Writing on the Walls


Hi Mom2,
What a long strange trip it’s been for all of us.
Blaming the mother for her child’s illness in the past - how convenient !
Yes, Thanks for all the information on ACT.
I think the hardest part is not knowing how to safely move forward for the ill family member.
There are so many questions and details to consider.
My Mom moved my sister 23 times in the past 15 years or so - we counted ! I’d be asked to help on my days off. This involved packing up at least thirty boxes of disorganized things, dirty clothes, throwing out writing scribbled all over everything, often incoherently ( are they cries for help or journal entries ?! Is it artwork or writing ?!? ), and if I I threw away some of her stuff in utter frustration, I would get yelled at and verbally abused by her for not respecting her things, needs, or life.
It was apparent to me that she needed to be hospitalized and the expensive time consuming moves to sublets , rooming houses, and motels, while being done with the best of intentions and generosity, were causing problems.
Plumbing problems. Thousands of dollars worth of damage from letting sinks, bathtubs overflow. Pipes freezing. A tenant below her claiming their plumbing damages were her fault.
People compliment me on how kind I’m being allowing her to live with me, what a great sister I am.
Yes, I gave up my study, storage space, closet space, antiques to be vandalized by her, computer to be monopolized by her. They tell me she seems " Ok, " and " Normal girl . "
Yes, at times she is those things.
But most of the time she’s not. They mean well.
Truth is there was no where else for her to go but to another sublet that wouldn’t work, a halfway house she’d sign herself out of, a short term stay in a hospital, a shelter, or the street .
Good care costs money.
I feel I’ve accomplished a lot by getting her to take her medicine. Help with chores. Do her own laundry
( still working on that, big time. ) Fold her blankets.
She started actually giving and receiving real hugs after sidling away and shrinking from hugs.
I’ve had days where I failed badly as a caregiver.
But I keep trying to be better the next day.
And I’ve had NO formal training on how to do this. Just read up plenty about it on the internet - yes, the internet which many MD’s think is totally untrustworthy and full of disinformation for patients and families !!! It’s a research tool, get used to it !


Hi Hope,
Didn’t mean to bark at you in reply to your post.
You wrote " Horrors to think " instead of " Horrifying to think. " I was thrown by that, perhaps a typo ?
Believe me, I know first hand how disruptive, horrifying, manipulative, disgusting ( in personal hygeine, in insane bias towards certain people, in the way they keep their rooms, with hoarding food, water, and whatever else) a patient in an episode can be.
To not lose it in the face of that takes effort, practice, and patience. A support net work. Friends to lean on from time to time.
I fail badly and then try to be better next timw after looking closely at how I failed, what were the factors surrounding me snapping ?


Hey evoltwin11,
I totally enjoyed your post and did not feel barked at in the least. Yes, “horrifying to think” would have been easier to understand. My apologies.

While my son lived in the garage apartment on our property, it did give me break time to help me keep from snapping. When he lived in the house with us it was much more challenging.

I am in the middle of once again clearing out a space after my son has lived there. Here, too, thousands of dollars worth of damage. The walls look as though my son was trying to beat his way out of the place. And maybe he was. In the end, it worked. Hearing him yell at us and beat his place up, and start in on our house, pretty much won the day for him. He said we couldn’t have him leave without giving him the means to feed himself. So we did. Now it will be a balancing act to see if he can make enough to feed himself without making so much he loses his benefits. One mom wrote on this forum that her daughter made $10 too much -one month- and lost benefits for two years. Another mom at support group said her son stayed at his recycling center job for a couple of extra hours when his relief didn’t show up. They lost their benefits for two months.

His psychiatrist thinks he is doing great. Maybe he is, what do I know, I just pay and keep paying - gosh I wish I meant money. The good doctor compares him to people living on the streets, people who are in jail and people in hospitals.

You have accomplished so much for your sister, you have her on meds.

If I had not brought my son home his current delusions about his dad would not have grown to such a dangerous level. The same doctor who says he is doing great - when he only sees him when he makes a spur of the moment $220 appointment on the rare good day when he can get out of his home and drive - is seriously worried about his father’s safety.

I had always promised my husband, his father, that we would not allow him to live here if he became a real threat. Now he is gone and I really am not as upset about the damage as I am about knowing he won’t be able to live here again. Each thing he left that I throw away feels as though I am erasing him.

How long before his new landlord calls?

There are always friends who understand here on this forum.

Our lives really do s*** from time to time - my apologies again. hope


I’m not sure the ‘badges of merit’ affect what a person can do in any way. I just see them as silly, and pretty much ignore them. I suspect they are just features of the product that is being used, to provide ‘recognition’ for participation. But I haven’t seen permissions change in any way.


