I effed up big time

Trigger warning for domestic violence. The main question is how to regain trust after being forced into making false confessions about a loved one’s delusions.

So things escalated with my boyfriend who’s been having the delusions. Lately he’s been slapping me out of the blue, woke up once in the middle of the night and strangled me and almost pulled my arm out of its socket, generally being unpredictable. After a few phone smashing incidents, I ended up with my main boundary being that he does not have access to my phone.

On Thursday things got out of control. I’m very lucky to be alive. I was getting scared and upset around lunchtime and he was refusing to leave my apartment. Things got ugly. He tried to fight me for my phone and ended up beating and choking me for a long time, trying to gag me so no one would hear the screaming, etc. We ended up in kind of a standoff where neither of us could get into the room where my phone was for like 10 hours until I was able to convince him to come to bed for the night. In between the many beatings for those 10 hours things got really weird. He force fed me ice cream, made me read to him, rubbed his bare feet all over my face, danced and laughed, mimicked all of my begging and cowering, etc.

The worst part, though, was when he was cutting all his hair off with my best paring knife and making me confess to the ways I have wronged him. He would name a topic (his family, his apartment, his friends, his jobs, etc) and I had to come up with things to say I had done to him. And if I didn’t say enough, or the right things, he would hurt me more. So I “confessed” to probably hundreds of horrific, insane things. Putting cameras in his vents, trying to turn his family against him, putting cookies on his computer, running all the blogs he thinks are me. I don’t know how I’ll ever gain his trust after everything that I said.

Luckily, he did seem aware the next day that I had said those things because I was scared and not because they were true. And that night when he was calming down I tried to use some partial LEAP methods to get him to go to the hospital or let me call the police or an ambulance, and I do think he considered it even though he said no in the end.

I’m setting a boundary now that we can only see each other in public until he tries antipsychotics. I already read the LEAP book and am trying to incorporate it into my communication, and I’m reading Dr Amador’s relationship book next. I know that it is not acceptable for my boyfriend to hold me captive and attack me like that, but I’m committed to this guy. Does anyone have ideas for how I can work to gain his trust after all the horrible things I said? Or ideas for how to deescalate these situations?

Melody, I’m sorry these things are happening to you. They are not your fault. Violence is never okay. I’m concerned that you feel you are the one who “effed-up”. No, He did. I’m concerned that you feel you are the one who needs to regain trust. No, He does. I’m concerned that you feel you have to endure abuse because you are committed to him despite his mental state. No, you don’t.

You are beyond LEAP, relationship book or online forum help here. You need to go to the police and use evidence of his actions to get him the help he needs. Just dial 911.

Barring that, you need to get to a domestic abuse shelter to get you the help and counseling you need to be safe. While I have no first-hand experience with this, in the US there is a hotline:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Hours: 24/7. Languages: English, Spanish and 200+ through interpretation service

Learn more


Barring that, you need to reach out to friends and family to get help, and/or call the NAMI hotline if you are in the US:

To contact the NAMI HelpLine, please call 800-950-NAMI(6264) , Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET, or send an email to info@nami.org.

From personal experience both of caregiving and periods of psychosis, I’m confident this situation will continue to escalate until he’s hospitalized.

My first comparable direct experience with violence of this kind was when I was 17 and mopping up the chaos of a manic episode of my brother with my younger sister. He had attempted to give his dog a “haircut” with a serrated bread knife. There were a half dozen raw wounds on the dogs sides and tufts of his fur all over the kitchen. We were lucky that he’d injured himself on broken glass that littered his apartment because he was trying to construct a bong out of wine bottles. He ended up in the emergency room, and from there he was transferred to a mental hospital. The carnage in the apartment looked like a crime scene. We were young and we had a job to do, because our parents were on the other side of the country, but we knew this was not OK and he needed help that we could not provide.

The dog ran away a few days later after escaping his leash during a thunderstorm—never to be seen again. I felt worse about that than anything my brother endured, because it was an innocent victim, as you are. This was not the last time my brother was violent. He attempted to strangle both my brother and mother years later. She got a restraining order, and he no longer lives in the same house. There are ways to navigate and repair relationships through LEAP and other means, but these tactics and negotiations can break down and professionals need to step in. These can be turning points for people who need care, because law enforcement, judges and mental health professionals have the power to force people into treatment when caregivers can not.

I implore you: get help at any or all of the numbers above or equivalents outside the United States. It’s not your fault. Remember the three C’s: you didn’t cause your boyfriend’s mental illness, you can’t cure his illness and you can’t control his illness. You need to take care of yourself first before you can be an effective caregiver.


Oh @Melody , I have goose bumps after reading your story. @Maggotbrane is right, your situation is way, way beyond LEAP. Your loved one is doing criminal acts. You must take care of yourself. Taking someone’s cell phone, or preventing a call to authorities, when they want to call 911, is a felony. Beatings are felonies. Threats are also criminal acts. This is no simple situation you are in. Schizophrenia causes decline in almost all who have it, if left unmedicated, violence can get worse.

I am guessing that you are possibly afraid of ending off this relationship, maybe because you feel you HAVE to try to help him. In this case, you are trying to handle someone who is regularly violent with you. Even professional counselors and doctors are at a loss in trying to treat patients with schizophrenia, you, as a non-professional trying to help someone you love, who DOESN’T WANT HELP, are probably fighting a losing battle.

