Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake, Washington released my stepson from their care having determined he was no longer a threat to himself or others after his last psychotic episode back in September.
I saw him Tuesday when I got home from work. He looked more like a zombie than a normal person that I associated with my stepson. “I’m really sorry about all the things I’ve said to you,” he told me right off, which that in and of itself was significant. To know him is to know he never apologized for anything he said or done.
“It’s all good,” I told him. What else could I say to someone who appeared as a portion of his former self. I figured he was heavily medicated and those words that came out were not his but his mother’s or the doctors who treated him. He looked right through me, then he turned around and went back down stairs.
Later, after I showered and dressed in my casual wear of sweatpants and tee shirt I went down to my office to relax. He came in while I watched the local news. “I’m really sorry about the hurtful things I said to you over the phone.”
“It’s all good. I figured you didn’t mean half the stuff you told me.” I knew that was a lie. I knew he meant every word, but I didn’t want confrontation at a time like this when he appeared to sincerely want to mend bridges. As I’ve said in the past, I build bridges as a general rule, not tear them down, or build walls.
He was wearing a mask which I thought ironic because my wife made such an issue over the fact that the staff at Eastern had vaccinated him against corona virus. He offered his hand for me. I shook it with a firm grip. He equaled my pressure with his.
We had dinner and then I took him to the corner market for a can of Copenhagen chew. He got inside my Dodge Charger and again he told me, “I’m really sorry for anything I’ve said or done to you.”
It’s alright, it’s all water under the bridge,” I replied. I realized he was probably thinking he was being sincere, but at the same time, it’s the same song and dance he told us before and he seemed serious until he sank back into his old habits of abuse and dependency. If it’s a new him and he actually wants to change, then it will be a lot to get used to.