transportation for. It’s going to be so good for them.
We will also obtain case management for John here and of course all the medical needs, including Psychiatric. They have a medical liasion who is an RN at the community who will start working on getting all that set up for both of them before they even arrive. It’s pretty amazing what they offer. They will even provide them transportation from their home to the community building in a 6 seater golf court so they don’t have to drive over. They are walking distance from our beautiful library, which also hosts computer classes for my brother to attend. He’s super psyched about that as he’s been taking computer classes. We will get them set up with wifi and a laptop. Major upgrade.
All of these layers of support will be so welcomed. And it’s all underway. We should have the keys by Wednesday next week/Thursday at the latest. And I’ll be getting the supplemental furniture and furnishings set up. There will be champagne involved next week--my Dad requested a live Facetime session when we cross the threshold.
I dropped the check off yesterday, got the contract, just waiting on the last wire transfer and we will have the keys! We bought a bottle of Veuve Cliquot a few months ago, that we still have sitting in our wine frig. I do see us popping it over there in the empty kitchen. 😀
Also! My sleep is definitely improving. The Dr. definitely got my attention when he used some word like “psycho-physiology” describing how my insomnia got so deeply ingrained. He listened long enough and educated me well enough that I left there trusting him, which is honestly rare for me when it comes to doctors.
This morning I was reflecting on how familiar this felt to me–but on the other side of the paperwork.
During my thirty-year practice as a bodyworker, I realized I had a secret weapon.
I could get people to trust me very quickly. I don’t know if that’s just my normal personality, or a skill set I developed in that role, but I took my time, listening to every word they said, writing it all down and asking lots of questions in the intital appointment. I didn’t rush it and insured them their participation and input was valuable to me (which it was).
I then displayed (because I possessed) a deep, calm confidence that I could help them (if I did which was the vast majority of the time). AND that their body also possessed a deep well of information that would be our guide, which I would trust, to help them get back on track.
I always started the relationship with that confidence and that respect right out of the gate and something about that combination allowed my clients to trust me, and the process I was guiding them in to.
Most of the time when they found me, they were pretty desperate and in a lot of long term chronic pain. Had been through many things that had not been helpful. They were understandably skeptical.
But I knew that their trusting me was going to allow their guard to drop, and the magic would begin.
I always–every single time– coached them on not seeking improvement, but seeking change. That we were simply looking to break up the patterns of dysfunction, so their innate body-wisdom could sneak back in through those cracks and start taking over.
I’m glad I’m writing this all out, as I rarely think about my prior life as a therapist. But this process is exactly what is occurring for me now.
I may not have fully felt confident in trying this non habit-forming medication (for a relatively short time–my goal is to get back to sleeping and get off all medication) as I tried two doses before, didn’t sleep and felt like death in the morning.
But I did leave feeling like I trusted this doctor and I would submit to his expertise. He runs a damn Sleep Center for God’s sake–how can I rationalize not trusting him?
Since I made the decision to trust his guidance, do exactly what he said, and know that what’s happening is as much a deep psychological problem as chemical (not saying you can just decide to change these kinds of unconscious patterns by just deciding to–you have to let go and let your mind decide on its own to shift) I have started sleeping better.
He said the morning grogginess would start fading in about three days and I woke up today feeling pretty chipper.
I guess what I’m saying is it’s all about trust. And all about just letting myself be steered, then the magic starts happening. I’m stubborn. This is big.
The very first time I took this med a couple weeks ago (prescribed by my wonderful nurse practitioner), I lay wide awake tossing and turning for five hours then was a zombie the next day. The next night, basically the same thing. I gave right up on it.
But now, I’m sleeping 2-3 hours at a time and getting pretty easily back to sleep. It’s changing and getting better. I’m feeling hopeful.
Those are the great ends of the spectrum.
The tail that’s dragging though is the care my brother is receiving which is abysmal.
He got up yesterday and right away called his case manager, leaving a message on her voicemail that he needed an appt. with the nurse in order to obtain his meds. I know he did this because I was on the phone with my Dad and heard him in the background leaving that message.
He went all day not hearing back.
I wrote his social worker from the hospital basically detailing how her discharge plan fell off the rails with Terros right out of the gate, really just to let her know and to document it. I ended my email saying I did not expect a response, this was just to inform her.
She wrote me back, appalled, sent my email to the director of the whole shebang and gave me a number for the Clinical Director of John’s entire clinic. Oops! That lady did not end up liking that one bit.
I called the Director who let me know she would get right on it, make sure he had his appointments and the best way to get the information to him. I asked her to email me as John has a new phone and is hard to reach. I would make sure he got the info.
Mind you, he runs out of meds on Monday. It was Thursday and they are closed on the weekend. We have one day to get him in there–Friday. She assured me it would be settled by the end of the day.
The end of the day came and you guessed it–nothing.
I called her cell phone again and could hear she was driving. She was annoyed. Asked for an update and she said she had punted it to the terrible, incompetent case manager. I let her know John had called her and heard nothing. I reiterated he went in the hospital for five weeks because he went off his meds and here he was set to run out of them.
She said they were on it. I had a few choice words about the case manager like “incompetent” “terrible employee” etc. and the phone call ended abruptly. I’ve simply had it with these people. I left that thinking it all trickles down from the top. Even the Clinical Director doesn’t care about the patients there. I get it.
So I ended up calling back to the clinic to get anyone, absolutely anyone in the building who could facilitate my brother picking up his meds the next day.
I finally got likely the one and only competent person in the facility, who looked him up and saw he indeed has an appointment on the books for Friday at 10:30.
But no one told us that. And it was the next morning. They went to the trouble to schedule the appointment, but not tell the patient.
How did they expect John to be at that appt. when they never informed him of it? Look at all the great lengths I went to to simply get that one nugget of information.
The case manager kept saying in the heated staffing on John while he was in the hospital “well he didn’t show up for his appointments!” as the reason his medication got messed up.
I get it now. She does the bare minimum on paper, to prove those billable hours, then no follow-through with the actual patient. She scheduled the appointment, but never told us about it. So when he doesn’t show up, he gets marked as a no-show and no one questions it. Ya know, these unreliable mentally ill people.
