Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I can't stop crying because I can't handle it any more

My husband has been dead 3 years and I can’t handle my daughter any more. She has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, bulimia, depression and manic bipolar disorder. She also has a severe addiction to dxm which since it is not illegal there’s not much the law can do about it. While she is in the mental hospital she makes all kinds of promises, but she is unable to keep them. I could handle the mental disorders, but I am a enabler of the drug use because she will bager me and not let me sleep; scream and cuss at me; and do dangerous things to get her way. I kept thinking it would improve, but a month ago she fell and broke her neck. She said she would quit and I thought she would but she was lying to me and the doctors (she told me later). I had been disillusioning myself. I am contributing to her addiction and she will never beat it until I let go. Since this writing, I have stopped crying enough to call her dad and tell him I am ready to let go. He’s been telling me this for 10 years, but my husband and I thought we could handle it. We just don’t know what to do. She is in the mental hospital now making me promises. From experience I know if I give up, the team will figure something out. Thank you all for listening.

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First of all so sorry to hear about your daughter’s accident. You have reached a point where you understand that bringing your daughter back to the house is not going to work! sounds like you’re ready for a change. The balls in your court right now, insisting on getting your daughter into a transitional living would be ideal.
My heart goes out to you for courage and love that you have persevered so long through this trial. AnnieNorCal

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I’m so sorry to hear all that you have been going through. It’s good that you have come to the realization that you can not do this anymore. You should not have to deal with these illnesses alone, you need more help. Letting go is a good thing. It is so easy to enable the ones we love when we are trying to keep peace, the arguments are so exhausting. With my son I have no choice now but to let go, he left and is on the streets again. I’m starting to see that it is the best thing for my and my family. I am still very worried about him. It sounds like your daughter has a pretty good support team. I hope when all the emotions calm down you will be able to relax and realize you did the best you could for your daughter and yourself.

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Yes, I told them she could not come home one time and they found her a beautiful group home near the beach. But they offered her no counseling and the day program was denied because she received too much disability. The two ladies who took turns with her talked about their own problems and each other. They were taking all her money and doing nothing for her and on impulse I took her home with me rather than fight the system. She was threatening to walk out. My mistake I guess. I don’t know if they’ll do that this time because my daughter rents her own apartment. But she is a danger to herself. She has jumped off a balcony twice, once while psychotic breaking her back in 3 places, Jumped off again in a rage breaking her pelvis in 3 times, broke her foot walking to the store drunk, and now she fell on dxm and crushed the C2 vertabrae (they call it the hangman’s noose - she could have been paralysed or dead). I’m going to tell them that it is unsafe for her to be at home and I can’t care for her anymore. Thanks so much.

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Thanks so much for the support. I know she will be extremely angry with me at first, but someday she will know I did the best I could for her.

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Thank you so much. I just needed some encouragement to follow my plan and to know I’m not alone. I did call her dad and he told me to just say what I told him and everything will be OK. I’m not giving up on her I’m just doing a new plan to help me and hopefully help her.

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I think the important thing is that YOU know that you did the best you could for her, for a very long time. If it is time to let her go, you must.

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Right. I can’t be worrying about her getting angry. See I keep backsliding. I’ve got to keep reminding myself that I’m doing the right thing. She called last night and kept grilling me on us living together and I finally told her that I can’t and she went balistic (spell check isn’t working so I hope that’s right) and she became so bad that the nurses shut off the phone. Thank you for your support.

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Hello vscjunk2261,
Doing the right thing is hard, I admire you for doing what is best and whatever happens. Like you said “new plan”.
Take care of yourself, AnnieNorCal

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Hi vsc,

Anger is the main reason I also “backslide” and enable my husband. I am not afraid of him, but know that he can yell for hours and he gets worked up, which I know is not good for him, either. The past few days he has been begging me to move back and live (well, he’s homeless, so there’s nowhere to actually go) with him and I will have to screw up my courage and be ready for anger from him when I say no.

You will never “give up” on your daughter even if you feel that letting her follow her own path is giving up on her. You love her and care about her; that will never change. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Many of us here have run out of options and it’s all we can do to save our own selves.

