Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Major Life Changes...How to Cope

Hi, all. My life is completely being turned upside down. My husband of 26 years (together 28 years) announced last week he doesn’t love me anymore and wants out. He combines that statement with he is tired of living this way. Our son, 19, is on occasion violent (chases my husband around the yard and tackles him, pulls knives and waves them in the air), but since being arrested in the summer of 2017, he has not actually done anything like assulting him. My husband is bipolar and very overreactive to about 99% of what happens daily. He and my son trigger each other and we have been told by a therapist that it is not a good idea for a BP person and a SZ person to live together. So, my son had a complete meltdown last night. Although I think in the long run, he will do better not living with his dad anymore, he is devastated by the thought of having his family destroyed. He started banging his head on the steel door that covers our tornado shelter in the garage, then hoisted the gas can over his head after removing the cap as if to douse himself with gasoline. He told me he doesn’t want to live with us humans anymore. After I managed to get the gas away from him, he grabs a box knife and tries to start cutting himself. Wrenched that away from him. He goes out on the patio, starts banging his head against the brick wall. My helpful husband is nowhere to be found during all this. I’m wondering where he went and why isn’t he helping me. He takes me aside and said that he called the police and I’m thinking well, it’s probably best. My son isn’t calming down, so he needs to be assessed. The police arrive and come around the corner of our house with guns drawn (rifles!), hollering hands up to both of us. My husband told the police that we were in a hostage situation with son having a weapon and we’re trapped in the bathroom with him. None of this happened. I don’t know why he would say something like that. He clearly knew I was in the garage with our son. So the police ask what happened, I explain that he was trying to hurt himself, but not anyone else. They remove the cuffs and things calm down. They took him to a psychiatric hospital and that is where he is today. I’m just wondering how I’m going to get him through the time it takes to list and sell our house, locate a new place for us, move there, and get him settled in. He is not handling this well at all, and I’m wondering if he’s going to make it through this. He’s already had 4 suicide attempts. His dad never even thought about how this would affect our son. Typical selfish behavior from him. I have contacted a mental health resource here that offers rental assistance programs and I have to take him in for an assessment. Hopefully, that would be an option for him. Waiting for his disability appeal to go through the process. Anybody have thoughts, input for me, please weigh in. Thanks for listening. I have no one, no support system at all here. You guys are it. And I thank you so much for being here.

For awhile, my home life was nutty as my daughter was pretty much psychotic 24/7. She and my husband called the police on each other fairly often for a couple of years. I actually found the police non-emergency phone line to be very helpful with suggestions for keeping the peace. I would say the police came about 40 times to my home, they got to know us pretty well. You can call them to ask for suggestions.

Two mentally ill people in one household is very stressing for everyone. At times, selfish thinking is the only thinking possible so I sort of understand your husband’s view. I’m sorry it is so tough on you.

I made it through 3 years of psychosis to a place where my daughter was arrested (2nd time) and hospitalized from the jail (5th hospitalization) and finally had to be medicated (court ordered). The medicine calmed everything down, so for 6 months now, things are very good. I was hopeless before that happened as she was med non-compliant and my husband was drinking himself to death (serious physical complications and two hospitalizations). Somehow I came out the other end, my daughter is medicated, and my husband went to rehab and is trying to stop drinking.

NAMI, Reddit, and this board helped me tremendously. If your husband wants to leave, then I say get through the split up as fast as you can. It will be tumultuous at best, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Thank you for your reply. Some good wisdom from someone who has “been there and done that.” I am just numb at this point if that makes sense. My husband is trying to rush things along, seems to care not that our son is in a psychiatric hospital right now. But I tend to agree with you, the sooner this is done, the sooner we can return to a sense of normalcy. My son knows he is ill, which is a huge blessing, and he willing takes his meds. I guess in all this chaos, there are small things to be thankful for. I am glad to hear you are in a better place. It is always uplifting to hear of others small victories on here. Bless you and wishing you a peaceful day!

I do understand that you feel numb. I personally think it is good that your son is in the psychiatric hospital, I have gone from fearing hospital visits to being thankful for them as the staff are usually very very good and compassionate. It is great that your son has insight and is med compliant. That is a BIG blessing that many people with sz don’t have. Your husband probably CAN’T care about your son right now, mental illness makes sensible thinking impossible at times. Do take care of yourself best you can. I sort of lost myself for awhile, but now I try to make up for my own lack of care during my daughter’s crisis.

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