He's been here for three weeks. My eldest son. My werewolf child.
Yeah, I know...it's not nice to label people. Especially your kids. But, after 21 years of interactions, I think it's pretty safe to say that he is, without doubt...somewhat of a werewolf. It's the bipolar. I never know who he will be. Sensitive and needy. Aggressive and confrontational. Grandiose and manic. Depressed and Sleepy. It's all the same kid. The same...adult.
He has been staying here. Each week gets a little more...uh...tense.
It's the full moon tonight.
I remember, back when he was small...wondering if the moon was somehow connected to the fits of rage. The defiance. The...look.
His looks change.
He doesn't sprout whiskers and claws...his teeth don't show fangs...He doesn't morph into a creature of horrific proportions. But...he looks different. His sea blue eyes start to grey. His sparkle fades. His back stiffens. His walk gets heavier. And...his mood....is scary.
I remember my father looking like that. I remember being afraid.
It's hard to look at the 21 year old that came from my body...and see someone I'm afraid of.
He won't take medication.
And, at 21...I can't make him.
No one can make him.
I'm 37 weeks pregnant. Struggling to maintain some sense of peace within. Fighting the worry that comes from pregnancy after horrific loss. Trying to nest. Trying to smile.
Trying to give my family the sense that everything will be just fine.
Even though I can't know such a thing.
No one can.
Ferdinand has started growling when my eldest comes into the room. He senses that I don't feel safe right now. He doesn't trust the tall, slender young man with the steely grey eyes. He licks my tears away and tries to comfort me.
This isn't how I imagined preparation for my little girl would be.
If anyone wonders why it is that I no longer put up with ANY crap anymore...they need only look at my eldest son. Maybe then they will understand. After 21 years of being obligated to understand beyond reason, after 21 years of bending so far backward I feel as if my spine should have snapped long ago, after 21 years of crying in helpless horror as a mental illness raced through my happy home causing pain, sorrow, and the stuttering of young children....I have NOTHING left to give anyone who exhibits aggressiveness, hostility, poor communication skills, and a lack of empathy. I have NOTHING left in my being for abusive behaviors, carelessness of spirit, or just plain...sloppiness of soul. I've given it all to my son. The son who, though loved deeply, has literally sucked me dry.
He reminds me of my father. Of my mother. Of the mental illness that drips through my family.
He is all I can handle...and even that is too much.
My other children...they've been blessed. Spared. They don't deal with the same thread that runs through my ancestors. My eldest got it all. My younger children...they know what mental illness looks like because of him. And, they want nothing more to do with it.
But, he is my son.
22 years ago, a foolish, sad girl of 15 stopped saying "No"...because she felt there was no longer any point. 22 years ago...she was given a task that others would have crumbled under.
22 years ago...it's been 22 years.
And still. . .I am crying over it.
Crying when I should be breathing. Crying when I should be smiling.
We were so...relieved...that our daughter would be born into a house where he was no longer living.
And then..he came back.
It all seemed fine at first. At first.
I am 37 weeks. My daughter is healthy. We both are. Alive. We both are.
And though I am ever so anxious to know she will be born safely...to know she is HERE to stay...
Please. Be safe. Be patient. Be safe. Be mentally sound...please.