Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The Past Still Haunts Years Later

I have no one to tell this story to and it is eating me up inside. I am very wordy when I am stressed, so thanks in advance for your patience with me.

My son started getting ill in his mid teens between 14-16, although I didn’t know his behavior was due to schizophrenia, I blamed it on running with the wrong friends and getting into drugs and alcohol. Nevertheless for the 2 weeks he was a freshman in high school he met a girl there same age as him but unbeknownst to me from the most notorious and infamous family in the city (I found out from several police officers later on). This was also the time when he constantly ran away from home and a time when my younger half sister who had no children took every opportunity she could to interfere with my parenting and take him to her house and allow him to drink and smoke much against my wishes.

My life at that time was working, and taking my kids to school, trying to make sure they stayed there, and got some homework done and searching daily for my sz son. I would find him more often than not and try to get him back home and ready for the next day, I had some friends that were police officers that tried to help me at times to get him home without creating an issue for him. They were no help in keeping that family away from my son though. It was fortunate at that time that my oldest had a “Big Brother” from a local Big Brother organization, because it got him out of the chaos often.

I never slept. It was a constant battle and when this girl latched on to my son the real nightmare began. She was a young “fatal attraction” and almost impossible to get rid of as she never ever took no for an answer and whatever craziness she was into her parents, siblings and numerous cousins were all with her to help her in her efforts. She and her relatives tormented our family for about 10 years all total and they stalked us everywhere, flattened our tires, peered into our windows all hours of the night and called 100 times a day. We took out retraining orders, tried to mediate, moved, changed phone numbers, so many things and when my son was 16 they took him out of the state and left him with an elderly relative a state away for 6 months until I found him on my own. I had no clue what had happened to him he had vanished and my gut said this family had him somewhere.
I found him by sending flyers to dozens of 7-11’s a quickie marts in a 3 state area with my son’s picture and the brand of cigarettes he smoked and said call collect immediately if you see this kid. It took 6 months to get a call and it lead me to my son again. I tried to file charges and at that time the police would not support abduction charges because my son was 16 and he did not call what happened “abduction” at all but he was delusional then too.

About a year into them first hanging out together, the girl calls and says she is pregnant and it is my sons baby. I knew they had been together because they allowed my son to stay at their house sometimes and would tell me he was not there.

My first reaction was OMG NO! There was no way I would want to be connected in any manner to this family. My son was very confused and tended to believe anything. Somehow they got him to sign the birth certificate without a DNA test, and without my knowledge. Once the little girl was born my son was getting more deluded and unable to speak and yet they never left him alone, they interfered with my taking him to rehab and counseling, as they would watch us and try to pose as family so I had to write statements and have passwords and all kinds of things to try to keep them out of our business.

Then she tried to get money from my son and from me and I said wait a minute before anyone does anything you will get a DNA test. At that time it was 100% free for her to do that through job and family services. I asked her regularly for over a year to get that done-otherwise leave us alone. She steadfastly refused which made me think she was lying. For us to assume that responsibility would have cost us more money than we had and I felt inviting trouble we didn’t need.

After my sz son turned 21 and was officially diagnosed and I became his guardian it was much harder for her to reach him and we moved to the opposite side of the city which helped.

I still had problems with calls sometimes and had to change my phone number dozens of times because my son would call her when he was delusional. When he was not delusional he did not want anything to do with her.
After he turned 25 or 26 (I think) the contact pretty much ended. there were a couple of letters from a local children services organization asking for medical history because there were problems with the child’s behavior. I wrote them back and said there was a bad history between that family and ours and there is no legal proof that we have any relation whatsoever, although I had requested it personally years ago. The letters stopped and then relative peace and quiet until last month.
My sz son turns 34 next month and is in a good place now and I get a call from a child support enforcement agency in West Virginia saying that they need to establish paternity because apparently the “need” for that got triggered because the grandfather of the child is claiming the child on his taxes and that means that they need to know paternity for that to continue. (sigh)

To make a very long story shorter, I had an hour long conversation with the investigator after faxing my guardianship papers to him and he said that a DNA test will have to be done in the near future but every effort will be made to preserve our privacy from the family and I was told that since he is on such a limited income if he is indeed the biological father of this now almost 17 year old girl, he will not be expected to pay child support, nor will he be forced into some kind of “visitation situation” so I felt a little better hearing that.

My son will totally unravel if this gets out of hand, there are fixed delusions attached to his experiences with this family and even some false memories or fantasies for lack of a better term. I am hoping that regardless of the DNA outcome nothing really changes. I just can’t believe that it has taken almost 2 decades for this to come back to haunt us yet again. The last thing we need. I am so sorry that an innocent child was born into that situation, it never should have happened, and with any luck the DNA test will not match. Shame it has to be this way. Sanity has to prevail.

I told my son (because he asked about possible visitation) that if he is the biological father and the (now) teenager wanted to see him for some reason it would only be once she was 18 and without any of her other family members present -and I would be there (nearby) or if I feel slightly threatened again by that whole family, then we will be moving to the other side of the country. They don’t just threaten my son’s well being, they threaten mine as well. I have never known such an insidious family before and I was raised in one of the worst so that says a lot.

Thanks for listening, hopefully letting me get this off of my chest will let me sleep tonight. Thanks to everyone.


@Catherine Holy crap! That is a warped story. So sorry you all had to deal with that. Was this family total hillbilly? How so awfully frustrating to be harrassed for so long!


That’s a horrible story. I’m so sorry this is happening. The stress must be awful. You’ve worked so hard to get your child to a calm place. Stay strong.


