So sorry for your loss.
What a hellish situation you face/faced.
I hope you find comfort with your surviving family.
The notoriety of the case will fade in time.
Do what you can for your brother, but try not to let it take over your life. You need to grieve for your parents (who I believe are now together again).
So sorry for your loss.
@magrah I am sorry that you had to call the police on your fiance.
Although my husband is not mentally ill, I have been down that route (calling the police on my husband) over the years due to his alcoholic binge drinking. He will drink until he is literally walking around mentally blacked out, doing and saying odd things, sometimes getting very angry before he finally passes out.
He has been forced to be sober since his last arrest. This county now puts ALL alcohol violators on a CAM (continuous alcohol monitor) bracelet that is worn on the ankle and so NO drinking of alcohol can occur or the person is re-arrested and stays in jail until trial. The abuse, although not life threatening, was enough that for my own safety, I’ve called the police on him in the past. I would earlier feel guilty and bail him out, eventually learned that the behavior wouldn’t change once out of jail. So I stopped bailing him out. Now he is sober for 5 months and will be for the next year.
If you feel like that was the final straw with your fiancee, then you need to get OUT of this relationship before he hurts you, your son or himself.
My daughter with schizophrenia is ONLY sane again due to being forced onto regular medicine via the court system 3 years ago. I was her only friend for the prior 3 years during her constant psychosis, and 2 arrests and 5 forced hospitalizations. When she was arrested the last time, I testified to the judge that she needed court ordered meds. That judge sent her to a hospital from jail and she was placed on involuntary hold and involuntary meds. That court order saved her from insanity. She is now a lovely, working woman, and a pleasure to live with. I won that war with God’s help in setting up life situations I could take advantage of (like police and courts).
If your partner is a self aware schizophrenic choosing to not be on a med that works, then you have done your best to help him. Do not stay out of pity or love IF he is violent or expresses a desire to self harm or hurt you or your son. Or the next time he expresses suicidal thoughts, don’t be afraid to call 911 for involuntary hold, if your state does that. I’m actually sorry that you bailed him out of jail and withdrew your witness statement that he hurt you. Perhaps the court could have court-ordered him to be on meds. Not all judges can or will do that.
@Gennyg134 hasn’t been on the site much this year. I hope her situation has resolved well. I hope you can resolve yours for your safety and your son’s safety. If your partner has attacked you once, it WILL probably happen again.
It’s true, I haven’t been on this thread very much as I have gone back to school to become a therapist! My experience has led me to want to help others in this situation, and I am learning a lot. As for my personal situation, my person has stabilized after having a severe depression that lasted 18 months. That, if you can believe it, was scarier in some ways. Every day I thought “I wonder if he will stay alive.” He is in treatment now and medicated, so jail was the portal into the system. He has a med manager, a case manager and a therapist, and I am no longer alone in caring for him…yet, I have had to draw a lot of boundaries. We do not live together, and we no longer have an intimate relationship because it is too hard for me not to get overly attached. His medication is Seroquel and not a large dose, so doctor keeps telling me he will cycle again. It appears it is likely he has Bipolar 1 with psychotic traits, and maybe schizoaffective…but this is all very new to him and diagnoses is hard. What scares me is that Bipolar 1 gets worse with age and he’s had it for 30 years. Doctor says the highs will be higher and the lows will be lower next time. I honestly cannot imagine that. I think he will die. We have an action plan if he or I notice a shift in energy, and for right now, he is basically a shit-in and living in a moderate depression as his baseline. He can’t work, and he’s not interested in the world outside his door. I no longer have dreams of a future that I dreamed of…but he is kind and loving again and that is a relief. I have to mentally practice the words I will use to remove myself if I sense he is escalating, and I am relieved I can now call several people to help me. I have a strict list of things I will not tolerate and the first one is substance use. If he starts to take cannabis again or any substance, I will not come around. If he starts to yell or criticize me or ask me for money, the action plan goes into effect and I will remove myself.
I have learned that in my person’s situation, anxiety and depression and lack of stability is a huge issue. He has assisted living now and some state assistance, and a small allowance from me, so he is not worrying so much and that is helping…but the biggest difference is he could no longer deny his mental illness and had to enter treatment to avoid more jail time. I hate that I had to call the police, and that he spent such an awful time two summers ago, but honestly it forced him into treatment and he is alive and able to play guitar and watch baseball and keep my company as long as he stays in treatment, which he seems to now want to do.
As I said though, I am wary. At any point he could shift and I will be back here. I do not think I can go through another episode. I think he knows that but the problem with psychosis is you don’t care, and I won’t risk my safety again. G
I agree wholeheartedly with @oldladyblue. My older brother died suddenly this spring. A pulmonary embolism. Before that he was an active alcoholic, and we begged him to seek treatment, including his beautiful daughters (one about to have his first grandchild). In the end, you learn in school, that addicts’ primary relationship is with the substance they are using…and lots of words get said, but if they are ultimately unwilling to break up with the substance (as my brother was), there isn’t much you can do. There are a lot of differences, but sometimes I think it’s similar with our loved ones if they have insight. No one wants to take meds (they suck) but if they want to have people to love and be loved by, they have to find the will to do it. If they don’t, they are choosing their dance with shared reality, financial ruin, and theirs and other people’s safety over calmer, healthier days. I understand that will is shaky with brain disease and addiction, but lots and lots of people make that choice for others every day. If your person can’t choose you and your son above his symptoms? You need to get distance. He’s already told you he’s willing to leave you in search of a new life. One thing I know: we all get one life in this consciousness/body and it can end suddenly. I don’t want mine to end having poured my life and money into someone who just “got sick of meds.”
