Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Looking for people, or stories that I can relate to

My mom has schizophrenia.
I am the oldest of three, and I just turned 22 this year. This year I also got married, moved into my first apartment with my spouse, got guardianship of my siblings, and took them with me. The decision to leave was the hardest part of all of it.
I feel like I have been in a state of survival for 12 years since she really got bad. It felt like it happened overnight. Now that I am out I finally have the chance to really look back for the first time and feel the things I never let myself feel while I was in it. I am grieving two of the most important people in my life. My mother, and my father who truly lost himself along with her. Mourning is hard, but I feel like no one I’ve met can really relate to the loss of people who are still alive.
They were such amazing people, and it hurts so bad to see them in the state they are in now. I knew what I had to do for the health and safety of me and my siblings, but it doesn’t make it any easier. When I tell people about it I feel like they don’t really understand, and they try and give me advice without truly knowing what it is all like.
I want to hear stories of people who have been there and find people I can really relate to. I am surrounded by the love of friends and extended family and it is awesome to know that they are there, but despite all of that I still feel alone. No one I can talk to truly knows what it was like to grow up like that, and to make that hard choice. I want to meet people who can really understand.

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Having a loved one with a SMI like schizo is always feels like mourning. My perspective comes from my son. It is a process. It must be hard for you being so young. You have shown a lot of maturity and courage in doing what you are doing. Two things I learned from my NAMI support groups: 1. we have to accept that we cannot solve all the problems; 3. we expect for a better future in a more realistic way.

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Stop with the catholic guilt. You are amazing to help your younger sibling and you deserve a life too. Let the system help your parents and sometimes (Christmas, Easter) see them. I pray you get to have a life for you and your husband.

Hi, I know, it is so sad. My mother was ill since I was in 2nd grade. She went away to a hospital, and had to go at least every six months, if not every 3. They werent sure what it was schitzophrenia, or diabetes. They treated her with shock treatments. She was never the same, kind of distant, but kind. She couldnt function at home like other mothers, so I did extra, housework and caring. I felt sad for her that she couldnt go out with other mothers, and Im still sad. She passed away now. Later they said she had bipolar, and she took lithium and became somewhat better, but it was worse when she got better as she got controling to me. She made friends and they helped her. She struggled but made it by. We always helped her financially. The pain never seems to go away. It is hard sometimes when I see old friends still have their parents, and then for some their parents pass away. They never know how lucky they were that their parents were functioning and normalish. Now my son has schitzophrenia. I have isolated myself because it is hard to tell them, and relate. Some didnt believe me when I first told them, and blamed me, that I wanted him to be dependent. Im happy to hear their stories and see their lives with their kids, however I dont show pictures or tell about our life, as we just sit at home mostly, and my son barely likes to do anything. Only go to a jack in box drive thru, or mcdonalds, ect… He wont do anything like he used to, and Im so sad that I dont seem to care or do anything either. I think it feels worse than having the parent, but maybe not. I had a DNA test done on my son and he got new medicine. Apparantely all the medicines we tried were bad for him so didnt work. He now has oxcarbazene, Trintellix, and olanzapene. He is doing better with these, not in psychosis, but still not all “normal”, as he was. He did just get a job 2 days ago, stocking and pricing things in a discount store like marshalls. Prior he has only been playing video games, and I have him do some house chores for money.

First of all, hello and welcome to this forum. I do understand what it is like to mourn the loss of somebody close to me while they are still alive. Before I explain I’d like to say I am so happy you have support and that you and your husband have been able to help your siblings, that is huge and wonderful and if your parents could tell you, they would definitely be proud of you, I am sure of it.

For me it’s my mother, she was never a good mother or a nurturing mother or a selfless or loving mother, if anything as a child I mothered her, she was always depressed or histrionic or drunk, or exceptionally angry. Anyway you might wonder how I could mourn somebody like that. I mourn the idea of a sweet loving mother I wish I had had growing up, I stopped seeing her in the early 2000’s when my grown son commented that every time I went to see her (kind of like a duty) I would come back home and burst into tears and why did I keep torturing myself? The tears were for the hateful and false things she would say about me to my face over and over. Plus she was never one to call, or call back or visit or remember a birthday or a holiday.

Now (as I hear it through the grapevine) she has full blown dementia and wouldn’t know me from a mailman but ironically I still mourn, maybe not as profoundly as I used to but the sadness of being a kind of “motherless child” still hurts very deeply, and I just turned 62. So. I do understand. hugs

@Catherine i just want to say your story is very sad and brought me to tears. You’re the complete opposite of your mother. You’re selfless and given your whole life to your son. I must say I do look up to you. Life has not dealt any one of us on this forum very good hands, but you in particular, going from a bad childhood to now dealing with a son with sz… but knowing you, you’re staying on course and staying strong, laying down the foundation for your son so he is prepared when you’re gone. I’m also trying to do the same. :purple_heart:

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Thank you very much for your kind words, much appreciated :heart: