Hello everyone. It took a lot of guts to finally share my story. I have been struggling for years and I have kept it all in because I feel like people will never understand my situation. I am married and my husband isn’t really someone I can talk to about this because he just had enough after a bad experience with my parents. I have been searching for forums just to let it all out, maybe gain support, especially from people who are in the same situation.
As far as I can remember, growing up, my dad was “okay”. He was someone who seldom speaks, who is very calm and composed. But everything changed when he got terminated from his job. He was involved in somewhat a legal case, as his company accused him of betraying their trust by selling some of the company’s patented drawings to a competitor (He is an engineer). I don’t know if that was true, but he kept on insisting that it wasn’t but he was terminated anyway. That’s when his paranoia started.
Since losing his job, he declared that he has found a new calling and started going to a Christian church. We are Christians, by the way, but he started reading the bible and took everything to heart. Being religious is okay, we all have to respect each other’s religion, but the problem was that he became very vulgar and started “rebuking” everybody. He thinks that God sends messages through him, and that he was a modern prophet, a modern “Joseph the dreamer.” His dreams were very morbid, I should say. Worse is that he is very vocal about it and would tell everyone involved. He just cannot keep it to himself because he thinks that God wants him to warn people. For instance, he dreamt that my cousin would die of a skin cancer, and he went around telling my cousin’s family that if they don’t follow his religion, they would suffer this consequence. Next example is that he dreamt that my uncle would rape somebody, and then told my relatives about it. His dreams would mostly consist of sickness, death upon people, but if he dreams something about himself, it would always be about success that was supposed to happen for him in the near future.
I can remember some psychotic episodes that may be the first signs of trouble. First of all, when I was growing up, he was very strict about me getting good grades. At one time, I failed a simple test, he smashed his guitar on our wall. Even simple things that would upset him like asking him to drive me somewhere or I might be late, he would threaten to crash the car, or throw me out of the car. Even worse, I cannot remember how many times I’ve cried when he tells me that he wished that he just let my mom abort me. As if it was my choice to be born.
There was one whole year that he was not able to sleep. He was so worn out and I really thought he was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. He would have pastors come to our house for prayovers, because he thinks our relatives and neighbors are putting withcraft over our house to kill him. He thinks that the government is monitoring him, monitoring their calls, their bank accounts because he thinks that he is someone sooo important that people are out to get him. Like I said, he thinks he is a modern day prophet and that everything he says is from God. He thinks that people who touch him would have their sickness healed. Like when my husband’s family came to talk to him. My in-laws had fever from travelling except my father-in-law, and my dad credited it to himself saying that my father-in-law touched his hand that;s why he did not get sick.
This started when I was 13 years old, now I am 28. At 23, I got married and left the house, and immigrated to a foreign country and it was the best decision of my life. I feel really guilty about being too happy to be away from them, but all those times living with them just gives me depression. I cry all the time, worry all the time, and I know that cannot go on as I have to work, and I have a husband and my own life now.
Until now, we talk over the phone because I try to be civil to them. He had a long-time job after being terminated, but then he resigned because he said it was God’s will, and now he is just relying on me for financial support, which is a very big burden on my end. I have a family now, but I have to take care of their living expenses as well. He said that God wants them to wait that’s why he’s just staying at home, doing nothing, just waiting on my financial support, while I am out here, busting my butts off, working just to support my own family, and them. He doesn’t want me to have kids, because then I cannot support them anymore, he doesn’t want my husband to go to school for continuing education because their support might be cut off. It’s like I have to sacrifice my life and my future just for them, because they think God wants them to wait for something greater, even when they are very healthy and capable of working.
My mom was okay. There were weeks when it was just her and me in the house when my dad would travel for business trips when he was still working and my mom and I have always managed to live peacefully. When my mom was with me, she was sane. We would have normal conversations, go out and eat, or talk about just anything. No delusions and paranoia whatsoever. But when my dad is around, it seems like her way of thinking is always influenced by him because then all they talk about are their dreams, God’s message to people, the apocalypse, how the government and some people are out to kill them. Much worse now that I am in a foreign country and don’t live with them anymore, they spend 24/7 with each other. My dad has built rails and gates around our house so that no one, even relatives can get inside the house because they are “dirty” and “unbelievers” and would contaminate their religious abode.
There are still a lot of incidents that I could mention but this post may be longer. I may share it with everyone, little by little soon.
I have read a lot of articles saying that religious schizophrenia is one the the very challenging conditions because they will always argue about God and their faith. Yes, I believe this is true as I have been struggling with this for most of my life. It seems like I have forgotten to live my life and my future trying to appease them while they live their lives based on delusions. And people keep telling me to intervene, and convince them to go to a psychiatrist but I did try, to no avail, because they will always use God as an excuse in everything. I just don’t know what to do anymore. It’s hard to be the child and be the only sane person in the family. The parents should be the responsible ones and not the other way around. It’s very frustrating and depressing.