If I Only Had Her Parents Support. A Husband's Story

I love my Wife more than anything in this world. I knew of her diagnosis before I asked her to be my Wife. I had developed a method of communication that was working and established boundaries. Her fear of rejection made my boundaries difficult since I would have to leave for many hours to several days depending. There was a fairly steady pattern for the first few years where typically once a month, during or just after ovulation, she would fiercely reject me and sometimes also be suicidal. If something came up that took up more of my time than usual it could cause a second episode during that month. She would say very hurtful things like I didn’t love her or care. Sometimes as soon as I walked in the door she would say “why are you even here? You’re just going to leave anyway.” Often during these episodes She would be so relentless, following me around saying these hurtful things, and worse. The first time this happened while she was suicidal I ended up loosing control. I knew I was close to loosing control but I was afraid of what she would do to herself if I left. I did not strike or harm her but I did get physical. That is not in my nature and I felt awful. I knew I needed to set boundaries and I made a choice to remove myself if I ever felt like I could loose control. I discussed this with her in detail. This was all before we Wed and she was still undiagnosed. It progressively worsened until I went from a few hours to a few days I would have to stay away until she calmed down. The paranoia spread to her workplace then everything. One night when things were calm, as I slept next to her, she woke me with a strike to my stomach causing me to loose my breath. She flipped out on me for some time before I understood what exactly was going on. She was hearing her best friend and I having sex and was convinced it was real even though I was laying next to her. About two weeks later she was hospitalized and diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

When she was released 2 days later she had a diagnosis, a prescription and a appointment three months later. I believe the prescription was for abilify and it made her have violent uncontrolled movements at night. We were able to get an emergency appointment and a drug that was better for her. We began to communicate again, I did not have to spend any time away, she got a job and even participated in a few social events. She took as directed until the day after her 3 month follow up appointment when she stopped. I went with her to that appointment to get as much information as I could and left with none. As we walked out of the facility I saw all the others seeking help there and knew it was the only place for them to find it. An overwhelming, terrible, and hopeless feeling engulfed me. I began to search the internet for free resources because that is all we could afford. It may have been because I was using the wrong search criteria but I could not find any free resources in my area. I did not give up and began to educate myself by reading countless publications pertaining to her diagnosis. Most of you have a good idea of the downward spiral that followed her stopping the medication however, you’d probably be surprised that is was over a year before she was hospitalized again. My Wife is the youngest of 3 girls and, with the help of her middle sister, we were able to manage her well enough that she continued to preform well with her duties, as a server, for 8 months. Same story following this hospitalization but she continued the medication for about a year. Things were good and it was during this time that we were Wed and even did some traveling.

We lived in a Mother-In-Law suite we rented from her parents throughout all of this and had made it our home. It was just the two of us and we were content living modestly. Having a career to afford all the things I had wanted in life was no longer a priority for me because she is more important and needed my time more than things. I was planning for our elder days because I don’t want to stress over finances in our last years. I want us to enjoy those days together and not have to run our bodies ragged working. I found a way that we could accomplish this without spending much time apart working and we started a small, lucrative, seasonal retail business. We each set up a booth inside restaurants that were directly across the street from one another. We worked 4 to 6 hours every evening during the summer. It was during this time I got comfortable and failed to keep up with her medication. I would ask her if she took her meds and trusted her when she said yes. I noticed some slight change in her as the season was coming to it’s end. Soon after closing for the year the change was apparent. I counted the pills and she had 23 more than she should… I inquired and she said she had been taking it every day but did not give a clear explanation for the extras. I began monitoring her again but I always had to let her do it herself so I did not make her feel like a child. It was clear she was being deceptive but I knew better than pulling the accusation trigger. It took a few weeks before I figured out that she had been taking small pieces. By that time the deception had put some distance between us and soon after she began to reject me again. I managed as I had before although, at first, I did not have to spend much time away. This continued into the following summer of 2019 when, the last week of July, she all of the sudden was completely convinced I wanted nothing to do with her. The rejection was constant from then on and after the close of the season my methods of intervention were no longer effective.

Then the whole world panicked and the restrictions and lockdowns began.

Her parents avoided discussions about their daughters mental health as much as possible. I made attempts to share what I had learned over the years intending for the information to better equip them when interacting her. I cannot recall an instance that I was afforded enough respect or an audience long enough to impart any understanding. Mostly they would hijack my efforts to supplant their opinion. “All she has to do is take her meds. She was fine when she was taking them” is what they would say and counteract my efforts to offer my insight. I agree she needs to take her meds but she needs much more than that.

Before spring, 2020, It was clear we would not be able to resume operations that summer so her Dad and I drew a plan and I started another business. He called himself a “silent partner” and made commitments to provide capital for the majority of the startup expenses such as liability insurance. He did not follow through with his commitment and because of his involvement with one of the first contracts, the client threatened litigation. I was sole proprietor and had no liability insurance so my Wife and I would be liable. Given the situation, I would have done the same if I were the client. As anyone with integrity would, I made things right therefore avoiding litigation. There was less than $200 from the job when all was said and done and true colors began to surface. Throughout all of this I refrained from making any accusations. I simply presented the issues the client had and how what I did to resolve them. I provided documentation to account for every cent. He got very angry because I resolved the clients legitimate complaints and paid a good helper $80 a day and not $20 as he suggested. So angry in fact, he tried to fight me. I could no longer hold my tongue and spoke my mind in that moment. The next day he extended his hand and we were civil afterwards. However, He had no intentions of peace and schemed to convince my Mother-In-Law to evict us. The cognitive dissonance this all caused my Wife caused her cognitive abilities to decline quickly and paranoia to take control. I had to spend a lot of time away and it became apparent I was in need of as much support as I could get this time.

I cannot say enough about my Sister-In-Law and how much she did for us. She had an insight to her parents life that nobody else had because her dad gave her his script of OxyContin every month to sell for the past 15 years of her life. She was an opiate addict. So was my Wife when we met but she gave it up for me. Times were extremely difficult and emotions run a Muck. My Wife did not respond to me at all anymore and would only confide in her mom and go to her parents for advise. They told her everything was my fault and that if I cared I would be there always. They had no empathy or sympathy for me. The way my Wife’s suffering affected my Mother-In-Law is what my Father-In-Law exploited in order to fulfill his agenda. He began to refer to my Wife and I as “The Jerry Springer Show” and agitated our emotions with every interaction passive agressively. He did several childish things to spite me and I eventually decided to turn the other cheek. I couldn’t imagine there was anything worse he could do to destroy his daughters fragile mind.

In the midst of my humility and pleading for them to see how it all was affecting My Wife and warning them of how it would effect everyone if it continued, her sister overdosed. She was on life support for about 2 weeks before her organs were donated November, 2020. I could tell my Wife was unable to process it and was confident that the memorial service would bring about acceptance. Unfortunately, no service would be held. I’m not so sure her dad had any feelings of guilt or remorse but he quickly began laying a foundation of lies to conceal that he was distributing his pills through her and convince everyone that she fell and fatally bumped her head on the nightstand. He also preemptively worked to discredit anyone that might expose the truth.

In 2019 I helped my Sister-In-Law start her own business and she absolutely loved it. She enjoyed it so much that it changed her outlook on her future. She expressed the need to get sober because she knew the drugs would screw everything up. Just as the summer season reached it’s last days she and her boyfriend were arrested. Unfortunate but it forced them both to get sober. I spoke to her a couple times while she was in jail. She was happy to be sober, hopeful and excited about her future.

