Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

One week left (unfair? & unrealistic?) goals! Please advise me


#1

Hi, I need your advice please. I am sorry, I apologize in advance if you’ll find some of what I share with you here repeated from various posts of mine but I need to write you a brief background if you can kindly give me few minutes of your time.

My questions: now almost THREE months have passed since my visit and I am still here with my afflicted sister for one more WEEK :cry: … I still do not have sufficient time to talk to my afflicted sister much because the moment I speak, she leaves to her room & locks it, unless I have more minutes while she’s preparing food/tea in the kitchen so I grab that chance to say a few words to her before she leaves to her room. One of the pressing issues now that I need your advice on is that I have only ONE week left for my visit and what I really want to tell my sister, the purpose of my visit “I’m visiting you to help you get out from this place and I will help you in every way I can and try to give you a better livable situation in my home”. I’m running out of time and how would I know I have her trust as she refuses to even communicate with me in any way, e.g. writing response in a note or anything if she can’t speak… I’ve been trying everyday for almost 3 months, but then what? The 3 months visit is almost up and she doesn’t communicate back to me in anyway. After the visit, I can live guilt-free that I’ve done my part & tried? Because I’ve been visiting her every year for the past 6 years because I was able to and I had the means but maybe in 2019 I might reallocate somewhere far where I cannot visit for the 1st few years…

Brief background: My afflicted diagnosed unmedicated sister went through a lot of stress & oppression from those who didn’t understand her illness, they lock the main house exit door and can permit her to leave the house if she’s accompanied by them because of harm they believe she’s done many times out the house in the past and that’s the way they think they are protecting her (I was away in another country where I live with my husband) but anyways now during my visit I can see that even that I keep the door key on it at all times, she doesn’t come near it as her illness progressed . I feel that for me it’s obvious that her illness got worse because of those who didn’t understand her and the way she got treated but they just didn’t understand her illness and they thought they were doing their best but she lives with them and she isolated from them then she started to isolate from everyone else (not going out of house/room for the past two years!). Another problem is that she doesn’t speak and only locks herself in her room in which she doesn’t have phone/mobile/tv nor anything to connect her with the outside world (refuses the mobile phones I tried to give her) so I wouldn’t even know if she wants to speak up her mind and evaluate traveling/moving with me (the family believe that if my sister needed anything she’d ask them but she hasn’t spoken a word in two years and my research on alogia and other symptoms tells me she won’t ask for anything even if it was urgent/important matters for herself) She only eats, she’s keeping herself clean and is under a roof with family (they have their limitations too) but I don’t see any other positives from her current living situation.


#2

I think it’s possible that the current situation works for your sister in her unmedicated condition. She is fed, clothed, and has her own room.


#3

I think that Hope has a good point. At the present time, your sister is safe, fed and likes her room as she feels safe there and goes back there of her own free will. I don’t think you should feel badly if you can’t change her behavior.


#4

@hope @oldladyblue I really wish it was that simple but there are verbally & emotionally abusive members of the family who never learn that stress isn’t good for anyone, let alone my afflicted sister ! I always grew up giving them the benefit of the doubt, and forgiving and forgetting (suppress) then I visit them, then I am reminded again, now I realize the consequences of it all on everyone…


#5

Sigh. So hard on you. Do you think your sister is competent mentally to make any life changing decisions?


#6

I have no idea anymore…


#7

I would keep trying to reach out to her. Stay in touch with her whenever you can. Who knows, may be she will open up to you again. She is definitely not living a healthy life … not communicating with anyone!!. She seems to be very depressed and needs help but also may have resentments toward others as she is not treated well by others. she is may harboring negative thoughts and may get suicidal at some point.

if does not say anything or talk, it does not mean that she ok!
She does need help!


#8

Its so hard, we always want better for them, and its so hard to achieve it when they won’t let us help.


