Independence Day

I dropped Chris off at his new apartment a few days ago where he’d stay for a couple of nights as he eases his way into full time independent living. He’d spent his first night there the week before. It didn’t all go as smoothly as I had hoped. Chris was in a foul mood, alternately blaming me for pushing him out the door at the last minute without adequate time to collect his thoughts or his belongings while giving all the impression of being eager to put as much distance between me and him as possible.

Dumping him at the apartment Saturday morning along with groceries for the week-end and then beating a hasty retreat after a shouting match about finding his door keys and his phone so that he could communicate with the outside world was not the way I had envisioned this auspicious day. In my mind I imagined warmly embracing him, both of us perhaps shedding a tear, and agreeing this day was long overdue.

I returned to the apartment a few hours later bearing the previous night’s dinner he could warm up. I saw that the groceries were still in their bags, the bed was unmade, and he had not managed to find his phone. We got into my car and drive back to my house (no longer his house) and ransacked the place looking for the phone which was nowhere to be found. I drove him back to his place and left him there to survive another night and day on his own. I’ll be there for Sunday night dinner, I promised. Pour a bottle of root beer over the pork and then plug in the crockpot for eight hours. That’s all you have to do.

Sunday night dinner was delicious and when I arrived, the place was spotless. Social services will eventually supply him with a house mate, but for the time being he is on his own.

He’ll make it work.

19 thoughts on “Independence Day”

  1. Rossa, if I had one, I would send you a red badge of courage. The love you have for your son is higher than any mountain on Earth.

    Warmest of regards,


      1. My dear Rossa: thinking further about your journey with your beloved son, I offer this wonderful quote I remember from a professor of mine when I was in my clinical psychology graduate school program:
        “If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.” Add to that “love conquers all”

  2. Rossa – congratulations to both of you!! You’ve been patient for so very many years, just keep it up awhile longer and I think you’ll be rewarded. Some day our children have to get along without us, and we’re doing them no favor by delaying the day too long. He’s so very lucky to have you for a mom!

    Mary Newton

    1. It’s been my hope for so long I was beginning to think I’d never see the day. Chris still has a ways to go, but his progress may accelerate now that he’s being forced to think and act on his feet. It can happen to your son, too, Christine.

      1. I sure hope so. My son was a high achiever in high school and when he went to college his cognitive issues that he was able to deal with in high school ended up causing things to fall apart. He became catatonic which was very scary.

        1. Hi Christine… my son is 32 and seems to be catatonic. He needs help to eat, shower etc. No treatment has appeared to help thus far. What helped your son?

    1. Hi, Sheela, Neurofeedback holds out a lot of promise, but the proof will be in the pudding, as they say. So far, Chris has had six sessions, and he has fourteen more to go. Will I see cognitive changes for the better? I hope so. The confounding factor is that these things never work in isolation. Moving out of the house into his own apartment may be the making of him and force him to take independent actions and use his judgement, all left brain activities of the prefrontal cortex. This is the area of his brain that the neurofeedback sessons are targetting, so if he responds well and becomes more “normal” to what will we attribute the gains? Neurofeedback or living on this own? More likely a combination of both and also due to the program he is attending that is preparing him for paid employment. One thing that I expect to see is a healing of the trauma points in his prefrontal cortex that the neurofeedback brain mapping picked up. I don’t expect to do another post on neurofeedback until after Chris finishes the 20 sessions.

      1. Thanks Rossa,
        I’m curious too about the neurofeedback. My son was also diagnosed with schizophrenia and started neurofeedback, but only did a few sessions, so, yes, please let us know 😊

  3. Oh, huge congratulations, Rossa! My fingers are crossed! (This is already a week into Chris’ move and I hope things have gone as smoothly as possible.)

    1. Why thank you, Liz. All in all, it’s been okay. A few bumps so far, but it will get better. He is now quite determined that his mother refrain from interfering in his life. Nice that we’ve reached that point.

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