Monday, June 24, 2013 6:11 AM I was out of the house only once
The Three H’s and a T have arrived. The air is unbearable.
Hazy, Hot, Humid and A Thunderstorm.
High should be around 90 degrees.
As my siblings and I face the daily challenges of managing the care of our brother, we are presented with a moral dilemma.
Although Adam, as a young man, was very bright, he had physical and psychological problems which hindered his chances of leading a healthy, happy and productive life.
When he was still at an age where he could have and should have been helped, the stigma attached to mental illness was prevalent. It was something to be whispered about or worse, completely ignored.
My parents certainly could not accept that their son was mentally ill. They preferred to believe that he would mature and eventually out grow his temper tantrums and unusual behaviors.
While in today’s world awareness regarding mental health has risen, I believe that wariness towards those who are mentally ill is still prevalent.
In addition to Adam’s physical and mental issues, he is also an addict.
What we struggle with is where to draw the line regarding which decisions he could make for himself and which ones should be made for him, for his safety and well being.
Since he is quite capable of communicating what he wants and what he doesn’t, it creates a dilemma for us.
Do we have the right to decide what is best for him? We certainly have not led the life he has. But, just as we had the right to make our own life choices, he also had to right to and did make his own choices.
Now we have told him that after 25 years of living on his own, he can no longer do that.
He pleads with us to let him go home. We try to convince him that he would not be able to take care of himself. He doesn’t understand and tells us that he always took care of himself before. “Why is it different now?” He wants to know.
While we know that he probably will never be able to go “home” again, we don’t know how to tell him this. Instead we tell him that he needs to follow his doctor’s instructions so that he will get stronger.
I am sure he interprets this to mean that if he does get stronger he will be able to leave the 24/7 care facility where he currently resides.
I’m afraid that he will leave one day. I can only hope that when he does leave, he finds a“home” where his tortured soul will finally find peace.