Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Remote threats and delusions

I am looking for advice on how to deal with my husband. In a nutshell, he is schizoaffective, un-medicated, homeless and is thousands of miles away in another state. There is no one in that state I can contact to see how he is doing. He is secretive about who he sees and what he does day to day and I am not exactly sure where he is. I do know that he used his disability money to rent a car but does not have enough money to pay for it, buy gas, buy food, etc… He believes he needs to get a job with the government to save the USA from threats from foreign countries and wants me to join him in CA where he is right now. Only if I join him, can saving the US succeed, so he is extremely upset that I am not there with him already and that I have not given him a date when I will be there.

Last night we talked on the phone and he threatened me and the family member I live with if I did not buy a MoneyPak and send him money right away and that I must visit him soon or it would “start a war.” He also threatened to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, but he has threatened suicide often and I feel that he does this to get a reaction. He really does want to live, especially because he has a daughter and two grandchildren he would like to know eventually. He has not showed signs of depression, necessarily, only desperately needing money and food. I am not in a good position, financially, and cannot send him any money at this time. I tell him to reach out to friends and AA people, but they are all tired of giving him money. He has worn out his welcome, basically.

This morning my relative had an email from the manager of the complex where we live. My husband had called the manager last night and said he couldn’t reach us by phone and that the manager needed to knock on the door and tell us my husband was waiting at the airport and needed a ride (Not true!). The manager did not do this, but it upset my family member greatly and they were very embarrassed and it has effected my relationship with my family member. (I have been through so many similar situations that I am no longer embarrassed, sadly, but I understand how awful that feels.) I am concerned that my husband will call other people I know and friends, even my boss, and try to sabotage my life in any way possible.

I feel quite helpless at the moment because my husband needs help desperately but will not check into a hospital on his own. He is adept at social engineering and is so crafty that he can convince police not to bring him in and is too good at avoiding going back into the system. Yet he is obviously in a state of crisis and does need professional help. He also complains of physical pain and needs treatment for those issues as well. I have not responded to his calls yet today and am wondering what I should do. I care about him and want him to be at peace, but I am so far away.

A funny thing happened (that is actually quite typical with him, has happened before during a crisis) last night after I posted asking for advice. Often, my husband would ask his AA sponsor what to do in a difficult situation and his sponsor would say, “Do nothing.” This is what I did yesterday, not contacting my husband at all, and by the end of the day, I had received an email from my husband telling me he knows he won’t be able to see me this month, that he needs to get his act together. Someone had given him money, so he had eaten, and he said he was going to meet a friend later that night.

We did not talk on the phone yesterday, and it was good for me to have that break even though I like to hear his voice and make sure he is safe. He is not any closer to getting help or going to a hospital, but he is not raging at me or writing delusional things at the moment. I am not any closer to resolving the issue with my family member who my husband embarrassed, either, but I am feeling a bit of relief today, at least.

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