Echos of My Neighbourhood: Support Through the Good and The Bad — Family.


University Graduation May 2007
 
It’s difficult for me to believe I graduated from university nine-years ago. That it will be a decade in 2017 blows my mind. These are my Dad and my Mom with me in the photograph, and I have to say I would have never made it to graduation, or in the years post graduation without my parents. 

It was a funny thing, when I first became ill and had to go in hospital in 2009, I wasn’t thinking straight, but the only thing which got me through the long days in the hospital was that my parents were going to come visit me at 5:30 pm. The entire three-weeks I was in the hospital, they came every night and stayed until visiting hours were over at 8:00 pm.

 My Dad would come first and he would read to me and play cribbage with me. I have always loved how my Dad’s voice sounded when he read a book outloud. I remember him reading devotions to my brothers and I when we were small kids. The boo my Dad read to me was called A Thousand Splendid Suns. It was an excellent book but at the sametime it terrified me because in my mind, my own situation related to one of the woman characters. All through the first week at the hospital I was still delusional, but my parents never let me down. 

Christmas Family Photography with Grandma, my brothers, and Dad.

I think I would have cried had my parents not come to the hospital one day, even when my thinking became clear and organized in the second week after I started taking a medication which almost immediately stopped my delusions. I learned later, how tiring it was for my parents to work all day and visit me in hospital each night. On weekends I had a pass to come home, and it must have been a relief to them to relax a bit. When I was able to be in my own bed I felt safe again. In the hospital before I was on the correct medication to stop my delusions, I believed I was in a sort of Hell and that you couldn’t have parents in Hell, so eventually I was going to lose my parents. 

Then the medications started working. My delusions went away. I wasn’t scared to be at the hospital anymore. But I still counted down the hours until my parents came. While I healed initially at home, I became much closer with my family. My Godparents, my Great-Grandma Reeder, My Grandma Eifert, and even my brothers, I realized I’d been neglecting. I hugged my brothers when I first came home and saw them. I don’t recall hugging them before that except when I was a child. I think they were both embarrassed but they both patted my back.

Before my episode, I was wrapped up in work and my social life. I had responsibilities at work which would have continued to grow and turn into not only a full work day but networking events at night during the week and weekends. I would have had ” a career,” but I doubt now I would have loved it.

It would have been fun I think but I’m glad life didn’t go that way. I learned to value my family so much more. My parents have let me stay at home while I have been healing for eight-years and they charge me little rent so I can save money and pay off my debts. My Mom drives me to places often. We do things together and Mom takes me to get a blood test every week and to pick-up some necessities at the local drugstore or the mall. I have gone on vacations with both my parents to Las Vegas and Phoenix. I have gone on a couple of trips with only my Mom and one with by brother N. 

 

Christmas Family. Photograph with Grandma, my Brothers, and Mom.
 
I have learned from my experiences in the past, you can depend on your family and that they will love and support you through good and bad times. At some point when I’m a bit more able to be independent, I will move out. I wonder what I will do without my Mom at night and weekends to talk to and make plans with. I wonder who I will talk to about sports with when my Dad and I don’t live in the same house. I wonder, but I know even when I am on my own, I will have the support of my family.

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Thanks to Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for hosting Echos of My Neighbourhood each Thursday.

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