Post bail November, 2015

Dear Mom.

I love you. You brought me into this world, gave me everything I ever needed and most of what I wanted for years. I’ve abused and manipulated your kindness and love. I never did treatment, I wasted your money. I tried to steal from you. I’m just a lech on everyone. I have been nice and kind and loving like you but, it was an act to get what I want.I am right where I need to be and will be for years.I don’t want to fight anymore….I’m not going to get what I want and that is a lesson I need to learn, you don’t always get what you want.I wanted you to post bail, I was really ready for change..I will not fight anymore, I will sit in prison and do nothing.I want to blame the police, the bullying and PTSD but, they only play a small role. At the end of the day we make our own beds, our own luck, and I will try and be the best man I can be.I want to be like you, successive (sic), loving, hardworking and have a true purpose.

THANK YOU for being my role model and my friend.

Your son, Sean

(Excerpts from a letter from Sean, I edited out some more personal pieces from the letter, I don’t think he would want them published. I am very sad reading this, how down on himself he was. He was worn out and tired, angry at himself. He had recently broken into our home and threatened his brother and myself. I doubt he would have really hurt us. He picked up his belongs and moved into a friends. Unfortunately, the friend was admitted to the hospital for psychiatric reasons and the young man’s family not knowing Sean had permission to stay at his place, called the police for trespassing. We didn’t post bail and Sean stayed in jail until he could get to treatment a month or so later. My most significant regrets involve not working harder to get better psychiatric treatment and less jail time. Our family was just completely worn out)

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Vagabond

I recently returned from Vieques, Puerto Rico. I have had the blessing of being able to travel there for a week every year, a vacation with my sister, Dawn, sometimes with my niece and/or Mom. We have been heading there for the last 10 years. A treasure, as travel had been a challenge with Sean’s illness, my husband staying home so I could get away for a short time.

It is a beautiful place, lovely beaches, horses roaming free, it is as if time stood still for a few years or decades.

I thought Sean would love it here. Relaxed and carefree, I suspect he could have gotten along pretty well, at least for a while. The geographic cure can work, sometimes for a week, sometimes for years. Usually, though life and it’s complications catch up.

I once worked with a physician in New York, who after struggling with personal issues, made it to Vieques. He tended bar and made a new beginning. Life caught up with him there as well, his adventures now the subject of a book (autobiography)

One morning, our little gang (Mom, Dawn, niece and I) arrived at a remote beach. You have to travel a pretty challenging road, with a four- wheel drive to get to Navio beach. It is one of our favorites. An exposed beach, plenty of surf and caves to explore. One time, we met a young man, doing yoga on the beach. His beat- up van was nearby, likely his camp for the night. He was getting ready for the day, yoga and a swim. He had long hair, no clothing on, and seemed very relaxed and happy. My Mom said, “Wow, he is a great swimmer”.  My sister and I looked at each other, smiled and thought “Sean”.

I didn’t want to bring Sean to Vieques, I thought he would be lost forever. A vagabond for good. I knew the medical facilities weren’t great, especially the mental health care. Sean spoke some Spanish, maybe enough to get around, I don’t know.

The idea of him being lost was terrifying. It was something I worked through in therapy, I could cope with him being out of contact with our family, if I knew he was well. I knew some people with substance use and mental health struggles needed to be away from their family of origin to become well.  A chance to find a chosen family.  It certainly was preferable to an overdose death.

So Sean lives on, in our hearts and minds, and in some, their real-life organs (his heart, liver and kidneys). A vagabond forever.