#9

If your sister isn’t communicative at all, doesn’t leave her room, won’t let you speak your ideas, won’t answer your notes to her, won’t participate in her own care, and it’s been like that for years, I would say that even with 3 months of “I love you’s” to her, she is unlikely to change her behavior to what you expect. Are you willing to force her out of the place she lives in now to move in with you? It sounds like that might be your only option, as she is not able to communicate or choose for herself. You could become her guardian, and then take her to live with you.

Otherwise, I would say that when your time comes to go, that you did the best you could, and you must leave her in her current situation. At least she has a place to live and food.

One attorney I know has a SMI brother who had been on his own for years in a home purchased for him by their mother before she died. The siblings of the ill brother used to come visit and try to care for him, but he didn’t want that. Finally, they just left him alone. Eventually, he left the home and disappeared despite having nowhere to go. It is a sad story, but the brother just refused help most of his ill life. No one could reach him, he was never medicated. Sometimes, even one’s best isn’t enough to reach the mind of the ill.

It is very hard, but you might have to steel yourself to let her go on the way she is, unless you want to become her guardian.


#10

@oldladyblue the unfortunate possibility of my unmedicated sister running and disappearing with nothing and nowhere to go after I take her with me did cross my mind, she did it 8 years ago but she had more insight and resources and it worked out well for her at that time but with her situation now, I don’t want to imagine how it would turn out…


#11

It is so very hard to try to predict which handling is the best to choose for our loved ones.


#12

I’m running out of time and hope for a positive change? I hate timelines when it comes to my loved ones but I wonder if I can achieve anything good for me once my time here is up and I have to go back to my home, husband, job, life in another country far from my afflicted sister who I want her to be happier moving with me but I can’t get her to talk to me to try help her, it’s so frustrating and sad…


#13

Just tonight, at a NAMI support group, I was reminded of the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I know that you want better for your sister, but she may not be capable of changing. Have you tried writing her simple notes asking her “Would you like to come live with me?” I don’t know if you can reach her if she won’t allow you to. I wish you could achieve your goal.


#14

@oldladyblue Yes I do write her small notes, she leaves them where they are and I don’t know whether she reads them or not. I don’t think she reads my notes anymore maybe because a letter I wrote her (she read it in front of me) about two years ago, I ignorantly just jumped to mentioning I take her to a doctor and when she finished reading, she kicked me out like I’m missing the point…

Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful prayer and much needed reminder


#15

This been my longest visit 3 months day in and day out trying with my afflicted unmedicated isolating sister with no progress, I’ll leave on the 26th of Jan, I don’t know how my life as an empath would be after this intense time with her, I don’t know what more I can do, there was not a magic book, article, advice or pill yet to make me feel better in general or understand anything of what is going on or how to move forward, I am sorry. I honestly feel I need intense therapy myself after this… may it all change, may it all be better for all of us one day soon…


#16

@Love_Hope For what it’s worth. I do think it’s possible she would qualify for a emergency medical hold. See if you can find the # for the county attorneys office where your sister is located. Tell them what is going on for her and see if they think they could do that for you. It should be free. You would need to document what has been going on and they file the paperwork to a judge who determines if it is needed. If so, the police come and get her and take her to the hospital. It’s worth a phone call. Here is the number for the one I used 303-441-3700. But try to find one in your sisters county.


#17

[quote=“Love_Hope, post:15, topic:6611”]
there was not a magic book, article, advice or pill yet to make me feel better in general or understand anything of what is going on or how to move forward”

Sadly, too often this is the situation we find ourselves in with our family members.


#18

I believe that you did your best to help. The next step is probably involuntary hospitalization. It doesn’t seem that anything else is left for you to do to move forward. Since she never leaves her room, arrest and court ordered meds are probably not going to happen. The problem with involuntary hospitalization, is that even if they medicate her in the hospital, she could drop the medication once she comes out. But you won’t know until the first hospitalization happens.

Yes, I believe you had a tough three months. In a way, the negatives of this visit have shown that even if your sister were living with you, you couldn’t help her out of her mental position. That is small comfort, but it saves you the absolutely huge effort of trying to get her to live with you, and then being a permanent caregiver, as that would be much more stressful.