Meeting someone after a long time who now has paranoid schizophrenia

I’ve found myself in quite an odd position. Someone very close to me disappeared from my life along time ago. Now they’ve made contact and have paranoid schizophrenia. They didn’t have this before.

They treated me very badly (before the illness) and have caused me a lot of pain. I do want to meet with them, to get answers. However as they have this diagnosis I’m wondering if they’ll be able to manage such a meeting? Can someone with this illness see things from someone else’s perspective or do they become quite insular? Would the stress of the meeting cause a relapse?
Will they be the person I remember or would this illness have changed them?

I have found that there is a lot of forgiveness as life goes on. Perhaps your after your meeting you may find that.


Thanks for taking the time to answer. If this meeting goes ahead it will be emotionally charged on both parties. I’m just trying to understand if someone with this illness could manage that or if it would be unfair for me to meet with them

It is impossible to generalize based on having the diagnosis how the person will handle it.

If you feel you would find it difficult to raise old issues, it may best be left alone. What is the purpose for meeting? There is no reason why you shouldn’t express your uncertainty about meeting based simply on the problems it could potentially pose for yourself.

I suggest if you are not approaching this is a spirit of forgiveness then it may perhaps be best to leave it alone.


This person is my mum who abandoned me when I was 10. The purpose of the meeting would be for me to understand why. I don’t know if I can enter in the spirit of forgiveness, I’ve naturally been very hurt.

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In this situation, it might be best to meet with a supportive and neutral person, such as a counselor.

I think anyone would find such a meeting extremely difficult.


If you want to take your mom to task for leaving you when you were 10, it might be better to take some time to get to understand her as she is today. Most likely her brain disorder played a role in her departure from your life and possibly in the treatment you remember. Our family members with scz are frail and have long journeys as they work to live with their illnesses.

If you have some anger you would like to express, its often recommended that family members work with therapists to resolve the issues that scz has brought into their lives.


No mother is the right mind would not love her child or Abandon her children no matter how hard the circumstances are?

Mother is the only person who love her children unconditionally. she is the only who wants to see her son or daughter doing much better than her in Life.

Obviously your mom must have been so sick to had abandon you when you are little.
Do not meet with her if your heart cannot forgive her. She is the one who needs help right now and you may be in the position to offer her help if you can handle the situation.

I will pray for you for have guidance during the time and I will pray for your mother to get the help she needs.


I don’t have intensive knowledge about schizophrenia but whatever I learned so far about this affliction is that its symptoms could start from teenage years and then will become more & more apparent with time. You mentioned the way she treated you ‘before the illness’ but there’s a high chance she was ill at the time already and her actions were a result of her illness.

I keep forgiving my parents no matter what so far (even for things I totally don’t understand until now) and I find forgiveness and love better for me, it’s like I’m doing myself this favor…

I wish you strength and healing :heart_decoration:


@Adviceneeded - I’m sorry to hear that your mom left when you were 10. I’m sure that is extremely difficult. It’s definitely hard to reconnect with people who have cause you pain. I’d say give it a go. I would let her offer her explanation - you may not get it on the first meeting. Try not to go into the meeting angry. Maybe have a big workout before you go? A neutral person may be good but maybe that is down the road if you two decide to do counseling. Good luck and deep breaths. Keep us posted.


A lot of the answers to your question are “it depends”. It seems your mother at least realizes that she HAS paranoid schizophrenia. That is a good thing. Some people have anosognosia and never understand that. If she has been/is in treatment than she can be as rational as the next person (more sometimes) or still not quite all there (it’s a thought disorder and the degree of success of treatment varies from person to person). One of the difficulties of talking about the past with my son is that he simply doesn’t remember some of the worst things he did while psychotic. He thinks he has perfect recall but he doesn’t. And, of course, it’s painful to be told that you did something terrible in the past. Most of the aggressive things my son did were in the prodrome period and he still finds it difficult to recall and be reasonable about that period. So, discussions about the past are not always productive but we are already in a good place so it doesn’t matter anymore for us.

I am guessing that your mother regrets leaving you or she wouldn’t be coming calling. She may want your forgiveness, probably, in fact. But I agree with other people. It may be best to have someone else there and perhaps even practice talking about your hurt calmly beforehand. Basically, a screaming row and a desire for vengeance will end in tears (for both of you), no matter how much you may feel entitled to it or feel it might relieve years of hurt for you. You are entitled to tell her how much it hurt. And I think she should be able to hear that. But at the same time, my guess is that she wants to tell you that the only reason she left was because she wasn’t in her right mind and not because she didn’t love you. For all we know, she was hallucinating or deluded when she looked at you. She could have been seeing the demon baby in your crib. And that’s not a joke. She might have saved your life by leaving.

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people with this illness function at different levels throughout their lifetime. My son was diagnosed 17 years ago and he’s definitely worse now as far as function and emotionally even though he is med compliant.

I would suggest talking over the phone first and meet in a public place that is quiet.


IF you can have a calm meeting, it could be very positive, but if it isn’t a calm meeting, it could be very negative. Yes, it could badly harm your mother’s mental health if she isn’t very stable. She might experience a bad meeting as very traumatic.

One meeting. It might be your only chance to have a meeting… it is a tough decision, and the emotional charge could prevent it from being a good meeting.

My biggest regrets are always the times I lost my temper, even if I felt justified to be angry. Anger is a destructive emotion. In most cases, it is best not to talk at all if anger is the ruling emotion.

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It is true from a family/caregiver towards an afflicted loved one but then for example in my case, from my afflicted sister who doesn’t talk to me at all, I feel she’s so very angry in her body language and actions, sometimes (as someone who’s waiting to hear her out) I wish that she talks even if angry so she can let things out and we take it from there… I don’t know if what I feel/want makes sense…

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Yes, @Love_Hope, I recall now that sometimes in the past the ONLY time my afflicted daughter spoke to me were in anger. Right now, when she is on meds that work, she is very loving and communicative. Perhaps, unmedicated, the only time she could get some words out were the times when she was angry.

I can understand your wish for your sister to communicate something. She probably wants to, but can’t because of the war inside of her constantly going on in her mind.

So perhaps, in meeting someone with sz, we caregivers need to accept any communication with a kind response, no matter the words used.