Heartbreak is absolutely crushing me tonight

The boys and I had therapy tonight with Dr. Pattie. While I typically enjoy these family sessions, tonight’s was a little rough for me.

Tonight, Gavin unloaded a string of mission debriefings. 

I know how much he likes telling us all about the missions he goes on with his invisible friends, and I would rather hear about it than not, but it sucks.

This is from our appointment tonight. Gavin was anxiously pacing as he’s telling us all about his adventures.

It sucks because it’s crystal clear in those moments, that Gavin is not okay.

It sucks because it shows that he’s still seeing things that aren’t there. He still believes that he’s a superhero, who’s fighting intergalactic battles, against evil villains.

Tonight he went on about three of his latest missions. I’ll just list the bullet points:

  1. Snatchers
  2. Elements of Harmony
  3. Telepathically entering Twilight’s mind
  4. Disections
  5. Sword fights
  6. Gun battles
  7. Magic bracelets
  8. Broken bones

This list isn’t even complete. He went on and on for what seemed like forever. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to witness, and very difficult to put into enough context to truly help you understand.

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kimmy gebhardt

My apologies if you (or anyone else) felt jabbed by that last question. There was no derision or judgment intended. I am genuinely curious what Dr. Patti does for them, and on a larger scale, what this sort of years-long therapy does for any family in Rob’s situation. I hadn’t really thought about the relationship going stale, but you make an extremely valid point. After spending that much time with someone, the relationship changes. A fresh mind will have fresh insight and maybe some fresh ideas. Also, you are dead on when you say hearing the same information from a different voice can have a greater impact.

Jimmy Rock

I’m not going to speak for Rob, but that last question – whether it’s “normal” for families to be in therapy for 10+ years — is a loaded question. I get that you’re curious as to what this therapist does for Rob and his family – and all of your other questions speak to that, but the implication with your last question is either that it’s not “normal” to be in therapy that long or that the therapist is doing nothing for the family because she hasn’t “cured” them in that period of time. It just seems to be that answers to your other questions would eliminate the need for the implicit jab that comes along with that last question.

Sorry if I read too much into that last question, but I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way. But I do think there is something potentially valid there. It’s not a bad idea to question a therapist’s approach, particularly after that length of time, to make sure they are helping to achieve the patient’s goals. Sometimes the relationship gets so familiar that it can get stale after that long of a time. Or sometimes, after that long – hearing the same information but from a different or new voice (therapist), can have a greater impact.

Sorry for cutting in. The answers to the other questions would be a good topic for a post.

bwiren

Trying to figure out the best way to put this. Is your counselor more of a generalist, or is she more of an expert in schizophrenia? And maybe it doesn’t even matter, as she knows you all and of course, would need to be qualified in that area.

I guess where I’m going is this question…would another psychiatrist/psychologist/counselor have a different or additional approach for Gavin?

Jimmy Rock

In case it’s not clear, my comment above is in response to Kimmy’s comment.

kimmy gebhardt

What exactly does Patti do for you? Is it family therapy or one on one therapy for the boys? Marriage counseling for you and Lizze? All of the above? Is it normal for families to be in therapy for 10+ years? I don’t mean the questions as judgments, just honest curiosities about how she helps your family.

Jenn K.

Seeing someone you love struggling like that is devastating. It’s a testament to your love for your son, your family, and your commitment to their health, that you and your therapist have created a space where he can share those thoughts and you can listen to them while feeling supported. If no one has thanked you for being a remarkable human being and great dad, I will. Thank you.

Avia Batya

::hugs::

kimmy gebhardt

My apologies if you (or anyone else) felt jabbed by that last question. There was no derision or judgment intended. I am genuinely curious what Dr. Patti does for them, and on a larger scale, what this sort of years-long therapy does for any family in Rob’s situation. I hadn’t really thought about the relationship going stale, but you make an extremely valid point. After spending that much time with someone, the relationship changes. A fresh mind will have fresh insight and maybe some fresh ideas. Also, you are dead on when you say hearing the same information from a different voice can have a greater impact.

Rob Gorski

I get where you’re coming from Kim. No worries, but thank you.

It doesn’t work that way for everyone. When you are dealing with the extreme level of complexity that is my family, starting over with someone else isn’t always a good idea.

If therapy isn’t working, finding a new therapist is the right move. However, it is working and the fact that I’m not rocking back and forth in corner is proof of that…

Jimmy Rock

In case it’s not clear, my comment above is in response to Kimmy’s comment.

Jimmy Rock

I’m not going to speak for Rob, but that last question – whether it’s “normal” for families to be in therapy for 10+ years — is a loaded question. I get that you’re curious as to what this therapist does for Rob and his family – and all of your other questions speak to that, but the implication with your last question is either that it’s not “normal” to be in therapy that long or that the therapist is doing nothing for the family because she hasn’t “cured” them in that period of time. It just seems to be that answers to your other questions would eliminate the need for the implicit jab that comes along with that last question.

Sorry if I read too much into that last question, but I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way. But I do think there is something potentially valid there. It’s not a bad idea to question a therapist’s approach, particularly after that length of time, to make sure they are helping to achieve the patient’s goals. Sometimes the relationship gets so familiar that it can get stale after that long of a time. Or sometimes, after that long – hearing the same information but from a different or new voice (therapist), can have a greater impact.

Sorry for cutting in. The answers to the other questions would be a good topic for a post.

Rob Gorski

I sorta felt the same way at first. However, I know she’s asking a question, and I wasn’t offended.

Here’s the thing. When a family goes through a really hard time, Family therapy can be a huge help. You get the help you need and move on.

In situations like mine, there’s ongoing trauma (for lack of a better word) and therefore therapy is ongoing. It gives everyone a place to decompress. Sometimes, when she’s working with the boys, Lizze and I can just take a breath.

Could we do this without therapy? I’m sure we could but it wouldn’t be nearly as graceful as things are now. Frankly, things aren’t that graceful at all, but it would be much worse.

mathewpenny648

Trying to figure out the best way to put this. Is your counselor more of a generalist, or is she more of an expert in schizophrenia? And maybe it doesn’t even matter, as she knows you all and of course, would need to be qualified in that area.

I guess where I’m going is this question…would another psychiatrist/psychologist/counselor have a different or additional approach for Gavin?

Rob Gorski

No. She’s the best fit for ongoing therapy. Gavin has a separate psychiatrist.

Jenn K.

Seeing someone you love struggling like that is devastating. It’s a testament to your love for your son, your family, and your commitment to their health, that you and your therapist have created a space where he can share those thoughts and you can listen to them while feeling supported. If no one has thanked you for being a remarkable human being and great dad, I will. Thank you.

kimmy gebhardt

What exactly does Patti do for you? Is it family therapy or one on one therapy for the boys? Marriage counseling for you and Lizze? All of the above? Is it normal for families to be in therapy for 10+ years? I don’t mean the questions as judgments, just honest curiosities about how she helps your family.

Rob Gorski

It’s family therapy. As our challenges are family challenges.

Avia Batya

::hugs::

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