Before she got out I had a conversation with her dad and told him how well she was doing and that I believed she was ready to live a sober life. I explained that no matter how ready she is, she would most likely relapse if given the temptation. I went on and said “I have no doubt that she will stay sober as long as she does not have a pocket full of pills when she gets out.” She got out on probation after a few months and her parents went on a cruse a few days later. I noticed one of her pill customers vehicle leaving the house and I confronted her. I assumed she was getting something from him and planed to encourage her. Sadly, I was wrong. Her dad made a deal with her for one of his cars that she defaulted when she was arrested. All she had to do was sell the 4 month supply he had accumulated while she was in jail and he would give her the title. I was shocked and expressed my disbelief that he would do such a thing.

She began to sob and tell me about the deal with the car. She said “I had no choice. I mean I already paid him over 2 grand for it. What was I suppose to do? He was going to sell it if I didn’t.”

It was heartbreaking. 2 months later she died. I’m blessed to have a tongue with how much I bit it. I was so angry with her dad. I lost in eviction court and we were forced out of our home New Years day, 2021. This was the height of the housing shortage and I could not find a rental anywhere near our budget. Thankfully my brother had a 5th wheel camper he let us use. My Wife was hospitalized the day after we started moving.

I became the object of her paranoia. It was devistating. She was afraid of me and would flench and scream if I tried to embrace her. I somehow had a drop of mental fuel left and rationed it over the next 4 months. My wife felt like a prisoner those 4 months. I know how important her family is to her and in her mind I stood between her and her family. I was unaware of any resources at the time and needed help myself. I’m not sure how I was able to function at all. My presents tormented my Wife. I had to set her free and asked her to move with her parents.

She would not answer her phone when I called and rarely replied to my messages. I was severely depressed and without hope. I ran into her and her mom at walmart one day and was so overwhelmed with emotions all I could manage to say was I love you to my Wife. I wanted to scream at her mom. The evening of Friday, January the 13th, 2023 I get a message from one of their neighbors. I asked them to keep an eye out for emergency vehicles over there. I was worried about subside. I was informed that someone was taken away on a gourney in an ambulance but they could not confirm who. I called and text everyone to find out what happened. I called all the hospitals asking for my wife and her family and was told they were not there. Late the next morning I was desperate and posted publicly on Facebook hoping someone knew something. I went by her parents house but nobody was home. I was sick with worry all weekend.

Come Monday I drove to all the hospitals to see if she had died then to the police station which was closed for MLK day. Last I went to her parents and this time it looked like they were home. I knocked several times but no answer. I sat in the car to write a note and her dad walked out just as I finished it. I was a total wreck. I asked him if my Wife was okay and he told me to go away. I begged and he just insisted that I go away. I asked him to give her the note and set it down. He ripped it up as I drove away. I had to stop a block away because I could not see through the tears.
Later that evening her mom wrote both my mom and I a message. She told my mom that my Wife was okay, that I looked like I was “strung out” and implied that the post I made on Facebook clearly showed I was crazy. She wrote me something similar just different insults. I did not trust them. I knew they would lie to protect their image as they did when her sister died. They would hide her death form everyone they could. Months went by and someone finally responded to my Facebook post saying she stabbed herself in the stomach several times and was in a treatment facility but did not know where. Weeks later after many more desperate posts on Facebook her mom messages me and tells me where she is.

I have spoken to her a couple times. She brought up her sisters death and I asked her if she had accepted that she is actually gone. She told me it only became real to her a couple months ago. It’s been over 2 years since she died. I could tell that it was difficult for her to talk to me.

Her parents alienate me just as the voices do. I cause her to experience cognitive dissonance because she knows I love her deep down. I fear I have set her recovery back by talking to her but I needed to for my own well being. Without her parents support I think my direct involvement would be toxic for her. I have spoke to her caseworker and gave him the shorter version of my story and urged him to reach out to me. I know I can help advance her therapy significantly behind the scenes with my understanding. For example, I went through an episode with her when the voices were telling her to rip her guts out because of all these horrible untrue things. It was mostly about an abortion she had just before she turned 18. I’m sure that this is the reason she stabbed herself specifically in the stomach. She didn’t want to have an abortion but her mom pressured and miniplate her into doing it. This kind of insight would save her therapist a lot of time. What I believe would help most however would be for her mom to admit she was wrong for pressuring her and sincerely apologies.

