Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Sustaining relationships

Hello to all… New member here. but not new to this illness. I was in an on/ off relationship for 6 yrs. to someone who has SZA whom I still love dearly, but we are not speaking at this time. I don’t want to go into my whole story as it is too long, but basically my reason for coming here is to maybe get some more insight as to why people with this illness can so often sabotage relationships to those closest to them? Is it just the illness that causes this? My ex is on medication and in therapy now, but this wasn’t always the case for a long time. I feel that he does have a lot .ore insight on his illness then he has ever had since he was diagnosed almost 16 yrs ago. He has had CBT to help manage some of negative symptoms, but every time we are finally getting back to a place pf stability, something always manages to get in the way of recovery and he starts to derail and go back to old ways of coping… Fight or flight mode and we wind up breaking up and he goes silent. Sometimes it’s for a few days, sometimes weeks or it could be months. He always seems to come back when he’s stable again, but has become a reoccurring theme. I get the apologies, promises, and things are good for awhile again and then … a few missed nights of sleep here and there, a day or two of missing meds and then comes the irritability and snapping at me and then the " i think i just want to be alone right now". And this could mean a few days or months. He always winds up feeling terrible for the hurt he’s caused over the years and he tries really hard to build the trust back only to slip away again. We were engaged before and broke up for awhile… He was not well at all during that time and wound up in a lot of trouble and eventually wound up in the hospital again. He has been trying to rebuild his life since that last hospital stay for about a year and a half now, but he still struggles with his communication and managing stress… I know this illness can make it difficult to have lasting relationships even for people who are relatively stable, but why push away the one you claim to love with all your heart and want to spend the rest of your life with? He told me not too long ago that I was the one person in his life who was always there for him and accepted him for who he was and loved him unconditionally, illness and all. Said I was a blessing in his life and would always be. We have been thru a lot together in these 6 years, to say emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement. I know that this is a lifelong illness and I know that there are never any easy answers or explanations for many of the things that happen, but I was ready to be there for him thru thick and thin. When he is well and stable we are so close and get along so well together. I guess I just needed to get my thoughts out there. No one close to me really understands what its like dealing with this illness, so it’s so hard for people not to judge, so I just don’t even try to explain anymore. Anyhow, sorry for this long message. Thank you for listening/ reading.

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If you are young and have no kids I suggest getting into therapy healing from this relationship and moving on with your life. SZ/SZA is a disorder of thoughts and emotion regulation. I don’t think he is purposely trying to sabotage your relationship. People tend to express their anger and disappointments with people they feel safe with. I’m sorry he has done this to you repeatedly. You mentioned he misses his pills. Has he ever take injectable medication? He would need to be stable on medication and in therapy regularly in order to have healthy relationships.

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@Feelingalone I do understand the nature of this illness and I know it effects Thoughts and emotions. I have been there with him thru the delusions, paranoia, on meds and off meds, angry outbursts, 3 hospitalizations, med changes, etc. And as for injections, he will not switch to injections by his own choice and reasons. He’s on 10mg of Zyprexa and when he stays on medication regularly and continues with therapy he is stable and able to communicate and be vulnerable with me about how he’s feeling. He does well for awhile and then the smallest disruption in sleep or as I mentioned before missing a dose or two within a short time frame he seems to start to withdrawal from everything and I am usually the first one to bare the brunt of the fallout. I guess I just don’t understand how he can sometimes communicate with me even when he’s symptomatic and other times completely shuts down and pushes me away? When he asks for time alone I let him be and usually he comes around on his own when he’s in a better mind space, but I guess its the not knowing what goes on in his mind during that time apart that either makes him stay away or come back. He has told me several times that he carries a lot of shame with him for all the pain and hurt he’s caused to me and his parents because of his illness. I do seem him trying and then other times it feels like he’s struggling with his health and trying to reprogram his mind to not go back to old ways of coping with stress, triggers or old beliefs. The person I loved is still in there beneath the illness He is a loving and kind person. Neither of us are younger and we don’t have children. I was going to therapy a while back to help cope, but stopped going after about a year. I do plan on going back just so I can have some peace of mind and help heal from all of this. I honestly don’t know if I will hear from him again and that breaks my heart. We were friends before we started dating and I miss my friend every day. :neutral_face:

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I’ve speculated on this myself. What drives somebody to actively, seemingly with intent, go about undermining any meaningful relationships that they might be able to have in their life? All I came up with was: Why does anybody? : Irrational thoughts and beliefs.
Is it paranoia? Jealousy? Improper identification of ‘meaningful’? Is it feelings of worthlessness as if they feel that they don’t deserve it? Is it just exciting and ‘fun’ in a sadistic way to hurt people because it makes you feel powerful? A moral ‘lacking’? Some kind of impulse control disorder, like having to feed into every immediate urge to satisfy yourself in a primal level? Kind of like mismanagement of negative emotions, completely avoiding negative feelings (like you get with procrastination- I can’t get excited about cleaning out and organizing the spice cabinet so I’m going to do something fun instead)? We know SZ is in fact a disorder of thought and emotion so…
And what about delusions? I imagined what it was like for my SZ partner when he thought I was an imposter in our house, that I was somebody else in my own body. If I believed that about somebody close to me, like BELIEVED it, how WOULD I act towards them?
Or how about actively and intentionally creating conflict or doing the absolute most wrong choice you’ve got available, almost like some kind of deep rooted anarchist impulse, then being surprised and getting upset by the results?
It’s all crazy stuff man…
What else can we do but roll with the punches? Sigh… And I’ll do it again tomorrow!

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