Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Sep 23, 2010

Parenting without a net...

My son is 22 and today he came in the house and asked, "Mom can I go with Derek to get ice cream?"  Derek is our next door neighbor and friend.  What struck me is that he was asking permission; not informing me that he was going somewhere, as a courtesy.  My son does need more assistance than the average young adult, but he does not need permission to go somewhere.  I admit I do not always know what kind or how much support he needs in a given situation.  In fact, the kind and amount of support or assistance he needs fluctuates depending upon the task, complexity, and his variable functional capacity.  Thus, is not always easy to determine, there is no science to it.  It is really a combination of experience, respectful communication and sometimes, a liberal dose of what I hope to be intuitive guess work.

He has reached a level of recovery that no one gave me hope for when he was a teenager.  I am grateful that I did not believe the dire predictions:  that he would never be able to be left "unattended," he would never be able to cook for himself, he would not be able to do his own laundry.  My son is able to do these things and so much more.  His limitations are due to ill effects of medication and lack of experience.  My goal is to not be a limiting force in his life.  To be a source of encouragement and assistance when necessary, with my son determining  when and what is necessary.  It is not easy.  Mostly because of my own preconceived notions, and attitudes.  What makes it easier is his attitude.

After writing the previous two paragraphs I asked Isaac if he thought he needed permission to do things--he said he hadn't thought about it.   I am certain part of the reason he hasn't is that his needs and wants are simple.  Now I wonder is this another instance of me seeing an issue that is not really an issue?   He is happy, and that is obvious.

I can not help but be sad though.  My sadness is for myself, it is grief of a loss of what was or could have been--had our lives been other than what they have been.   A loss of  how my son would have matured, if he had a "normal" childhood and had not grown up in institutions.  He would have known it was ok to go somewhere without asking if it was ok with mom.


Unknown said...

I know this message is past its due date, but just want to add that my son always asks for permission, and he did not grow up in an institution. I used to say he asked permission to breathe the air. My thinking is that he is not a risk taker, never has been, and has always been afraid of my reaction if he just "went for it." This could be learned behavior on your son's part, not associated with the institution.

Unknown said...

This is too informal to have due dates for comments, Rossa. The reality is that Isaac asks and it is something he will do until and unless he no longer finds it necessary. I am just grateful that he continues to improve and that I get to witness his growth. He is in many ways much wiser than me. It is a struggle for me sometimes to remember that my main duty, if you will, is to not stand in his way!


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