"A little bit."
"Are you afraid of moving?"
"I just want to stay here."
We talked for a few minutes about where he was going and why he couldn't stay at the hospital. He also talked about moving with his wife. I don't try to explain to him that he is not married because he does not believe me. And then he started to sing. I thought it might be a hymn. But I heard a few lines about his bed. The nurse asked if I was still on the phone. She assured me he was fine and they would help him through the process.
One social worker asked me, "Name two characteristics you would say your father has."
Honest, no. Mental illness makes him hide truth.
Caring, no. Mental illness makes you selfish.
Hard working, no. Mental illness allows you to believe delusions are important.
Thoughtful, no. Mental illness makes you forget anyone who cares about you.
Provider, no. Mental illness made him neglect his family because his visions were much more entertaining.
Harmless, yes. Mental illness made my Dad harmless. In fact he is so harmless he allows people to take advantage of him.
It makes me feel bad that the only good characteristic I can think of to describe my father is harmless. I wish he was honest, caring, hard working, thoughtful and a provider.
I wish he had called me to see if I was crying or afraid.
But mental illness made him forget us.