Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do I forgive?


#1

My husband was hospitalized about 2 months ago.

He is doing much better on the meds they have given him this time. Although, he did have a spell where he wasn’t taking them correctly and I could tell by his behavior, but he is now back on track.

Today, he started telling me that he realizes he has been depressed for some time and that he feels he is coming out of it. This is after we had an argument about him not being on Medicare Part B and how the doctor bills have just piled up over the last 3 years from his hospital stays and whatnot.

He told me that I should give him a break because he is just now coming out of this state of depression he has been in for many years. He is Schizophrenic and as far as I know there is no cure, only to keeping taking meds as they are prescribed. He told me that I have no idea what it’s like to be depressed.

I reminded him that I have been the one taking care of him, his parents, our son and the house while holding down a job for the last 3 years on my own. And that I find it hard to wrap my head around the things I need to do because I am exhausted and fed up with how my life turned out.

It has ruined my marriage and I really don’t know if there is a way to get it back as I really don’t feel the same anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I do still love him, but not in the same way. I took a vow 13 years ago for sickness and in health and I plan on seeing it thru regardless of his mental state. But I am angry.

He acts like I should be ecstatic over this break through he has made when I know it is the meds. It’s like to him, he thinks the slate has been wiped clean. He has said a lot of hurtful things to me, blocked me out of his life and has just lived in total secrecy to the point we just stopped talking and I patiently wait for the right time to call the right people to come to my house, evaluate him and take him to the hospital. I know this is his illness, but it doesn’t change the resentment I have toward him. I’ve been thru total HELL the last 3 years and I can’t just suddenly forget it.

Every time he stops taking his meds, I become the enemy. He hasn’t helped me make one decision regarding our son, his parents or the house in 3 years and I’ve carried the stress of all of it, including losing my full time management job I worked so hard to get, only to get it and lose it 3 months later because he couldn’t take care of our son at night.

Losing the full time management job and having to go back to part time was painful as hell to me; I waited a long time to get it and it provided health insurance for him and my son. I can’t just forget all of this and I guess I am writing to anyone who may have pointers on how to get past the resentment. Thanks for listening!


#2

I will get back on this issue - but perhaps right now this would be helpful. These are very different experiences - but if they can forgive, perhaps you can too.

and


#3

@Ginger Everything you said we have all experienced with our loved ones who are cursed with this illness! The way I handle it is I keep reminding myself that it is not him speaking, but the disease! They are everything in b/w, there is no in between. I listen, try not to speak very much bc I know my words get jumbled up between my mouth and his ears, ask if there is anything I can do and acknowledge his pain. Now having said that, most days I’m able to let those harsh stinging words send actions roll off my back. But then there are other days when I just can’t and I break down. Cry must of the day. But one promise w have made to each other is no matter what, each day brings new forgiveness and mercy just like God shoes us!


#4

My husband is currently in the hospital refusing all meds. This is his second visit- he was in 10 days, out 4, and will be in again for 8. He is set to come home Tuesday.

Our journey really began June 8, when he destroyed my children’s rooms when we were at work/school. It’s been building for a long time. He has many delusions. Most are related to me or famous people he has mistaken for past relationships. We have been married almost 5 years.

I read your post and I had to reply. Our situations are not the same, but I catch most of my husband’s anger. He has said things that have hurt me to the core; things I don’t know how to get past. That being said, I’m the one advocating for us to stay together, work on things, hopefully live together again. I wish I had anger, I think it would be easier than the push-pull, I love you one day, you betrayed me (delusions) I want a divorce the next that just feels like rejection Yesterday he said that in terms of our relationship, he was glad we had rapport bcz you have to crawl before you can walk. I was so grateful to hear that.

Every family and friend I have wants me to divorce him. They dont get that I took my vows seriously and I can’t just walk away. I just can’t, though he may want me to.

I don’t know how you forgive or get over the bad stuff. I may not be able to. My husband seems to accept no responsibility at all and justifies his actions. I totally understand what you are saying. And, like you, I do it all. I don’t know if my children will ever get over it if we do reconcile.

