Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Breakdown!


#1

Hi! I’ve been a part of this forum for a long time, but I haven’t said anything. I feel lost and alone and I need support from someone who understands.

My husband has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia since he was a teenager. He’s 39-years-old now. When I met him, he was managing his Schizophrenia on his own with no medications and was doing very well. He would have bad days, but overall he was successful. He had a fantastic career and an active social life. He had recovered from an episode six years earlier, which ended with him leaving a very controlling wife, who uses their child to punish and control him. When I met him, his child was very angry at everyone and was sceptical of myself and my children. My husbands illness had caused his ex-wife to turn his own parents and sister against him. However, his parents weren’t angry. They just didn’t want to have to choose between the ex-in-law and him, which makes no sense to me. The obvious choice would be my own child.

Since we got married, my husband has been trying to mask his symptoms and hid from me the fact that he was getting ill again. He has constant thoughts of suicide and cries all day. Finally, two weeks ago, I took him to the crisis centre and he was admitted. We are currently selling our home and downsizing everything, so that I can support the family on my income alone. We have three children between us, so this is a task! The stress of selling our home in a poor market and trying to pay bills is very hard. My husband asked that his ex put his child support payments on hold for the time being until he returns to work. We care for the child 40% of the time anyway and that was to continue. He was required to pay $600/month with no salary.

His ex wife believed that it was my responsability to take over the payments and care of the child while my husband is sick. I got legal advise and found out that this is not the case. I have applied for a recalculation on the payments and she will receive nothing until that is done. He isnt making any money so it will likely remain at zero. He has exhausted his employment insurance and doesn’t qualify for disability, because of my income. The system is not ideal. I have always said that his son can be in our home. I have no problem with that. I only stated that there was no point for him to stay with me while his dad is in hospital. I am trying to sell the house and do a million things to hold us together. His son can visit him in hospital or for the days that he has day passes.

Well, his ex is so angry about the loss of money and child care that she has phoned his whole family in a rage and spouted lies about me. She also has told his son that it is me that is withholding visitation from him! His parents are staying neutral and trying to be friendly with everyone, however, I am very afraid that his son believes his mom (he’s 12) and this will cause even more stress for my husband. Also, his sister has sided with his ex. The whole family is fragmented now, because of this woman.

I just feel like everyone is turning on me. I’m only trying to make things so that our family will survive and protect my husband.


#2

You have my total sympathy. You are facing two giant causes of stress - a dispute with your husband’s ex and caring for someone with sz. Both can be incredibly exasperating.


#3

Thank you so much. I love my husband so much. It’s hard to navigate all of these things at once. I’m so afraid we won’t hold it together. My priority is my husband. I’m trying to block out all the other external stresses. Sometimes it’s almost impossible.


#4

Wow you are the strong one.
If that happened to me, the stress would be enough for a hospital visit.

and its about stress, so if you can reduce it for him he should get better all the quicker.
Does the previous wife even understand sz at all???
Probably not, the way she is acting and all the better for her to be out of the picture if possible.

Does the child get along with your kids?
Then is it possible for him/her to be with your family while your hubbie is ill?
That should stop some of the sniping and BS maybe?
Maybe you could say there is no cash but lots of love?

I know that’s extra stress on you but you will come out the angel just trying to keep the family together unlike the clueless wife who seems to be looking for a pawn to increase her cash flow.

Don’t have all the facts but imagining what if that happened…


#5

Hi Mamalove…
The smart people will stick with you.
You are so busy-I wonder if you have time for a support group?
You are right to tune out everything except your family.
My children are also fragmented from their brother. I know i can`t really force them to do anything until they are ready. It really wastes a lot of energy trying to convince people they should help.
Please make sure you are getting some downtime for yourself. Hopefully your husbands parents will babysit and give you some time off?
Let his ex deal with her own stuff.
Take care of yourself!


#6

so sorry for the situation you’re in! that’s all so hard to deal with! it always seems like there’s something to worry about and then everything crashes at once. it can be so hard.

you seem very strong. i hope your husband is okay. i am going through something slightly similar regarding him and his treatment. i hope he is able to pull through. he seems strong as well.


#7

We are both usually strong. Really strong. We’re both nurses, believe it or not.

