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!