Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day at the psych facility is somber.  The male patients fall into two paternal categories.

In the first category, they have children, but are alienated from them.  They often created families in their 20s or 30s during brief periods of stability.  The schizophrenia was relentless, causing them to be institutionalized while the children were young.  The children did not bond with their fathers.  Time passed.  The father remembers the children as youngsters, even though they matured into adults.  In their adult form, the children are not recognizable to their fathers.  This is very sad to watch an adult child attempt to assert the parent-child relation with a father who can't quite place the stranger claiming to be the five year old child playing in the father's memory.

The other category is comprised of men who never created families because they were institutionalized or too unstable to form relationships.  As time passed, their parents died.  They usually have siblings or cousins who remember them and some still visit.  There are nieces and nephews, but no bond to these new members of the family.  As children, the nieces and nephews did not visit the scary asylum, and if they did, they were too terrified to return or want to establish any relationship to their uncle.  The nieces and nephews grow up, but have no relationship with their aging uncle, so they do not visit.  The newer generations may never have met this secluded family member, leaving him essentially without a family.

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