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Missing Pieces: Garrett's Journey of Finding Light and Pushing back the Shadow

I never thought I would be writing a blog series about my son Garrett is this manner. Garrett has suffered a psychic blow and is very sick. Mental illness runs in the family and it has blown a hole in his mind. This blog series are my raw reactions, responses, and feelings after each nightly visit. It is my therapy, my coping mechanism to find a way for myself to be healthy enough for my husband and my 8 other children. I have created this based on the questions that many people have about Garrett. I wanted to answers them here....or at least show you what is happening.

March 2, 2018

Morning rush! All up at 5:30: first group out the door to seminary by 5:40am , next group up to wash/bathe by 5:50, final group to get up and start routines 5:55am. Following breakfasts, teeth brush, finding all the shoes and backpacks (an yes they all have an assigned place and we still struggle with it) the timing looks like: 6:40 bus, 6:45 leave to work, 6:48 back from Seminary, 7:10 off to school. The morning race is on, but the cogs and wheels that are all turning are all very complex and if one drops out then the crash will have impact on the others. Friday morning, the crash of the timing happened my seminary group did not return home on time. That means it falls to me to pick up.

I race over and find all have left. I text his teacher and she says that he is trying to tell her something, and she is not understanding what he is trying to talk to her about. 3 minutes pass, 6 minutes pass, the clock is ticking and the traffic is filling up on I-35 with each passing moment. I must be on time to work....why isn't he coming out? I throw the van in park and march towards the door. My only thoughts are about how late I am and what I'm going to do to keep to the schedule--nothing about what could be wrong.

As I approach the porch, they (teacher and Garrett) begin walking outside. He is intense, he is demanding that she look at him. It's 6:55am. He is repeating and repeating questions; I try to catch her eye and she flashes her eyes back as if to say, "it's been a long one." I distract him and help him get into the car. He is quiet, he is tense, he is a little shaky. It is 7:02am. I tell him to please eat when I drop him off. He looks very concerned and says ok.

I drop him off 7:11am, and off I race to work.

The morning scene was strange, it was intense, it was unusual for Garrett to be so upset in the morning. I log that away and get on with the day. Later that when we are all home from work and school, I see more of that intensity, not less. I approach to touch him and he cowards away. I flush the little kids out of his room to give him some peace.

My mind is racing to find ways to help him cope: distractions, minimize the interactions with demands, let him rest. He complains later of a migraine headache and I feel at ease thinking that it is just a headache. I can work with this....and I get the long night routine into motion...7:30pm by the time the last little one is down it is 11:43pm. I collapse into bed.

My rest is fitful. I hear noises like giants are walking above me. I shoot awake. 1:38am. I find Garrett pacing upstairs, growling, panting, huffing. He doesn't see me, so I just listen....kill the bad, kill the bad, kill the is all that he is's rhythmic. It is soothing, it is his self-talk....Why is he saying this?

He screams to a stop when he notices me. He sobs, "please forgive me! please forgive me!" I hold him and promise it will be fine. I give him more night vitamins and hold him until he seems to relax. I tell him it is time for bed. He gets in, and in the dreamy darkness I hope that he will slip into some sleep. Sleep...I lay on my daughters bed just in case Garrett needs me, and I pray and pray for the heavy sleep to come for him. I repeat it again and again. It does, but it lands on me....Garrett did not sleep that night. Friday March 2 is over and he has been awake for 24 hours--the weekend has only just begun.

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