Saturday, April 20, 2013

Living with Mania

Friday, April 19

Living with Parrish is like having a bear at a picnic.  There are globs of jelly and bleu cheese dressing on the kitchen counter.  The floor is sticky with spilled juice, splatters of salsa and sweet tea, even honey.  There is the occasional spinach leaf.  He doesn’t notice.  It makes me crazy.

The sink is filled with dirty dishes, and when I ask him to put them in the dishwasher, he places them in a haphazard way that makes no sense and I rearrange them.  He is so manic that he doesn’t notice.  He listens to “Long Cool Woman” incessantly, then he changes to “Heard it in a Love Song” and wears it out, most of the time forgetting to use his ear buds.  He says the music helps reduce his mania, so I want him to listen, but I often have to stop what I am doing and remind him to turn it down or use his ear buds.  He is in a world all his own.  

He never sleeps more than a couple of hours at a time.  On Tuesday night, he woke me at 2:30 to present me with a bowl of ice cream.  Two hours later, he woke me asking for his morning medicine.  Wednesday night, he woke me to give me some chocolates.  Last night, he woke me three times to say he loves me.  

I am exhausted.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t lock my door because I don’t know.  Tonight it will be locked tight.

In order to save my clothes from running and fading, I have to run interference between P and the washing machine.  He forgets almost everything I say to him.  He offers to clean the kitchen, and when he is done, the stickiness remains.  Dried pizza sauce is still on the cooktop, and the counters and floor are smeared with the residue of the original mess.

P obsesses about his former girlfriend, unable to rise above her calling us “white trash.”  He perseverates ad finitum about the fact that she duped and dumped him.  He mailed her a copy of one of my IRA statements to prove to her that we have money!  I had to make several calls to make sure my accounts are safe.     

He is afraid to stay alone, afraid that someone will break in and hurt him.  He balls up his fists and says, “Nobody better ever try to hurt you, ever!”  I cannot reassure him that we are safe.

Just a while ago, when we were talking, or rather I was listening, Parrish said,

“I just want my life back.  The real Parrish was lost nearly 20 years ago, and I want my self back.  I want to be happy and not have these thoughts swirling in my head.  I can’t stand these hallucinations forever.  I need to go to the hospital and get all the shock treatments they will give me.  This mania makes me feel like Superman for a while, and I can’t sit still or hold a thought.  Then I cry for an hour.  Mama, can’t you see how much I hate this?  I hate myself for being this way.”

He tells me the same thing at least twice a day and I sit and listen.  



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