Body and Mind: Taking a Break

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post that my son Tim is in long-term residential treatment. He was admitted last August, and right now, his estimated discharge date is sometime during the summer of 2011. It’s incomprehensible to me that he will be gone from our home that long. I can only digest it in chunks of weeks, thinking only to the next day visit up, or his next overnight visit home. Tim understands why he’s there and what he’s working on while he’s there, but since he’s learning skills as well as being educated, Tim calls his dorm and class and therapy – the entire facility – his ‘school’. I think it helps all of us to think of it in those terms.

During Spring break, Tim came home for an entire week. It was the third – and the longest – visit home since he went to ‘school’. The first was three days of unbridled psychosis that left us all emotionally spent. The second was five days over Christmas in which Tim tried so hard to hold it together that he completely lost it within hours of returning, raging and pacing for days. This time we had seven days that Tom and I engineered to be low anxiety and no stress. We were doing well – nights of shopping for new clothes and watching videos, days fishing and cooking with Tom. Then our plans were shot all to hell on the final day by the one stressor we didn’t anticipate – Tim’s inner conflict between staying home and returning to school.

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