Why do I skip over the biggest events here? Not for lack of courage I don’t think. Possibly because they have so many threads that are important to write about that I’d rather not begin until I can commit myself fully.
As the writer Anthony Walton once told me, “You can’t tell any story without telling the whole story.”
But yes! and yes! and my god yes! Sean was conserved. For every time “the system” has failed him, and us, and thousands of other families begging to get even a scrap of the help they deserve in caring for a loved one with profound mental illness, they got it right one time.
Of course, it helped that Sean didn’t even get out of bed to attend his conservatorship hearing. But I don’t expect that was what could be termed an active choice, more likely the unfathomability of putting on actual clothing, leaving the hospital and going into a courtroom to defend his life.
We don’t really know what a conservatorship will look like — will it play out in years of Cuckoo’s Nest warehousing? Will his mind actually begin to quiet and find some kind of healing? Will he ever allow his family into the picture? For every problem it solves, it answers no questions.
But he will not be living on the street.