Hi all, new here, but not new to living with loved ones with schizophrenia and the enormous challenges this poses at times.
My mom has had paranoid schizophrenia all of my life and prior to me being born from my understanding (me 42/F) she has been untreated this entire time (with exception of her mental health lockups, which has been several, but nothing of great length) AND she has never nor will/can ever admit that she is afflicted by this. And my brother has been suffering with it for many years (he was on Meth for about 10 yrs and we don’t know if that it’s triggered from the drug use or if he was using it to cope with negative symptoms). After a long battle, he is medicated, but even with the meds the delusions are so strong that we cannot have a sibling relationship because he is convinced that I work for the government and I am helping them to conspire against him. (It is heartbreak piled upon heartbreak).
Anyhow, after having a horrific childhood with my mom who is not only untreated paranoid schizophrenic, but a complete narcissist as well, and our dad was an alcoholic/addict and his life was cut short from the substance misuse- it has all gotten to be too much.
After 42+ yrs of such a terrifying existence, I am contemplating walking away from it all. Have no family of my own or friends bc I’ve sacrificed everything trying to take care of them.
Have always had such a strong sense of family duty, EVEN more as I could see she had something wrong with her and I always stepped in to protect her or help (and it’s mostly came at my own demise/detriment) she has traumatized me so severely from childhood on that I have essentially been paralyzed and almost completely shut down for years and years and years from being so unable to even begin to understand what in the world has happened to me. Any interaction with her sends me straight into fight or flight.
After years of having essentially no one in my life other than my mom, I had to hire a therapist because the traumas have been piling up and piling up and I have no stable person to talk to. When I was outlining just the tip of the iceberg of odd/inappropriate/terrifying/etc things that have been said or done to me and or my siblings by her, I sat in shock and horror at what I had just told the therapist. The chaos and enormity of all of the abuse is so profound and severe that it’s almost as though it’s unbelievable. I don’t know how this became my life and I don’t know how I survive all of these things, but I’m tired of purely living in survival mode. People really have no idea what it’s like to be in this position unless they’ve been through it…
While cognitively (now) I understand that people who are suffering in this state aren’t doing/saying these things out of malice, it does not take the trauma away from the child (i.e. me) being told that kidnappers watch me every night from the windows because they are trying to get to her. A gang of rapists. (One of the MANY things she said or done). I was so terrified that I would sleep holding my breath with my entire body covered, even my face. The terror of being a child and not having a single person who was stable in anyway looking out for me or my 2 younger siblings, it is so hard to come to terms with.
Could balk at the fact that here in the US there is such little help out there. Medically, socially, etc. It is like we are here to fend for ourselves trying to take care of people who can be convinced that we are actually trying to harm them. The grief has nearly swallowed me whole…
Is the only way to not go down with this ever sinking ship is to finally save myself and jump off?