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I empathize with your situation and with what others have said. Letting your loved one come home is not safe for you OR for her at this time. And it will not help her get better. I would start now with talking with the hospital about her discharge plans and make it very clear that she cannot come home. Make sure they know how the last situation failed. It is really up to the hospital to find a safe place for her but there is no assurance as to if or how well they will do this. Do as much research as you can and offer that to the hospital. Talk to as many other people as you can who have possibly been in a similar situation and can offer suggested group homes or residential treatment facilities. It seems that so much hinges on whether or not your loved one is covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance, as to where she can go. If you can attend a NAMI Family Support Group in your area, those people could hopefully offer ideas. Or call the NAMI.org in your state. But in the end, you have to be willing to walk away. This does not have to mean it is the end of your relationship, it means that if she has any sensibility at all, she will comply with at least SOME aspect of her treatment plan and that is a start. You have to decide if you are willing to let her go to save your own life as well as hopefully to save hers.

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Thank you for your good advice. One problem is she rents her own apartment. With no law making her do anything, she will refuse any other choice. I guess if the hospital team makes her involuntary, they make her stay there, but I doubt they will. While she’s at the hospital she takes her medications and she’s their star patient. But this hospital is for the mentally ill. She won’t go to addiction rehab. She really wants us to live together and I told her the only way that will happen is if she quits the dxm. She says she will in order to live with me. I gave up my place at the beach and living at her apartment. I guess if she starts badgering me I can move out and see what social services can do for me. I’m just thinking out loud right now. She doesn’t want me to go to her team meeting on Wed. and I know why. I plan to go anyway. Thank you again.

You are so right. I feel a backslide coming, but I’m going to try to listen to all the good advice I’ve heard from others and you. Her dad was also an addict. He was a musian and was on the road weeks at a time so he was able to hide it for 2 yrs. He would give me the money he would make and then take it out when he went out on the road. Finally I accused him of having another family! Silly me - so naive! He then told me he was on drugs. Then for 2 yrs I kept trying with him. I had to declare bankruptsy. The reason I gave up on him was because I wanted to keep her safe. I won’t go into all that happened. But I was strong and even though I loved him I was able to get out. I am praying to be strong again. Her dad finally quit 20 years ago. There’s hope. But statistics aren’t good for addicts that have sever mental disease. Thank you.

I see we have similar experiences. Reminding me of how angry she gets reminds me to stay strong. Thank you.

Stay strong! You should go to the meeting with a list of concerns and how her behavior really is. With the most compassionate of tones, she and everyone else needs to hear the truth. Like you’ve said in past post, your daughter is the perfect patient and model citizen in the right environment. To me that means she can behave properly, but can also be the other person you know, the real person she is.
I can only imagine how hard of a choice this is for you and how much you love your daughter. This I do know about getting care: if you allow her to come home the system will not help you, you have the upper hand and can insist that your daughter get to rehab or assisted living where she can receive proper care. Just a caring thought about you, you cannot continue self destructing, AnnieNorCal

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@vscjunk2261 You have reached out for advice and other’s input, you have thought through a lot of things, and it sounds like you have a good idea of what you want to do next. We are pulling for you and your daughter for successful next steps. Even if it doesn’t look like success to begin with. You are cared about!

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I’m sorry you’re going through this up and down sadness with your daughter. It is very much a rollercoaster, isn’t it? That’s how I’ve always felt while taking care of my mom with SZ.

I agree with you that it’s time you set up healthy boundaries for yourself with your daughter. Whatever that looks like. I also want to give you permission to do what you feel is right even if it could be a TOTAL FAIL. You see, I have made a LIFETIME of errors trying to do the best thing for my mom. Yes mistakes. And from every fail has come a great blessing. Sometimes you have to play it safe. And sometimes you have to take a risk. There is no perfect path. If you could chose the perfect outcome for you and your daughter what would it look like? Perfection isn’t possible, but maybe with a vision you can help yourself get to a place where SHE Is taken care of and YOU are taken care of. Is it possible? I think so! But it has to start with getting real with yourself. Getting real with her. And whatever choice you make at the time IS THE RIGHT CHOICE. Because as the mother sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Maybe she will move out. Try that on for size and see how it feels. You can always change your mind later. No one can judge you for your decisions until they’ve walked a mile in your shoes. I can’t tell you how many choices I’ve made in the past based on how others might view me or gulp worse judge me. Please don’t do that to yourself! Do what’s best for you. You will be a better caretaker for it.

