It was pretty difficult not to think of Paul constantly. Looking into people's eyes. How do you look at someone without making eye contact? Well I guess if you have autism that may not be that difficult.
How can someone inflict so much pain on themselves? Would he ever hurt my mom or myself? Crazy!
Schizophrenia is a terrible disease. The delusions...thinking he was God. The voices...someone is trying to poison you. I had never heard much about schizophrenia but I did know that what we were dealing with was not normal.
In retrospect I am really amazed that I didn't look for a teen help line or for some help for Paul prior to the eye incident. Maybe we could have saved him from himself. But sadly, unless Paul was suicidal or threatening self-harm or threatening to hurt us, he likely wouldn't have been admitted anyways. Sadly, the care for the mentally ill is quite poor. The number of hospital beds available are far less than the demand for them.
At least with thyroid disease there is a pill to take. For diabetes insulin, pills and diet changes. People understand the diet changes but with mental illness, people have a harder time separating the disease from the person. I too struggle with separating Paul from the schizophrenia but he was acutely ill.
I just look at Paul's life and I feel sadness. I feel sad about the affect schizophrenia had on our family's life.
Again, I wish I had a time line for how long Paul was in the hospital. I was kind of off and on with journaling in my teen years. One day I left my journal out and my mom read it so I started to write things in ways that someone else couldn't understand. I was so successful that I cannot even understand what I had been writing about leaving out key words. I always thought I would totally understand what I was writing about. Unfortunately that is not the case.