I want to scream.
I got super sad yesterday thinking of all the other people under her who she’s playing this game with, who are getting sicker, not getting services, because they don’t have someone like me hounding her to do the basics of her own damn job. And even her boss at the highest level doesn’t care. It’s a very dangerous trap.
We have about a month to navigate this I think before getting him here. I spoke with John yesterday and we both agreed he can and needs to ask for a new case manager for just that month. This woman is unsafe.
So he will be doing that today when he goes in to get his meds. Even if he gets a similarly incompetent person (as I said to my Dad, I truly can’t imagine anyone being worse than her), it sends a message.
And when this is all over, my Psychologist husband is doing something called “red-lining” this facility. I think the social worker at the hospital is engaged in something similar. At least we will be out of there, but in all good conscience for the rest of their vulnerable population,we have to speak out.
Ok, with that all being said (much of the reason I document on here is also to keep a written record), this is a gorgeous day here. I’m so happy and relieved we can start moving them here in a concrete way now.
I have so many thoughts of my Dad sitting on my patio, enjoying my flowers doing his crossword puzzle. Inviting my brother over for TV watching and pizza. Country drives showing them all these views I’ve grown to love. Simple pleasures like that.
Knowing my Dad will get to live out his life in this kind of comfort is such a relief to us all.
And when I thanked my husband the other day for so much help he’s giving my family he responded “our family”.
You see his parents died so young (both were gone by the time he was fifteen), he never got to experience an aging parent situation. He considers this a gift. He’s a true gem of a human. Of all the disastrous choices I made in dating–which were admittedly about 99% of them–I just needed one good choice and I nailed it.
He heads back there in a little over a week and will handle most of the logistics they need on their end. Then we will fly my brother (and likely their cat) out here, and my husband is going to drive my brother’s car out here, taking a cross country road trip with my Dad. They are both really looking forward to it.
Thanks for coming along for the ride everyone. It’s been a circus, fun-house, roller coaster and glorious ferris wheel all wrapped up in to one.
And my shingles are almost entirely improved. Hooray for no long-term effects.
Well, things are continuing to progress forward with a spiral momentum, that sometimes pulls back to catapult ahead.
Today is an ahead-moving day.
Yesterday I got out in the rain to do some errands and decided to go look at a couple of condos in the area we are considering as a back-up plan for my family, should the Continuing Care Community we are pursuing not be an option.
I saw this cute condo with a beautiful view in the back that had been on the market awhile. I did note LOTS of cars in front of it though…hmmm. I called anyway, and didn’t get a return call until this morning. More on that in a bit.
Also saw 4 new builds in that community. The notion of just moving there here in a lateral style move–exactly how they are living now--forfeiting some support structures, but also eliminating the hoop-jumping and uncertainties–sounded appealing.
We have not broached the condo idea with my father, but are broadening our options. We just know we need to move them out here and there has to be an option. Also this being in limbo with the retirement community for over a month now, is, well, on my nerves. And I don’t have many functioning nerves left at the moment (the shingles is improving though).
So I got home and as usual, had a full processing session with my husband. I was leaning more toward the condo option and he more with the community option. We landed in the middle, that should the community give us an open door, we will walk right through it.
Later, on Facetime with my Dad, he just offered that outright without us asking–that he was hoping it would work out with this close community–that the other one we’re also in communication with is good, but “ten miles is still a lot compared to less than one mile” (distance from our home). I mean I could bike to their house easily if we get it.
We decided to stop waiting and call for information as to how they were leaning. I felt pretty discouraged when I left the last phone call, but I was generally not in an optimistic place–unusual for me–that day. I felt like our odds were about 50/50.
My husband relayed the info from his call with sales person and thought we were really pretty much a “go” with them. But still, we have no contract or have not given a deposit.
I decided to call her myself. I realized that she doesn’t exactly know either–that she was making assumptions based on that meeting we had with the CEO–but she was left with a distinctly more confident impression than I was. I finally just said “we are riding a momentum here, and we need to get them moved, so I’m going to be honest, I’m pursuing other options right now as we need something we can count on.” Assuring her I understood if John was not a fit for their community, but we just need to know.
It’s good to just tell the bald faced truth sometimes.
SO, she leapt in to action, decided to meet face to face with her CEO this morning, and boy did she not waste a minute calling me after that meeting.
She feels like “it’s a go” at this point, that they just need discharge paperwork on John once he’s out of the hospital, which I can easily obtain, and then we can move forward with the contract.
Whew! Huge relief. I can’t wait to tell my Dad. It’s definitely the best option due to one very important word : LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.
That will just simplify so much for us.
And catch this. The realtor finally called me back this morning on that cute condo with the view. Those cars were all there yesterday at the exact moment I was passing, because they were doing a closing on it. And check this–the woman living there sold it, because she’s moving in to the same community we are getting Dad and John in to. BOOM! Even the Realtor noted the “irony” in all of this. Irony to her; serendipity to me. I was literally sitting in front of the condo as they were closing on it inside.
John is being discharged Monday–I’m glad they pushed it back a couple of days so they don’t have to traverse a weekend with no services should they need them (as skimpy as they may be).
And my John is headed out there in less than two weeks to be boots on the ground prepping for the move.
And I’ve slept (assisted, but still) the last two nights. AND got my appointment with the Sleep specialist moved up a week.
AND the sun is shining today, in beautiful–still cold–central PA.
Sprinkling in some photos of this zuchinni pasta dish I made from Stanley Tucci’s CNN show on traveling, and eating, through Italy. It was delicious! And while eating it, I looked at my bald, cute husband in his black T shirt and said “It looks like I’m even eating with Stanley!”.
We attended a staffing on John yesterday and he will be heading home on Friday!
He’s continued to stabilize and has been basically back to his old self for about a week now I think, so he’s ready to get outta there.
Of course we’re concerned about any follow-up “care” with his program Terros, who has messed up in almost every single way they can with him. Both my husband and I let the “case manager” (yes I put this in quotes because there is very little management going on and what happens is mostly mismanagement) exactly what we thought. Words like “I’m a Psychologist and appalled” and “step aside Allison, you are not telling the truth” were uttered.
