Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Schizophrenia is a devastating illness that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians each year. The cost to the individuals and their families is extensive. The onset of the illness can be rapid, with the start of the symptoms over a few days or weeks; well others will develop their symptoms slowly over many months or years.

In 2004 Angus began to exhibit behaviors that were unusual for him. A young man of 20, he was a caring son and brother, a student studying at the University of the Fraser Valley, with the hope of entering into a social work program. But the gradual onset of schizophrenia grounded his hopes for a number of years.

The following selections come from journal entries and letters written by me; Angus' mother, through-out the gradual onset of his mental illness.

May 12, 2005
Last night I stepped over a threshold and I kicked Angus out of the house.
I did not cry. I did not sleep. I did not feel vindicated or correct in any way.
I worried. I worried when I heard a siren. I worried how he would eat. But I did not cry.
I prayed. I prayed he would be arrested and forced to get help. But I did not phone the police.
Last night I kicked my son out of our home, but I did not cry.

May 13, 2005
Angus came back home. I let him in. He said he does not want to be homeless, he agreed to get some help.

© Holly Ballantyne 2011

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