Right now, he’s heavily drugged, out on a day pass, sleeping beside me. I’m sitting beside him crying.

My life is falling apart. I will never leave him. I will always protect him.

I don’t know what to do about these family problems. I think I need to block them out until he is more stable.

I am protecting my love and my family.


#8

Also, thank you.

I need friends desperately. Schizophrenia has a stigma. It’s not fair. I can’t tell anyone.

These messages, coming from strangers, are fantastic!!!


#9

It sounds like you need some human help as well.

Please… as a health care professional… you know the value support for the family as well as the ones with the illness.

Please… maybe just look into a support group…

My family got a lot of resources and ideas from a group… people who have been fighting for their loved ones longer then my family had… knew of visiting nurses… therapies… new drugs… better doctors…

www.nami.org

Good luck and I’m rooting for you.


#10

I agree with @SurprisedJ. I’ve been on here for a while and he and his sister @kidsister give pretty good advice. If you don’t want to go to a support group or if it does not work out for you could go to a therapist/councilor person or you might do that in addition to the support group. I go to one (I have sz) at the public mental health care place. If you have insurance that would probably help. I don’t know how expensive it is without insurance but I pay $20 when I go every two weeks. I don’t know if that is possible for you in your situation BUT I have been to a different one at a different center here and both of them have what I think is called a sliding pay scale. The less money you make the less you have to pay. The public one should (hopefully but I don’t know) be able to take into account your financial burdens. I don’t know what sort of resources the therapist would give to you because what I am going for is different. My councilor generally just lets me talk. I can not explain how much that helps me.

They cannot legally tell anyone else anything you say unless you are a danger to yourself or others. They can also give you good resources like a guided meditation script or other relaxation technique print outs and explain to you how to use them. She can tell me what I am doing wrong when I try the techniques if they are not working or suggest alternate ideas.

But for me the biggest thing is that I can just talk. I can tell her things I don’t even admit to myself. She doesn’t really say a bunch during the session, but that might be because that’s just what helps me. I (jokingly) think that I am born Catholic. If I admit what is bothering me, what I have done wrong, what I am worried about, it really eases the pressure and often makes that worry disappear. I can swear profusely, cry, anything. You have the secrecy of writing in a diary except no one will be able to read it. Something about having another living being in the room with you reassuring you is really helpful. You don’t have to watch what you say or how you say it. That really relieves pressure, at least for me. And you can rant/vent whatever you want to call it to your therapist about your husband’s ex. I find talking about people who I don’t like or find difficult with my therapist helps me not say something in front of someone else. You probably don’t want to criticize your step child’s Mom in front of him. He knows she is nuts and it would probably hurt your relationship with him. Nuts or not, she is his Mom.

I won’t lie. They send the prisoners and the people who have mandatory therapy to the center I go to. I have never seen any problems though. But I live in a smaller town and they take all of the convicts on the same day. I go on different days than they do (you should be able to get appointments for days that the prisoners aren’t there) and I went a couple of times on the day of the week that they came in but there were never any problems. The receptionists have it all under control. I have never seen a toe out of line except they were telling this one guy he had to leave. I don’t remember why he was there. But he kept saying he was supposed to get something there or someone had something for him there, I don’t remember. But even he didn’t get ugly. He just repeated (loudly) over and over what he wanted, who he wanted to see, I don’t remember. I didn’t feel like there was any sort of threat and I am a skittish person. It honestly felt like whenever someone got upset and made a scene in any other health care place. It was about as scary as someone getting mad at the dermatologist’s receptionist. That was the only even disruptive thing I have ever seen there and I have been going pretty much year round for three years now.

Also,

Have you tried appealing to your husband’s parents directly? I realize I know nothing about the situation but I sort of think that they might be trying to bridge the gap, not because they don’t realize that his ex is a psycho- but because they know that he can get very sick and they don’t want their grandson left alone with a woman like this. I don’t know what to say about his sister though. But I would remind them of how she acted towards him when they were married and then ask them if anyone can really believe what she has to say.

