“You walk around oblivious to everyone
I see you walking slow and simple
underneath the big black sun.
Tell me why you want to be blind?
I don’t want to be normal like you”
“Don’t fuck with me, Mary”
Says my sweet, loving mother…right after she get done all but kicking me and Trinity out of her house.
This is what I get for visiting.
This is what I get for caring about whether or not she is sane.
Whether or not she is going to be found running naked down the street, attempting to cut off her foot, or trying to strangle her case worker with a telephone cord.
There is a reason most schizophrenics only live until their forties. Drugs, overdose, accidental death. All things that we have been able to intercept- my father, my siblings…my aunt and my cousins.
My mother’s illness is like the sun. We have spent almost thirty years in her orbit…cautiously observing her behavior, waiting for the crisis, waiting to intervene.
I have done everything I could. I have chased her down, called the police, physically restrained her for hours before watching her be hog-tied and placed into the back of a cop car.
I have counted medication, been to psychiatrist appointments, filled out insurance paperwork. I have met with more case workers than I can count, waited in lobbies to demand time with administrators. I have been to court, I have been to UPC, I have filed petitions, I have memorized every medication- dosage, frequency. I have the crisis number memorized, I recognize faces of the Terros team. I know which anti-psychotics she needs, which ones she hates. I know which mood stabilizers cause her side effects, I know the medication she takes to lessen the side effects from the psychiatric meds.
I know all the signs and symptoms of her decomp. I have memorized the right things to say in a PAD petition. I know the visiting hours of most mental hospitals in the valley. I have visited her EVERY SINGLE DAY during EVERY LAST BREAKDOWN in the last five years.
And I am the enemy when she is sick.
And I am tired.