The ONLY way I got my daughter on medication was through the court system, a compassionate judge who involuntarily committed my daughter with an order to stay medicated or go back to jail. We are now 3 years out of hell, and I feel it was a miracle that things worked out so well with the police, court, hospital, doctors, etc. after years of trying to get her on medicine.

I hated to call the police on her, and they came to my home 40 times or more in 3 years. She once tried to stop me from calling 911, and she got arrested for that, but medication was not forced on her. She was committed several more times, but failed to stay on meds. One day, she kicked a policeman when he tried to get her to stop yelling and dodging in and out of traffic downtown. She went to jail and because I asked the judge for help, and he committed her and court ordered meds that was the end of our nightmare.

You cannot continue to be around someone who is hurting you. Please, please, take care of yourself first. I suggest you call the police and make a report about the last assaults and phone fight as soon as you can. He should be arrested, then you can go to court and ask the judge for involuntary committment and court ordered meds. I am afraid that involuntary holds and forced medicine may be the only road out of the confusion in your loved one’s mind.


Thank you for your message. I guess it’s hard because I know it isnt my fault, but it doesn’t feel right to blame him either because he’s so sick. I know it wasn’t really about me.

I think I will call the NAMI line and start talking to a therapist about safety planning. I wish I had been able to get him to the hospital at the time, but for now I can just refuse to be alone with him and encourage him to come clean to his therapist about what’s really been going on.

Your story about your brother and your dog hits me hard. I want to say that my boyfriend would never hurt the animals (and he has said that), but a week ago I would also have said that he would never beat me with a belt. And of course I’m sure your brother wouldn’t have done it if he wasn’t in psychosis, and that hurting the dog wasn’t his goal. I guess I have to do more work on internalizing that he’s sick and I can’t base my expectations around how he acted when he was well because it will only end with us getting hurt.

Anyway yeah, I appreciate you! I’m very new to this, but the 3 Cs seem like a good place to start.


Thank you for your message. I do wish that I had been able to call 911 on Thursday, or that any of my neighbors had. I hear everything you’re saying about the legal system being the surest way to get someone on meds in this kind of situation, and how much of an impact it has made on your family. If something like this happens again I will try to go that route. Unfortunately, I live in an area with unusually high rates of violence by the police against even nonthreatening people, and unless someone is in immediate lifethreatening danger I can’t risk my boyfriend like that. He would try to run or go for their gun or something and end up dead.

But he might be more open to trying the drugs than I originally thought. After it happened, I told him that we couldn’t be alone together again until he was on antipsychotics and he held his hand out like he expected me to give him some. I tried to convince him to come with me to the hospital to try and get an emergancy dose and he refused, but he was at least considering it. So I think I have a chance of convincing him to ask a doctor for some if I stay firm on us not being alone and try to find common ground.

Thank you again for your response. I’ve never been in a situation like this before and it is deeply comforting to hear how other people have gotten through.

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Hi @Melody,

I’m glad you are setting boundaries and I hope you will contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline that MB has provided in his response.

This forum can help you learn about the neurodiverse/schizophrenia, but, much more than that, you need help understanding that you are in a domestic violence situation. People who are familiar with domestic abuse and the difficult of breaking out of that situation can help you much more than this forum.

Don’t wait for next time, you need to get help from the proper sources asap.

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I hope he is willing to get some help or medication as you mentioned. Perhaps @Melody your loved one will check himself into the hospital for care as hurting self or others will qualify him for intake I think. I understand about worrying how police will react, but criminal actions ARE criminal actions, remember that. I wish you well and hope you keep yourself safe as first priority, and helping him 2nd.

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It’s not their fault. You could try taking him out for some food and convince him to visit a psychiatrist as well. Had to trick my wife into a lot of things when she was in psychosis, but she still trusted me enough to come along. The drugs would start working in a month or so, hence you should ensure compliance. I used to dissolve the meds in her tea or place them in a sandwich.

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Glad you were able to find ways to ensure compliance @Hopebehindtheveil27 . It took me some time to realize that I was not “bad” by trying to trick my daughter or by calling the police for help.

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Thanks for replying. I’ve read a lot of your comments and they’ve been very helpful. Ensuring compliance gets more difficult after each episode, I think it’s because they hate being labelled “insane” ( and the drugs mean that they are), so kudos to you for finding new ways to get your daughter medicated, that’s the only way to remission.

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Thank you @Hopebehindtheveil27 . You are correct, compliance is so very hard to get, and yes, ill people often can’t see they are ill. They have perfectly logical (to them) reasons for their behavior and don’t want psychiatric drugs or treatment because of the bad stigma. My daughter’s remission has been growing from the day when she accepted her 2nd monthly shot. If there hadn’t been a court order for medication in place she might never have climbed out of her dark hole. If she hadn’t had me to ensure enforcement of the meds, she would have gone back to jail instead of staying on her meds. I knew from another poster’s struggles with her son that I HAD to take advantage of the court after she was arrested.

You must keep searching for new ways to help your loved one. You are probably the key to remission. Probably are the key to finding a good medicine. I hope you have the strength to keep fighting this terrible battle.

If you want, you can private message me. I am always open to a private message from anyone here on the message boards.

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