The 7-Year-Old Schizophrenic
"In the two-bedroom, it was so stressful always having to make sure that Bodhi was safe, because she would attack him. She was violent all the time," Michael says. "We couldn't go to the bathroom. We couldn't take a shower. We couldn't do anything for fear that she would hurt Bodhi."
The children now live in two different one-bedroom apartments in the same complex. At night, Michael sleeps in one apartment, while Susan stays in the other. Then, the next day, they switch off.
In Jani's apartment, Michael and Susan try to replicate the hospital environment as much as possible. "We try to keep her to a similar schedule that she had in the hospital," Michael says. "There are no cleaning supplies in this apartment. There are no knives, sharp knives in this apartment."
Michael says it's as if Bodhi is growing up with a divorced household, but they'd rather split their time between apartments than risk his safety. "He never has both parents with him at all times, and as heartbreaking as that is for us, we thought that was a better alternative than having him grow up in fear of his sister," he says. "We did not want that."
At night, Michael and Susan find peace, knowing Jani survived one more day. Michael says this is his favorite time. "[I think]: 'We've kept her alive. We have now about 10 hours of rest until we've got to do it all again,'" he says. "And we will probably have to do it all again for the rest of our lives."