Category Archives: mental illness.

The What Would’s – Analysis of Decisions in the life of a child with severe mental illness

The What Would’s…

Yes, you read that correctly.  The What Would’s.

No, it isn’t some fanciful tale like The Little’s or Mother Goose.

This is where we look at David’s life and wonder… a bit of analysis if you prefer that as a descriptor.

What would…

What would his life look like if after the very first placement when he saw so much success, the school in our community hadn’t barred his entry?  If they had accepted him, like he had heard them accept him, because he still questions it, “How come the school didn’t want me?” And it has been more than 5 years.

What would his life look like if his birth mom had chosen differently?

What would his life look like if his foster family had chosen differently?  If they had been able to choose differently?

What would his life look like if… instead of hitting road block after road block in his care, he had been treated the way any person with an illness would have been treated and not shuffled from one facility to another?

What would his life look like if he had been able to continue to build on the small successes he achieved in his third placement?  The one that the insurance company booted him out of because he wasn’t making progress?

What would his life look like if he hadn’t tried to kill me with a shovel last year, moreover, would we have needed to seek placement? Or would the Intensive in-home therapy have succeeded?

What would his life look like if he had been adopted by another family, in addition, would his mental illness be as severe as it is now?  Are we the cause of the severity of his mental illness because we didn’t love him enough?

What would the lives of our other children be like if we hadn’t adopted him?  Would they know the compassion that comes from caring for someone like him?  Do they need to know and understand that level of caring?

Every parent goes through the What Would’s analysis at some point in their life, in addition, I think families with kids like David just go through them much more frequently.

These transition into the What WIll’s.

By comparison, the What Will’s list is different.  But is it really?  We all have hopes and dreams for our kids, be they a natural child or an adopted child.

What will David’s life look like in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years or even 20?

What will David be able to expect of himself in this life?

What will David expect from society in this life?

What will society expect from David in this life, besides leading a life free of crime?

What will his career possibilities look like?

What will success look like for David?  Is it enough to hope to keep him out of prison?

Not all inclusive

These two lists are not meant to be all inclusive.  One would exhaust vast amounts of Internet storage and bandwidth covering all aspects of the What Would’s and What Will’s.  In the end, all we have is a list of questions.

Let’s face it, we didn’t adopt the Brady Bunch.  Did we?

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