As for your step son- my nephew is going through this sort of thing- your step son might just be trying to survive. My Mom isn’t happy with how my Grandmother acts when my nephew comes to stay for the weekend or for the holiday he stays with my family. They gets on to him and want to know everything that his Mom said and did. Because of this he has gotten sort of underhanded and manipulative. I’m pretty sure his Mom does the same to him when he comes home. My Aunt calls them survival lies. People tell survival lies to avoid harm. I’m not saying she hits him, I am not insinuating it. But from what I have heard she is a real jerk just like your husband’s ex. So basically my nephew started lying and manipulating as a way to emotionally survive his parent’s rocky marriage and bad divorce.

I’m sorry about talking so much.
But I will say- even angles need a little help sometimes. :sunflower:


#11

That sounds very challenging. You and his son both need support.


#12

Having people understand and coment here is a huge help to me. Thank you. I’ve decided to just focus on loving people and people who are giving us love and strength. My husbands son will eventually see me protecting and empowering his dad. I won’t stop. My husband has great value and is worthy even if he doesn’t feel it. This is so hard. The hardest thing we’ve ever been together through. We will likely always live with this. Hopefully, some of the bizarre family issues will be sorted so I can focus on safety and health. My man came home on a pass tonight. We did our usual rounds of gears of war and then he slept. He kept apologizing for sleeping. I just love him.


#13

I am so sorry for what you are going through. Your husband is so lucky to have your support, and you to have a man that you love so much. I cannot understand his family. I hate it when people become doormats for bullies for the sake of appearing “loving” and “good” and “nice” while people in need of their protection get abused. That ex needs to be stood up to, and your husband needs the support of his family! They need to be siding with YOUR HUSBAND! To be honest that makes me so mad. I personally, wouldn’t put up with it, but that is not an issue you guys probably need to be dealing with right now. You need to concentrate on what it takes to get out of crisis mode, and maintaining the strength and perseverance yourself to deal with it. Stuff can be replaced, money can be put back in the bank, your husband can’t be replaced and there is no dollar amount that can be put on his health. You have your priorities straight-as hard as I know the sacrifices are and as uncertain as the future seems right now. Anyone who is not part of a solution to get your husband stable can just get out of your way! Surround yourself with love and support, take care of yourself so you can take care of your family-that is all you need to do right now. You can come here and get info, vent, be inspired, cry into your keyboard. A lot of support, compassion and heroes on this site.


#14

@mamalove, ((((Hugs)))) to you.
You are an incredible person for all you do for everyone. Time reveals all, and I think that his ex needs to be checked out by a medical professional, she has some issues that poisons everyone she talks too.
Wish you the best and hope things turn out great and fast too.
Your family is very lucky to have you!


#15

I have to say that I find it really backwards and strange that my husbands family always sides with his ex wife. They said that the reason is that she would withhold their grandson from them if they don’t remain neutral. I understand wanting to remain in his life, but if she is so unreasonable, should she get her way? Every time she has a tantrum, she is rewarded. She will never grow up. My husband said he left her for a reason. The reason he left her was her controlling and raging behavior. I have to step away from this situation and just do my best. It’s too damaging and difficult.


#16

I had a friend in a similar situation with her grandson.
I believe there is something called Grandparents Rights.
They can take her to court to get visiting times.


#17

I just wanted to say from what I read I think you are making the right decision. I don’t have kids so I don’t know what that is like. But you have to take care of your husband (and your kids) and get him stable. Then you can worry about his kid. If the mother is willing to let you have the kid for your 40% of the time fine, but don’t fight with her. Pick your battles and right now that energy should be directed toward your husband. The kid is being taken care of by his mother and grandparents.


#18

That is subterfuge. It is a justification for them not having balls. You and your husband have their grandson 40% of the time, they can see their grandson within that time frame and create a strong relationship with him that way-people do it every day! All they are doing is giving her more power to abuse with, and at the same time withholding support from your husband in his time for need. But you can deal with that later, if it’s not dealt with it will never change. Right now just deal with what you can, and let the rest lie for another day. It’s important to prioritize and pick your battles so you don’t get exhausted from the fight. You guys will get through this and someday you’ll look back at it as a memory of a really bad time that made you stronger for your future. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, and recovery is a long process, but things can get better.


#19

I’m sorry you and your husband are not getting the support you need. Sometimes family situations can be tough. It sounds like you are doing the best that you can. As others have said, center on what you need to. Let the rest fall away.

I’ve been away so belated welcome to the forum. :smile: