Any others with estranged parents?

Any other children estranged from their ill parent? It weighs on me but also I’m hardly doing great as is. I’m trying to change careers into computer software engineering. Getting financial help from my mother’s sister. Doing solo and group therapy to heal my relational attachment wounds from growing up in neglect and trauma.

I can’t have her in my life. I don’t have the internal or external resources to help her. Also she doesn’t wanna be medicated.

But it weighs on me. I know it’s the right thing for me but it weighs on me.

A friend suggested a baby step would be to write letters to her and read them in therapy/at support groups.

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Hi electricburgers,

Sorry that there hasn’t been much response to your search for other children dealing with ill parents. There have been others on the forum, just not in large numbers. If you search on the threads you will find several who are dealing with trying to help their parent. They may respond if you reply on their threads as they will get an email alerting them to your post.

My husband’s mother had schizophrenia, she wasn’t diagnosed until her 70’s, even then they simply diagnosed her with a “psychiatric disorder”. Long before her diagnosis, he thought, due to her lack of empathy, lack of affection, setting him and his brothers up to be beaten by their dad, the constant lies that made trouble between family members, heavy drinking, staying in her room smoking for hours while cigarette smoke came from under her bedroom door…etc etc… I could go on and on about his miserable childhood… he thought she was a psychopath - these days the proper term ASPD.

There were many years when he had very little to do with his mother, mainly to protect our family. Her voices focused on me and she hated me because of it. She was constantly causing trouble by telling people bizarre things she claimed I had said to her. I finally refused to have any contact with her at all.

His youngest brother has written letters to both of his brothers as he was recommended to do so by his therapist. Their mom has been dead ten years now and the younger brother (55) is still working to sort out his damage. My husband and his other brother have refused to respond to the letters, they want to keep it all in the past.

I find it interesting that our son’s auditory hallucinations are similar in presentation to his grandmother’s. Our son attributes his hostile voices to people who are nearby. He has also focused on a person, instead of me as it had been with his grandmother, his psychosis is triggered by his dad.

My MIL had a sister who also had the same presentation. Their other sister had a son with the same presentation. The other sister was so relieved when my son was diagnosed and suddenly all of her sisters and her son’s behaviors made sense. She lost her son in his late twenties.


yeah these spaces are filled with spouses, siblings, parents. less so the kids.

it makes sense to me why that is but it’s also lonely. the power dynamic of it being a parent is world’s apart.

when i read ‘keep it in the past’ that kinda breaks my heart. that’s what my dad used to say to us growing up. and for it is the exact opposite of what i needed to heal from it.

though my healing is done in solo and group therapy. not with other family members.


I’m not sure why only the youngest brother wants to work through their life growing up with their mom. You would have thought they would all want to talk out some of the more painful family “moments” with this new information. I hope his brother is finding success in therapy.

Yes, children are powerless, and to later end up taking responsibility for the same parent who terrorized your childhood? It’s like a childhood nightmare coming true as you realize you don’t have any more power over them than you did when you were a child.

The typical adult child of a parent with scz that appears on the forum is usually trying to take responsibility of their parent who has often lost their home and/or whatever support system had been in place. They would like advice on how to proceed with their plan. They do share a similarity with the parents who are doing the same thing with their adult children.


Makes sense. I can’t be around my mother. It would be too destabilizing. I guess I’m privileged that she has many siblings.

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I’m sorry you’re going through this. As a sibling of someone with SZ, I also have had a lot of trouble finding community specific to sibling issues. I think it’s lonely no matter what. My best friend’s mom was raised by a mother with SZ, and I have been able to connect with her on the topic even though she is the child of a parent with SZ and I am a sibling. We can still find a lot of understanding that we don’t expect to find. I think we also get just the simple fact of how damn isolating it feels. But you are most definitely not alone. Be easy on yourself and put your stability first. The best thing you can do for you and for your mom is taking care of yourself first. Maybe one day in the future you can find a way to have occasional phone calls with her while keeping strong, sane, loving boundaries. But don’t get lost in trying before you are ready.

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Thank you, bex. I do need the reminders that I can’t rush this.

My local NAMI chapter has specific support groups for siblings.

But yeah a lot of understanding can be had just by folx who have a loved one with the disease, you’re so right. The details will be different for everyone’s story, no matter the relationship dynamic.

Same experience here.
My mom was diagnosed with schizophrenia and epilepsy when I was a teenager. She was very hostile towards me, thinking I was insulting her. It was like the hell. It has been almost 20 years now that I’m dealing with this, she’s not hostile anymore though and I think she’s got to know how the disease is like. I’m not living in the US, there is no support system here in my country. I was almost alone on this journey. I take antidepressants from time to time, am lonely, can’t leave my mom, can’t work outside, can’t live a normal life. That’s it…
We could connect if you want. Here my instagram: mahboubeh.gmi

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I’m sorry you don’t have anyone locally. It seems to be a common issue.

I’m glad this forum exists. There’s also NAMI Zoom meetings for family members of those who suffer from major mental illness. I wonder if your country has such groups.

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Well, there is none to my knowledge

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