Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

A Proper Introduction - Charity & Liberty


#1

Hello all. I realized today I’ve been a bit rude. I jumped into the forum without providing a proper introduction to myself. I apologize for breaking the informal online etiquette. I would like to fix that now and hope you’ll pull up a chair, a drink of your choice, and join me.

My name is Charity Marie. I’m a mother of two special needs children - my daughter Liberty, 10, who has Dyslexia and severe mental illness which is still to be diagnosed officially as Paranoid Schizophrenia. So far they’ve diagnosed everything but: Major Depressive Disorder with Psychosis, Paranoia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder. I wish they’d just call it what it is but alas, the system is what it is at this point and I’m powerless to change that. My son Phoenix, 12, has Autism and ADHD. Technically he’s my stepson but I adopted him into my heart 3 1/2 years ago and have no intention of ever changing that.

Both of my children struggle with really serious challenges and over the last three years, we’ve worked hard together to adapt to that. The fact is, our whole household struggles with issues. Phoenix’s father, my husband Robert, has a form of Autism called Sensory Processing Disorder. I have PTSD, depression, and anxiety due to severe childhood abuse, neglect, and surviving incest at the hands of my father. It took me over two decades to be able to make and fully accept that simple statement. Countless hours of therapy.

So, our household is, on any given day, an interesting mix. My husband and I have both been married previously and divorced (him three prior times, and I once). Robert has actually been married to two Schizophrenics and was the first person to point out the possibility of it in my daughter as he recognized some of the symptoms. My ex-husband was a narcissistic verbal abuser which is what ultimately caused our marriage to fail. I’ve been abused for almost four decades in almost every conceivable way. So much so that I’ve learned the only way to survive and prevent abuse is to severely limit my exposure to others so I have very few close friends - no one ever gets past acquaintance level. Which makes my current marriage amazing because, for the first time in my life, there’s no abuse, just love. By some miracle, we found each other and adore one another completely.

Professionally, I’m a Paralegal for a personal injury law firm representing automobile crash victims. I’m also a licensed Realtor, and a published children’s author of two books. I have a number of books planned but my writing and publishing has been put on hold indefinitely while we get a handle on things. My husband drives a truck for a living, hauling hazardous chemicals throughout the Southwest. He is typically gone 5-6 days a week, which makes me essentially a single parent 20-24 days a month. We live in the incredible state of Texas, but I grew up in Florida originally. I’ve lived in or visited almost two dozen states in the US.

Libby’s father left when she was three weeks old. I believe it’s possible he’s an undiagnosed Schizophrenic. By no means am I an expert, it’s just a theory based on his history, behavior, and some of the delusions I’ve come to understand he has, which include that he saw active combat while in the military even though he was never deployed outside the US and that he was molested by his father after his mother died. I now recognize in him many of the terrible symptoms I see in my daughter. The parallels are startling. And yet, she’s so much like me that’s equally startling.

I joined this forum originally with no intentions of posting. What do I know about Schizophrenia? What could I possibly contribute? But I have quickly learned I can contribute a lot just from empathy and understanding and helping problem solve. I can provide comfort and validation. So much of this illness seems to revolve around finding solutions to both complex and simple problems. I’m also a great researcher because of my writing background. I have a great deal to learn about this illness, and I’m relieved to have found a place to do so. From the bottom of my heart and from our entire family, thank you for your support, help, and feedback. It has helped keep me sane and level since I joined. I can’t really do a face to face group - too much anxiety and distrust - but I can do an online forum. Given the hecticness of my schedule, it actually fits better than a face to face would.

I will be returning to work tomorrow so my posts might slow down a little bit but I will try to keep up the daily habit I’ve developed.

All my best and thanks for joining me!

Charity


#2

Hi Charity. In my opinion, there was nothing rude about how you joined the forum. People “jump in” and out all the time. That’s the beauty of an online forum. There’s no schedule. We can vent, share, and learn at will.

In regards to your worth here, you’ve already brought so much support, especially to those whose children are very young. Thank you for that.

I’m so sorry for the amount you’ve had and have on your plate. I hope you can find some peace in the new year.


#3

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your heart and family with us. I’ll write more later but I just wanted to say I’m glad you’re here. So wonderful to hear your daughter is communicating and the medicine is helping. God bless you and your family.


#4

Welcome Charity,

Usual internet forum rules are difficult to apply here. Many (most?) of us are dealing with adult family members or older teens with scz. Some of our members are reluctant to put a lot of information in one spot in case our own family members with scz are reading the forum. Minimizing their stress is important.

The community here seems to really try to be sensitive to the challenging home situations many of us have in our lives. We can all have really bad days and we try to help each other on those bad days. Some of our lives deal with violence and all of us deal with loss. Our pain can run deep.

There are families with children, families with unmedicated adults, families with medicated adults and families struggling to get their loved ones on meds. The forum is fortunate that those who have successfully gotten their family members into recovery often check into the forum to share their struggles and give support to those trying to help their loved ones into some sort of recovery. We are equally fortunate to have people whose loved ones may never take meds, or who are med resistant. Everyone’s experiences are valuable to someone. Everyone’s suggestions won’t work for everyone. Our family members are individuals.

The forum often gets some wonderful, valuable, crossover input from the site’s forum for those personally dealing with scz. Like the caregivers and family members, there can be strong emotions all around. This forum is full of people dealing with hard realities that most of the world cannot understand -they have not had our experiences or our heartaches and they can’t understand our joys.

Personally, I think the thing to remember is there are so many people who read these threads and are helped by those who are here sharing. Even if they don’t join in the conversations, they are members of our community.


#5

You were not seen as rude :slight_smile: No worries there!
This forum is pretty much a tell as much as you feel comfortable with telling. So welcome!

As @hope said some of our family members may read the forum and depending on the type of sz may not like us to share too much. As is the case with our family. With Paranoid sz, there is the feeling too much is “out there” or “broadcast” they cannot control and it causes fear/anxiety. I do use caution when sharing. Frankly, at times it has probably been more than should, but it provides background sometimes necessary.

Even when I don’t post on a visit reading the forum adds insight or a sense of I can do this because others are.
Best wishes in your journey.


#6

Thanks Charity !

Welcome

Terry.