Wow youv been through so much , but I admire you for being so strong for your son ,well done and never give up hope , god bless you your son and your family :+1::smile::heart:


Catherine, how horrible but it is a lesson for how vulnerable our loved ones are. I hope things turn out for the good. We are here for you. I hope you were able to rest.


They said they are a child support enforcement and they are working for the IRS? I know that a person can end up with wages and tax return refunds garnished for child support - is there any chance that was the other family’s actual goal? I just wonder if they used this agency to once again locate your son using the IRS records or if they actually were pursuing him for money.

Really hoping that this child is not your son’s. You were absolutely correct to request a DNA test then and now. While it may be your son’s child, it sounds as though there is a good chance it isn’t or the mom would have done the test years ago.

So very sorry, we just end up with one thing after another in this business. You have worked so hard to get your son stable. Hope you did get some rest.


I don’t think that is the case, the child support is not working for the IRS but the IRS notified child support once they found out that the girl’s paternity had not been established and probably seeing that my son does not file taxes nor do I (anymore) since we both have such little come on disability alone. If the family had anything to do with it to gain money of any kind they made a grave mistake as there is no money to garnish or take. According to the investigator (and I hope he is right) my son will get a letter with an appointment time and date to get the DNA test and then later we will be notified of the results (either way) and it would be up to Ohio (where we live) if anything else would be pursued about the paternity (if it is established) -but given the situation my son and I are in and the deplorable history between the families, the investigator said he could see no reason for me to worry it would go any further…yet me being me…I do worry.


Well, your story certainly made me think. At one point near the beginning of my son’s illness, about 10 years ago, he was living with a woman who had latched onto him. She had done some studies in law, and was known in the area she lived in for bringing lawsuits against people. She had her own problems - she had lost a young son the previous year in a car accident. She was about 15 years older than my son. She eventually decided my son had to move out - mostly I think when his dad and I did some investigation about her after getting suspicious about her frequent requests for money.
Then she calls and says she is pregnant. Wanted money. Refused. I suspected she might not even be pregnant.
At about the time she would have given birth, she contacted my ex-husband asking for more money. She would not provide any details, not even if it was a girl or a boy, without first receiving money. Again was refused.
Haven’t heard from her since. But my ex recently asked if I was interested in finding out if we have a grandkid. Quite honestly - no.


I would worry too. With the history of this family, any contact is worrisome.


Wow, Catherine I am so sorry you have gone through and are still going through so much. I too hope the DNA shows your son is not the father. Mostly I hope this family stops any contact with you. Hang tight, we are all hoping and praying for you.


Catherine, understandably. Hang in there. This too shall pass. Hoping he is not the father too!


Thanks everybody, I am just doing what I do…one day at a time.


DNA test is scheduled at 2 pm on Thursday…so far my son is handling the situation pretty well, although getting him there by 2 will require him to up by noon and that hasn’t happened in quite a long time so 'fingers crossed" I can get him up. :crossed_fingers:


We will be thinking of you on Thursday and hoping wake up goes well. Paws crossed here.


Wow…Your story began along the same lines as ours. Blaming on wrong friends and drug/alcohol and warped girl. We were fortunate in that we were able to get her out of his life because your story was our imagined nightmare.

My son did eventually marry before the diagnosis was confirmed and has two children. He is on SSI and his children get derivative benefit until age 18. Perhaps that is the financial angle they are hoping? I don’t know if they would be able to go back 17 years, but the initial payment he got did include children’s benefit. And he is recently divorced. I don’t know all the laws, but yes child support can be taken out of SSI because they ordered it. This is in dispute as the mom feels derivative benefit is enough, but government regs can be a hindrance as well as a help. In our case it also is a rabbit hole he goes down for days about conspiracy…

Also I am a little leery of the IRS angle. If grandpa is claiming support and your son is not, then why do they care. It happens a lot that grandparents have physically custody and financial support. What they don’t like is two people claiming support.

I know you have a lot on your plate, but since this family is toxic, maybe a call to your local IRS agency or seeing an attorney might be a good idea. Wishing the best for you and hopefully some peace of mind soon!


Holding my breath from now till then… … …


I hear you Catherine - I have the same with my son. I wish you good luck and will be thinking of you on Thursday!


My son never ceases to amaze me these days! He knew he had to be up by noon in order to leave by 1 pm and at 11:50 am he comes down the stairs without any prompting whatsoever! This has never happened before, wow!, I am still completely amazed.

So he got the DNA test and now the waiting game starts, the clerk said it could take around 2 months or more to get the results back by mail. Fingers crossed that it comes back as a 0% match. :crossed_fingers: PS

(Not part of this thread but just an add-on to share) —> The past couple of nights when I ask what my son wants for dinner (I have been designated cook for the last decade other than sandwiches, cereal or eggs) He started to ask what he could do to help, last night I think I kind of said “hand me that” or something and then told him I had it (force of habit) tonight he wanted one of what we call our “monster salads” literally they have every veggie and salad fixing you can think of in them and when he asked what he could do I said well you can go ahead and make it…normally he would say no he couldn’t or forget it he didn’t want it but tonight he took all of the ingredients out and I stood by him and he built his salad, his chopping is a little scary I was expecting bloody fingers but he did okay and built his own monster salad and then he will seldom ever clean up after himself when cooking but I caught him before he grabbed his plate and I said now what would be great is if you put all the ingredients back in the fridge and he did it immediately without a word…I am so thrilled because again this is a first and I am really happy that he is taking more charge of dinner and willingly doing so without issue…more to come. :slight_smile: hope


@Catherine This is so good to hear. What a great day!!


Oh, no @Catherine, I can’t hold my breath THAT long!!!