Exhausted, former caregiver

I took care of my schizotypal mom until she died, and I am still exhausted. My doctor wants me to talk to a specialist.

I am not sure what to talk about. Normally, I don’t think about what I experienced or it all explodes. I want to say what I need without wasting specialist’s time.

The short version is that my mom came from a family of seven children, of whom six are schizotypal with paranoid delusions, some hospitalization. Wild stories about them. My mom was triggered by a horrible incident when she was newly married. When she was not having episodes, she was a wonderful, thoughtful, empathetic and wise lady.

Some things I could mention to a specialist–

Friends would not come to the house owing to “crazy mom” or crazy sibling.
People asking if you are really related to your family.
Being chased around the house, my mom brandishing a cleaver.
The neighbors calling the police over frightened screams.
Older sibling bragging about asking the devil to possess them, then punching you in the face.
Family members staring off into space, then coming out of it to do or say malicious things in a lizard voice.
Family members stealing your phonelist to call your employers and network with bizarre conspiracy theories starring you—and you get fired—even researching you online to find your current employer.
Family members saying often–“You are not one of us.” “You and your aunt are the only ones who are normal.” “We want to see how long it takes to make you crack and become one of us.” “Are you plotting against us?”
Mother smells poop or cigarette smoke everywhere, even when that is impossible. Endless house searches to find poop become a routine.
Continuously assigned mentally ill people to work with on the job, because I am “calming and empathetic.” Now totally exhausted.

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Welcome Otter,
Wow you have been through it and then some. Wow again! I don’t have any advice but now you don’t have anyone to take care of it probable feels odd. Hopefully you can find some things now that relax you and make you feel good about life. Get some rest but not so much it leaves you in depression. Write to us here when you feel like it. Try to just remember the good times with your mom. Sorry for you loss.


Welcome @Otter , I can understand that you are feeling exhausted after living the type of life you lived with your family. It is very hard to shake memories, bad ones, until enough time passes and living environments change so that you don’t think of those days as much. If your job is too stressful, then perhaps you request a change to make it less stressful. Talking to us here may help you to come to grips with what happened in your past with your mentally ill family members. Perhaps you can find a hobby or activity that brings you pleasure. I started gardening and took up making ceramics again during my daughters psychotic years, and since then I continued doing gardening and ceramics. Those activities brought me cheerful days or hours when I needed them, and also brought others cheer as I gave away or sold my plants or pottery.

Thank you for posting, I hope to see you here again. This forum has helped me greatly.