Greetings on this fine day! I recently decided there was more about me that I needed to share on my About page, so I recently edited it so any newcomers that arrive at my madhouse can get a better, more accurate description of myself and where I’m heading…
You see, schizophrenia, and most mental illnesses in general are not like your typical sickness. Say you are blowing your nose and yellow crap comes out. Gee, that looks like you could have a sinus infection you say; you quickly pick up the cell phone and make an appointment to see your family doctor.
Or, say that the doctor is drawing up some blood for lab testing and sees your A1C is through the roof…Great, now you are declared diabetic and need medicine for that. So you pray feverishly that it’s not too bad and you will only have to pop pills and not give yourself any shots.
Schizophrenia, on the other hand, isn’t typically diagnosed until you’ve done gone over the edge of sanity and done something totally crazy. For some, that could mean running outside butt naked; for others, it could be driving your car without any glasses for the voices in your head say you don’t need them anymore; for others, they start to believe they are Jesus reincarnated to repopulate the earth and they kidnap young teenagers, raping them and thinking it is all divinely inspired…
You hear about the worse case scenarios all the time in the news…what you don’t hear is the ones that simply loose interest in life, or become homeless because they simply can’t function “normally” anymore with the daily pressures of life. Generally speaking, family and friends are the ones to notice first; however, one of the early warning signs is withdrawal and as a result, there generally aren’t too many family and friends around to be noticing any changes.
Lately, say within the past ten years, a lot of research has been done on what this period of time is called “prodromal schizophrenia.” The doctors of this world are trying their best to pinpoint just what kind of symptoms occur before the psychosis, or complete break from reality in the general population of whatever particular society you live in.
For some parts of the world, getting only 3 or 4 hours of sleep at night is “normal”; as well as, falling into a trance-like state and speaking in tongues (that is considered “praying” in some communities). Yet with schizophrenia here in the United States, speaking in tongues outside of a religious setting is a symptom of schizophrenia called glossolalia.
That happened to me a few nights before my son died. I had been exposed to this “gift of the Holy Spirit” as a child when my family attended protestant churches. This is part of the reason why I felt like I was being led by God throughout my entire psychosis. I started speaking in tongues…when I did that in front of my daughter’s father (a full-blood Native American), he immediately told me I was possessed by the Devil and came over to my house and “smudged” it with I want to say sweet sage, but I’m really not sure…
Unfortunately, it didn’t work for three days later, I ended up in jail for drowning my five-year-old son in the bathtub. There were many warning signs in my case; however, like a lot of people with mental illnesses, I had started to withdraw from people and live in my own “little world.” My parents and sister lived in a different part of the state, I was attending college, but was on break at the time (in between semesters), and I was thoroughly enjoying my time as a loving mother to my children.
I was all about arts and crafts with my son…finger painting, crayolas, markers, colored pencils, watercolors, you name it…we also spent time doing puzzles, watching Barney, and I read books to him as well. (Pocahontas was one of his favorites.) Then when his baby sister came, he had just turned five…
He would help with the diaper changing and I took lots of pictures with my “fancy” new camera. He was such a proud older brother. I even took my two children out to the mountains to hike…I simply carried my daughter in my arms and if she got hungry, I’d breast feed her in public. I was proud.
I spent many years torturing myself as to why did this tragedy occurred to me? What did I do so terribly wrong? Was karma coming back to bite me in my rear? I finally have learned acceptance by not asking why anymore…instead, I asked myself, what have I learned and what can I do with this knowledge.
My gift to you all is my story. Insight into the murky world of schizophrenia and psychosis. How the label, “criminally insane,” doesn’t have to be a dark cloud hanging over your head. None of us ever said: Gee, when I grow up I want to be crazy and kill my kid. None of us asked for a chemically imbalanced brain, and it’s a hell I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
Well, I feel like I have talked enough for one morning. Hope this page gives the reader a bit more insight into the term “insanity.”