Getting used to this

It’s happening. She’s meeting with the psychiatric liaison at the police department, someone who could help change her life. After trying to get her help and mostly failing, it is the best thing that’s happened all year.

Still she’s on the street. It is more awful than I can imagine for her and I’m getting used to it.

She’s there in the same place, the same clothes, the same vulnerability. Her delusions are so distressing her.

She’s there. She loves to talk about art, politics, architecture, family stories. Conversation does not reveal how debilitating her illness is, at least not right away. She’s learned to cover it well.

Still I know what she’s explained to me. I know that it continues. I know when she says that she was so dizzy she couldn’t walk, that there is some connection to her “torture” in that. Maybe the “poison gas,” maybe something else.

She talks about her delusions and hallucinations less. Maybe that makes this feel more normal. The driving force to get her cooperation and get her help has been replaced by the sad resignation that the only way without her cooperation is the long way. The only hope is these meetings with the psychiatric liaison, the hope that one day her situation will be bad enough for her to be committed and start the conservatorship process.

With no other options, our meetings have looser agendas. She is happier that I don’t want something from her at every meeting. Still I always have to have some items for diversion, for when she talks about delusions I don’t want to hear again or when she’s sad.

It feels cruel to resign myself and her to this process, and go one with my life. It’s an acceptance I never wanted, for a situation no one wants.

I notice how it’s easier to go travel there and travel back. I remember the flight-or-fight response I was in constantly, sitting on the train breathing, knitting, in utter isolation in a rush hour crowd.

Now, I can feel some basic level of pleasure in the journey, even though I can feel the weight of sadness in my face. It’s not as hard, not nearly, and it feel perversely wrong.

I don’t know how to make this feel okay with feeling okay.