My husband has been homeless and un-medicated (schizoaffective) for months now, having chosen to leave the place we moved to last year to go back to CA where he went to high school and is the only place he knows and felt comfortable. I thought he would feel better being back there, but his illness worsened and he was angry at everyone and everything, angry at the way the town was changing, angry because friends wouldn’t help him out like they used to, angry because he couldn’t get a housing voucher and wasn’t able to stay in a shelter, angry that I wasn’t there being homeless with him.
He kept harassing me for money, extremely angry and ill-tempered most of the time. I sent him what I could, but I am just starting full-time temporary work and I am not in the best financial shape, either. Recently, his delusions told him he had a job waiting for him in D.C. and he had to get there no matter what to save our country. I would not send him money for that, so he has caused me a lot of anguish with police waking me up at night, him calling at my work, stress with the family member I live with and in general with insulting me and calling me a liar and making me wonder who is this man I married. We’ve been together nine years and this is the first time I’ve witnessed his delusions being this strong. Yesterday he forced a friend to give him money for a bus ticket, so he is on his way to D.C., a city where he knows no one and has no idea of what he will be facing.
Only a few days ago, he had called, weeping, telling me he knew he was delusional and was going to check himself into the hospital to start medication again. But the idea of taking multiple medications (that they would insist on giving him because of his history), ones that caused him to gain a lot of weight and be in a fog all the time, finally caused him to not go to the hospital. I understand where he’s coming from. He had been force-medicated for almost ten years in the past and feels that he is being his true self now. I just got the book “I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” by Xavier Amador from the library and I wish I had been able to read it sooner. There is language I could have used that might have directed him towards getting help rather than feeding into the delusions and taking himself to a place so far away from everything he knows. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with talking with their loved one about their illness; there is a lot of compassion involved.
I am worn out from worrying about him and this is a new stressor for me. I know he won’t be in touch with me as much as he was before and that he will encounter things he wasn’t expecting. Now he will not only be in a time zone six hours different from me but also 5,000 miles away. I am doing my best to concentrate on my own life, but it is difficult.