Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Merry Christmas to All of Us


#1

This group means a lot to me…I don’t know any of you personally, but when I read your stories there is always a thread of connection in them that makes me know there is a lot of mutual understanding here. That is really important to feel understood when dealing with loved ones that have an illness that literally defies understanding.

Having said that I am taking a leap of faith this holiday and allowing for my sza sister (I have mentioned in previous posts) to spend Christmas night with me and my sz son. It came about in a convoluted way. I mentioned my sister can be very manipulative and I knew something was coming but was unsure of what. She mentioned how "she really wanted me to drive her back and forth from her house (about 20 mins away from me) instead of scheduling her Mainstream bus which costs her a little under $6. But I declined initially because of her non stop talking which makes it very hard for me to focus on safe driving…also I don’t drive well at night. Nevertheless…I truly want her to spend the holiday with us for many reasons besides the fact that I love her unconditionally. So when I called her a couple of days ago and asked her if she had booked her Mainstream bus to get here and back she went on and on endlessly how that was impossible for her to do because she was sick, injured, confused, sleepy, angry, and a whole assortment of other reasons…so I said how will you get over here? Then she starts with the idea of asking virtual strangers for help…(something she is actually pretty skilled at) but it is dangerous in my opinion…so I said that I really wanted her here and I did not appreciate being put in a position where I would have to drive when I really didn’t want to (attempting to acknowledge her manipulation for what it’s worth) and I said I would not be able to drive safely if she continues to talk non stop the whole time…she was beside herself with excitement that I would pick her up and swore she would be quiet (yeah…right–hmm) anyway then I said to her…I still cannot drive at night with any comfort…so it was her idea and she said “what if I stayed over night?” [truth be told I have wanted her to stay over night forever just to break the mold and get her further out of her shell and this is an activity that is WAY out of her comfort zone] So there is no way I would say no…and I said that was a great idea…and it is because I will only have to drive in the daytime and only once on any day which is good for my stress levels…and if it gets too stressful with the non stop talking and intermittent histrionics- I can go upstairs to bed and have peace and quiet and my son and sister who have no qualms about each others “idiosyncrasies” can commiserate to their hearts content…I think this Christmas may prove to be a win/ win situation for my tiny family in spite of all the possibilities…Merry Christmas to all of us and a Happier New Year! :smile::evergreen_tree::gift:


#2

That sounds great, it looks like things may be looking up in these moments!! And Merry Christmass and a Happy New Year to you as well!! :smile: :evergreen_tree: :ribbon:


#3

I’m excited for you & for her. I hope it turns out really well - please let us know how it went.


#4

Catherine, there are usually some good classic movies running that might be good. Personally I love Classical musics or the Christmas specials. Have you ever cooked with her. I hope the day is better than you can imagine and all goes well. I hope to hear all about it. Merry Christmas from our family to yours and all of you here.


#5

Hope all goes well Catherine and you have a lovely Christmas ,


#6

Thanks everybody for your kind wishes, I will let you know how everything turns out. My best to everyone.


#7

Catherine…and all of you, I want to mirror the statement about you all, and this group, meaning so much to me.

Your voices have changed my ability to navigate this experience. I am no longer alone and I am better suited to understand this wicked illness. I am even better equipped to love my son because of what you all have shared…and who would have thought that a forum on the internet could help you love your own child better??

Your collective wisdom, our mutual shared pain, the great company and willing listeners for the unexpected twists and turns of each of our stories…it has been priceless to me, and helpful beyond measure.

What a beautiful thing to be built out of the desperate pain and love I hear in every key stroke that each of you share surrounding your loved ones devastated by this thief of an illness.

Merry Christmas…and may the New Year bring all of you and your loved ones blessings.
God Bless!


#8

We had a great day!!! 3 hours in the car and the two hour Bob Dylan track saved the day on the way home. My son seemed to be glad he went and my family were so glad to see him. I didn’t think it was going to happen this morning. God is good. Thank you


#9

@Catherine. I hope all went well! Merry Christmas to you too and to my forum family!


#10

I think everything went okay…I am not going to lie, it is very hard and very stressful but I am kind of looking at all of this as a path toward a long term goal…I foresee a day if we can keep the interaction alive and evolving, when it won’t be so hard and so stressful all of the time…I mean my sister has lived as a delusional shut in more time than she has not— so to suddenly go out and spend family time with relatively stable and adjusted people and even stay over night is beyond huge for her…so I got kind of testy a few times in spite of myself…I did a little huffing and puffing here and there, maybe threw my hands up a few times and even did a few eye rolls sprinkled with just a wee bit of sarcasm here and there and I wasn’t proud of all that but I know that an entire day with a non stop talking histrionic woman is a tall order for anyone to deal with…and then it starts again first thing in the morning but there were moments of revelation between us, moments of really hearing a word or meaning…maybe fleeting moments but the way my sister, my son and even myself work mentally is that we capture brilliant moments, brilliant ideas and intent and we take it home maybe even in our subconscious and then it might take a week or two to fully process but later on we finally “get it” whatever “it” is and can find a good use for our new idea, knowledge or wisdom. We are just slower processors of important things…

I even took a moment when I was really feeling intense anxiety with my sister and she was looking at me all scared because I took a deep breath and just covered my face with my hands (in a weird effort to calm myself) and she automatically wants to recoil and apologize and if possible run away and I said “no!” “this is me when I am anxious” " it is okay to feel anxious" you are my sister and you should know me when I am anxious" and even if you are one reason why I am anxious that is fine because I am not angry or blaming or anything…all I am doing is processing and all you need to do is let me process my own way and we can move on" Then I said when I inadvertently make you anxious then you can show me how you are and how you process and I will let you process your way just the same and we will know each other better that way and not take offense about it in the future…because we are who we are." She seemed to understand and seemed much less scared.

It is hard to imagine dealing with someone like my sza sister who doesn’t even understand some very basic common aspects about life or people or social interaction, nothing at all about nuances or mannerisms or anything about how humans basically operate. It seems pretty believable that she has emerged from a social vacuum void of anything-- kind of like those experimental monkeys that are raised by wire versions of their monkey mom counterpart and they end up completely neurotic. That fact always makes me sad for my sister and the difficult way she lives. Anyway…I see my sister’s visit as a major victory, an achievement and a hard fought one. We are already discussing the possibility of making this a "monthly event. Time will tell if that pans out. One thing that stood out that I told my sister and I think it was wise words on my part (if I do say so myself) when she told me that trying to love anyone was way too painful for her…I told her it is only painful if you are loving with an expectation of getting something back…she said I expect nothing except to get love back and I said “exactly” so when you don’t get love back you are sad and disappointed. Better to not dish out love so freely when the person hasn’t done anything to deserve your love…(aka our abusive family, previous abusive boyfriends etc…) I said now with your nephew and I we love you no matter what and we show it to you all of the time --so I would venture to say it is okay to love us because we will always love you back no matter what and you don’t have to do anything particular for us to love you-we don’t expect anything…and she smiled and said “you do love me don’t you?” so I told her of course I do, I love her and my kids in a way where I don’t have to have love back to feel happy about loving them, I was trying to explain what unconditional love was and how not everybody gets to just randomly have that.

It is complicated to say the least but I am glad for now that I have my sister and my son, with all of the problems I face with them I truly love them and they are my family and they will always have me in their corner, and as time passes I feel confident they will be in my corner too. :slight_smile: Happier New Year Everyone!


#11

That was beautiful and thank you for sharing. Family are important and all relationships take work, don’t they? I came away from the gathering feeling refreshed for having gone. I’m grateful.