@Gennyg134 Nice to see you on the site, and oh oh oh so happy you are doing well with your own education and that your person has stabilized. What the future holds, no one knows, but at least for present, things are much calmer for you.
I am sorry to hear that your older brother passed suddenly in the spring. Very, very sad, but as you said, his only real relationship (to him) was with alcohol. I hope his daughters don’t blame themselves in any way (or that you don’t blame yourself).
@oldladyblue, thank you. This site saves me over and over. Thank you for some of the best advice I ever got. I did not want to be the person who put my SO in jail, but it was the thing that began his return to himself. It took a long time to stabilize—is taking a long time—and he is much diminished, but he has another chance. I don’t know that he really wants it, but on some days he says he does. It’s enough. He gets to play music again and that is his gift. I’m not sure I can comment once I start a practice, due to privacy issues (a patient might be on here) but I’m paying attention. We are all in this, learning, and I encourage anyone who has that inky feeling of being scared of their partner or loved one: pay attention to it. Remove yourself or have them removed. No matter how much you love them, treat yourself like someone you love, too. I forgot that for almost a year and it came close to costing me everything.
What a great thought @Gennyg134 !
You are very welcome, I am glad that I could help you out some. I truly am happy your life is progressing well, and that your SO has another chance at life. So important!
If things change for you as far as being on this site once you become a therapist, we all will understand, and you can always lurk! I feel you will be a good therapist, like no other, because of your experience with your SO and on this site. I wish you the best!
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Like many others here, have found the healthcare doesn’t happen until something serious happens and it’s too late. Most people with SZ lack insight that they are ill.
I wish globally they were forced to take.medication outside hospitalisation. I understand why thendon’t want to but waiting until they become so unwell ruins their lives and those around them.
I am so sorry. I have been getting through a course on how to protect my family. I am building cases against my brother with the help of a pro-bono lawyer/ family friend (their specialty was never this area of law so most of the research is something new to them.) My parents are too afraid to say he is a danger to himself and others but I will not and cannot allow him to make my family live in fear. While he is currently in a waitlist for outside long-term housing, I can absolutely see him hurting us out of revenge.
Whether or not the law has enough wherewithal to put him away for good from the people he can hurt before he murders someone is an anxiety I deal with every day. The years of assult and abuse are difficult things to prove but I have hope that I will be able to escape his abuse and he will be without resources to hurt us with the right points on his record. I would rather not do it but he has shown no remorse for things he has done. While he’s upset to be sane on forced medication, truthfully he knows how bad he was but has no concept of guilt. This is an abusive situation that I will see through to an end.
I’m sorry you have to go through this too! It is so multifaceted that it’s so hard to know even where to begin. Just based on the fact alone that they have to commit murder for anyone to listen to us is absolutely insane.
I’d like to one day try to make a change with how our system is handled to help families that live in the same situations as us.
Please keep me posted on how your journey goes!
It’s very tiring to be honest. I hate it in some ways. I know it is his illness. That he has lacked insight for years. But between his delusions, accusations, and the never ending hints that “something bad” is about to happen to us or him, I can’t take it anymore.
People have argued (mostly from view points where their family members haven’t and don’t abuse them emotionally or physically) that jail time is a penalization of illness they cannot control. I agree. I would rather have done (and did) everything the law allows us to do BUT this. The court appointments, Voluntary patient treatment, Out Patient Treatment, Contacting Social services, having family and friends help either me or him if/when they can. It has come to a point in days where my parents can’t continue working as much as they do.
They don’t have the health to take care of him and in order to make sure they don’t end up on the streets I have been working through a degree program on my own. (While I had to leave real deal Uni. I’ve taken 1 course per term per year at least each year I’ve been out.) It’s not easy while taking care of my brother but my economic opportunities are heavily intertwined with my parents because of how much time, health, and money they’ve lost working on their own careers and while being care takers themselves. Fortunately, I have siblings who are decent (and most definitely secure) career choices but they can’t make the same sacrifices with their time and money that I can with families of their own. (And I wouldn’t expect them to.) Their growing up well and, as we’ve paid out of pocket to do at least some of the genetic marker testing that precludes severe forms of SZ, missing them. We already set up emergency plans in case something like that DOES happen, i.e they present with either SZ or SZ-typal symptoms, with legal counsel and a Social Workers suggestion. It’s grim but absolutely worth it because they know what a difference prompt care and accountability make to clinical outcomes. My brother had issues from his teens that none of us recognized as a sign/symptom of SZ. Especially because they have advanced directives in place we know what treatment facilities and Psychiatry care/teams are the best to work with should we need that kind of help, though I sincerely hope we will not.
