Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

After the Aggression

It’s been a year ago. My son has his own apartment now. I’ve never been there. I would love to visit him. I don’t know how to rebuild our relationship. It’s so very difficult. I wonder if he misses me or is he glad he doesn’t have to see me anymore. He apologized saying " I’m sorry for anything I may have done to hurt you." That was last June, the last time I saw him. I’ve tried to call him. He doesn’t answer for me or anyone else. He did call me a couple weeks ago. I was glad to hear his voice. I felt like I was rambling about things that aren’t important. My son is quiet. I probably shouldn’t have been so nervous. I wish I knew how to communicate in a manner that would be meaningful to him. I would love to see him. I keep praying.

@kmbr88 If your son has said things like “I’m sorry”, then does that mean he is on medication and now stable? I’m so sorry for the pain you are feeling, as you grieve for your son.

Could you send him a care package? Homemade cookies?

He was on medication for a while. I don’t think he is now.

He hasn’t shared his address. I know where the apt bldg is located. I don’t have his apt #. I’ve asked him if I could visit. I’ve been waiting for his reply. I don’t think he would eat anything I sent him. He typically will only eat what he prepares.

How sad and unfortunate that the relationship is so broken we have to walk on eggshells around our children. So far I don’t feel like I’m a trigger for my son but I’ve read stories on here and elsewhere that often times, the ones closest to them are triggers. I hope it doesn’t up like that.

My son only sees me on HIS terms. When he needs something or needs money. He also has his own apt but rarely lets me in, and he lives so close to me. I invite him over for food or just to visit since he won’t let me in his place, but he mostly just says no. I can’t help but think it’s heading in a direction where he won’t want to see me @ all. And like you, I wonder what he’s thinking. If he’s glad to not see me or if he misses me. He’s hard to read.

Hoping the best for you with the situation you’re in. It’s so very hard.

From what you wrote, I assume your son is a grown man. Being an adult, he does have a right to make his own choices, even if they are bad ones.
However, if you want to be close with him and offer help, you’ll probably need to extend the olive branch.
The hard part is that knowing how often to make contact and when to end the conversation is really difficult when trying to communicate with someone who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
I think a good way to start is with a simple text message:
“It would me nice to catch up. Call me when you get a chance?”
((I do this with all of my family members I haven’t spoken to in a few weeks))

Regarding whimsical topics and rambling,
This is pretty typical of someone with Schizophrenia when their lifestyle, medication and therapy aren’t doing enough to ease symptoms. Lack of solid sequence of events, scattered topics of conversation and difficulty with discussing one constant theme are symptoms of trouble with logical thinking.
This is super common from what I’ve seen with my brother and on the DX’d side of these forums.

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I do text him. Yes he is an adult and as an adult I respect his space. I text a few times a month. I will call knowing he won’t answer, I also know he will see my missed call and know I thought of him.

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I appreciate the kind thoughts and words of encouragement. It will be alright. Adapting to difficult family dynamics is an ongoing growth process. Everyone of us sufferers the loss of what once was as we grow to accept what now is. Yes life is still beautiful.

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My son was missing for three months and the only communication was my texts to him every few days. His voice mail stayed full and he only made a few strategic phone calls (like to AAA when he locked keys in his car.) He texted back ONE time during those three months and said “Hey mom, I just want you to know that I love you very much! I’m not mad at you.” He doesn’t even remember that (nor much of the last year and a half and more), but in recent months (yes, it has been a long journey but worth every bit of it) he is taking medication (for a long time he refused) and doing SO MUCH BETTER!

So I am trying to say that things CAN change. And his lack of communication may only be an indication of his illness. I have found that using LEAP strategy is also helpful. You start out be LISTENING and not giving any opinion or advice. (Read the book “I am Not Sick: I Don’t Need Help” by Dr. Xavier Amador" discussed elsewhere on the Forum.) When the other person has reason to believe that you are interested in HIS thoughts and feelings, it can open doors. I waited months for that opportunity to occur and when it finally did, I was prepared, because I had read and practiced the LEAP strategy. Don’t give up hope! But in the meantime, if you believe your loved one is safe and perhaps content, that can be an OK place to be.

