Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Update July 4, 2019

Just thought I’d drop in and give an update for anyone interested. My son is still doing well on his Clozapine/Depakote/Benztropine regiment, I think it’s been at least 10 years now but honestly the years and the beginnings and endings and everything sometimes comes back kind of fuzzy in my mind. He still lives with me and we are pretty good room mates. Our life is usually quite peaceful now.

The real update/news is that we got a mind blowing and devastating bit of news on the last Saturday of June. After living and renting very happily at our current address in a fairly comfortable 2 bedroom townhouse for the past almost 9 years, the landlord suddenly called and said that we had 30 days to vacate the premises.

He said it as nicely as his gruff and dispassionate self could muster and he apologized but he said his adult child needed a home and he was giving him our townhouse.

Before anyone argues that he was illegal in his actions he truly was not. I even double checked on it. We had been on a month to month agreement for at least 7 years and in Ohio it is very clear that in a month to month agreement I can leave with 30 days notice and I can be asked to leave with a 30 days notice. It is 100% legal.

Granted it was a horrible thing for him to do in the way he did it because I will always believe that he knew what he was going to do long before the 30 days and the extra time would have been a real kindness and the right way to do this- but he never was and never will be a “nice” man.

Anyway, I am nothing if not a realist so I just hunkered down and went about trying to get us something as fast as possible. Never mind that we (my son and I) live on a very limited budget from Social Security and normally after the bills are paid and food is bought etc, there is rarely much leftover.

My fear was that my son was going to be so upset that things would be impossible. Stability and sameness is usually his best environment. I was wrong this time. He has been very steady and positive all the way. I could not be any prouder of him. He has honestly been MY rock this go 'round.

We didn’t have time to pick and choose and try to get just the right place (sadly) but we were fortunate to find something that at least is clean and functional and still has 2 bedrooms, it is about a third (in size) of what we have now and yet it costs exactly the same and it is not in the beloved part of town we are use to. It is somewhere we know nothing of but just 10 miles from here.

So change, is-- as they say, the only thing you can count on. If you asked me last year if I could imagine myself scrambling to make a sudden and very fast move this year I would have laughed at the impossibility.

This has taught me a very valuable lesson. I was wrong all of those years to not want a house of my own. I rented so that the upkeep -repairs and lawn would be somebody else’s job. Being a single mother and always working 2 jobs with no close family other than my children, I could never imagine being able to care for a house on top of everything else.

The fear of being homeless (again-as we were once for 6 months in 2004) is petrifying to me. I have been far more “unsteady” than my son has been.

I have decided with great determination to pursue applying for Habitat for Humanity and see if I can go that route to home ownership. I read the website and I seem to fit all of the requirements. Granted I am up there in years and will be 60 in September but I feel like if I can successfully do this and then set up the insurance right I will have something to leave my son. I think in doing that it will be the very best gift I can give him. My grandfather had an insurance policy whereby if he passed the remainder of the mortgage was paid off. It was a godsend for my grandmother when he did pass suddenly.

As for how to handle the expenses and repairs etc…I don’t care, I will make it happen. The cost of the mortgage as the website explains if far more affordable than the rent I have always had to pay. I am good at budgeting and very resourceful so I will make it work. Thankfully with this move my oldest son on the west coast sent me some money to help or I probably wouldn’t have succeeded as well as I did.

I also don’t think I would have done as well without my sz son by my side. He has become a steady source of support this past week and sometimes it’s accidentally like the fact that he is naturally a quiet person, that gives me the space to think.

When I am visibly upset he puts his hand on my shoulder and smiles and says “breathe mom” …and he seems (better than I) very capable of rolling with the changes good -bad-or whatever they are. He has made a hard effort to help with packing throwing stuff out and I noticed that he started taking over my turn at doing dishes (usually we switch off every other night) but he would just be doing them every night while this has been happening. I said nothing but I feel the love.

He amazes me, I still marvel how far he has come in so many countless ways. He is still a loner and apparently at peace with that. He still doesn’t have motivation to do things that involve any socializing or getting more education or doing much by himself if I am not going along with him and he still sleeps 10-11 hours every night. He wakes at 1 pm and goes to bed at 3 am. He always has -except for when he was really sick and then sometimes he would only be awake a couple of hours at a time.

