We end up trapped in these hellish situations with our children. I know that sounds dark, but it feels accurate to me. We deal with and fear dealing with situations that other people can’t even conceive, situations that we know could realistically happen at any minute.
The world won’t help our children, but seem to enjoy punishing them for what happens as a result. When they put our children on trial for things that happened when they were psychotic - it seems the same to me as the old days in England when people when sightseeing to look at people in mental asylums. To medicate a person so they can stand trial and be put in prison for something they did when they were not medicated, in my opinion, is cruel and heartless. Yet it keeps happening. No one wants to help our family members.
Like you, I found the covered up relatives as well. I didn’t know to keep a look out for signs of scz, because not only did I not know what scz really was, I didn’t know it was in my husband’s family. As has been pointed out on this board - its not necessarily just my husband’s side. We FINALLY have a diagnosis for bipolar on one of my siblings. Genetically there was a possible risk for scz from both sides since some abnormalities in the same genes are shared by bipolar and scz, its just a bigger risk from husband’s side with his mom and his aunt and his 2 cousins all having scz. Totally covered up. His mom hid in her bedroom all the time, I thought it was alcoholism. She was self medicating with alcohol. My husband actually believed his mother was a psychopath, he is still more convinced of that than scz. She would tell people I had said things I had not said - I thought she was just a mean spirited person. Now I realize all the times she said I said things I hadn’t said, and she said other people were saying things they hadn’t said, she was hearing voices and its similar to my son’s voices. He always claims the voices belong to the people nearby. MIL’s sister was never spoken of - recently I had to dig up an old obituary to prove to other relatives the sister had lived. That’s how hushed up they were about her. MIL’s other sister did come clean when I asked her outright about her other sister. She pretends as though she just realizes it now. She says she thought she had 2 sisters with severe alcoholism issues.
Our version of scz does give my son a handful of functional days a month. Pretty much how it was for his grandmother as well. Maybe the aunt is telling the truth, maybe they just didn’t talk about the other sister because of the alcoholism, maybe they didn’t know it was a brain disorder. Heavy self medicating does blur the picture. The two cousins from my husband’s generations were just thought to have “gone wild on drugs” and eventually overdosed.
I really identify with your dysfunctional family. My dad would have these rages that could be started by nothing. He would be fine one minute, then raging the next. My older sister was the same way and later, my youngest brother. My mom seemed to think it was all normal and if you objected, you were the one that had the problem. Combine that with husband’s mom, and its easy to see why we moved half a country away from both families when our kids were babies. I’ve said before that I thought we could get away - instead we took it with us as it was laying in wait for our son. You can run from brain disorders in your family, but you can’t hide.
Take care @AnnieNorCal.