Last year my wife of fifteen years began to have more bizarre thoughts than usual which culminated in her believing she was being monitored and could be removed or killed by a group of alien/overlord type people from another planet. Various things happened after that including several diagnoses of schizophrenia and one attempted involuntary treatment which failed miserably due to an overloaded mental health system unable to cope with additional inpatients.
Five months or so on and the confabulations and fantastic stories have largely stopped, however she still has no insight into what is happening and has never taken medication. She can for the most part operate perfectly normally as long as she is only required to do things of her choosing. Any request do do anything results in childish behaviour most notably shouting, violence and blaming (me for everything). She cannot be told anything that could in some way be considered controlling or forcing without triggering at least a half hour shouting fit. This has always been the case but the things of her choosing have reduced now to the most basic activities where she spends most of the day cooking, eating, sleeping, walking around the streets and using the computer.
This situation has left me rather overwhelmed as she has little understanding of what this sedentary lifestyle will do to her health and weight in the long term. It has been almost ten years now since she had paid employment and despite telling me she is looking for work, nothing ever comes of it. If I ask her to do anything like exercise it triggers the monster and depending on the time of her cycle, she will call the police or family violence numbers and tell them that I am abusing her.
In an attempt to get her up off the bed and doing some exercise recently she threw a tantrum and lay on the floor, and after several attempts to pick her up she called the police and reported me as dragging her across the floor. They have now started a file on me as a repeat abuser and this can only end in one outcome- me getting a criminal charge. So I’m stuck here in that I cannot do anything to try and encourage her to get out of these habitual patterns since it will ultimately end up in criminal charges as they only consider the story of the victim.
She unfortunately had extremely violent parents who did all the things she accuses me of and that in reality I am dealing with a three year old fighting against her parents which I just happen to represent. After seeing this exact same behaviour in my friend’s child I am absolutely convinced this is what is happening. It is like all children go through this tempertantrum phase and grow out of it but in this case she was severely traumatised which has locked-in the behavours as some sort of defense mechanism/survival thing.
My options are somewhat limited now as if I do anything to trigger her I will very likely end up with a restraining order and that means I am unable to live in the house I pay mortgage on and she will be completely alone with her thoughts. If I try to get involuntary treatment she will argue (validly) that she is not a danger to the public. If I leave the situation and do nothing she will eventually end up overweight, unhealthy and have wasted her life. If I walk away then I’m leaving a three year old [edit for clarification: we have no children, the three year old here is the traumatised one inside my wife] to fend for herself and walking out on my wife which is a hearbreaking thing for me to do. The helpline here suggested that I report her every time she is violent to establish a pattern, however she is only violent if I ask her to do something and her violence is purely “protecting herself” and is therefore completely justified. This is too greater risk now.