Thank you everyone in this forum! You have helped me tremendously over the last months and years, although this is the first time I am writing here.
I have been with my boyfriend for 17 years, and about 11 years ago he got sick. There were signs before, predromal symptoms, which made me even more committed to being with this man who found it so difficult to find his place in this world. He ended the relationship, moved to another country (he is from US, I am from a small country in Europe), and told me the relationship is over, over and over again. He came back, having no other place to go to, and I welcomed him back, over and over again. I thought I could help him and that my love would cure him. For about 9 years, I was able to convince him to stay with the meds, although he thinks he is not sick. For many years, he also stayed off weed. Things were not great, but tolerable. I was dreaming of having a family, but I thought he needed to be stable long enough before that could happen, so we did not have any children. And he is blaming me for that so bad…
About two years ago he decided again to medicate himself with weed, and about a year ago that he does not need medication. That he never needed them, and I was the one to blame for tricking him into taking meds and never wanting to have a family with him. Plus all the horrible things he started accusing me of: being an agent, receiving money from US government (saying that I never would have been with him through all the hardships without someone paying me), letting other agents coming in while he is sleeping to do things to him, my family being in on the conspiravy against him, etc. Plus all the other atrocities I did’t even know people could say to each other. These things have been around for all these years, but never this bad. He has never been physically violent, though I am so afraid of his verbal accusations and yelling that I have completely quit everything besides work in my life. Although it has been over 10 years living in this hell, I have not told my parents or my friends thinking it is his right to keep this private if he chooses to do so. I was in my early 20s when this started and had no clue… I studied to be a psychologist and have had no option but to work, since I have been the only one providing for us both for all this time (and believe me, he has tried his harderst to make me quit my job). My profession has helped me to understand him and communicate with him a lot, but it has also made the boundary between work and home really blurry.
He has been in a hospital several times, in the beginning, and then after a break of eight years again last summer.They kept him for about a month this time. He is very receptive to meds, and in only few days with meds he was totally a different person. Previously, he always quit meds when he was feeling better (creating a horrible cycle of every time he was feeling better and getting a job, which would quickly turn to worse). And after last summer, he quit the meds as soon as he was released from the hospital.
We somehow survived this winter, me spending every waking moment trying to keep him calm and not yelling in this apartment building. He has been accusing neighbors, yelling at them and breaking things, and I will be paying for it for a long time. I know he has been “contacting correspondents” around the Europe, while he thinks this country has “let him down, knowingly and willingly letting him to suffer the torture by the US government”. I am so glad I don’t even know about all the irrational things he has done, like I used to in the previous years.
Well, 5 days ago he left again. Took our cat and flew to another country in Europe. He was able to arrange this himself in secrecy (place to stay, storage for his belongings, passport & microchip for the cat, etc.), which gives me vague hope that he could be a little more functional than before. For years I have been taking care for everything in our lives, and this is the first time he has done things like this alone. Sometimes he is more functional, sometimes less. He was diagnosed when he was 33, and he had been living a somewhat fuctional life before that.
For the first time in years I feel like I have been allowed to breathe this week. He does not want to be in this country or with me. I think he deserves to be happier (as do I). We both want this relationship to be over with. I wish he could succeed, though know he can’t without meds. I know him being forced to take meds is not a sustainable solution, since it has been tried several times before and it has never lasted. He needs to realize it himself.
I am terrrified that he will be back (like he has always before), and I am also terrified and quilty that he is suffering there alone. I feel I have reached my limit, living like this for over 10 years, being his only support (withouth having any support myself) and only receiving insults and accusations in return. I have pretty much given up my dreams of having children and a family, since I am approaching middle age now… So in my desperate moments I feel like I gave my life to him, even though he did not even want it, but I did it because there was nobody else to take care of him.
For years I was worried about him doing something to himself, but over this last winter I have had these feelings of not caring what will happen to him, and I feel quilty about that too. On the other hand I have also finally understood that I can’t carry him through his entire life and help him if he does not want to be helped. I need to allow me to have a life too.
I don’t know why I am writing here now. I have not heard from him now for 5 days, but I know he talks to his mother (who is almost 80 and lives on the other side of the world), so I know he and our cat are alive. Like I said, I have been reading all the posts for years and felt the support in this group. I have finally been able to breathe a little, which makes me want to seek support. I want someone in the world to know that I have had these experiences and lived in hell for the last 10 years, that I still don’t want to tell anyone in details but I wish someone could understand how hard it has been. Before this, nobody knows, because I don’t want anyone to think bad things about him. And he is very perceptive about what people think of him, so previously when I have told my family members even vaguely that he has issues, he has somehow “felt it” from their responses to him and not wanted us both to have anything to do with these people again. I have wanted to keep my family away from his delusions, alienating myself from them at the same time. I have tried my hardest to keep our heads above water. I have tried my best. And I succeeded for a long time.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t do more, sometimes I feel I could, but he does not want my help anymore. I have felt very depressed and alone for years and years, but only after this 5 days I find myseld having hope again, planning of starting new hobbies and thinking about contacting my old friends and family. And then feeling quilty about it. Or maybe quilty is not the right word. I feel hope again, and every time I have felt like this before over the last 10 years, life (or he) has brought me back to my knees. I know he will be back and we will start the same cycle all over again. And now I am trying my hardest to prepare myself for that.
I just want you wonderful, strong people over there to know how much you have helped me and how much I appreciate it. You aree the only people I know that can understand. And you are the only people I have told this: I have been living with a man with schitzophrenia for 11 years and it has been a hell.