I was furious at how she tried blaming John AND my Dad for her failure in her job. She claimed John wasn’t showing up for appointments and not answering his phone, therefore that’s how his meds got messed up. Um, if you have a patient in the program that was disconnected and unreachable, you just leave them out there dangling for months? Their office is in the same town that John lives in–about a 15 min. drive in traffic. That’s if what she said was true, which I don’t believe. She’s backpedaling, poorly.
She claimed my Dad told her that day she came out during the crisis and did a sum total of nothing, that John had been off his meds since June or July. That is a bald faced lie. I was on the phone with my Dad the whole time she was there, and the opposite–he reviewed with her the meds John was taking–including two psychotropics prescribed by their rotating, inconsistent cycle of Psychiatrists– and noted the main one needed was not included in his regime. We will never know how/when/why that got dropped off, but a clinician blaming the patient AND his father is unconscionable. Trust me, if my brother had been off all of his meds for eight months, there would have been a crisis point hit long before.
I’m a typical Scorpio. I hate liars.
I let her know that John wasn’t stable for nearly 8 full years by being non-compliant with his meds as she claimed, and that somehow he was making it to all of his other programs–the ones that were open during the pandemic–seamlessly, but only seemed to be “missing” appointments at their office? Bull. When my brother is plugged in to a routine, you can set a watch by him. He will be there and be on time. And he takes his meds daily. They just messed up which ones he was to be taking. When I say they, I’m really referring to the inept case (mis)manager specifically.
Still, even if you take her on face value, it’s pure negligence. I just can’t wait to get him unplugged from that dysfunctional system (if you can call it that too). It’s just pure chaos there. Trust me, there will be reports filed once we get John fully disconnected.
BUT we have to rely on them to fill John’s meds in the immediate (meaning for this weekend after he’s discharged), and the interim time, before we can move them here, as well as necessary bloodwork he needs. He can’t get his meds without the blood draws and we are the mercy of that nitwit to schedule those lab appointments. We are approaching it assuming she will screw it up, so trying to cover as many bases as we can with the excellent social worker at the hospital, before he’s thrown in to that abyss again.
Do I sound bitter? More like exhausted and having zero f*cks left to give over those people, who count on their mentally ill people to not be advocated for by family or other people who care about them, so they can bring in the revenue off their illness while failing to provide services. Most reviews on Glassdoor/Indeed by former employees state that and I believe them 100% by my own experience.
Here is one example:
1.0HorribleCase Manager (Former Employee) – Tempe, AZ – May 7, 2020Terros management at priest is terrible and it all starts with the ceo and trickles down. The company only cares about money and it shows in all aspects. Clients suffer and so do employees. You will burn out within a month on the job and there will be no support or help. There is literally not one good thing about this company. Clients and prospective employees should find a company with morals
Anyway, that’s my John update. It’s looking up in spite of my rant right there. I just had to get that out.
My sleeping issues persist (God I got less than two hours sleep last night–it’s really pretty maddening). If I sound cranky, that’s why. I was able to get a referral to a sleep specialist near me in a couple weeks which should be interesting. I gotta do something here–this is ridiculous.
And we’re still not sure if the Continuing Care Community will accept our family here yet, but we’re exploring other options as well. We will get them here one way or another. There will be a place for them to belong and be near us, even if it isn’t what we originally thought.
Ok, gonna head back to bed here to see if I can catch a few more Zzzzzz’s.
It’s been a rough month. One of the most challenging as far back as I can recall. Decades maybe.
Navigating one family crisis after another is simply no way to have a life, not a sustainable one anyway.
All of this is forcing me to look at my roles–my savior roles, my caretaker roles, my martyr roles, and I’m sure many more roles that have not and do not serve me well. Yet at the same time, I’m too tired to look, and definitely too tired to come up with any more plans right now.
So now is a time to stop. To rest, to go within and above.
My brother fell apart again after over seven years of stability. We don’t know exactly why. I suspect part medication ball-dropping (he’s very poorly managed by the people being paid to manage him and I’ve not been able to get out there for over a year now due to Covid) combined with a scary incident after my father received his first Covid vaccine, that resolved quickly, but was traumatic. Part of the reason I can’t figure out about his medication–is his agency, Terros–the one I got him involved with when I first moved him to Arizona, neglected to inform any of us that their “release of information” forms expire after one year. So John’s expired God knows how many years ago, and they refuse to talk to me. Due to their negligence. They are supposed to get their clients to re-up them each year–that is literally their job–and they never did it with my brother, and we are suffering the consequences.
I spent two straight sleepless nights and days trying to get him help– hospitalized, medicated, evaluated, anything–from across the country as his symptoms quickly escalated. My father, who had turned 90 two days before, was powerless. He couldn’t get him to get to a hospital, to take any meds, to do anything. It was careening out of control. I know how fast it can happen, I’ve lived it with him.
I had been strategizing, cajoling, researching, stopping short of begging my father and brother to move here to a perfect Assisted Living Facility three minutes away from our house, for months.
“Dad, I don’t want to have to make this move in the middle of a crisis,” I finally said to my father who agreed this move was necessary for them both, but he was just not ready.
“John can wake up some morning and find you dead in your bed and be there all alone,” the sad potential reality shot from my lips.
“You’re pressuring me,” he said.
So I would just slyly slip it in to other conversations like “see if you lived here, you could try these donuts we love,” things like that. He was not biting.
Until the crisis. Until we eventually landed on the police being called after his untrained, very young case manager came out to see him at his worst and the only thing she could say was “this is not the John I know!”, then she left. Doing nothing. Telling us we would have to wait until Monday for her to do anything further. It was Friday.
The Crisis team called next. “We can’t speak to him as he’s not being coherent, so we can’t determine if he’s a danger to himself or others.”. Then they left. They left my family in the middle of a crisis, after doing nothing, recommending nothing, as my brother got worse and worse.
This, to me, was like a person in a diabetic coma, unable to speak, and the professionals deemed to help them, decide not to, because the patient due to their condition can’t give consent.
