Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Three year Throw Back


#1

I’m sitting here, in tears. Just having realized it has been three years tonight that my life changed…the night I caught my husband trying to kill himself, twice in one night/morning. I still won’t let him have keys to the car in the garage…I keep every kind of yard chemical, antifreeze, oil etc locked up with only me having the key. I was sitting three years ago this exact day (date different of course but the day will forever be ingrained in my mind as well as the date, Feb 29, 2015…) in the hospital intensive care unit, not knowing if my husband was going to live, what was wrong with him and what was going to happen to any of us (5 daughters and I). I’m in tears for all that has been lost, all that has changed and thanking God that he is still here, or is he???

Never in my life would I have thought he had SZ…and had had it for over 30 years …and it never surfaced, his family never told me of the previous episodes he had had, or that he had been on meds for it. I had one time been told he had “depression” and that he took medicine “for a while”. Never in my wildest dreams…had I even considered that my mild mannered, caring, loving, hard working husband was mentally ill. When I look back I see tell tale signs, just things that I never put together…not wanting to work with other people, no wanting more than one sound going at a time…believing that the stove was turned on (by itself???) or that the door was unlocked when 10 minutes earlier he had locked it.

For 4 days I sat and watched him, prayed for him to respond to SOMETHING…pain, or voices or something. He didn’t…my brother is a psychiatrist, and he told me just before my husband started responding that if something didn’t occur soon (he become conscious basically) that he may never come out of the coma. Those words were the worst thing he could have said to me, but he also knew that I needed to know that. Thank God shortly after, my husband started responding. But he had to learn to recognize us all again, had to be reminded of how to walk. I watched him go from an independent person to dependent in a matter of minutes literally…he was taking care of the basic bills for years, he no longer does that. He will sooner cancel a doctor’s appointment than go …and has, thus he is not in therapy. I am responsible for everything, we are in debt now and my job hours were cut. I have to figure out what to do and do it, basically on my own.

I’m just so stressed any more…I try to enjoy the small things…hey he took his oral meds today by himself…it only took me 2 and 1/2 years to get him to do it…but I still have to take him to the doctor every 2 weeks for his shot that according to him he “doesn’t really need” it is just me trying to control him. He does go to work daily, I am thankful for that, but I wonder for how long. I wait for the “other shoe” to drop…when will his next episode be…last one was this last May…I was able to catch it, and keep him out of the hospital…this time…what about next time? I was able to stop his suicide attempts last time (three years ago today), but what about next time? When will I get past the worry about the “next time”? Does it ever go away? Will my girls ever understand that what they see/who they see as daddy isn’t really what I see/get? They are all adults, live away from home and don’t deal with the daily issues, the sleeping from the time he gets home from work until he wakes up to go to bed. The days he is off and just stares at the t.v. or the wall. Or when he thinks no one is around and talks to whoever it is he is talking to??? When or will they ever “get it” ?

I feel like the roller coaster just goes faster …or a tilt-a-whirl maybe, you know around and around in one direction with more spinning coming from another direction. I’m tired…my girls tell me that I need a break…take one they will stay with their dad, but what about the everyday life? The days when I go to work, have to keep my cell phone handy at all times in case his boss calls me to let me know something is up…and keep up with work. Or how about now when the bills need paid, I have to find a new job because my hours were cut and I’m the one carrying the medical insurance? When do I get a break from that? Are they going to come and do all of that too? No just for a day or two so I can “get out and do something”…but what and what kind of break is that really? I still have to be at the ready, what if they find him trying to off himself again, or he has a psychotic break while they are here? I know that they are adults, but I also know it’s not fair for them to have to make quick life decisions about their parent when another is present or available…

I’m off on a tangent, talented at that I am, but my support system is you guys, my best friend who is 1500 miles away and my brothers, but no one REALLY understands…even my therapist treats my husbands SZ like he just has a depression disorder, like she doesn’t have a clue as to what is really going on. My brother (psychiatrist) tells me to go to NAMI but then we live in a podunk area with not much mental health help any ways and what are the chances that they will actually understand…I know, I have little faith, but so many people have come up with their own ideas of my husbands illness…one therapist was trying to convince him he was an alcoholic, and that our marriage was toxic that he needed to leave me. I confronted her, asked he what exactly she was treating my husband for…she asked ME what he was being treated for…um HELLO??? Unfortunately the mental hospital that he was transferred to when he got out of the regular hospital is basically a drug and alcohol treatment place, and that is how they treated him. He didn’t drink before hardly at all, MAYBE 3 -4 beers a weekend, and he didn’t HAVE to have it…he didn’t drink every weekend. The toxic relationship was another what the hell??? But then was he perceiving it or was it really stated that way???

I don’t know what to think half the time, to know if he is telling the truth, if he is “him” or someone else or like someone else said in another post has he figured out how to manipulate me to get what he wants???

I’m sorry this is so long…I’m just frustrated, tired, worn down and sad…hurt, angry I don’t know…all of those an more. Just trying to understand everything, I HATE the not knowing what to do to fix the problem, how to help him. How to get my husband back…the hugs, the love, the swats on my butt while I’m doing dishes, the bear hugs that he used to just give me because. I just want back what we had for 30 years,

thanks for listening and understanding…cuz I know you all somehow do.


#2

We do get it, and I am so sorry that you are going through all of this, on your own as many of us do. You are doing the right thing by coming here to vent, and I would say that if you could find a NAMI, it is worth a try to go. You may meet some people that really do understand what it’s like to live this everyday. I know it is hard to stay hopeful. I really do. But it’s all we have isn’t it? I have no explanations as to why any of us have to have our lives and families, shaken to the core. Why we have to live with so much hurt. But we do, and we are strong even in our weakness. I wish you nothing but the best, and would suggest getting out when you can. Even if you have to be on call with your husband. Start small. Don’t go far, so that you feel a little less stress about it. We are here if you need us.


#3

The people at the NAMI support groups are just like you, they have the same things happening in their lives and they do understand. So many people arrive at their first meeting and break into tears because its such a relief to be in a roomful of people that empathize. Empathy is more important than understanding to family members and caregivers.

Many of us attend support group only during bad times, some attend all the time. Everyone is welcome.

We have all been frustrated by doctors and therapists that really don’t have a clue. One potential therapist actually asked me if my son was a pedophile because Jeb kept hearing the voices calling him a pedophile. I replied, “no, its not real, he hears voices saying it”.

I wish I had said “NO, its not real - you total idiot”. Yeah, I marked her phone number with a big NEVER in the margins. I’m sure once she heard Jeb tell her about his delusions she would have thought they were real as well.


#4

Yes I think we all understand…I’ve been with my husband 30years as well…I’m not even sure what he has but I know something mental is wrong…I miss all that to with my husband…I’m so sorry you going thru this I kinda know some what how you feel…its hard on the caregiver sometimes I think then the one who’s I’ll…life changes but boy sometimes it really! Changes…I hope the best for you both and I’ll pray for you all…may god have mercy on us all…