Doug has an odd way of thinking (to say the least) and sometimes it’s hard to figure out where he comes up with some of the things he says.
I had planned on going to visit him one week-end in mid September but was given the bad news earlier in the week that one of my closest friends had died and her funeral was to be that week-end. When I told Doug that Virginia had died he was very sympathetic. “Awww, Mom. She was so short and cute.” I told him that I would not be coming to see him that week-end, that I would be traveling the opposite direction to go to Virginia’s funeral. He asked “Oh? Who’s in it?” “Who is in what, honey?” “Who is in the funeral?” … I told him I didn’t know but was pretty sure Virginia had the leading role. “Well, have a good time mom, and give her my love. Tell her I’m sorry.”
That Sunday evening I gave Doug a call to see how his week-end had been. He asked me if it was fun.
“Was what fun, hon?”
He replied “Virginia’s field goal.”
“Her field goal?”
“Mom, didn’t you tell me you were going to see Virginia’s field goal?”
“No honey, it was Virginia’s funeral. She died Doug. I went to her funeral.”
“I know she died. Oh, I’m sorry mom, I thought you were going to see a field goal or something. I’m sorry she died mom. I better let you go now.”
Whenever Doug gets confused or hasn’t got an answer or explanation for something he has said, he always says “Well, I better let you go.”
He’ll call me sometimes and ask if Rusty is okay. When I assure him that Rusty is fine he’ll say something like, “well, they told me he was kicked out of school” or “I thought they said he was sick” I’ll say “Who told you this Doug?” He’ll say “Don’t worry about it mom, I guess I better let you go.”
I sometimes gently remind him that “they” are the voices in his head and that unfortunately “they” are the symptoms of his schizophrenia.
He asked me one time if I’d ever considered the possibility of the “voices” being real, or perhaps spirits. And that “they” let him know things that are going on with the family. I told him that if the voices actually told him things that were real instead of things that made no sense I would consider it a possibility.
Yesterday I drove to Belmont Abbey College to pick up my daughter Liz. On the way home I took a wrong turn and ended up pulling into a golf course parking area to turn around. Liz and I talked about golf and she mentioned she’d like to play some miniature golf because it had been a while. Ten minutes after she and I talked about golfing, my cell phone rang. It was Doug. We talked a bit, and then he said to me “So Liz is golfing today?”
Puzzled I looked at Liz and said to Doug “No, Liz isn’t going golfing. Where did you hear that?”
“Well, I guess I better let you go mom.”
“No honey, you don’t have to hang up, I was just wondering where you heard that Liz was going golfing.”
I didn’t bother to go into detail about how Liz and I had just had a conversation about golfing. I don’t know why I didn’t tell him. Perhaps I was worried about giving him more power than I wanted him to have. Perhaps I was just in a bit of shock that he somehow knew that Liz and I had just discussed golfing. Mind you, golf is something that is relatively foreign to our family. Certainly nothing we do or discuss. Maybe once every , um… ten years. So the coincidence of him asking this just after Liz and I talked about it, at least a hundred miles away from him, truly had me flustered.
“Don’t worry about it mom. I’ll talk to you later. I hope I didn’t make you mad.”
Sometimes something happens to make you question what you know to be real and what you know to be not so real.
No matter how old I get, I still have to remind myself to consider ALL of the possibilities.