Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to hope instead of feeling angry


#1

My sister was hit by a car and killed after 12 years unremitting psychosis with severe schizophrenia
Then my own schizophrenia went to another level and I was desperately unwell for 3 years myself (recovering over 10 years later
Now)
Now my youngest sister is 4 years depressed suicidal psychotic / ptsd chronically angry alcoholic

I feel like a monster sometimes wishing her harm


#2

@Chrystal I am so very sorry for your loss and sorry that you and your siblings have all had to deal with severe mental illness. I am glad to hear that you are in recovery, that is good news. You are not a monster to have mixed even negative feelings about the mental health of your youngest sister.

Everyone here at this forum (including me) has (at times) had a love/hate relationship with their mentally ill loved ones. So long as no one is really planning on harming anyone else it is all normal human response to a devastatingly stressful situation.

I can relate to your post in that I have pervasive mental illness/alcoholism/addiction throughout my family and it is incredibly overwhelming. My one sister that I am close to (now)is 2 years younger than me and she is schizoaffective/borderline personality and a recovering crack addict/alcoholic-we were estranged many years off and on due to all of her issues, my youngest son has schizophrenia and addiction issues and he is in recovery now also (thankfully) and my mother suffered major depression and alcoholism all of her adult life today she is an invalid on oxygen 24/7 with chronic COPD and she no longer knows who I am.

All other members of my family have a variety of mental illnesses and addiction issues. Even I am in treatment for PTSD, anxiety, and food issues. It is extremely overwhelming when you have family history like we do. I am 57 and what I have learned over the years from my mistakes is that it is critical that your health and well being comes first…even if you want to help your younger sister when she is amenable to being helped you could only do that if you are strong and firm in your own wellness…otherwise you risk losing whatever you have gained.

The other thing I have learned is that even when you love someone deeply you cannot always be the answer they need to resolve their problems. My sister needs loads of help all of the time, but I cannot help her, I care for my adult son full time and I am in treatment myself so all I can do is lead her to other sources of help, she has to make it happen, right now I am trying to urge her to get a counselor and a case manager and she is (for the first time in many years) open to that idea…all I can be for her these days is her sister…she and I talk and visit and share time together when possible but her survival is on her…Very hard to accept but a must because otherwise if something (god forbid) happens to her and I am too enmeshed in her life along with my son, there is the risk we all 3 go down with the ship so to speak…I can’t risk that, I refuse to. She knows I love her and I know she loves me and she knows I can’t save her and truthfully she doesn’t want me to, and for now she is ok.

I hope sharing my experiences helps you in some small way…so glad you are here, there are a lot of wonderful caring and experienced people here when it comes to dealing with mental illness and the care of loved ones. I wish you and your sister the very best.


#3

Thank-you so much Catherine.

This actually all helps… it is a bit much for any family really, all this.

She has no idea that my Asperger’s or schizophrenia prevent me from reacting to her normally (I mean she can’t understand why i don’t say the right thing and have the right feelings) and i can’t see her right either as she keeps telling me

I think she will now only get better with Rehab / AA full time
It’s gone so far that it’s just going to kill her somehow unless she gets help.

i can’t be that help and i can’t’ even mention rehab
That is one of the most important things i can take from what you said.

I’m so sorry to hear about your mum - that is so terrible and sad.

How many children do you have?


#4

You are not a monster! Family dynamics are hard and there is no one who can push your buttons next to your parents other than your siblings. I find I draw back a lot and give them more space.

Feelings get hurt and there is never any time to resolve them. Because I’m more emotional, I’ll bring it up to be told I didn’t take any offense or realize anything was wrong. Then I feel like a major Dufis.


#5

Yeah I agree x
Thanks …
sounds right
I am now going back to a time where she will live at our Mum’s and save to move again
Mum has less space and I think and has overwhelming love acceptance support - but less space for me


#6

@Chrystal Please don’t be sad about my mom situation…We were never close…If anything she was more like an unruly older daughter through the years… Very needy, moody and manipulative. My 2 younger half sisters care for her now. To answer your question, I have 2 sons, you know my youngest one with sz lives with me, and my oldest, ironically also high functioning Aspergers (so I get the challenges with that) he lives in California (I’m in Ohio) and he’s married, graduated college and is teaching while going for his Master’s degree, but his life challenges are many…I often worry that with all of the stress he feels he is under that one day he could suffer a break, I truly hope that never happens. I noticed your use of the word “mum” are you by chance in the UK?


#7

I’m in the UK, yes :slight_smile:
must have been a struggle throughout with your mum…
my mum is like a carer to me a lot of the time my husband is at work
i have been advised to take a look at my lifestyle by my psychiatrist - been doing too much - under too much stress…
I have co founded a community theatre company and I’m part of the production team for my first full length play


#8

@Chrystal Congrats on the play! You sound very creative. The idea of taking a closer look at your lifestyle is a good one…stress is the enemy of those of us with added emotional challenges. Mindfulness helps a lot. I am in a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) class that teaches mindfulness skills and I love it. The class is taught locally by a psychiatric nurse…there are about 10-12 of us there at any given time…it is based on Marsha Linehan’s work. I am glad that you have your mom to lean on. :slight_smile: http://www.linehaninstitute.org/


#9

This is so very true, Catherine. Thank you for these words.

And, @Chrystal, when I feel like that myself, or am completely overwhelmed…it helps me to see that tomorrow is another day, another start, today will end…and I have tried to make a habit out of making the next day a new attempt at something better than whatever frustration, sour and understandable feelings, and mistakes I might have made. That always gives me hope.