I just feel happy to have him in my life and to know we can weather this storm together and that we will both be fine. I always thought that I was the strength in this relationship but this past week I think he has been the strength for me.

One interesting thing before I sign off here. My son made a behavior change all on his own that I never expected. He was concerned about how his smoking would be perceived by our future neighbors because the building we are renting in will allow smoking outside but not inside.

That is okay because my son never smokes inside anyway but what he did was instead of stumbling downstairs and wearing his slippers to step out on the porch (rain/shine/or snow for a smoke the second his eyes open like he always does. He decided to postpone his first smoke of the day until he was more awake and had put on his shoes so he could walk away from the building to smoke to insure no one got his smoke in their windows or what not. I was truly impressed that he thought of this on his own. Very considerate I thought and shows ability to control his urge to smoke.

Not something I would have expected either. Not when it comes to his smoking. Made me wonder if quitting could happen in the next decade. (wishing) I guess time will tell.

Thanks everyone. Have a really good 4th, I hope you are as well as you can be or heading that way.

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Oh Catherine. I am so sorry to hear of your sudden notice to move. I feel the landlord probably did know earlier than 30 days but even if he did, with the legal 30 days notice, at least you were able to find another place to go.

Your son seems to be taking it really well, and that is just fabulous, it could have been destabilizing and it wasn’t. The idea of his to wait to smoke and walk away from the building was great. It makes me smile that he thought of that all on his own.

Your idea to look into Habitat for Humanity is a good one. I am lucky that my home is paid for and I have a good life insurance policy so I know my daughter will be taken care of. That is so very important.

I wish you both a happy 4th of July and good times ahead in your new place.

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@Catherine, such a touching story of a mother’s love for her son, and vise versa, and the progress he has made over the years… this story brought tears to my eyes. My son is also already naturally quiet, generally very respectful, and considerate. He has been helping me around my house as well, moving things around and throwing out old furniture and old tv’s. He knows the house will eventually be his, and we are slowly rearranging things. His willingness to help me when I ask him, I know (I hope) thats an indication that he’s on a slow steady path to stability.

I hope you end up becoming a homeowner one day soon, so you can have a peace of mind knowing that after you are gone, he will always have a place to live without worrying about being asked to leave. It gives me peace to know that my son will never have to worry about rent or a mortgage, because my home is paid off as well. And I truly believe the mortgage is generally LESS than the rent amount, and your own home will be roomier and nicer.

Wishing you success in seeking home ownership, and the new place you are now living in.

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I am really happy that you shared this :slight_smile: and I am confident that you and your family will make it work, together. I hope you have a wonderful, happy, peaceful 4th.

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Best of luck to yall both…

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Hi Catherine,
Sorry about you being forced to move. I’m glad you landed on your feet. Definitely apply for Habitats for Humanity!
It would be a blessing if they got you a house! Is there a project near you?
I got low-income housing in NYC, after divorcing my Sz husband. I also have a disability that keeps me from working. It was a bit of a wait and a lot of paperwork. But so worth it in the end. Have you applied for low-income housing in your area?

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If I want a real home Habitat is the way (hopefully) I want to go. The low income housing here is deplorable and a really bad environment, drugs, guns, usually roaches, (I’ve lived in them before) There are several Habitat areas near me and I believe I qualify. I really hope it goes my way. I understand it can take up to 24 months or so. Anyway, glad you have a place, NYC must be hard to find housing as is cities in California where my older son and his wife lives. I have heard the rents can be astronomical. I hope you had a good 4th. Thanks for writing.

I got lucky. I am in a new luxury building. In NY, developers get a huge tax break if they make some apartments available to the city for low income tenants. There is a lottery system. Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers: that you can find something good and affordable.

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I did get something less than half the size of what I had with no off street parking, no central air, just a wall unit, and yet I am paying the same exact rent. I can’t even argue about it because I was under the gun and had to have a place really fast and I just took what I could get. Now I hope that the Habitat program works out for us. So glad you lucked out as you did that is great.

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The sad part of your story @Catherine is overshadowed by how far you and your son have come and the hope that you have for the future (and rightly so)! As you so beautifully give us insight into life with your son, I continue to gain understanding of the human-ness of our loved ones. And how that can be a very special gift. Thanks for sharing.

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