Need advice, thinking of running

I’ve been married to a bi-polar schizo affective woman for about a decade. We recently moved to another state and it seemed to have triggered her, she now hears voices and is extremely paranoid.

She has been hospitalized 3 times in the last 2 and a half years. She refuses to see a pdoc, she refuses to take medication, she constantly lies about things like not drinking, etc… Anyways, it’s the same scenario every time she gets out of the hospital. She takes meds for a few weeks, sees the pdoc, and then she goes off the meds and refuses to see the pdoc afterwards.

After a bit of time she will start self medicating with booze, and then things get CRAZY. It usually ends up with me and the kids cowering in the parking lot while the police and paramedics cart of my wife for a week or 2 stay at the hospital.

At this point I’m thinking about running. Pack up enough bags for me and the kids, and head home to my parents house in another state. I would have to quit my job, and things would probably be a bit rough for a few months while I found another. But I’m thinking that this might be a good opportunity to finally get away from her.

I’m a bit worried about what would happen to her. She has no job and no ability to hold a job. She probably wouldn’t even be able to file for wellfare or disability, since she is so out of it. I’m guessing that she would either end up back in her native country (if she could get there without causing some type of scene, can delusional people take plane flights?, and wouldn’t that be the worst person you could imagine sitting next to for an extended flight across an ocean?) or she would end up homeless/in jail/in the hospital.

Anyways, I’m trying to work this all out right now. There are some things like bankruptcy (3 multi-week stays in the hospital are expensive without insurance, and heck even the insurance I had for one visit had zero mental health coverage.) that I’m trying to plan out right now that factor into the decision to bail as well.

Before you divorce her, at least tell her that you’re thinking about divorce if she doesn’t stay on her medications, and seek help. Maybe an ultimatum would get her to set herself straight.

I was considering the ultimatum route. However, I have tried that several times (usually a precondition to her getting out of the hospital in the first place.) and it never lasts for more than a month.

At the state she is in, there is no amount of logic that I can show her to make her convinced that she should be on medications. She is completely and utterly without insight, and she has not gained insight during any of her hospital trips either.

Perhaps I’m being a coward about this. I’m the only thing that really holds her up at this point. Her family has more or less disowned her, she can’t function by herself. On the other hand, I can only tell my boss that ‘my wife forgot to pick the kids up from school so I have to leave early’ so many times. I can only ask to work from home because my wife is ill so many times, etc…

Well, about taking care of the kids and needing time off, wouldn’t you have to do that if you were alone with them too? Is there a latch-key program at their school, so they could stay later? If you do decide to leave her, maybe you could make sure that she is set up in some sort of housing, so at least she won’t become homeless. Maybe you could get her in contact with a social worker or something, so she’ll have more options on her own. You seem like a caring guy, but maybe if she is a bad influence on the kids, you have to consider that too.

I’m not suppose to post answers in this category but, I feel obliged to give you my pointt of view and my personal advice to you.
I have schizophrenia and I have mild bipolar as well, and I know this is hard on the family, but if you left her it might destroy her for a very long time and she might never recover from it, kids would start asking whenn they grow up and wonder why you didn’t stand by her side, but all that is not really what I wanted to say, u have mentioned that changing the environment had triggered her syptoms, and you might have done the moving because u had a new good job or something, and u mentioned as well that u will leave your job to run away from her, then why not go together, runn together from where ever she’s struggling from.

For my situation changing the environment is a major aspect in triggering my symptoms, so it would be good for her to return to a place where looks like the old home…cheer up and don’t lose hope.

You are asking a tough question. In the end the decision is yours and has to be something that you can live with. I think having the support of your family for yourself and your children is certainly something to take into consideration. If you had their support while going through bad times with your wife then things may be easier to handle. Your children would have a safe place to go. From your other post it seems she may be heading for a break so maybe during that time you can spend some time seriously considering your options. Maybe looking into some sort of community treatment order or outpatient order that requires her to get her medications through injections could be an option. It’s a roller-coaster ride that only you can decide to stay on or not. Unfortunately you also have children that are dealing with the consequences of that choice as well. A mother that is traumatizing them or no mother… Give her the option to move with you if you want to move closer to your parents and if you are comfortable with that. If she doesn’t want to go then as CarolineC said, set her up with a social worker. Wishing you and your family all the best during this difficult time.

Just leave her. It’s fine to want out.

But try and make sure to do it right, thats all.

This is most certainly grounds for divorce, just try and do it right and not screw anybody over.

So things got a bit more complicated at the end of the year. I received many letters from lawyers saying that there is a criminal case being pursued against my wife for Domestic Violence in front of minors and Destruction of Property.

I found out that this is from an incident about half a year ago. She had been becoming increasingly psychotic for months prior and was constantly attacking me and threatening to kill me. I finally had enough and called the police, they took her to the hospital and she was admitted for about 2 weeks.

I guess they didn’t think that was enough and pursued charges against her as well.

Do any of you have experience with this? I am surprised to see criminal charges come out of an incident where I had called a crisis team to admit my wife.

Also, she was arrested about a year ago on public intoxication charges and the judge said that she needed to continue her treatment and stay away from alcohol. Will that affect the outcome of what happens as well?