So, my dear, very sick brother, was ultimately handcuffed on the sidewalk in front of their home by the police, taken first to a regular hospital Emergency Department for twenty four hours with no medication, no medical history, no information. I was relieved to get him out of the house for help, any way that it took. My father let the police know the medications he was on regularly (missing the most critical one for someone with schizophrenia that no one has been able to explain to me–like a diabetic being on their pain meds but missing their insulin). They simply said they were waiting for a bed in a Psychiatric facility and he would be transferred there soon.
Twenty-four hours later was “soon” and things dropped off a cliff.
I had no idea that places like this existed anywhere, much less Arizona. I guess this place has been around for awhile. Community Bridges it’s called. They call themselves a triage facility, a place for psychiatric patients to go temporarily while awaiting placement in a real hospital. Patients are supposed to be there no longer than twenty-four hours.
My brother spent three days in that Hellscape. There are no rooms for patients and no beds. There is one giant room that houses at least fifty acute psychiatric patients, drug addicts going through detox and suicidal people with their only person space being a recliner. A recliner.
I called every day, sometimes multiple times per day for updates, a chance to speak with him, for him to hear my voice. I was met with the most frightening levels of incompetence I’ve seen and having navigated the mental health system in Arizona, I’ve seen plenty.
He was being given no medications whatsoever, I was told the first night he got there. “No, nothing has been ordered,” the clinician relayed to me, looking at his chart. He had been there since very early morning. The list my father had written out when the police took him got lost along the way. Not only was he not being medicated with any psychotropic medication to treat the immediate crisis of symptoms, but he was without his blood pressure or blood sugar medication and they claimed they had no information of him needing any of that. And he had been seen by a doctor– a psychiatrist apparently.
I found a friend to rush over, nearly at midnight, to bring all the vials of his medications, as the person I was speaking with said they would have no other way to verify his medications. And his regular “program” who held all this information was closed for the weekend, so no way to obtain it from them.
To this day, I don’t know if he was ever given any of his regular medications for anything at that terrifying Cuckoo’s Nest as I began referring to it.
The day he was transferred–or the evening before, this whole time period is a blur–I spoke with the “clinician” I was always transferred to to speak with, and she said he was “calm, much calmer than most of the other patients there–he’s ok, he’s doing ok,” she said. This made me very suspicious, especially considering she told me they had tried to take his blood pressure and he put his hands over his face, stiff and they couldn’t complete the task. She read this to me right off the chart.
I asked her to get him so I could try and speak with him. At times he could recognize my voice; I wanted him to consistently know I was out here doing my best to get him help. To give him any kind of reassurance at all from someone who loves him.
(I will add at this point, that due to Covid and my severely suppressed immune system related to my own medical issues prohibited me from flying out–not that being there in person would have made any big difference anyway–no visitors at either of these places).
The clinician came back to the phone and let me know it would be impossible to talk to him as “he’s just blank, he’s like not even there, he’s sitting there stiff and staring in to space,” she said.
“That is catatonia,” I educated her. The person steering the ship at this “Urgent Care Facility for Psychiatric Patients” did not know what she was seeing. Catatonia can be life threatening. I had to break it all down on the phone for her. “Ohhh, you must be right,” she validated.
(Their Quality Assurance department--or whatever it’s called–tracked down my number and phoned me after seeing a scathing Facebook post I made mentioning this horrific treatment — if you can even call it that–that my brother received there. I relayed all I’m writing here–and more– and assured her I would not be removing my Facebook comment, and I would be actually detailing this traumatic event further on my well-read blog, then hung up–you guys who know me, you know me. It’s just taken awhile. I’ve been busy)
He was finally transferred shortly after that to a legitimate Psychiatric hospital, and had to be immediately treated for the catatonia for several days. Where he remains.
My father relented to the move, realizing he had no ability or skills to manage this crisis on his own, and simultaneously realizing he’s been relying on my brother for so many basic things, that he also needs more assistance that would be offered at…an assisted living community.
I immediately snapped in to action, picking out the perfect unit for them, sending and filling out paperwork, filling my garage with furniture so it would be ready when they came, as most of theirs wouldn’t be worth the price of a moving truck. As my own system slid further and further from the tenuous balance it had been trying to attain for months after another adrenal collapse last Fall. My worst symptom this time around has been unrelenting insomnia. I’m not exaggerating when I say I have had less than five full nights’ sleep in around eight months.
Meanwhile, we had to testify in a virtual court hearing to keep my brother receiving treatment, and from not walking out of the hospital voluntarily.
And then I got the call. The CEO of the Assisted Living Community here wanted to speak with me. They needed more information on my brother, to make sure they are equipped to handle his needs.It’s a valid question.
Oh wait, how did I forget this part in this “every day another tidal wave has hit me” story? We (my husband and I) decided to file for emergency guardianship of my brother in the midst of this. So much of the trauma all of us went through trying to get him help could have been mitigated if we (or anyone) had guardianship. An old family friend who is a social worker expressed shock this had not been done sooner.
He was right. In hindsight, I should have stepped in way sooner and way more aggressively on his behalf.
And then my poor brother’s paranoia directed its arrow straight at me. The only second time this has happened in the thirty years I’ve been intervening on his behalf. And the last (and only) time this occurred, I was still able to get him to go to the hospital with me voluntarily. On some level he has always trusted me even through the paranoia. But not now. He’s fired his first (excellent Psychiatrist) since being in the hospital and now has another one. I’ve had to start over and over and over talking to people who he has refused to let speak with me. And I’m the one person who holds the most knowledge and information of his history over three decades.
What I’ve learned is, that if people can’t speak to you, out of a release of information issue, they can listen to you. So I have given years and years of history about what medications have worked, and other relevant data that they may find useful as they work with him. I’m doing this completely in the dark, hoping it lands somewhere that is useful as it is a one-sided converation. I think it is; useful. They are still working with him to convince him to sign the ROI for me. Let me tell you, trying to convince someone, that someone’s paranoid thoughts, no matter how convincing they may seem with zero history of the relationship, who is simultaneously seeking emergency guardianship, is a tightrope of barbed wire. I ultimately just emailed her a bunch of photos of my brother and I in better days over the years. Clearly a close bond and her response indicated she got it.Just absolutely none of this has been easy, not one thing. Not for one minute. It’s actually been one vicious bitch, to put it plainly.