I am looking forward to seeing other replies. I just wanted you to know I get it. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!


#5

General opinion about forgiveness: if the person doesn’t want forgiveness because they cannot take responsibility or don’t think they did anything wrong, then forgiveness is for us, to help our hearts. Anger and resentment are super painful feelings I feel often, though not towards my sz family member, but a couple of the so-called neurotypical members of my family who don’t help and then criticize my efforts when something goes wrong, even though they didn’t contribute at all or try for/request a different effort. I’m very bitter.

I hope that my heart can be healed of these feelings for my own sake.


#6

Sadwife,
Our situation is more alike than different. I have heard many hurtful things and him wanting to divorce me is one of them. When he is in his psychotic state, I am the enemy. I can’t do or say anything right. I’m always out to get him. And “betrayal” is a word I hear often, which to me is as hurtful as “divorce”. I’ve been screamed at, called names and generally argued with all of the time over questioning his delusions.
There was a time before his illness that he and I were best friends. We talked about everything and never made major decisions without involving the other. We did things together all of the time. I also have a 10 year old son who has been put thru the wringer with this, but he is a trooper and accepts his father as a whole, illness and all.
Our lives turned completely upside down when this all came about. I never saw this coming…I never dreamed this would happen to him. And to boot, I grew up with my father who became schizophrenic due to a traumatic brain injury he incurred from an automobile accident. And as selfish as this sounds, I can’t help but wonder why I am surrounded by this, why I can’t escape it, why did I marry someone who ended up the same way my father did? My husbands illness started when he was 44 and the only thing the social workers from the hospitals he’s been in said is that severe depression can bring it on. They all seem shocked that he is experiencing late onset schizophrenia.
I too also have a friend who thinks I should walk out. But I can’t. There is no one else who will take care of him and like I said, I took a vow and I take that very seriously. And I know that if the shoe were on the other foot, he would stick with me. But that doesn’t make me feel any better nor does it calm my resentment.
I try not to bring up to him the things he has done to me because it really does no good. Some of it he doesn’t even remember which makes me even more angry. I honestly don’t know where to start with forgiveness. I have been thinking about possibly going to therapy to talk to someone, but my insurance won’t pay for it and I really don’t know if I can pay for it out of pocket.
But I do know this, forgiveness starts with me whether if he offers me an apology or not. I just don’t know how to get there yet.


#7

My husband is 46… started out of the blue at 45.

It is amazing though, how people really do try to force you to leave your spouse. If we reconcile, I will be disowned. Most likely, I will not tell people.

I also wonder “Why me?” a lot. Which for me is probably a pity party. My kids, being his stepchildren and dealing with his bad moods, don’t want him back. I don’t know.


#8

Oh my, the pain you are feeling is real!!! We all have been there caring for our family member. Have you considered counseling for yourself? I found this helpful to actually believe that it was the disease talking not my son. Also if your husband does some counseling in conjunction with his treatment, he too will understand at times he is unwell he is hurting you too He does not know or comprehend that now. Counseling, prayer, church attendance (maybe with counseling) helps to feel God’s love when you can’t feel your spouse’s love.

Also, concerning depression. have you heard of schizoaffective disorder? They can treat the depression too. This is what my son has.

Also helpful on the good days is to try and do things to get out of the house, be of service to others so that he can feel the joy of giving. When he is are self centered for so long it is hard to see the other’s point of view.

I hope that you get some additional support soon. You need to forgive yourself for the pain you are feeling that is not caused by you, and forgive him for putting you in this situation. Forgiveness is about your wellbeing.

Prays and love to you as you go through your own healing.


#9

I was married to someone with a mental illness.

I went to counseling. I also went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, crossed out alcohol, pencilled in the mental illness. There I felt such freedom to talk, and listened to others disfunctional relationship pain. Alcohol abuse is a mental illness.

I attended a NAMI support group that also focused on the 12 step recovery model too, just once. Didn’t feel strong enough to do it again.

I hope you have a strong support system from friends and other family, I’d focus on that too.

Just some suggestions.