Yeah, that was Andrew alright.
I heard this term on Oprah today. She did a show focusing on a young man who at age 7 tried to kill his mother with a kitchen knife. The link to Oprah's website is posted below:
It was an interesting show and it did give hope to the situation of Mental Illness. I pretty much have formed the opinion that there is no cure, only treatment for this type of illness. But this kid, now 10, does have a hopeful outlook now, after his parents pursued the right type of treatment and the boy learned to control his thoughts and actions. Oprah also had a message from a boy who was on her show 11 years ago and has gone on to control his bi-polar issues and flourish in life.
I so wish we had been able to get to that point with Andrew. He wasn't trying to kill anyone, but he was always afraid someone was out to get him. Since he was already an adult, and I couldn't make him do anything, treatment-wise. He got to make his own choices, and the choice he made was to end it all. There was guilt, shame, denial and fear holding him back. I don't think he felt he had permission, if you will, from both myself and his father, to admit he had a true mental illness and deal with it head on. It was something to hide, to deny. But he could feel it, that sensitivity, when he got a weird look from someone. He always felt weird going out in public to a store or the bank, like everyone was looking at him strangely. I think it was part real, part imagined, but he was extremely sensitive about it.
My former English teacher, Isaac, said she got a vision of Andrew saying he "did it for me," when he committed suicide. She said he told her that he knew his mental illness was only going to get worse, and he did it for me.
That helps, I guess, to know that Andrew loved me and didn't want to hurt me and more. I was really, really hurting for him. I wanted to solve his pain. But it is also so very sad. The term, "Emotional Sensitivity" came up on Oprah, and describes how a person can take on all the negative energy in their environment and how it affects them more than perhaps others in the situation. Like a typical "Black Sheep" of the family, the emotionally sensitive one takes on all the family's negative energy and acts out or reacts to it. I am sure Andrew did that. He tried to help all of us. We were having a lot of dysfunctional family dynamics going on, and Andrew only wanted to be the good son and help his parents and his sisters overcome our obstacles. He took on a lot of weight and carried us all on his shoulders. It broke him up.
As I moved on in life, I like to thing I eased the burden of my sadness and turned my life toward a more positive direction. I think my girls were on the right track, also. But Andrew's dad was not. I couldn't help him. Andrew couldn't help him. Now the girls are dealing with their inability to help their dad, but that is another chapter.
I am just sad because we weren't a strong enough family to be able to really pull it together for Andrew. We had to lose him in the process. I wish we had been able to save him.