So, we wait. The plan to move them here may be slipping through my fingers as I type this. I sincerely don’t know. I gave the CEO my best argument for John, once stable again, to be an excellent fit for their community (which I believe). I can’t fathom the notion that he would be alone and untethered anywhere in the world as we age, after our father dies.
Before this episode, he was totally excited about moving here. My father was the one with the hesitation, waiting for something. For something I feared: a motivating crisis. Which may have actually sabotaged this entire plan. My brother was a high functioning disabled person six months ago, hell six weeks ago. It would have been a very different transition then.
This is not a happy post. I don’t have much solid ground at this moment. There are cracks everywhere I look and very little to hang on to right now. I had two hours of sleep last night.
Oh, and forgot to mention, right in the middle of this, two weeks ago, I came down with “one of the worst cases” of Shingles my practitioner has seen. Four nerves involved–literally 1/4 of my body affected from the waist down. I’m not surprised. So, I’ve not even been able to soothe myself in my hot tub, which is one of my main stress relievers. Not a fan of Shingles; will get the vaccine. But it is clearing up and made a turn yesterday in terms of the pain. Maybe I’ll make another post about that detour, as I do have some helpful information on how to get through it, after many trials and errors.
Anyway, yesterday I had three hopeful moments.
Between the needing to be near a phone fielding crisis calls literally from morning to night for days on end, having no energy and then the Shingles, I had not left the house in well over a week. I had plenty of groceries, we have good Grub Hub service here for a small area and my husband did a couple of store runs. I’ve lost myself in a few good binge-watches and movies.
Yesterday was a beautiful day and my friend Susie who I’ve been assisting with her brand new flower shop and floral business (my happy place) once again invited me to come over. Once again I resisted, not feeling well enough to even drive the 12 minutes there. I had been going most days for the last couple of months, before all of this.
“I don’t think I should be around any humans today,” I texted her, after the disappointing phone call with the CEO, left on a “let’s wait and see” note about the house (where I cried a couple of times–it was just that day that as hard as I tried to maintain composure, those tears were just going to come–which I felt awful about and embarrassed).
“It’s a beautiful sunny day, you need sunshine and fresh air! And besides, I’m not just any human, I’m your human,” she replied. I’m lucky to have made that kind of friend in the short time I’ve lived here.
In tears, I got myself showered and dressed, and as I left, noticed in my front garden that dozens of my bulbs are already peeking out. I was missing this, being cooped up inside for these weeks. I have even one fully blooming yellow crocus out there.
Once I got to the shop, some of my despondency had started to lift. Seeing her smiling face helped. A flower shop is just a happy place no matter how you look at it, and especially hers which I’ve been a part of from the ground-up.
As we caught up on all her new gift items and displays, a man entered the store to pay her for a previous order. The chitchat was light and breezy and he had just come back from vacation from, of all places, sunny Sedona AZ. My husband had just returned days before on a week long trip to help out my Dad and they went to Sedona. They were there at the same time as this man. You know me, I pay attention to coincidences like this. They are my stepping stones; my life rafts.
I learned so much about him, but the gift I needed from the Universe, even more than my crocuses, came after he left.
“His husband’s name is ______ (I don’t remember the name), and he is the head of a large choir at one of the big churches here,” Susie filled me in.
Regular readers of my blog here, and my journey with my dear brother, will know exactly where this hit me.
A gay man in this extremely rural central PA small town who runs a choir.
There is a place for my brother in this community. My brother who spent two years singing, wearing tuxedos and costumes, on some of Phoenix’s most prestigious stages with the Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus. I had already been thinking and futurizing about finding him another place to sing, and thought maybe a church choir might be an option. And this landed in my lap yesterday.
I have a glimmer of hope now. I have absolutely no idea how/when/where all of us will land. I am still so tired and so traumatized myself over these events, that I know I’m operating on minimal brain power. I am doing my best to keep major decisions at a minimum and even with that, I’m making poor ones.
But my heart is still pumping and feeling and can recognize a sign of life when it comes my way.
So this is what I’m hanging on to today as I continue my quest to breathe my own oxygen, so I can of any benefit and value at all to my family.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I’ll keep you all updated, hopefully with some, any good news, soon. And if you’re a praying person of any persuasion, any good words sent up for my brother are greatly appreciated.
This is a very sweet story about Anthony Bourdain that I ran across this morning. It’s about his championing for, not just people in parts unknown, but in our very heart of America.
I know I’m not the only one out there who is still very rattled by his suicide and this former Psychiatric RN, sister of a schizophrenic brother, and daughter of an often depressed father, has some things to say.
The continued posting of these “reaching out” memes and comments, although may be helpful to some, is a superficial response to this complicated issue of suicide. And, in some cases, it can make things worse for some people.
Depression with suicidal ideation has its own set of complex symptoms. Like a heart attack does–and, similarly, many of them are universal and identifiable. As heart attacks have warning signs like chest pain and pain down the left arm, so does suicidal depression.
One symptom of that kind of deep despair is that people have a clouded set of thoughts–that they truly start to believe that the world is conspiring against them and that their presence is detrimental, not only to themselves, but the world at large including their own loved ones. These symptoms become very real in their minds. They are not excuses or weaknesses or made up stories. THEY ARE SYMPTOMS OF THIS DISEASE.
One thing that can help ground a suicidal person is reminding them of this. That these thoughts are not who they are, but symptoms, just like chest pain is a symptom of a heart attack. SYMPTOMS THAT CAN PASS. Another symptom also being, that these symptoms will never pass. Do you see the drain they circle in?
One reality check I have given, even to myself, is “you are likely feeling that this is never going to end, and that is a symptom of the disease process you are immersed in right now, and even that set of thoughts is going to pass.” This helps to distance somewhat from the pervasiveness of it. Even for a second, a shift can begin, a life raft can be seen in the distance.
Encourage them to look for change, even a change in a momentary thought or feeling–even if the change is a different kind of pain, but still pain. Change can equal movement out of what feels like a devastating stuck pit that will remain forever. The slightest change, can signal to the deep psyche that evolution is possible even when it has not registered yet to the conscious mind.
