Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

When do you say "enough is enough?"

Hello. I have posted on here before but it has been a while. My husband was diagnosed with Schizophrenia 3 1/2 years ago and has been in and out of the hospital. This time, however, he completely blind sided me: I came home from work early with the intention of him using the car to go to his doctor only to be met by the police in the driveway telling me he was arrested for vandalism. Senior Social Services was also there because my mother inlaw (whose house we live in) was home and she has dementia and could not be left alone.

I tried to have him evaluated at home earlier in the week by a team that actually comes to your house to determine if someone needs to go to the crisis unit or not. They took him to the unit only to release him the next day even after I told them that he is a “Master” at putting on a good show. But the thing is, he appeared to not be that bad. I saw the warning signs and acted on them and it apparently did no good whatsoever. Whether if he did the vandalism, I honestly do not know. Unfortuately because of his past history with his mental illness, my neighbors have labeled him the “neighborhood nut” which I can only attibute to a lack of understanding. So they took him to jail and he stayed there a few days and when they released him, they took him to the hospital and had him re-evaluated and he stayed there for a week to have his meds adjusted.

In the midst of this, my sister inlaw, who is my mother inlaw’s power of attorney, decided that my husband was not allowed back in the house. So I found him a hotel for $260/week and that is where he has been lodged for the last 2 1/2 weeks. She has now moved my mother inlaw out of the house and into her house leaving my son and I here not really knowing what her plan is at this moment. We, of course, now need to find a place to live.

I have an 11 year old son who needs a roof over his head. I work for a living but I am not setting the world on fire so I really don’t know if I can afford an apartment on my own. My husband has been disabled for quite some time due to an accident, so he has SSD and workman’s comp as his monthly income. I drive to the motel where he is staying on a nightly basis and he honestly has nothing to say to me or my son. I feel like regardless of the meds they give him, he will just repeat the same behavior over and over like he has for the last 3 years. There is no talking to him when he is in a psychotic state and I worry what will come next. I know he would never, ever hurt me or my son, but he is withdrawn and isolated. All he has done for the last 2 weeks is lay in bed and sleep even when I go there to visit.

At this point, with things just exploding like they did, and his total lack of trying to help me find a place to live, I just feel like I have reached my breaking point. I know social services can help him find a place to live on his income, so I am not too worried about where he will end up, but I am worried that there will be no one there to monitor him and get him help when he needs it. I worry that if we rent an apartment together that it will be beyond my own income and if he goes in the hospital, I will not have access to his money to pay the rent. A year ago, he went away for 5 months and I had no access to his SSD, which was no big deal because we weren’t paying rent at the time and my son and I were fine on just my income. I can’t put his name on the bank account because he is knee deep in medical debt which is something I have asked him to take care of for 3 years…all he has to do is get Medicare Part B and he hasn’t done it. I just feel as if he has done absolutely nothing to help me and now we are caught in the gigantic storm and I can’t see my way thru it and I honestly don’t know which way to turn. And of course, if I leave him, I will have to deal with my son’s disappointment over not living with his Dad anymore. I am just worried that if I continue to live with him that we will all end up homeless because of his actions and I absolutely cannot have that for my son. I really am struggling with this decision.

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I’m really sorry that you’ve been through so much alone with your son. I know how you feel, I worry for the future too. As a person who grew separated from their father, I think you should do what’s best for you and your son. Your son will understand when he’s older and they can always visit each other. I felt okay growing without a dad at home and even though your son may be really attached, it is the right thing to do in order to give yourself and your son a better life. Your husband will be taken care of and he has other family too to fall back on.

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I can relate to this. It seems a person with sz is unable to comprehend situations and therefore the concept of help is not available to them. Thinking of my wife as a three year old is very helpful to me because that is about her mental age when she goes into psychotic states. Perhaps your husband is in a similar situation where his psychotic mental age prevents him from fully comprehending the situation or how his actions affect others. In the past I have become very frustrated at my wife’s lack of ability to do anything, now I am more resigned to this being the new normal.

I hope you can find a living situation that works for you all.