Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do I stop my guilt?

I’m schizophrenic
We had a schizophrenic sister who could not find sanity after 12 yrs deteriorating and was hit by a car
My youngest sister is 7 years isolatedother than my:mum and nd me

I should be brave to get her help but she is non compliant and later stages of alcoholism
Spent a few months sober, now struggling again
Her life is hell and I can’t help

I don’t know how to ask her to please seek help

Recently I have heard from her that she thinks my husband is go8ng to leave me and give my money to the church and his mum is in on it

Maybe I can say I’m just as worried about you when you don’t have mum, as my sister is plans on killing herself at that point

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I had people confront me
How do you know when the right time is to have this ‘big moment’
Where you see the emergency team?

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My mum thinks she is beyond help
I’m sure there is always a tiny bit of hope until there isn’t

I don’t know my mum won’t consider hospital because of how our sibling spent 2 years with no help on our local ward

She thinks she had clout when we were teenagers but an old woman with a mixed diagnosis alcoholic they will not help

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First of all, I am so sorry to hear about the state of your family’s health. My heart breaks for how it must be affecting you. I’m guessing you live on your own and you are doing okay yourself? Except for the guilt feelings? I can tell you from years of therapy and years of working on my own feelings, guilt serves no useful purpose and it is a form of self punishment. I know how it feels though, all too well.

I can relate in some ways to your situation because my mother and 3 sisters are all mentally ill with addiction problems and none of them get treatment.

My mom is in her late 70’s and has chronic COPD, she never leaves the house and has oxygen on 24/7 and still smokes and most likely drinks (or use to) I haven’t seen her for the past at least 10 years. She lives 20 minutes from me. My 2 sisters that leave near her (like within blocks) both are really emotionally disturbed and deluded, both on disability but neither being treated for what is really wrong with them. All have deteriorating health.

I have seen none of them in 10+ years and I never plan to. There is nothing, not one single thing I can do to change their minds or lead them to better health. (Trust me I tried) Every time I use to interact with them they were so mean and cruel and made up stuff that was absolutely not true and I always left crying and shaking and it took me weeks to get over it. Through therapy and working on myself I realized I tried all I could and that it takes cooperation for a relationship to work and succeed and there is none with my family, nor will there ever be. After all these years I have closed the book on them and I think have grieved all along for what never was.

My 3rd sister is a different story. She is also very ill mentally and has in the past been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and borderline personality disorder and she is a former crack addict. Her and I were close at one time. We are 2 years apart. She is 58 and I am 60. She lives in a different part of town still not too far away in a tiny efficiency apartment. She thinks Jesus lives with her in reality not in a spiritual sense. I think she sees people often that are not there.

Sometimes we can talk by phone or we have actually visited one another from time to time and sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it’s a disaster. Then one day without reason or warning, she will stop answering her phone, and unplug it and she will not answer her door or return any letters I write.
We are in that phase once again today as I write. She is the one sister I was holding out hope for. She is the one I still try with when she lets me. I can’t control her or convince her what is in her best interest.

Once her doctor asked me to get legal guardianship of her to make her get the mental and physical health care she needs and I told them that I wish I could. I simply could not. I have legal guardianship of my youngest son who is now 36 and recovering from Schizophrenia, the medications he has been on do a great job in keeping him stable but he still needs a coach nearby and that is me. I can’t be guardian for anyone else even if I love them dearly.

I don’t feel any guilt about my other family anymore. I do still have guilt feelings from time to time about my 3rd sister that is currently not talking to me. I often ask myself “did I say something wrong?” or “could I have done something different?” I am still working through that. I don’t know where I will end up. There’s not much I can do if she refuses to open up any line of communication. All I do is send her an uplifting greeting card once every so often, hoping it sparks something.

I go to therapy myself (well now with covid 19 it is phone therapy) still I have complex PTSD I deal with and always always working on myself and my emotions. I’m always a work in progress.

You might be as well. I don’t know you just guessing. I say be KIND to yourself. You have a good heart or you wouldn’t be struggling so much with what’s happening with your family. You may need to seriously just focus on you, just you. Easier said than done. Very important though in these difficult days we’re in. You have your own struggles to contend with just like I do. You don’t have to communicate with them while they are like they are, it will just drag you down. They seem set in their ways, much like my family is.

You can send uplifting cards of encouragement if you choose to, if you think it’s wise. Otherwise my advice, for what it is worth is to recognize what is truly out of your control and keep them at arm’s length to protect your own wellness and to set healthy boundaries between you. If you aren’t already in supportive counseling, I highly recommend it. I don’t know what I would do without it honestly. My best wishes to you. hugs

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@three @Catherine I’m glad this post exists. My spouse is sick and I feel wrecked with guilt every single day. Everyday I think how can I help him,what I could have done differently. It’s wearing me out. I keep trying to help him but I am getting tired. Plus he keeps rejecting me and is not agreeable to anything. He still is not on meds. I’m scared I will have to make the decision to walk away. I know I am all he has so I feel incredibly guilty to leave him alone.


You make me feel less alone… I’m so sorry to read all of your family!
I cannot relate to having a severely unwell parent, how. Truly unbelievably awful

I live with my husband, we have been married 10 years and I’ve not been severely unwell since 2006
I spent over a year in hospital around age 30 but have had family and a good amount of personal therapy
My 2 years apart younger sister was that was killed by car
After running away from 2 years in hospital in 2001

I think I’m pretty much tough to what followed when my youngest sister also became unwell
Her violence i language is unstoppable when she is drunk and a usual excange is extremely cruel

My sister has lived with our mum for 7 years isolating and self injuring suicidal and living with all the blinds down all day in recent years
She is still a rock
She has had such a difficult life
She also has been a lifelong smoker but I’m currently more worried about memory loss
However that is a new new thing and she has good cognitive functioning
My mum is 77 with a small dog sand leg injuries that would be so much worse without him

I hope your son Stays well. He is of course your priority and you are so right to do everything reasonable you can for him
I hope he stays well and is a blessing
I’m so sorry for your family

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