Expecting someone experiencing the throes of that kind of immobilized, pervasive symptomology–to rail against it completely and be able to reach out– is akin to asking someone in the throes of a full blown myocardial infarction to begin CPR on themself.
There is so much more than these trite “reminders” or “admonitions” to suicidal people to “reach out”. I think more has to be educated to THE REST OF US, to reach in. How to do it, what to say, when to intervene, how to intervene.
I’ve had to do it with my own family acutely for the last several years. Identify those moments when it is time to take over for them–get them in the hospital or to a doctor for medication. Not to “encourage them” but to simply sweep them up and say “we are going, now”. For both my brother and my father. Psychosis and depression have plagued my family my entire adult life. I know this world intimately. I have had to find and realize the strength to sit right there in a hospital or doctor’s office and say the words for them that they cannot say. Words like “he is hearing lots of voices telling him to harm himself” or “he is experiencing significant depression right now”. Words they were unable to utter, again, because they were consumed with the actual disease (or embarrassed, or in denial, or…).
So what if you get someone to be evaluated who ends up not hospitalized or deemed in need of that? It’s the same as if you take someone to the hospital who, may be having a heart attack, but in reality is experiencing indigestion. Ok, now you know. Now you’ve done something. Now you’ve communicated to them that they are not going to have to manage this distress alone.
And, yes, there are the Histrionics who cry wolf and have a whole different kind of mental illness issue going on, but don’t let them inhibit us and let the rest slip through the cracks. It’s pretty easy to discern these things when we are honest with ourselves.
People are often afraid to take action when mental illness is involved. I moved my brother to Arizona for that very reason–people where he was living were not taking action and he was drowning. He would not have survived it, and I could see that clearly. I could see it because I was not suffering in the ways he was. He is thriving so well right now, because he has a coalition of caring people watching him, every day. But that took years to craft and is still always being crafted.
None of us are afraid to step in and call 911 or start CPR with a person who is choking or having an obvious medical emergency. We need to get better with this when it comes to mental health. This responsibility should not solely rest on the acutely ill patient–I believe it rests more on the rest of us. We need to know more and have more encouragement to act. I’ve yet to see the memes instructing loved ones to call a suicide help line for someone they may be worried about.
Don’t get me wrong–no one is responsible for the devastating choice of suicide of another, just like no one is responsible for another person’s heart attack.. YET we need to understand it better and have deeper and more global interventions and take more steps to unburden our loved ones who are suffering before this becomes their only option. We need to find more oxygen masks, and use them. To unabashedly be unafraid to slap that right on their face and tell them to inhale. Then find people to take care of them, until they can breathe on their own again.
I had a beautiful drive up this afternoon. I mean every drive up is beautiful but today’s was particularly spectacular. I can tell when I need to get out of the city when I start having road rage just pulling out of my carport. As an introvert, the wide space of the open road is like visual Prozac for me.
I hauled up a few gifts for the house including our new security system. I call him ADT which stands for A Dangerous Thing.
I bought this wild fella a few years ago with my friend Rob (who also got one) at an art fair and he’s been all over the place. I had a last minute brainwave this morning, grabbed him out of my garden and threw him in the car. He looks right at home there doesn’t he?
Funny thing is some people on Facebook thought it was real. Um, what did they think it was? An alligator? 😉
I think he’ll do the trick though because people were pretty terrified just from the photos. HA!
I had one of those OMG moments this week about John getting in the chorus. First of all, he’s doing really well right now. We spent much of the day together yesterday–lunch, Dead Poet’s Society, dinner, TV viewing (two episodes of Chopped). He was engaged, present, conversational and an all around darling to be with. I cherish those kinda days with him.
I got to thinking about his preparation for the audition. About how every time I asked him to sing a song for me, I mean every. single. time. he came up with the song “Jingle Bells”. You can here me saying just that in the video here.
(not this video, the one in the link above)
I kept saying “what is it with you and the Christmas songs?”. He would reply “it’s my favorite song”.
Well well well, how interesting that the concert he will be rehearsing for starting Sept 24 is their Christmas concert.
It sure makes ya wonder doesn’t it? Just how much of this is illness and how much insight or premonition or foresight or some kind of communication going on that the rest of us don’t hear.
I find that absolutely fascinating and have decided I’m going to pause and pay better attention to the things that he’s so devoted to.
Maybe, just maybe somewhere in there is some kind of crystal ball.
All I know is I’d be smart to be open to all the possibilities.
I’m dedicating this post to this comment by my dear Peepers McPeep:
Katie, such a lovely poem. You’ve given John a great gift. That of Hope.. His is a new beginning, learning to walk again with confidence. You, as his guide, lighting the way. Give yourself permission to rest along his journey, There are days when he will carry you. You will find what you seek, Cradled tightly as you listen to the heartbeat of your love. That will be your Destiny.
She left that yesterday responding to my post about Faith.
I can’t tell you how close John was to being hospitalized again over the last 24 hours. It was as bad as it gets. Both of the programs he participates in were responding in crisis mode. I moved him here indefinitely. His case manager met with me twice today very concerned about Alfonse and problem solving how to keep him out of the hospital. He said to me “you know you are the reason John is alive”.
I thought about that comment later and thought, no, I am a big part of the reason he’s done as well as he has over the last year, truly a miracle in comparison to the last 20 years. But what’s kept him alive is far and above me. He’s been in so many dangerous situations, taking his hands off the wheel of his car when voices told him “it’s time to go to heaven” on a major highway, etc. I don’t want to revisit these. But something, someone far beyond me has kept John alive all these years, that’s for sure.
As I left John at the program, I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him and the nurse he was visiting with said “You have a good sister” as I walked out and he said “yes I do” in that flat distracted way he gets when he’s bombarded by voices and paranoia. I am so aware when I go there just how rare it is that mentally ill patients have support. I often feel like a unicorn when I’m in there as so often patients are sitting there alone. Just like John was for so many years before he moved out to Arizona. It just breaks my heart thinking of it then, seeing it now.
