Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What have you learned?


#1

I had an explosive conversation with my husband two days ago. His delusions seem to have increased and strengthened. I realized something, though. Schizophrenia doesn’t give anyone the right to be emotionally abusive. I also realized that until he gets treatment there is nothing I can do. He is not living with me so unless he seeks me out, I have no idea how he is doing and my hands are tied. When we talked, he said some hurtful things that sz or not, I cant get past. He even sold his wedding ring because he “was furious”. Basically, he said he hates my ex husband more than he loves me. My ex is as much of the delusions as I am. It’s like his insecurity about my former husband has taken over and become something very insane.

In any event, I told him that he knows where I am and my door is open. I’m still willing to work with his brother to get him help, but I can’t talk to him. It is too painful when I’m the only one grieving- he can’t grieve because his delusions are too strong to see what he has done and what has happened.

I have to start accepting all this and stop self pitying and grieving. I was thinking about trying to focus on what I have learned. Is there anything you have learned through this process?

Thanks!


#2

@Sadwife I have gone through the extreme delusion part for sure but not with a spouse, with my son. He did extremely hurtful things when he was really ill before he got treatment. He always wished me dead, and he was not above shoving me around, he stole and destroyed my car while I was at work. He stole money from me even when I would take care to try to hide it. He told tall tales to people about things I was supposedly doing…even after he was getting treatment but not yet fully stable he took a shelf of antique books that I had collected from childhood and sold them for $5 because he wanted something, a beer or a taco or whatever. I had countless people tell me that I needed to walk away from him and just focus on myself because I should not tolerate his delusional behaviors.

I am guessing it is a big difference between it being a child or a spouse as to whether you could feel like walking away was the right thing to do. I mean the relationships have different dynamics. I was a single mother abandoned by my own parents at an early age so walking away for myself was not an option for me in my circumstance. I knew if I did walk away that no one else would help my son and that his life would be very short.

When he was beginning treatment and still using drugs and still running away when he got a chance—I wanted to abandom him many times and just take care of me, it seemed like the logical and sensible thing to do but I just could not do it, and it was hell for few years until we got everything stable both with his treatment and with our living situation which is that we live together now and successfully so. If you asked me 10 years ago if I would be where I am today with my son stable and living with me and the two of us getting along well together and making slow but positive progress in our individual lives, I would have said you’re crazy, that is impossible. I am glad now that I stuck it out. I am glad that my son and I both survived the insanity and the process of getting the right treatment. I am grateful today. My son does not remember even a fraction of what he did back then, and so it is behind me today.

I understand how you feel, I do not know what it is like to have a sz spouse with serious delusions, you have to do what you can live with, whatever that might be, no one can really advise or judge on these kinds of things because they are so deeply personal and so emotionally charged, I think why I hung in for all the years it took to get where I am today was because a friend of mine had a sz son that she had ‘had enough of’ and she threw him out right after his 18th birthday because he was non compliant and destructive and abusive and within 5 days of leaving his mother’s home, he killed himself. Maybe he would have done that no matter what, no one can know. Hearing about that made me think that if I got the same news about my own son after removing myself from his care, I would not have recovered from that. I know me. If I had a sz spouse I don’t know, maybe if he had other family it would feel different or if I was ready to accept any possible outcome then I would be at peace with my decision…I truly do not know because I am single. I don’t envy your situation. My heart goes out to you. Just do what you know in your heart you can be at peace with and then be at peace, if you can. Wishing you and your family only the best. :sunflower:


#3

I would like to stay with my husband. More than anything. I feel like I am setting myself up for a big fall if I keep focusing on that. The grief is just overwhelming. I’m hoping that since I have told him over and over that I want to work on our marriage, that he will one day get in a space he can choose that.

His brother, who I am trying to work with to get him help, has been telling me that I should cut my losses. That he thinks there is no way my husband will be medication compliant or participate in treatment that he is not forced to do so. I have made it clear to him that I want my husband. All I can do is pray that God’s will be done, and that my husband hits his rock bottom. I feel like all I do is pray.

It’s just so hard to be hated.


#4

@Sadwife It is very hard but maybe it can hurt a little less if you can think of the “hatred” as a symptom of the illness and not what is truly in his heart if he were stable. Prayer is good. His brother may mean well by advising that you “cut your losses” but in all fairness it is a far different relationship between brothers than between husband and wife, I still say that you should do what you can live with. One thing I have learned from so many years living with my sz son is less talk is better in most situations, but especially when delusional, if talking (on your part) can be avoided during delusions it is better all around and try to keep your emotions in check as hard as it is to do (I know). (at least in my experience) If actions need to be taken for whatever reason, (like you need to leave for safety or sanity, or the CIT police need to be called, or a squad needs called or whatever it is}…I find it is better not to say a word and just do it and let him spout whatever he wishes to spout out word wise and just put my invisible “shield” up for protection. Always when my son has gotten sane and stable he barely remembers anything that happened and he is back to being my very loving son so I know I have said this before but it is worth saying repeatedly that the hurt and anguish is actually a choice for us to “feel it” like we would if any normal person hurt us that way…or suspend the normal reaction because of the facts we know that schizophrenia hijacks the brain, speech and emotions, self awareness and social cognition…they are truly not responsible for the horrific things they say when they are delusional and they are not “taking liberties” in what they do, it is beyond control for them. I haven’t stopped thinking about your situation since I read your first post and it is stuck in my heart…I hope you don’t mind me writing and repeating so much of my own experiences like this…I hope something helps at some time with your husband…if it doesn’t then I just hope peace of mind comes for you sooner than later.


#5

Thank you so much, Catherine. It really helps.


#6

These are very difficult behaviors to deal with. It is only normal human response to be hurt by hurtful, hateful behaviors directed toward us.

I have found that sometimes the only way I could continue to provide support to my loved one was to get some separation for a while, and to immediately terminate contact if his behavior was hurtful. Regardless of the source of it, whether intentional or coming from the delusions, the hurt to you is real. Once he could see that I was not giving up, but was not going to tolerate the behavior if it began, the part of him that is still the sweet person I love would try to come back - because he knows that in the end, I still love him.

It can also help sometimes to remember that an illness like this might be an explanation, but should not be used as an excuse.


#7

Wow, I read your story & really admire you sticking in there. How old is your son? My schizo son is 32 & he grew up hating me, blaming me for everything. It seemed he only loved me when I gave him money. It’s been extremely hard taking all his verbal abuse nowadays after I bend over backwards paying all his bills. I don’t know how you did it, but I congratulate you & it inspires me hang in there. Thank you.


#8

@Dreamer1 Thank you. My sz son is also 32.