Her dad went to prison for 10 years when my Wife was 3. Her mom did a year for perjury as well. They say that she was an “oops baby” because they didn’t want anymore children. My wife first experienced rejection in the womb, then when her parents were incarcerated, again when she figured out her dad was not at work and throughout her time in public school being teased about her dad’s incarceration.

She has a son she does not get to have a relationship with. After speaking to him recently, I believe his Father’s reasoning is to protect his son from her parents more than my Wife. She did a lot of drugs before we met. I’m no better. I just did mostly different drugs than her. Opiates have killed many of my friends so I would not get into a relationship with an opiate user. My Wife did not hesitate to quit cold turkey. I knew then that she loved me and I let my guard down. We continued using meth together for several months before I noticed the delusions. After that I quit and she soon followed.

I didn’t expect the delusions to continue. Everyone blames the drugs she did for her mental health. Her parents are ashamed of her illness and often say things like “What’s everyone think about that, huh?” and “Your going to make everyone think we are ______.” They will not use the term schizophrenia or anything related to it and deny that she has that diagnosis.

I was able to pinpoint her first psychotic break to sometime just after having her son between 21 and 23yo. I was able to get conformation from her parents when they told me a story about her ripping wires out of the wall. I was also able to get a little information about my Wife’s ancestors and from what I have gathered, on her fathers side, her grandmother and one of her aunt’s had serious difficulties with their mental health.

I believe my Wife was doing drugs to self medicate because of her mental health. She never got the early care she needed because everyone thought it was the drugs that caused the issues.

It is therapeutic for me to write. I’m sure my story will help someone. I don’t know what to do moving forward. She needs to have her family in her life. I don’t know that her parents are willing to make the changes necessary for me to be in her life again. In my state they cannot even confirm or deny weather or not a spouse is in a mental health facility without the patient signing a release. I was considering checking myself in to the facility with hope that I would find her but thankfully I was finally told where she was.

Oh my @EBT . It sure seems you have tried to do what you can, but with the cards stacked against you by your wife’s unwillingness to sign for you to be able to know/manage her illness, her parents (who are barring you out as well and who won’t even acknowledge her illness as schizophrenia) and the laws in your state, you have very limited options.

I personally think, at this point in time, that the best thing you can do is to concentrate on yourself. Perhaps you can start taking better care of yourself. Eating right, sleeping enough, trying to de-stress. You mentioned that her parents felt you looked strung out when they saw you. Anxiety or overload of emotions can do that to someone, but it scares other people to observe. Your wife’s care is out of your hands right now. Perhaps just stepping back alone and looking at this family situation as a whole is going to provide you with some answers. Take time to breathe, hug yourself, talk to your mom who loves you, and I hope you find some peace.

@oldladyblue Thank you. You are right. I’ve known that’s the best thing to do. It’s not easy though. I made one last attempt with her parents and I am now blocked by both of them. I spoke to my Wife and told her that I am unable to interact with her family anymore. I don’t think my wife was in a state that she could make decisions for herself when she was admitted. I’m fairly certain her parents told the staff that I deserted her years ago and not to notify me or provide any info because I was her emergency contact.

I thought that would be apparent considering I had been texting asking if my Wife was dead or not for 3 days. Well, I forgive them. I have to remind myself of that 30 times a day it seems.

Anyway. Now I have to figure out what is best for just me. Thats hard for a Man to do.
Thank you for your wisdom. I know you have helped many people. You have many blessings stored up. Be sure to show appreciation as they manifest

Dating in my 40’s… Ohhh Boy.

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Of course putting your life into a new direction will be difficult, however the blessings to come for you will also manifest! You did your best to manage situations out of your control

Dating will be OK. I got married again at 52. But first I had to leave an abusive marriage with almost nothing.

Be kind and true to yourself.