I came home, with thankfully almost a full day off, and crashed hard. I barely got off the couch all day, laying there dozing on a heating pad. I have to say I was in some pretty extreme pain all day so I just rested and did my best to rest and breathe and wait it out. Gallstones make their presence known on their way out, I’ll just say that. They don’t let go that easily. They like to make a grand exit.
I had no idea what I’d get around 2:30 when the shuttle dropped John off. He was really pretty bad when I left him at the program this morning. I didn’t know if I’d have another night of acute psychosis and how I’d deal with that not feeling great myself.
On first look, he was already more connected when he walked in the door. I think the hardest thing about mental illness is the way it hijacks someone’s personality. It’s like John disappears behind a wall of that. And that is so far from his sweet charming little personality, it’s just depressing. It’s almost like a death in itself.
So he came in and went straight out to smoke. I asked him to do some sweeping for me so he didn’t track in the palm debris when he came in and out smoking and he did so readily. He’s usually very cooperative and doesn’t complain when I ask him to do things. He doesn’t often initiate but that’s ok. He cooperates.
He saw the heating pad by the couch and asked if I was in pain. I told him that my back and stomach were killing me all day and I’d been working on it. He said “Oh I’m sorry you’re not feeling well” then stood up from the couch.
He walked over to his suitcase , opened it, pulled out a bag and in it was a medication vial. He handed it to me and said “I have these ibuprofen tablets from the hospital and I think it will help you. Why don’t you take one?”. I sat there, stunned that he was initiating this help to me. I just said “ok that’s a great idea, I hadn’t even thought of that”. He instructed me not to take another one for 8 hours and no more than 3 over a 24 hour period. Like a good little nurse.
How sweet was that? And you know what? It worked!
I leaned down to hug him as I left to work for a bit and he hugged me back so tight saying “I love you my dear Sister”. I thanked him for helping me with his ibuprofen and told him it was really helping, because it was.
I made it in to treat my client and back home again pain free after a day of misery.
As I walked in the door, I saw John on the phone and stepped right in to these words “Why don’t you call me next week? I’m staying at my sister’s for awhile. She’s not feeling well so I’m staying here to take care of her”.
Ok, if that just didn’t bust up my paradigm right there. I love being proven wrong in cases like this. He thinks he’s staying here to take care of me.
And so I’m going to let him.
We had a lovely dinner together undistracted by the voices that consumed him just this morning. And now he’s resting quietly over on the couch stretched out watching The Next Food Network Star. The key word of that sentence is quietly.
Alfonse and I will get through this life together, extending a hand, hopscotching ourselves over each threshold we encounter. Together. Hand in hand.
(took this photo the first step we took in to our Sedona home last February)
When John came out to Arizona for a mental health program in the summer of 2012, he told me he would only move to Arizona permanently if he didn’t have to live in Phoenix during the summer. I can’t blame him, the summers here are brutal. I didn’t know how I would make good of that promise as there was no way I wanted him to return to the life he’d had in Illinois where he’d become so unstable. Even for a day much less a summer.
One month after he’d arrived, I took him to Sedona for the 4th of July. I’ll never forget the look on his face as we turned that corner and he saw the red rock view and he kept exclaiming “Kathy, I love Sedona…I love the red rocks…I love Sedona” over and over. It was like a magic spell was washing over him. We stopped for lunch at the swankiest resort in town–Enchantment. We had a drink and a snack and on the inside I was marveling not just at the view but the fact that I was sitting here in this environment, with my brother, simply dining, chatting and taking in the view. Without his being consumed with symptoms. It was at this place that I realized we were really out of the weeds with his illness.
Fast forward a few months to January 2013. We find ourselves back in the same restaurant eating lunch. I took this photo of him that day. Our Dad had told us some months before that he wanted to purchase another vacation type property for our family. After much thought, we landed on Sedona for many reasons but the look on John’s face that July day was certainly in my mind. Sedona would be a perfect location. He could get away for the summer but not be too far. I have spent years working and training in Sedona so it was just perfect.
By this day in January, I’d been looking online for properties for a couple of months. We went up there for other reasons but John and I decided to have lunch, then go roaming neighborhoods to see what we could see. Just a little recon expedition.
We drove in to a condo neighborhood that I’d seen online with just one property up for sale. We stopped by that location, John got out and grabbed the flyer in the For Sale sign then looked ahead and said “hey there’s another For Sale sign up there”.
We drove up to that property, he got out and grabbed the flyer again and to our surprise it was a brand new property, never lived in! So we got out and peeked in all the windows and liked what we saw. On a whim I just called the number of the realtor on the paper and she picked right up. She asked me where we were, I answered “right in the driveway” and she said “give me five minutes, I’ll come right over”.
She showed John and I that home that day and by the end of our tour, my brother was showing me where we could put the Christmas tree. Every window had an amazing view, upstairs and downstairs. Three bedrooms, three bathroom, perfect for us.
We convinced our Dad to take a look the next day and let’s just go ahead and say, my father bought that house two days after the day John saw that sign. It’s our new house!
John has not seen it since the day we toured it. He spent a month in the hospital with a drug reaction this winter so missed the trip I took up there to accept a furniture delivery. When I was up there by myself, I realized the builder had left one item behind that they had “staged” the property with. It was left in Alfonse’s bedroom.
Life isn’t about waiting
for the storm to pass…
It’s about learning to
Dance in the Rain
When I saw this proudly hanging on the wall facing his new bed, I felt like I was seeing that cane by the fireplace in the movie “Miracle on 34th Street”.
Tomorrow we head up together to accept a delivery of all of his furniture/furnishings from his apartment that’s been closed up in Illinois, finally.
For some reason, Alfonse had been accumulating new furniture, new dishes, new flatware, glassware, linens, etc over the last year. Funny how everything has a “Sedona” vibe in earth tones and “Santa Fe” style. It’s almost as if he predicted this home purchase.
And finally he will be reunited with all his personal belongings he’s been without for a year now.
And I’m sure I’ll take him back to the Enchantment Resort for a little celebration while we’re up there.
I’ll be back in four days or so. With more stories. 🙂
I look at this photo of Cindy, Buddha and I on the porch steps of our family’s Maine summer cottage, just moments before we were taking off to head back home in the summer of 1988 and remember how carefree we all were then. I remember how Cindy and I went out one day shopping and bought those hats together. I remember showing them off to my Dad who said “Kathy, that hat is you” and how Cindy kind of wistfully replied “I want a ‘you hat too’ “.
