Peter

 
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This is Ted. He LOVES food! He remembers things really well in his past, and has trouble with short term memory. We go to the hardware store together every weekend like we did when he was a kid. My wife goes bowling with him every week. He also has schizophrenia. He can’t live with us anymore as he was getting violent and using drugs. He is living in a group home right now. Ted has also lived on the streets and in shelters. -We once drove through downtown and saw him panhandling. So hard to see that as a parent, but we couldn’t go talk to him at that time. He would get too angry. We just sat in the car and watched him. 

One of the hardest nights we’ve ever experienced was when Ted had barricaded himself in his apartment. Police were called as we needed to get him to the hospital. So terrified. They went in to get him with a swat team and assault rifles. That’s my kid! 

This is the hospital. We have spent a lot of hours in this place. 3x before they involved us 6x before proper diagnosis. Why? Last time police took Ted here they took him in the middle of winter without shoes or a coat. He was discharged with no shoes, to place to go, and no money. 

This is Brian. He lives at home with us. We adopted both him and his brother. He is bright and social. He loves music. He wants to become a radio broadcaster. He doesn’t forgive his brother for all the things he has done. He’s very afraid of Ted.  

This is our home. It’s now our sanctuary again. For a long time it wasn’t. When Ted lived with us we had to have police come and take him to the hospital several times. Those times were really tough on all of us.

We recently bought a small cottage about an hour away. This is our oasis. We’re excited to start using it this summer.

I love reading as it helps me escape and relax. I also enjoy yoga as it helps my back.

I lost my promotion because of my son’s illness. I get flack for taking time off to deal with my son.

This is our church. Our faith is what keeps us going. Without this, we wouldn’t have made it. But we can’t talk about our struggles here, they just couldn’t understand. Sometimes, I wish my son had cancer instead of a mental health issue—the level understanding and support from others would be totally different.

 

Peer Support gives me meaning. My wife and I found an amazing support system here. Now we give back by helping others who are struggling with similar things. We focus on building skills in people. This group saved our marriage.