The Case of a Lost Friend

Monday, 23 June 2008, 2:55 pm  

The Case of a Lost Friend

AMY THREW ME AWAY. I’m surprised, lost, scared, and angry. I placed a great deal of trust and faith in her while I was in a fragile state- which was a mistake that I vow to never make again. We lived together for a few months until a few days ago. Before moving in with her, I was living at home after having just graduated. I was looking to move away from home because the environment there was unhealthy at best. My parents had just recently “divorced.” My dad was in the process of moving out of the house and into his own apartment. I helped him move. Moreover, he was just starting a new career as a truck driver. Prior to moving into his new apartment; he went away for a few months to Tennessee, to learn how to drive trucks. During this time and for the past two years or so, my mom had been displaying signs of Schizophrenia. These signs were largely over looked and its only after I moved back home that I experienced the reality check of a life time.

While living at home, it was just her and I. I spent my time looking for work. I bounced my way through a sequence of three different jobs. My mom spent a lot of time outside of the house driving around. She claimed that she was job searching; but in reality, she was probably just driving around trying to escape the voices in her head. I actually went on one of these rides… 

Shortly after 8:00 pm she told me that the house was going to collapse and that we needed to leave. I was laying on my bed listening to music (The Boo Radleys’ Giant Steps). I asked questions although she was emotionless and unresponsive; anyway, I got my things together and got in the car with her. I looked over. She was low on gas and I knew that she had no money. With no set destination, we pulled out of the drive way and on to the road. I again asked questions but received no answers. Eventually, we pulled into a gas station where she parked and then, without warning, she  proceeded to break down; crying and banging her fists against the steering wheel. She told me that she hears voices in her head that sound like a repeating tape of voices that give warnings of a negative nature, telling tales of conspiracy and tragic events about to happen. I tried to comfort her. I tried to hug her- I wrapped my arms around her as hard as I could to restrain her from moving all the while reminding her that I loved her; but, she remained broken- unresponsive to my attempts and still hysterical. My mom eventually regained her composer and ventured back into her emotionless state. Thankful that she was stable again- I gave her the twenty dollars that I had in my wallet which was all I had for the next week and a half. She put gas in the car and we drove off. I asked more questions be never received answers. I just sat there going from one technique to the next in an attempt to wake her from her catatonic state. I tried to empathized and advise. I tried to evoke emotional guilt by telling her how her actions were hurting me. I yelled at her in an attempt at tough love but nothing could break her ice cold emotional state- a state that could be brought upon by nothing other than a disease significantly affecting her brain. 

We drove on dark country roads until we ran low on gas and had to come back home. We arrived back at the house around 1:00 am and I immediately went to my room and I laid back down on my bed- my mind was racing and scared. Hours later, I awoke to the sound of my mom talking loudly to herself a floor below. She eventually made her way upstairs. She came into my room around 3:00 or 4:00 am and told the same collapsing house story. I again followed her outside and got in the car. This time we drove around Wilkes-Barre, PA. We passed the hospital several times and my mom threatened to admit herself with each passing and I encouraged her to do so; but, she never did. We drove around aimlessly with what little gas remained trying to decide on a safe alternative to home; but, in reality there was none… and its not like we had the resources to get to such a place if it existed. We returned back home an hour or two later. By this time my mom had worn herself out and upon entering the house, she headed for the couch in the living room where she finally decided to lay down and sleep.            

The above is just one of the MANY episodes that I experienced while living at home with my mom. Now its fairly obvious that she has the brain disease know as Schizophrenia; but, until one or two months ago, no one could have guessed it. After all, she’s an intelligent woman in her mid-forties. Such a late onset, even for women, is rare or at least that’s according to the literature that I’ve read. 

Discovering that my mom has a brain disease hit me with such surprise and sorrow that the great surprise and sorrow that I felt years ago as a kid, upon first discovering that the American dream was nothing more than an ideological scam to enslave the American population- now seems minuscule. At least the fallacious nature of the American dream makes itself readily available to those willing to see. My mom’s disease showed up late to class and without warning. Moreover, while the sick ideological trappings of the American dream have the potential to become less trapping and more liberalizing through systematic political and economic reform, my mom’s prognosis seems less optimistic. SURPRISE AND SORROW… two words that characterize the relations that my mother, father, and I shared for the last several months. Who could have foreseen the extension of those relational characteristics to my former best friend?


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