My mother has schizophrenia. Ever since my dad died years ago, it’s just me taking care of her. My mother is able and holds a steady job. Today my dad’s sister asked to stay at our place for a few days. My aunt’s daughter and her adult daughter are also coming over with her. For whatever reason, my cousin cannot take my aunt with her and need to drop her off somewhere to stay. I already told her she cannot stay at our place and I find a nearby hotel for her. My cousin send my mother an email saying she hope her mother can stay at our place as she is not comfortable in a hotel. She will also buy a sofa bed/chair and bring it to our small home. I then tell her about my mother’s illness and how it is not a good idea for my aunt to stay here. One of my mom’s trigger is that if something is misplaced and my mother can’t find it, she will say someone came in and steal her belongings. My cousin then just tell me she is not aware of the illness and say they will not bother us again. To me it seems like she does not want to talk to us again. Is schizophrenia such a scary illness that turn people away like that? My mother’s siblings are better and more understanding of her illness.
That is too bad that your relatives feel that way. Some people, no matter how kind or compassionate we think they are, will be wary of being around people with schizophrenia. Don’t take it personally. If they contact you again, take this as an opportunity to educate them about your mother and let them know she is not as scary as they think she is.
It is probably for the best that your relatives didn’t want to stay with you, because disruption of routine can be hard for people with MI. But hopefully they will still want to visit with you, have a meal at a restaurant together or go to a park, etc.
It is good that your mom’s relatives are more understanding. There is a need for people to be educated about schizophrenia but the progress is slow. It happens everywhere, in every country in the world. It is good your mother can count on you to take care of her. Focus on that; you are doing a good thing.
You have quite a problem, but realize that you can only do so much. The care you have given your mother is helping her to be stable. Anything that can unstabilize her is potentially very, very bad.
I have much experience with people who never move out after you let them move in. I agree with you, that your aunt and her family should NOT move in with you. You are already caregiving for your mother. You should be able to get your relatives to understand that you cannot, and should not, upset the delicate working balance in your home.
If they won’t understand why you can’t let them move in, well, I guess they will just have to not understand. I really, really think you should NOT let them move in with you. It will probably cause you heartache and grief in the future and will hurt your own survival.
I see this a little differently. If you take your mother’s SZ out of it, it seems a failed attempt at imposing on you and not getting what they want, and them taking their marbles and going somewhere else. They may see your explanation of your mother’s triggering an excuse, or a complication they just don’t want to deal with. To me it all sounds a little selfish and selfish people aren’t particularly good at looking at things from other points of view.
Nowadays I don’t see why they wouldn’t go to an AirB&B in that situation. I generally do that when I visit my parents, so I don’t impose on them and have a little privacy.
I’ve had a few experiences with coming ‘out’ in small ways with SZ/SZA, and I find people you are closer to or have experience with other mental illnesses are more sympathetic. Strangers or acquaintances tend to shut down. I can’t be sure, because it’s hard to read silence or a change of subject. But it’s as if they feel you are judging them or claiming some new sort of special ‘right’ and they just don’t want to get involved or have to learn any more, even when you are just stating facts. It seems a burden they don’t want to bear.
I thought it was telling when I was on a call-in talk radio show with a psychiatrist about SZ for about 45 minutes and no one called in.
They dont get it, fuck them…
yes and justified IMO…