Lastly about the addiction piece- there’s many articles and evidence that a mentally ill patient cannot get better without tackling addictions first. Addiction almost always in a symptom of the illness, not a reason for the mental illness. SO that has to go first. If I were you, I would put a hammer down on that first and foremost. But if she moves out and continues to use (very likely) you have to be smart enough to realize you have no control over that. This is why addiction with mental illness is so tough. It’s literally the toughest combo I’ve ever seen in life’s hardships. My hat goes off to you. I also think it would be a good idea for you to have a therapist too. Support is key to helping sort all fo this out. Hugs to you. Keep us posted on what you decide. We are here to help you go over your options.

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Thank you @Mrsbigsky, I missed the addiction part of this @vscjunk2261. The hospital should send her to a rehab for addiction recovery. But she can walk out of that assuming she is an adult. However, if she has no place to go (she can’t come home, right? and how was she paying for her apartment?), perhaps she will make a decision to stay in rehab. You DO have control over what you give her and what you do for her. (I hate to use the word “enable” but sometimes when we help that amounts to enabling.) You have to be prepared for anger and hate. And I strongly believe that you stand a greater chance of eventual success and relationship with your loved one if you learn how to use LEAP. When we LISTEN to our loved ones and do not respond with our own opinion on the matter, they will be much more likely to soften their attitude. It may take a long time, but it is the best hope I can give you.

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vsc…1)It’s good to cry…Cry as often as you need to.
2)When you get those “I can’t handle it any more” moments…You are giving/have given TOO MUCH. You know how on an airplane you are instructed to put the breathing apparatus on YOURSELF first, then tend to loved ones? You need to do that STAT. It applies in Life as well.
3)When my son would promise things which I knew had a very very high liklihood of Not Happening, I would be in the doctor’s office with him and mention about school and that was really exciting. Little concerned about the choice because it’s nationwide known as a party school…(Doc was very cool about picking up the theme without accusation, condemnation or judgement) Then I said with all 3 of us there, “I really believe that what Son is saying is Truth, and that is absolutely his intention at this time. I have NO DOUBT he is telling me the truth about his commit. However, I guess I can see where everybody’s pressuring …c’mon Son, just 1 drink…C’mon lets go!” And doc helped steer Son on path, where ultimately he chose a study school…not party school.
What’s the summary? SHE’S NOT LYING. HER WORDS ARE TRUTH OF INTENT. Just acknowledge with words that you accept what she’s saying as her really meaning it.
Addicts are notorious manipulators so you KNOW these things will never happen. Go on with your business, girlfriend! Walk away…Just leave the little love-bomb behind in words of acknowledgement of her said intent.
4)WALK AWAY MOM. STOP ENABLING. Your behavior is crippling her from reaching more mature adult life. Her behavior reminds me of teenagers. Badgering? Tell her she’s inside your body bubble/space and you don’t like it and to stop. You are her Mother and it is your God Given right to be treated with respect. If she doesn’t…leave. Go to a park, take a drive…Do Not Tell Her You’re Going Nor Where You’re Going. Turn your phone off. Leave for 2 hours.

When my son was a very thin 6th grader and in Scouts, they had a campout in January. Cold (18*) and windy…ahhh it was awful. He and another small guy were to tent together and they had to put the tent up and set their equipment, it was dark and up to 35mph winds. Oh my lord, their tent kept getting blown out of control, I mean it took them over an hour to finally get it set. And you know what those other awesome great Moms said to me? “Turn around and walk away, Mom. Turn around. Quit watching. Walk away”. And I did. He grew up to be a fabulously adventurous, bright, compassionate, never say die, loving adult son…until he got schiz at 20yrs old. That son is gone forever. We’re working on Son 2.0vs and that’s Ok. Yet, I have ALWAYS claimed boundaries, called out inappropriate voice/words to me, claimed MY SPACE through written post its (great way to communicate) and will continue to do so.
NO ONE GETS TO TREAT YOU IN THAT MANNER. Brain disease or not…NO ONE.

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You are doing the right thing. My son has had 13 hospitalizations in 17 years. The last one was a month ago. If he goes back to taking marijuana and needs to be hospitalized again, my husband and I agree that he will have to go into an immediate care facility to live. He is schizoaffective bipolar with me abuse.

I hope things work out for you and don’t feel guilty. You have done all you could.

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