I sympathize with you as I have a husband who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia 3.5 years ago. I can write a book to you explaining what the last 3.5 years have been like, so I will summarize: This illness came out of the middle of nowhere, literally. He was as normal as any man can be until this illness robbed him of his being. The first time I had to call someone to come to the house and evaluate him. he was committed to the hospital and diagnosed as “major depressive disorder with psychosis”. From there, every six months he was committed to the hospital for either being non-compliant with his meds or his meds not working. I would plead with him to get help but it always came down to me making that phone call and having him committed. Incidentally, I also have an 11 year old son with him.
The biggest problem I face with him and most with schizophrenia is convincing him something is wrong; explaining to him that his delusions are not real or his hallucinations are not there: he never believed me, therefore, it was always something wrong with me, not him. He didn’t trust me, he always thought I wanted him committed to a hospital: that is his sz talking to me and nothing else.
I have lost a full time job that I worked very hard to get and would have set my family up for life, I have had child services to my house, I have had the police to my house numerous times. The last time the police were at my house back in January, they arrested him for crimial mischief. So since we lived with my mother inlaw who we took care of because she had dementia, my sister inlaw who is the power of attorney kicked my husband out of the house. He has been living in a motel for the last 9 months. During this time, I had time to evaluate my life and the life of my son (most importantly) and where things were going. I knew that if I moved out of my inlaws house and the 3 of us lived together, I could not depend on him for income and I know he would have started problems with the neighbors as he did at the house where we lived. I had to really think about how much more I was willing to put my son through. My son loves his father unconditionally and understands what is going on with him. I am not even sure if my son remembers what his Dad was like before the illness took a hold of him.
Well…my mother inlaw is in a nursing home. I told my husband about 2 months ago that I wanted to be seperated but I would still be there for him with whatever he needs. He really doesn’t talk to me unless he needs something and he is definitely in the clutches of psychosis even though I had him committed once again about a 1.5 months ago. Since then he missed his court appearance that I literally drove to his hotel and knocked on his door to pick him up and he did not answer because he just ignored me. My son has not heard from him in a few days so last night I looked on the “County Corrections” website and looked his name up and sure enough he has been picked up, I’m sure, on a warrant isuued for his arrest for skipping court. The court is aware of his illness so I am hoping that when he appears they will issue a psych evaluation and have him go away long term to get the help he needs. So now, I have to find the right time to tell my son that his father is in jail and that I cannot post bond for him. It is $5000.00 cash bond and I really don’t have it and even if I did, I don’t know if I would pay it. I really don’t think I can trust him to go to court so I can get my money back. He hasn’t called me. Even after being hospitalized a month and a half ago, he still is not right. I don’t know if he stopped taking his meds, or they are just not working, but he is definitely not “ok”.
So now, I have moved out of my inlaws house and am living on my own with my son. It is not easy as I don’t really make a lot of money and no help from him. My husband has SSI and workmans comp so he cannot afford to live on his own let alone help me. I am hoping that being jailed once again will be his “bottom” and perhaps he will get his life together again. I miss the man I married, I miss the man I spent 22 years of my life with and the guilt I feel for seperating from him when I know he is ill is just too much. But, my son has to come first. I cannot worry if and when child services comes again and they take my son from me…I won’t survive it as he is everything to me. The reason why child services came in the first place is because one of the hospitals he stayed in sent them to my house to see if my son was safe, which he was. I was always home when my son was home.
So you see, there is no easy answer. You will be unhappy with your decision no matter what…it really comes down to what you are willing to put your children through. I wish I would have left a long time ago so my son didn’t have to see the things he saw as I am sure it was and is disturbing to him. I am planning to get counceling for my son as I am sure there are things he doesn’t want to talk with me about, or feelings he may have toward me leaving his Dad, etc.
I want to add only one more thing: My husband has no insight into his illness, thereby, making it impossible for him to know the warning signs. He is in complete denial which has really made his life hell. And because of this lack of insight and the “not willing to accept” his illness, he will continue down this path of self destruction. Make no mistake, I would have stayed with him if he at least would have tried to get his life under control, attend a program, see a psychiatrist/psychologist on a regular basis, took his meds and admitted when things weren’t right, but he is not willing to do any of these things to help himself. And if he is not willing to help himself, then there is no way anyone else can help him either. I have no anger only sadness towards him. I miss him, I miss my partner in crime, my go to guy, I miss the man I drank coffee with every morning who always had something to talk about. I miss the guy who smiled every morning when I woke up and the man who was a loving, doting father to his son!
I hope this helps you in some way! Best of luck to you and God Bless you and your family!