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My son is 32 and not medicated. He lives in his own apartment and is on disability. He has stopped all communication with me (mom) and his dad. We are blocked from his phone. I can’t text him at all. He says he is better off without us in his life. He has delusions of things we did to him. Too long to go into what that is but it’s bad. We were terrible parents and are to blame for his life. We haven’t seen him in about a year. We will get nasty voice mails or text occasionally. Somehow he can text me but he has his phone set so he can’t receive texts from me. I have to ignore it anyways. We miss him terribly and also pray every day for him. He was a loving person to us at one time and that is the person we miss. Occasionally he will call and apologize but it usually it starts all over again the next day. My NAMI group tells me to keep reaching out to him but there is a lot of backlash when I do. Kmbr88 I need to remember what you said that life is beautiful. I am not there yet. I cry everyday because I miss him so much and worry about him. He is naive and like a teenager and people take advantage of him. He is constantly on my mind. I just wanted you to know that others are going through what you are. Take care and I will pray for you and your son.

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It is truly heartwrenching. Schizophrenia is such a debilitating illness. I hope and pray your son will be able to show you a sign of his love for you. In the heart the love they shared remains. It is the mind that confuses them. It is an illness that causes great grief. Compassion is like a healing balm to the broken heart and faith is what binds the broken pieces together. I hope and pray you cry a little less every day and are able to laugh and smile enough to balance the pain of your suffering. Thank you for sharing with me.

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Yup - I was a terrible parent as well (according to my son - who I supported in all his sporting endeavors etc). I abused him, made him stay in his room - on and on. This is part of the disease. I am sure you were good parents and continue to be. I hope some day your son will take meds - you never know there are many who have been convinced to try them by people outside the family. I’m sorry for your current situation. I have a feeling my son won’t stay in touch that much once he moves out. He’s currently medicated and I don’t get the “bad parent” stuff any longer.

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Yes I was at every sporting event, marching band,took him on many vacations.etc… I know it’s the disease. My son didn’t say this stuff when he first got sick at age 21 and was unmedicated for a few years. He took medicine for 3 years and then quit cold turkey. All this started after he quit about 2 1/2 years ago. One good thing is he has paid all of his own bills for the past year. We miss him and just hope someday there is a change.

@Lmr @DianeR
I have gone through the “I am a bad parent” thoughts myself… I know I made some mistakes as a parent and all parents aren’t perfect…
But we do the best that we can. My daughter keeps on thinking that we did things that we have no recollection of happening, such as locking her in the basement in her underwear when she was 5, in order to teach her to appreciate the things we provide for her… this has to be her perception and again I have recollection of this ever happening. She brings this “event” up frequently.

My wife and I love the show “This is Us”. There was an episode where two of the siblings remember a childhood memory differently. One remembered a fun glitter fight, the other remembered a plate getting broken. We all have different perspectives on our past. My wife tends to see the glitter fights, while her sister sees the broken plates. My daughter tends to see the broken plates. I manage to see both…

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What was he on when he took the meds. That is a good thing that he is paying his own bills - in fact that’s fantastic. I look back at my relationship with my parents - I called once a month, wrote letters and visited only once a year. I was 2000 miles away. I felt that was normal however for living so far away.

Opposite - I know I was a good mom. He (son) when sick told me I was a bad mom. On and on about the things I did wrong. Forced him to play baseball etc. Maybe she got locked in the basement by someone (sibling) of maybe she just remembers being in the basement and being scared… No way to know for sure.

My son was on Invega in the pill form. I know what you mean about a relationship with parents. I don’t see my one daughter all that much. I know she loves me and we text all the time. I guess I worry so much about my son because he is so naive. He has been beaten up before. People rip him off. He will do anything to have a friend. My husband and I say if he was normal and wanted nothing to do with us it would be better. At least we would know he was ok. I had a brother who had nothing to do with our family. He died alone in his apartment and age 33. I guess I have this fear that this will happen to my son too.

I know of persons with SZ who absolutely remember things that DID NOT occur. If they can hear voices and have delusions, their minds can certainly make up things that are not true! I know of persons who at times insist their parents are NOT their parents. This is the illness, NOT YOU!

I can understand your fear. I am so sorry. But don’t give up. There was a time when I was tracking our loved one to the best of my ability when he was missing and homeless living out of a car filled with all of his possessions that would fit. When it was apparent he had no intention of coming home, I started reaching out to homeless shelters and hospitals in the 5 county area where I knew he was wandering. He had been hospitalized several times previously and was not med-compliant. I was prepared when he finally got sick enough to be hospitalized involuntarily. 16 months later (and still a lot of challenging times to get to this point), he has been stable in a residential setting for 7 months and compliant with medication for 10 months and is doing wonderfully. He still has a long way to go to become independent, but we have hope for that. We know there may be setbacks, but we hope to keep moving forward.