I think advance planning is the best way to go.
You are a kind, smart soul to be caretaking the way you are. Good for caring for yourself too and continuing to take courses one at a time since you left uni!
Hi there you mentioned your brother has had it for 34 years. What was his life like? Did he need a lot of support for daily activities? Was he more independent? How is he now?
Sorry I digressed from the topic, but it seems like you have a lot of experience with a loved one with schizophrenia and I don’t know how else to message you privately.
Thank you for you time.
And to the original poster: I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of pain you and you’re family have gone though and are going through. I wish you all the best. Your family will definitely be in my prayer today.
My brother’s life started out with him living with my parents for 2 years and not doing too much because he was in and out of hospitals with psychotic episodes. He did stabilize in his 3rd year post diagnosis because he was being somewhat compliant with medication. My parents found him an apartment close to their home and subsidized his rent as he went from job to job. He worked in a school for a year teaching English as a second language, worked in a methadone treatment center ,
those jobs all did not last more than a year.
He then worked at a flower store doing deliveries for about 4 years. During this time he was also playing in a band in the evenings. His life was very erratic. He was smoking pot, and then he got involved in cocaine use . He had 3 different cars that my parents gave him which he crashed.
he got parking tickets and did not pay them. He had band practice at very late hours of the night and people in his building complained about him. he ultimately got evicted from his apartment because he was a nuisance .
My dad then found him another apartment because my parent knew that he would ruin their lives if he lived with them. He was only able to work until about 30 years old. Then my parents paid his rent for the rest of the time. My father worked until he was 87 and my mom worked until 72. I am sure they did this so that they could keep paying his rent. But there were always problems. My brother did not clean his apartment , did not take out the trash, smoked in the apartment and let the ashes go all over the floor, toilets and sinks were constantly clogged. It was a bad situation. My father did everything to make sure he did not get kicked out. That included taking out trash, unclogging toilet an sinks, cleaning, fixing things. My brother became non compliant with meds around 30. he probably had many psychotic episodes but managed to not bother anyone enough to have him taken to the hospital by police. He was hospitalized a few times after that. He never changed his clothes, he was filthy. My parents had to beg him to change his clothes every few months.
He never brushed his teeth, therefore lost alot of teeth.
He refused to go to any doctor or dentist. My parens just eventually gave up and idea of him getting better. They just wanted to keep him in an apartment at any cost.
They did that pretty well until my father died in November of 2018. Then all hell broke loose!
If you want to know what happened after my father died, you should look up the topic " The final chapter for my schizophrenic brother" I just posted that story a few weeks ago.
Let me know if you need any other details.
Your story is absolutely heartbreaking! My son is 35 and was diagnosed in 2013 when he was 25. He’s never lived independently, is med compliant (with the monthly injection) but has three pills which he isn’t so good about and has had five commitments altogether in these ten years. He lives with his father, my ex husband, who endures daily verbal assaults. It’s heartbreaking because my son was always sweet natured and mellow. I want to read more about your brother, at the same time I’m afraid to.
If you want to read more about my brother, you should go to the topic, The final chapter for my schizophrenic brother. I wrote this about a month ago. It is a positive ending, through some luck, and persistence on my part. My brother really decompensated after my father died. I was the one now in charge of him because my mom was not physically or mentally able to do this anymore.
My brother is now in a nursing home. it is the best thing that ever happened for me and my mom and also him.
Believe it or not he is happy there. He has been there a year. He will turn 58 this month. You might find that heartbreaking, but it is a huge success story. He will be taken care of for the rest of his life.
The burden has been lifted from me. I encourage you to read the story in full. As parents you will have to think about what happens after you die… even if you have no control of what happens.
I know the post is old, but I am living this exact scenario currently. I could have written it.
I’m so sorry so hear that. I hate that this seems so common and there is so little help out there for families. And yes even though this happened a year and a half ago it lives fresh in my mind every day.
I am so sorry that you are experiencing this terrible tragedy. I pray you and your family finds peace. This is terrible and the neglect of people with mental illness not being addressed causes the family hardship and it rips people apart. Please do not forget to take care of yourself during this trying time. Do you mind if no one has asked sharing what drugs he may have taken? I can totally understand your pain. We are living with someone in full paranoid schizophrenia who refuses to take his meds and decided that there is nothing wrong with him. He has been threatening some very dangerous people. He went to visit his mother and she did not put her sharp objects away and he stole her scissors. We live in constant fear and constant uncertainty as to what will happen and make him completely snap at this point. So please forgive me for asking you any questions that may have been asked before. I am praying for you and your family to find some peace and move on.
Thank you so much. My brother had little insight and refused to get help. The one time we thought he would get help was when he was forced into the hospital psychiatric unit but they released him the next day. We started noticing his decline when he was taking sleeping pills. I also knew he did weed and drank every night to help him sleep. I know at times he took steroids and did cocaine which also further progressed his issues. I think at only one time at the beginning he took something prescribed for anxiety but that was short lived because he didn’t like how it made him feel.