I hear you loud and clear. I am middle-aged now, but I was raised by both of my married parents. My father had sz before I was born, way before. My mother, who had a prior history of depression, but was fully functioning and a trained nurse, didn’t know my father was schizophrenic when she married him. Somehow, he was able to keep that from her for the short two months that they dated before getting married. I remained an only child.
My mother passed away after 38 years of marriage to my father, who is still living, but has had other health issues, lives o/s from me in an assisted- living home and is almost 80 years old. I am pretty much estranged from him these days. I got tired from the burden of being his carer when my mother got too exhausted to be it. I am speaking from 33 years of experience being raised in a sz home.
It is good that you have support. I grew up in the 80’s when support was even rarer than it is today. My father had his psychiatrist and social worker, but my mother and I got very little in terms of help from them. It was deemed that our role was to be his support/providers of stability instead. Even at age 12, I felt more like my father’s carer than his daughter. He was very emotionally unattached from me and frankly, could be neglectful, forgetting to bathe me or put me to bed on the nights my mother had to work. My mother was a nurse and the basic main breadwinner. Dad had part time work as a cleaner/handyman, but he would leave a job at the drop of a hat if he was unhappy or felt too pushed. He smoked incessantly too, which didn’t help our finances. Then again, so did my mother. We had periods of homelessness and eventually, moved into public housing when my mother had a breakdown and could no longer support the three of us when I was about 12. It is very tough to feel like the only parent and breadwinner when you have a spouse who is physically there but not emotionally or financially supportive. And as you say, when it’s trying just to get them to take care of chores, it can lead to frustration and resentment on your part.
My upbringing kind of worsened as I grew older. I did well in school and managed to get into college, graduate and marry, but I had a bout of post-partum depression after the birth of my son and it took a few years of therapy for me to uncover that the roots of my unhappiness stemmed from my childhood. I am not sure whether she developed it as a result of living for years with my father, but my mother ended up diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder when I was in my late twenties, and I definitely noted over the years that our home life wore her down. But as I said, she had a prior history of depression already, so not to imply that will happen to everyone. She turned very controlling towards me, feeling threatened and jealous as I started to find my own place in life and met my (now) husband. I guess she had relied on me for the emotional (and later, financial) support that my father was unable to provide, so the thought of me leaving the house scared her. After she did pass away suddenly, it was as though my father didn’t really understand what had happened. He was singing and laughing during the wake after her funeral. He has since had a stroke, so I can’t say for sure whether that has played a part, but it seems now like he has forgotten her.
I’m not saying this will happen to you. Firstly, you have what sounds like a good professional support network. I do believe though that Sz often need tough love. I wouldn’t think giving in and enabling him to laze around and not taking responsibility for chores etc is the right kind of “help” for him. He has to understand that you made a joint choice to parent your son, and your son has a right to be taken care of.
I would suggest a good resource by Victoria Secunda called “When Madness Comes Home.” It outlines what the feelings and burdens of spouses (and in particular, offspring) of schizophrenics, live with on a daily basis. A lot of books about sz are self-help guides will tell you (almost lecture you) about the kinds of things you should be doing, but very few actually acknowledge and discuss your own needs. I found that to be a refreshing change.
Best of luck to you.