I don't love you

Please tell me you love me, I plead through the phone.

With him in jail and not yet diagnosed my days are yearning for a phone call with my brother that I had two weeks ago.

Please, I miss you so much…I love you so much.

NO, I don’t lie, he speaks sternly, I am not sure that I love you and I’m not going to lie.

I scroll through texts from the past months, "I’ll always be here for you Bria, never stress, I love you."
I hold on and scream my heart out so quietly that I don’t alarm my toddler. I smile and greet guests and pretend I’m having a great day because they don’t understand. How did I go so long so unaware about this illness? How can something so huge go so unnoticed to the everyday citizen? Why aren’t we louder? Why don’t the rest who aren’t affected understand?

One day your at home laughing till you cry, teaching each other how to cook, praying our hearts out at church and the next day you don’t know your own name, the next day everyone you love becomes an enemy. The next day my body goes in shock and falls into a puddle of my own helpless tears. How? Why?

All of this research, all of these tears! All of these anticipated phone calls. We must be able to do something, there’s got to be something instead of crying till I want throw up. So I pray, I pray that the reason become clear, what new organization, what volunteering, what degree? What can I do, for the glory of our God to be seen through this awful terrifying thing and where do I sign up.

I’ll take it from you any day , brother, my best friend for you to live a life you choose because I love you and I know you love me even when I don’t hear it…

I’m so sorry your family is going through this. Just know it can get so much better. When he gets diagnosed and on the right meds and therapies, he will eventually improve. It can take a few weeks, or several years, but it can happen.

  1. Get a copy of this book and read it and have your family read it, as well. (Torrey can be a bit totalistic and unwilling to see exceptions to his “rules” at times, but most of the book is really worth the effort to plough through.)
  2. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
    Find Top Psychiatrists by State. and Find Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses - Psychology Today
  3. Work with that “psychiatrist” (or “p-doc”) to develop a medication formula that stabilizes their symptoms sufficiently so that they can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle their thinking.
  4. The best of the psychotherapies for that currently include…
    DBT – What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? – Behavioral Tech
    MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
    MBCT - Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: theory and practice - PubMed
    ACT – ACT | Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
    10 StEP – Pair A Docks: The 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing
  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT – An Introduction to Mind-Body Bridging & the I-System – New Harbinger Publications, Inc
    SEPT – Somatic experiencing - Wikipedia
    SMPT – Sensorimotor psychotherapy - Wikipedia
  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT – Rational emotive behavior therapy - Wikipedia
    Schematherapy – Schema therapy - Wikipedia
    Learned Optimism – Learned optimism - Wikipedia
    Standard CBT – http://www.beckinstitute.org/what-is-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/About-CBT/252/
  7. If you/she/he needs a professional intervention to get through treatment resistance, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.
  8. Look into the RAISE Project at Google.
  9. Look for “mental illness clubhouses” in your area (which can be hugely helpful… but may also pose risks). Dig through the many articles at Google to locate and investigate them.

My son recently told me he doesn’t know if he loves me, very matter of factly, not in anger. It was shocking and heart breaking for me to hear. But then I remembered that blunting of emotions is a SYMPTOM of this illness. They don’t mean it, they just truly can’t feel emotions of any kind at times. He has also told me sometimes he can’t feel anything at all. But it passes, then reoccurs. He tells me he loves me often, so keep believing you will hear those words again from your brother. Try to hold on to the thought that it is just another horrible symptom, and not true when he says he doesn’t love you. Stay strong! : )

Those words come often from me, that I don’t love you, and when spoken, I believe them so true.
It’s the dark cloud that gathers in my mind that can’t break free from the storm, but when my H. stays neutral and lets it go over the top of his head instead of showing the damage I wasn’t positive at the time it was done, I come away thinking it can be repaired,
rather than build more of the wall because I am ashamed at how harsh and untrue it was, but couldn’t stop it.

Very heartbreaking and familiar.
I am SO sorry this is happening! It is a long and hard road. There are no easy answers.
I think you said that your brother was in jail at the moment?Just let those people know he has a mental illness so they can keep him separated from other inmates.
When he goes to court, go along and tell the judge what has been happening. Hopefully, they will put him in the hospital to stabilize, and then have him go through mental health court to make sure he stays that way.
You need a lot of support for yourself-you can`t do this alone. Check NAMI.org for a local support group for yourself.
I wish you luck and take care of yourself too. OO

I just heard this topic sentence today from my family member with sz for the first time.

It sounds like the depth of suffering

Thank you bria for writing so eloquently in a heartfelt way that speaks for so many.

Dear @briaajay

My oldest brother was diagnosed with Sz when I was young. This illness is so cruel and it hurst so much. I love my oldest brother with all my heart, I just had to trust that beneath the Sz he did still love me.

He didn’t say it for a long time. In fact there was a time he tried to shoo me away. I don’t know if he was trying to keep me from being hurt, or if this illness was taking him away from me. I know now it was a bit of both. Before he was diagnosed, before he got help, there were some very dark days.

Maybe I was just placating myself when I would convince myself it was the illness talking and not him. Maybe I wasn’t reading him right when I decided I’d still be his friend and not let his darker moods hurt me.

What helped me get through it was a sibling support group through Nami, and learning all I could about Sz.

If your in the states, www.nami.org
If your not in the states, you might want to try to find a support group.

Just realizing that there are others in the same exact, almost word for word situation, helped me get through some of the darkest days. I hope things get better for you and your brother.

I was very lucky that eventually a good pdoc helped my brother find a good med combo and little by little my brother began to feel a lot better.

From one sister to another, my best wishes and prayers go out to you.

Thank you for letting me post.

You’ve posted a few times about your feelings about your brother. I understand your distress, but I wonder whether the way you express it to your brother is not helping his recovery. It is OK to use this forum as your support but you can’t expect support from your brother for now. He is the one who is very ill.

For a bit more info about this, see this page on this site: Schizophrenia.com, paranoid schizophrenia - Living with Schizophrenia; the right environment for recovery

This topic reminds me of a song