Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Mental Health - Fragments of a Care Giver's diary

We are hosting a day on Mental Health to support people like this Care Giver. These are actual diary entries of my friend's father, when my friend battled psychotic episodes.

“I felt all was up with us, and then she suddenly perked up after tea (which I had to encourage down, by directing every mouthful). We went into long, long talks. Mostly about grace. She really thinks she has blown it with God & condemned for ever. I told her that there was nothing that she could do or be that would cause God to love her less. I realised with inner tears that the same was true for my love to her. (I only allowed myself to cry once in her presence, and it distressed her a lot, so I confine my sobs to silent ones in the bathroom, when I was allowed in there)”

“At some point in one of her more lucid moments today I tell her that she has confused her academic examinations with her moral and spiritual responsibility. That is, she is re-living an examination in her brain. All of life is a test.

“Cold, frosty night. I have to get away, I can’t stand it anymore. A friend agrees to cover me for a couple of hours. I drive off in the Punto and park at the side of the road in Pepper Lane. I sit for two hours in the freezing cold. Nowhere to go, can’t talk to anyone. Not interested in anything. Can’t cope. Too painful.”

“She’s gone, and I can’t get her back & as I write, the tears fall on the bed sheet. I must now develop ways of forgetting the daughter I once knew”.

“I sat outside the hospital doing telephone battle with social services, psychiatrists, their consultant, currying help from the GP and our consultant, while my faithful friend, bless him, who had given up his day to join with me in trauma sat in the passenger seat and tracked every transaction to make sure I made the right decisions.”

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