Do You Have To Breathe So Loud!


The Trouble with Schizophrenia

The quick and precise answer is – no one, neither nurses, doctors, attorneys, psychiatrists, nor psychologists (psychiatrists and psychologists seemed to care the least, all were dollar needy) know the real cause.  I included attorneys in that group because they are really in the dark when trying to defend a person with that disability.

Nurses are the most compassionate, however; I am not speaking of all only some.  Many nurses are like the public – myself included – who see the violent schizoid as an evil person.  I mean, who could swear up and down at their own mother and hit her with a closed fist and knock her to the floor?  I’ve seen that; I’ve lived with a schizophrenic  (my brother) who did that.  He had the entire family afraid to make a noise (noises such as breathing, walking, no blowing of noses or accidental burps lest you be labeled a “fucking pig”) the list included nearly anything that he could hear.

Mom once said, “I can’t stand it!  It’s like living in a morgue.” 

And truth be told, it was exactly like that; nobody made a sound.  Except in a morgue you wouldn’t need to worry about getting beat-up.  Neither me nor my brother’s or sister’s dared make a sound when he was around.  I often thought that he sensed our fear and that only served to make things worse.  Though, that wasn’t it because I tried being noisy around him too and that was actually worse.   He would then mimic everything said and every movement made until you did something to really annoy him.  It was like living with a breathing, mimicking time bomb that could go off at the biting of a cracker, even though you bit on it as softly as possible and tried to make only one swallow. Nobody knew how to deal with him; and he never allowed anybody close enough to talk to him.  

His name is John by the way and my name is Jim.  He and I shared a bedroom until he moved out and got married at age 18, but my childhood was not a happy one.  I used to lie in bed afraid to rollover because (that would rustle the covers) it would be too noisy for him to deal with, humph; my breathing even got him going.  He yelled at me more than one time, “Why do you have to breath so loud?” My breathing pattern was normal, but then he’d fling a shoe or whatever was close to him at my head to silence me. In turn another fight would erupt.

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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