When he was 7, he got into a lot of mischief. For example, his father, BM, my husband, had a garden with a banana crop which were all still green. When my husband came home each night he checked on his crop. One night BW followed his father round his garden and asked him how long it would take for the bananas to ripen. BM said about 3 month’s son. The next night we heard BM yell “BW come here”. The rest of us rushed out to see what the problem was, and we took one look at my husband’s bananas and it took all our control not to laugh as BM was so furious. There was one full bunch of bright yellow bananas. Our dear son had painted them from a can of yellow paint…at least he only did one bunch instead of the whole crop!
When he was young BW was a happy little boy and always had a grin on his face. He has a great sense of the ridiculous and has a keen interest in politics (he still has). When he was 23, after his father died, he got very irate with the then Prime Minister, John Howard, so he packed a bag and went to the Darwin airport and asked for a ticket to Canberra. Because he had no money, he was asked to wait. BW was soon surrounded by Security Policy and after questioning him, they took him to the hospital. BW was furious because he reckoned that John Howard was not helping the people of Australia and was sending too much money to overseas countries!
As he grew older, I was sure there was something wrong with him and wanted to take him to a psychologist, but his father said he’d grow out of his lack of concentration and his difficulty in learning. BW became more and more difficult during his teens. His teachers helped as much as they could, and eventually managed to get him a job, and he worked for a couple of months but because of his lack of concentration he could never hold down a job for long.
When he came home, he caused me a lot of strife. Finally, I did not feel safe, and decided I’d had enough. So I packed his suitcase, gave him his bank book and showed him the door. He looked at me blankly and said “Why Mum?” I said “it’s time you learnt to live on your own, so go and find someone else to look after you. I’ve had enough” He came home one day about 6 weeks later to thank me for throwing him out of the house! He must have learnt something!
Our son is still living in Darwin and shares accommodation with a friend (also with a mental illness). He and his friend come home for a meal a couple of times a month. He’s OK up until his inject (medicinal) is due, then he gets confused until he’s had his next injection.
At the time I write BW is 50.
I’m sure that if our son was not affected by his mental problems he would be a clever man.