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Sunday, February 10, 2013

If not for his gait, I wouldn't have recognized him. He's always walked with a bit of a bounce, on his tip toes and with a stiffened upper body. As he neared me I saw that he was unshaven and he looked thinner.

On his head was a black and white checked driving cap, from which his uncut curls were trying to escape. He was carrying his guitar, and a backpack that I'd never seen. When he reached the table I where I was sitting, I could tell he hadn't showered for a while.

"Hi Mom."

"Hey Joshua. How are you?"

He pulled a chair from beneath the table and placed his only belongings on the ground. He sat down and looked at me. I could tell he wasn't sure what to say, where to begin.

"What's going on son? You look troubled."

"I was attacked by three guys a couple of days ago. They tried to mug me but I fought them off. I threw the first one to the ground and they ran away. I sprained my thumb, but I'm ok."

I glanced down and his hand and thumb were wrapped in an ace bandage. Under his fingernails was dirt, on his face there were cuts.

"I threw them off and got my stuff back. Last week my other back pack was stolen. It had my phone, my papers and the laptop I bought in it. A few days ago my bike was stolen."

"Joshua, where did you get a computer? You can use the ones at the center and at the library for free."

He came up with some reasoning, known only to him, that he bought it so he could find a job. I knew better than to tell him what he already knew, that there are plenty of computers freely available for use in downtown Portland, that he shouldn't have purchased one, that he should have saved his money.

I couldn't help but look at my son and notice he looked beaten down, frustrated and alone. I think the appeal of life on his own, with no rules to follow, on the streets of downtown Portland was wearing thin and that he had come face to face with the big, bad world. He didn't ask to come home, but I sensed it was on his mind, as it was on mine.

I had to remind myself of the potential danger he posed to the rest of the family, especially with him refusing to take his medication. It was more than difficult to look at the child we raised and protected that was now sleeping in shelters downtown and carrying his belongings around in a back pack.

He said he was enrolled at the community college, was looking for a job and was working with his case manager. I knew he believed what he told me, but I also knew that it probably wasn't reality.

Reality is that I have a son that can't come home due to his rage and refusal to work with the family. I have a son that isn't processing his situation rationally. I have a son that needs help, but isn't willing accept it. The reality is that we, as a family, are in a situation we never thought we'd be in and we have no idea what to do. Now that our son is an "adult," no one will talk to me, no one will let me help. The reality is that we have a son and there is no way for us to reach him, and the reality is that there may never be.


Karyn February 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM  

But you are there for him, and that is priceless. I am glad you saw him, he is often on my mind.

Angelwithatwist February 10, 2013 at 5:42 PM  

Oh hun I wish I had some wisdom or pretty promises but I don't. I wish you had a program like my gf got her daughter in here in KY. It is a home that allows her freedom with ritual, even as an adult. She is going to college and yet also has supervision and is safe. Sending you hugs and much love and Joshua as well.

The Bipolar Diva February 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM  

Thanks all, your encouragement helps. I hurt for him and I wish we could do more, that he would allow us to do more.

Barfly February 10, 2013 at 6:39 PM  

I can tell he loves you and you love him. All the other shit doesn't really matter I guess.

Sorry I'm so quiet lately. I'm still here.

Snowbrush February 10, 2013 at 7:21 PM  

I hope your story has a happy ending. Your doubt about that is understandable, being both realistic and self-protective, but the two things he has on his side are a family that cares and the fact that he's young. Not long ago, you said he reported being happy on the street. I would guess that he now feels a great deal less so, and that's an indication that he might eventually choose a better life for himself.

The Bipolar Diva February 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM  

Karyn; yes, you got to meet him and see his sweet, loving side, the side I wish was always here. I hurt for him. I can't fix it this time.

The Bipolar Diva February 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM  

Barfly, thanks. and you do have a point. Thanks for stopping by, I'm still here as well, just a little quiet.

The Bipolar Diva February 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM  


I hope that you are right. I hope that he makes the realization that he needs to conform to the world and the world not to him. I think that's one of his biggest challenges. I want the best for him, but this is a path he chose and hopefully he'll realize that there are other avenues. He was so broken this morning and it's haunting me. I just want to fix it all, but it's up to him now.

MarkD60 February 11, 2013 at 6:24 AM  

I doubt he used his money to obtain the laptop. Sorry.

Outcast February 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM  

Sorry to hear you going through this Diva. Honestly this is all his fault, none of yours, he has posed a massive risk to you and his family over and over again and it's just too difficult to overcome to allow him to come home. I know that he is probably on your mind 24/7 though so for your sake I hope that things do look up and look up soon.

Mom February 11, 2013 at 9:35 AM  

I hate platitudes, but the only thing that comes to my mind is "Trust in the Lord".

The Bipolar Diva February 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM  

You are so right. It totally is.

The Bipolar Diva February 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM  

Yeah he did use his money. The first thing I did was to check his bank account for the transaction. It was there. I'm on his account so I monitor it. It's going down fast

The Bipolar Diva February 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM  

I wish I could say that, but truthfully we've failed him somewhere along the road. I'm not sure where though. I've fought for him since he was a baby with doctors, schools, bullies, meds. I know I let him off easier with some things when he was younger because fighting him was so tiring and difficult. I know his emotional problems play a large part, but as a parent I can't help but wonder what more I could have done.

The Bipolar Diva February 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM  

Yeamie, yes, he did pose a huge risk not only to the safety of the family, but to the very fiber of the family itself. But still I'm left wondering what we could have done differently

Dee February 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM  

Ugh, my heart hurts for you just reading this! I can't imagine what seeing him like that does to you! I wish I had half the strength you do though, some day he'll appreciate you for being so strong! Hugs boo!

Susie - Walking Butterfly February 11, 2013 at 5:59 PM  

So amazing that you could see him if even for a tough scene. That's got to hurt so terribly for your mama heart! I am so sorry Hun.

The Bipolar Diva February 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM  


It's hard all the way around. February 16, 2013 at 12:53 PM  

Sending you love and prayers from Minnesota right this moment.


Snowbrush February 18, 2013 at 9:50 AM  

Hey, Diva, no post in a week! I hope you're doing okay.

The Bipolar Diva February 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM  

Snow: I've been pretty sick with a bronchial infection that just doesn't seem to want to go away.

Tami February 19, 2013 at 5:47 AM  

I'm sorry Honey! I cannot imagine what you or your son is going through. My heart breaks for you. {{{HUGS}}}

Unknown February 20, 2013 at 2:06 PM  

I haven't visited in a while and want you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your sad boy.

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