I remember that year she just wasn’t usual confident chipper self. She was just weeks shy of turning 30. She decided when we got home that she needed to work on some things so she joined a self esteem group. She had been enrolled in that group just a week or two when she met Michael Apelt and everything started spiraling downward, unbeknownst to any of us. None of us navigated our childhood unscathed. I’d been in counseling for a few years at that point having suffered a severe anxiety disorder in my twenties so I whole heartedly supported her reaching out for help.
One of the assignments given in that group was they were to ask someone, a loved one, to write a list for them of all the things they loved about them. Cindy asked me of course. I wrote this crazy list of deep and superficial things extending in to all the margins in a green marker type pen. Her therapist, who had to testify at the trial of Cindy’s killers, told me that she’d had them all read their lists out loud in the group. That Cindy was crying so hard she could barely get through it but the therapist kept encouraging her to read it and she did.
Can you possibly know how precious her sharing that with me was? And is now? That she was given that assignment and chose me to participate leaving me behind knowing she knew all of the ways I loved her before she died? In writing no less.
I look at that picture of those steps and it also conjures up a more recent memory having to do with John. In the Fall of 2011 I made my annual trek to Maine to the family cottage. My Dad had of course flown John in from Illinois where he was still living to join us. Having John on vacations, until recently, was a mixed bag for all of us. Sometimes he would function, much of the time he was completely consumed with symptoms and disruptive. I remember saying to my father before coming that year that I’d like for John to only be there for half of my trip that “I’d like a vacation not consumed with mental illness” for my own sanity. Now, with all that’s happened, I can’t imagine feeling that way as so much has changed in a short time, but it was the truth in 2011.
That year John was particularly symptomatic. That means he heard voices constantly, was totally paranoid, couldn’t engage in converation much and mostly sat and talked to his voices and chain smoked. Where his “smoking section” is is at the base of the steps in that photo. That vacation he had escalated so dramatically, yelling at us and filled with what’s called “religiosity” talking the Devil, Hell, etc., that my father and I took him to the Psychiatric Emergency room for a shot of Haldol. We talked about hospitalizing him. On our vacation. This is the reality of what we lived with for many years with John. What he lived with with himself.
I hit some kind of wall that year. I borrowed one of John’s cigarettes (well, I wasn’t intending to give it back) and went and sat on the front steps facing the ocean and decided to have a cigarette with Cindy. I sat there, by myself, smoking that cigarette and literally talked to her out loud. This was a huge breakthrough for me because even thinking of her at the cottage was excruciating even all those years later. The last place we were all together. It’s somehow easier to think of making new memories instead of resurrecting the old ones. At least it was then.
We smoked and we talked and I simply asked for her help dealing with John. That I was lost and I needed her to help me. I couldn’t do it alone and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I saw a future of care taking both him and our Dad as they both aged and had more needs. And I just never had anyone at my back. At least that’s how I felt being single and managing my own life alone for so long. I was born a middle child. I wasn’t supposed to be on the front lines.
I have to say I felt somewhat better after that smoke break.
Shortly thereafter I went looking for my Dad and walked out the back steps of the cottage, those steps we are sitting on in the photo, past John who was sitting on the landing smoking, talking to himself as usual. What happened when I walked past him again is where the stars started to align and where I got my first sign.
I noticed John sitting there turning something over and over in his hands. I sat down in the chair next to him and asked him “what’s that?”. What he was holding was a small decopauge plaque. One that Cindy had made in the 70’s, this being our “summer craft” that year. He showed it to me and what it said on the front that she had burned in to the wood with my Dad’s wood burning tool. Emblazoned in this plaque were the words “Take the Valid Choice” with a tiny flower burned next to the words. It had a sand dollar and shells glued to the front. Her initials and date was burned on the back. John kept repeating that phrase over and over “‘take the valid choice’, Kathy, isn’t that funny? Remember how she always used to say that?”.
Now this phrase had become a bit of a joke in our family. Our Dad, a Psychologist, would always turn decisions back on you when you asked for advice and ask questions back like “which do you think is the valid choice?”. It drove us nuts as we wanted him to just make a decision and tell us which way to go and he just never did that. So, probably Cindy, at one point blew out with exasperation something like “can you please just make the valid choice for me?”. It was hilarious so turned in to a family joke.
I asked John where he got that plaque and he replied “from that shelf above the kitchen door”. Now that shelf is high. It’s not something that would normally catch your eye. It’s something you’d have to be looking up to see. Moments after my smoke break with Cindy, John was drawn to look up to that shelf, reach up and take that plaque off and go outside with it and show it to me as I passed by.
I knew then and there that Cindy was in the equation. That she was with us. That she was going to help me. Help us.
Less than a year from that moment by John’s 50th birthday, he had disappeared, literally disappeared for weeks on end, not once but twice. Missing Person reports, police tracking him down and the whole nine yards. This was new behavior. Things were just getting worse.
After the second time I broke down on the phone with my father, bawling, telling him I just couldn’t handle it. I didn’t know how to manage him, how to deal with this and have my own life at the same time.
And what my father replied truly shocked me. He told me I was entitled to my own life and that he thought I needed to let my brother go. That he could see the pain this was causing me and that John had to wind his way through this life and if this was the way it was happening for him, I had permission to detach. To let him go.
I just broke down that night. Tears in to my sleep.
And woke up the next morning and called my Dad and said “thank you for the permission Dad but it’s me we’re talking about here. I can’t do that”.
And then the world opened up for Alfonse. I got the instructions of what to do and followed them. He was escorted back in to life by a team of angels who guided me and my decisions/actions every step of the way, who gave him his life back. I listened. I took the “valid choice” which really was the only choice and have been guided by them, by Cindy, by our mother, ever since. More of that story to come later.
Just say that John is beating all the odds and is recovering from Schizophrenia in some kind of “waking up from a coma” sort of way.
And anyone witnessing it is fortunate to know that miracles truly are available on this planet. And when I say anyone, I mean, especially me.