I don’t think she should go to jail or receive a fine (especially since it would be me paying the fine). But it would be nice if the court can somehow mandate medication/therapy/whatever as a condition for dropping/reducing charges.

Anyways, looks like I’m sticking around until at least that gets resolved.

Perhaps the first thing will be to find her a good lawyer. One that has experience with this type of case. I agree that being in jail is not where she should be but at the same time this could be an opportunity to get her some sort of court mandated treatment like injection and maybe even AA. When it comes to domestic violence I don’t think spouses have the choice in laying charges anymore as most don’t when they should.

I ended up talking to the prosecutor yesterday. That went well. I explained that sending her to jail or fining her would just end up hurting my family more. I asked if she could be mandated some type of treatment, the prosecutor agreed and asked me to call back before the trial to discuss more. I also mentioned that I find it utterly ridiculous that I called for a crisis team when my wife was having mental health issues and they decided to file charges against her as well as the involuntary hold.

Your right in the fact that I can’t stop them from pressing charges. Even worse is that if they decide to go to court they can compel me to testify and threaten me with perjury if I do not testify against my wife.

I think this court situation can be a blessing in disguise. If you get outpatient treatment required as part of her probation (and continue to work with the prosecutor on that), then you can probably make some progress with her. But it has to have teeth – e.g., if she misses a pdoc appointment or a shot, the probation officer is after her. And get this for as long as you can – I think my brother was sentenced to 12 or 18 months of counseling for a minor charge but I don’t remember what it was. Assuming she gets the mandated treatment, you could consider upping the ante by setting a boundary, e.g., "if you doesn’t follow through with the treatment, I will pursue divorce/move away/etc. (whatever you think you can follow through on). Ultimatums only have a chance to the degree that you are willing to follow through on them. I sympathize with your situation. My parents and I have been going through something similar with my brother.

My dad actually did something I thought was pretty genius. My brother had just gotten out of the hospital on Christmas Eve (on 12/24/13), and Dad was driving him home. Dad said “if you continue destroying the house [which my parents own] you will be going to the homeless shelter, oh and by the way, I am going to take you there right now because I want you to know where it is.” And then he immediately took him there. As God would arrange it, my brother had to use the restroom, so Dad said “go in the shelter!” and he did. Now Dad just has to back up that boundary if my brother misbehaves.

my mom was in the same situation as you describe your wife being in she would go to the hospital and not follow up with her medication. she needs to learn to be med compliant. sometimes we have to man up and deal with the situation that means taking care of her medicine situation my mom actually thinks that she does not need her medication I told her that is ludicrous. but I give her her medication every night and that keeps her sane away from trouble normal and out of the hospital there is ways to stabilize family peace.

Hi BlessedgirlVA,
I remember you from months ago on the other forum…

I am so glad to hear that your parents are starting to stand-up for themselves and show your brother the consequences of his actions. I know it might not seem like much, but that is a lot of progress for them in just a few months. Good for them. Thank you for that update. I’m glad to hear your parents are starting to this for themselves.

Thanks so much! Yes, my parents are finally starting to draw some lines, and while I am still a bit doubtful they will stand behind them, I am hoping they will. Dad actually did more than just the homeless shelter thing. He also talked to my brother’s neighbors and told them to call the police the next time they are disturbed by his noise, and also told my brother this. He also told my brother that he, my Dad, would call the police the next time he destroys the house. And he put a block on the home phone so my brother can’t call my parents’ house, but he can still call my mom’s cell phone. And they told him he could only call once a day. I am sure that’s not happening, but hopefully my parents are only answering once a day. They are monitoring his voicemails. When he’s really bad, he will call up to 20-30 times a day. Dad has a meeting set up with the PACT team (the group that does home visits & meds in the home) so we’re hoping they can establish contact with my brother. Not sure if he will even let them in the house.

But, praise God, he has been taking his meds since he got out 12/24. They doubled his dose in the hospital which he desperately needed. He’s better, but still ill. We’re hoping he’ll go to a doctor’s appt that’s coming up soon, and that the pdoc will take him on as a patient.

I think a big part of this change was that I was able to find a private social worker for my parents and I to meet with. I was at my wits ends and despite my asking them to work with someone, they weren’t doing anything, so I found someone. She works part time for county mental health, so she knows the system. We’ve seen her twice I think, and will see her again in a few weeks. Mom & Dad are basically using her as a coach or consultant, and I also plan to do some individual work with her to focus on long term planning and what I can/cannot handle. So things are finally looking up.

Thanks for your encouragement.

I recently found out they have a mental health court where we live. It’s purpose is to transfer cases for people with mental illness out of the traditional criminal branch.

It looks fairly good. They can mandate treatment for individuals who then have to do a weekly check in at the hospital or with their parole officer.

I know she would prefer to just get the charges dropped, but I think this new route would be better. She really needs to get treatment, and without a strong enough incentive, she will not continue the treatment.

A young man who is diagnosed who sometimes attends our NAMI family group talked about mental health court and how it helped him. It sounds like a reasonable option!

Absolutely, run, don’t walk to that mental health court! Mandated treatment should be the goal here, regardless of whether she ends up with a criminal record or not. You can read more about MH courts on Pete Earley’s blog: Blog - Pete Earley