Thursday, November 14, 2019

and Again....

"Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it. "   Niels Bohr

I have no idea who this man, that I quoted above, is or was...  the quote is however resonating with me at this time as I ponder a situation that is not unfamiliar to me, but overwhelms me just the same.      
"Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution."  When we have a difficulty we certainly are able to dig deep and find a solution, and in doing so we do have to adjust our thinking regarding the difficulty, the people involved (ourselves included) the surroundings, and the possible outcomes, to find said solution.  For those of us without mental illness, this is no mystery.  Daily we come head to head with situations that are difficult, challenging, and we consider our options, make informed assumptions, follow the natural thought process to find an adequate solution. 

What do you do with someone that you care for is mentally ill?  Is unable to process the situation and will not heed yours or anyone's wisdom (until it is too late) and will continue to deflect and make excuses for their failings and their difficulty even in light of the consequences that they have brought on themselves ? 

All these years I have been stuck in the thinking that somehow I am going to make a difference or impact or change another person (this person, being a dwarf or two) in how they think, act or behave, when perhaps it is not for them to change to conform to what I expect or even what the world would accept, but for me to change my thinking in order to let him(them) find their own solutions. If I understand their mental illness, I should also understand that I can't fix what they do not see as broken. 

I did not create their difficulties.  They have or are creating them on their own.  Are they less responsible for their behaviors because they are mentally ill?  I say I honestly do not know.  I do know all mentally ill individuals DO NOT live a train wreck of an existence.  Many are able to listen with some margin of understanding,  about their struggles, and desire to change from those ways, and are moderately to extremely successful, especially when supported and loved.  Sadly, at this point, not my dwarfs. 

Having said that I need to change my thinking is easier than actually doing it. When someone that you know and care for is mentally ill there is a huge bubble of hope that wants things to be okay, to work out, and for something that you say or do to break through.   At this point I have over 15 years invested in these dwarfs.   The struggle that I have in just letting them work through this on their own, is that I, unlike they, can see clearly the outcome in advance. This weighs heavy upon my heart.  

Knowing that worst case for one of these dwarfs (who am I kidding, two of them) could include a solution that may result in death or incarceration.  The least case, a permanent separation from all family and familiar ties. 

While we have done this before, it is not easy. Living this for multiple dwarfs (insert children) takes a toll on ones mind, heart and soul if you are a parent. Walking the same path repeatedly and for more than one of your dwarfs,  takes a toll on your well being mentally and physically.  As a parent you do not just dust off your hands and say good riddance.  Parenting (relationships) in general do not work that way. Out of sight out of mind does not apply either, especially when you do not know where they are sleeping or how they are eating. 

So we find ourselves at a cross road. Again, and again, Grumpy is unable to sustain and maintain the free gift of food and shelter.  Unable to do the hard things that would change his circumstances from grim to tolerable.  When he is given an opportunity to be in a situation that is tolerable, he mucks it up.  Again and again and again.  Self sabotage. After he is removed from a situation, he looks back and can say, boy I messed that up bad or I wish I was still at this place, it was good for me.  But is unable to understand the connection between his actions and behaviors and the termination of these services and or situations.

Given chances to make things right and make changes to his thinking by taking actions to fix the difficult situations that he finds himself in,  are always just out of his grasp. On the other side of his ability to process and sustain.   Deep within, he has the knowledge, the training and the ability to do the right and hard things, but like running water, takes the path of least resistance time and time again.  

He chooses repeatedly to fine tune the attributes of his character that make him less than desirable to be around by deflecting, playing the victim, manipulating, coercing, conniving or is out rightly rude, surely and abrasive thinking that this time those behaviors will somehow work in his favor.  He is unable to, or prefers not to comply, co-exist or cooperate with authorities, rules and regulations so that he can live peacefully with others.  

As an outsider, it is always easy to see the solution.  For Grumpy the solution is to do hard things.  To cast aside his inherently lazy nature an the false identity/reality that he has created for himself as to who he is (a thug from the inner city slums)  and listen to the advise and wisdom and instruction given to him by those that love and care for him.  He would need to ask for help (which he does not do, unless it benefits him) , admit his failures,  and begin to show that he is able to grow from them and not continue to repeat them.  Yet again, and again, we are at the crossroads.  

For some reason, Grumpy likes his disfunction more than he likes to function.  He will be turned away from more than shelter and food.  He also going to miss our helping hand, as we have told him if he is in a program and stable, we will assist him, if it is not a hardship to us, with rides,  health needs, and small things to help his life have some benefits.  Once he looses the stability, we have to withdraw from the chaos that ensues for our own well being.

He is being evicted on the 23rd of November.  He will be turned out to the streets as winter begins here in Florida.

In so many ways the Bible speaks to the man and character that Grumpy has chosen for himself.  "The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives." Proverbs 18:6-7

I want to help, to protect and to do what I can to keep him safe and healthy, but sadly he brings on troubles by running his mouth, and by provoking others.  You can only treat people poorly so many times (I do not care what your disability is) you can still choose humility and kindness.  People get tired of the drama and nonsense quickly.  Grumpy could attest to these things if he ever took ownership of his actions and words.

Perhaps someday there will be sustained change and growth.  Yesterday and today were not those days.

Sadly, you can not make this stuff up...