A Flip of the Mood Switch

I planned to post The Transcendent Familiar Part 4 on Sunday. Really, I did. Why isn’t it up yet? Two reasons.

First, I was struggling with how to tell the next part of the story because I didn’t understand it until yesterday. WHY did I date, marry, and have two children with a man who was so vastly, devastatingly wrong for me (and I for him, though that’s his part of the story)? I know the answer now, but that answer stings, so writing the story is mostly the opposite of fun.

But write it I will because that’s how I arrange my experiences – not with lists, not with equations or pictures. Narrative structure is the only structure that makes my world – my life – coherent.

Second, Carter is symptomatic. He said today that they (meaning “the little guys,” which is what he calls his hallucinations) made a deal where they wouldn’t scare him if he did what they said, namely saying hurtful things to his great-grandma (terrible especially because he feels quite protective of his grammy). I didn’t know anything about the terrible battle Carter was waging (though I could see he was very anxious and irritable) until after we were in the car and away from his great-grandma. His terror over the little guys scaring him as punishment for not doing what they told him to do…aye de mi. What a little, little boy to be fighting such a large battle.

He drew a picture on the sidewalk for his family, a love note to his dad and me, his siblings, and his grandparents. He was furious and ashamed that he had made some mistakes in his drawing, and we couldn’t talk him into believing that we loved the picture, mistakes and all. Turns out, his little guys were climbing up his ass, scolding him for not doing it right and taunting him with threats of fear.

Honestly, the bullying I experienced was bad, but this shit? This is bullies right in his own skull. When he’s having lots of trouble like this he sleeps poorly, calls out or cries in his sleep frequently, walks in his sleep, and wakes often. He can’t even get a break when he’s sleeping!

So, my story is coming, but at the moment, Carter needs my attention. I watched him ricochet today from a mixed state (the misery of depression and the misery of mania, experienced simultaneously) for most of the afternoon, to euphoria in the early evening, to mildly depressed after dinner, and every time the mood changes it changes like somebody flipped a switch.

Honestly, even though Carter’s diagnosis is no longer new, it still surprises me to see him change so dramatically, and instantly.

And so, if you are a sayer-of-prayers, we welcome some of those on our behalf. Carter is sleeping now and I can hear him moaning, talking, and just being restless in general in his bed. I want nothing in the world so much as I want that child to have quiet in his skull so he can get on with the business of being an 8 year old kid.

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25 thoughts on “A Flip of the Mood Switch”

  1. The reason I don’t drink much more than 2 drinks is because of the little guys that go hog wild on me if I am that loose. So, while I don’t have all of that, I feel a teeny corner. And at 8, that really, really, really blows. It is already tricky enough being 8.

    So … while I am not a praying person, I am sending you all of the best thoughts I can, and the (((((((HUGS))))))) too.

  2. Oh Adrienne, how frustrating and scary and heart-wrenching to see your little guy like this. My heart breaks for him and for you. I wish you lots of strength & luck – I hope the sympsomts quickly subside again.

  3. I don’t know too many adults that could process that level of bullying. Your son’s age is just that much harder. I am so sorry that Carter is having such a hard time lately. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    I wish Carter did not have the hallucinations but, since he does, I am glad he can express them to you. Best wishes for more peace in your house.

  4. Oh I have no idea what it’s like to be the caregiver of someone with a mental illness…I often ask my husband what it’s like. I suffered with postpartum depression that shoved me into bipolar 2. I became very combative and mean…know that this isn’t us…it’s the illness. Your son loves you and you are an amazing mother.
    Sending love and hugs your way.

  5. Big hugs for you from me. He is so lucky to have such a wonderful mom that he feels comfortable enough to share that with. Hope he is soon back on a more even keel so he can just be 8.

  6. I hope it helps you to know that you and Carter are not only in my prayers, but in my thoughts as well. You are loved, unconditionally. I’m sorry writing part 4 will suck so much, but you don’t need me to tell you that the self examination it takes to do that stuff is so very very good for your soul.

  7. I feel like a stranger to the blogging world these days. I have taken a break from my own blog, but I am still here – reading the brave words that so many of you continue to write. I sit silently most of the time – but today I wanted to break the silence and tell you that I am sorry to hear of Carter’s troubles. I also wanted to thank you for leading me to the book “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”. I read it recently because of a post that you wrote some time ago… Thank you. It was an amazing look into a world that I would have otherwise never been able to see.

    I will say prayers for Carter. I will say prayers for you… Hugs to each of you!

  8. I will pray, because I cannot imagine.

    My son is 8, and Ican’t imagine him not being able to just be a happy, little boy.

    I can’t even think of how that would do me in..but, yet, I can’t let it.

  9. When my son was deeply troubled, experiencing unkown things from his mind, and severely anxious and incapable of steady sleep, I would sleep with him, for his comfort and mine. Such terrible nights, my son wrapped in my arms, waiting for the day and praying it would not get worse. I send you my love and prayers.

    I wish I could help.


  10. Oh gosh, I don’t even know what to say. I can’t even imagine having to go through that as an adult, let alone as a child. You are strong, Adrienne, and so is Carter. Stronger than most.

  11. hush, little guys. give carter a break. he houses you, so how about instead of scaring & forcing, you make your presence through letting him rest & have a little fun? we would all be very grateful.

    prayers & positives, adrienne.

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