The Devastating Destroyer

The earthquake in Japan has burdened my heart and filled me with sorrow.  Watching the tsunami waters carry off entire towns is sickening… but I can’t quit watching.  I feel I owe them the courtesy and honor of watching their plight, as one goes to the funeral home to honor the loved one of a friend.  The constant worry and threat of possible explosions in the nuclear plant worries me for them.  I will decide in the near future how I will help them.  Monetarily, I’m sure, however small my portion may be.

But what does all this have to do with my writing about James this week?  It has to do with empathy.  I understand the feeling of being powerless to stop a raging, devastating destroyer.  How brave those people were who took videos as the water surged at their feet, tearing their homes and businesses apart, their very life being destroyed as they stood watching.

That’s the way it was to watch schizophrenia take my son.  Powerless.  Even as I took him from doctor to doctor, from hospital to hospital, he slipped under the murky, dark water of this devastating illness.

James and Jarred.  Those two names will forever be etched deep in my heart where sorrow lives.  Two good-hearted men whose lives were stolen by the devastating destroyer schizophrenia.

An acquaintance said when their daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia that they told the doctor they thought she was on drugs.  The doctor sadly said, “I only wish she were.”  Although using drugs is something one with a mental illness does to try to self-medicate, it is not the cause of schizophrenia.

And my James understood this better than I ever could.  When I was at my wit’s end trying to understand the behaviors of my son, James would explain it to me.  “He can’t tell what’s real and what’s not real.”  Schizophrenia doesn’t take away one’s intelligence; it alters his/her perception of the world.

Jarred’s world was altered from a safe, loving environment to one filled with monsters and hell birds and zombies; a life filled with fear.  A life stolen and destroyed.

11 thoughts on “The Devastating Destroyer

  1. the disease is a very sad one. some people just cant understand because they have never had to deal with such. I have only seen others and never had to deal first hand. Yes it is a destroyer. Blessings to you today . I feel that every word you write is for all of us who loved James and his family, and you whom he loved so much. It is a healing for all of us…..Maybe I should just speak for me, but I am so happy you are at the point you can write . James is probably smiling and saying MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE. He said it so many times at church I can actually see his twinkling eyes….Love you Brenda


  2. I love what Darla wrote! She certainly could write a book ! Or a soap opera!
    Brenda you’ve weathered the storm and come out on top. Praise God. If you hadn’t had God in your life, what would have become of you? And you know, Brenda, James is STILL on watch “Taking care of you”!


  3. jarred was funny in a quiet smart way, curious and had a beautiful smile. one day he and i went to see the lion (among other wild caged animals) kept by some people down by karber’s ridge. i think we were both in awe, it was such a good day.


    • oh, Julie, I didn’t know that. I will ask him about it. And I want you to tell me about it too. It’s so sad that his real personality was taken from him or stunted by his illness. He’s doing much better now, and his thoughtfulness and caring is astounding.


      • i’m so glad to hear this, and i’m glad he is getting the help he needs with his illness. remind me to tell you about our short trip there sometime.


  4. Hi, I really don’t know what to say after reading a bit of your blog, but wanted to at least leave you a note.

    Your blog is more than moving. I am very sorry for your losses and grief.

    You have an amazing spirit that shines so wonderfully.

    Peace, and many well wishes to you and your family.


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