I discovered some new damage today. I have told him ‘no more damage’, but I truly don’t know what the next step would be. So I have guardianship, I could make him live in an assisted living place again - but he would probably take out his anger about that on the place, and - of course - on me in one way or another. And he would get kicked out of that place, and then what? Put him out on the street?

“Standing up to him”, saying “No More” often results in increased fury on his part.


@Vallpen They never seem to cooperate - I’ve gotten my son different things so that he could work out at home but he never uses them. I was wondering if you had space for a punching bag? Maybe he would punch that instead of damaging other things. Or - maybe you would like to punch it? Maybe I would - now I’m thinking a punching bag is a good idea.


I replaced my son’s mattress recently, and left the old one in the basement. I told him yesterday, if he needs to kick or punch something he needs to go down there and do it to that. We shall see if he does.


@Vallpen - Good idea! Perhaps I’ll do that with my son’s bed - he is due for a new one.


I’d even be willing to drag it back upstairs and make it an installation, if it would help!


On the other hand… a longtime family friend has been sick, and my son recently asked to go visit her and her husband. The first time he asked, she was in the hospital. She was home last weekend, and I suggested we go, and he was happy to go and visited for about 2 hours. Conversation was sometimes very odd, but still…

This friend passed away last night, and I am so glad we went to see her last weekend!

My son spent some time explaining how he thinks heaven is an alternate reality. Even tho they are religious people, with a pretty fixed idea of what heaven is, they listened kindly, and it was rather sweet.


@Vallpen - That is nice that you and your son got to visit your friend. I am sorry to hear of her passing. I find it impressive that your son did well for 2 hours. Was his damage a reaction to your friend passing? I suppose heaven could be an alternate reality (interesting).


I hadnt been back to the bedroom for a while. I went back there for something, and there was the broken dresser. He said it happened last week.


I think you are doing a fabulous job. Thanks for sharing. I’ll keep you posted on the ACT training. I was hopeful because the woman who called identified two really string interests of my son and said if he is to recover we have to play on his strengths. I am totally in agreement there.


It looks like a lot of torment.


Yeah, true. I’m still learning how this forum works. Thanks for your reply.
The damage of property issue is so awful, sounds like you’re having a terrible time. Gaurdianship sounds like it might alleviate some problems around getting care.
That’s been something discussed for awhile between me, my parents, and professionals.
My family hired a lawyer/social worker to be a temporary gaurdian but she didn’t connect with him at all and wouldn’t really talk to him.
Then there was me as the communicator/liaison and I was on the phone with them , the temporary Gaurdian, and the lawyers assigned to work with her, alot.
" Please make sure she shows up for her court date, can I ask you some questions, can you show up for the court date, etc. "
I think mental health patients legal rights are very assiduously gaurded in MA ( considering the abuses out there. ) They couldn’t go forward with the hearing to assign temporary Gaurdianship if neither she nor I attended the hearings and provided statements.
It got to be over whelming, and since I made no where near as much $$$ as they did for her care, I grew resentful.


So true.
Their strengths play into their recovery, absolutely !!!
I when I see art therapy and yoga classes on a ward, I know other health prefessionals feel the same way.


Omigod ! How awful.
My sibling isn’t violent, thank god.
A few times off meds really shouting things and verbally aggressive. Right up in my face -
" You leave ! This is MY condo !!! I’m gonna call the police to have YOU leave !!! I’m on the deed !!! "
Yeah, the police were called that time. She’s absolutely not on the deed, it’s not her condo, and I invited her to stay until she got back on her feet.
What a nightmare it’s been.
Because her delusions have her hoarding paper and things constantly, so her mess not only makes her room practically uninhabitable ( despite my cleaning and the biweekly visit from a VERY understanding cleaning service ) it spills into other rooms. Constant weird stuff everywhere.


Wow Hope,
You and my Mom should talk ! I’ll send her the link to this site.
Unusual his spur of the moment Psychiatrist says "he’s doing great " is seriously worried about your husbands safety !!!
I think male schizophrenics can be more violent, or at least destroy a lot more property.


This is the crux of it.
Do we hold the schizophrenic accountable, have them live in assisted living places ( is that a half way house ? ) And when they’re kicked out, rush to save the situation, or let them try homelessness ?!?!?
My parents friends have told my parents, yes, that’s what they should do, absolutely.


And I just want to say that I had asked her about six times in the prior two weeks of move to help move her own things !!!
"No, not now, I don’t feel well. “
” I’m tired. “
” My ankle hurts. "
Those three statements might’ve been true, but where did it leave me ?!?
There was no place to PUT her things from the sublet. Already overflowing with her stuff in my room.
My mother and I have been keepers of her things.
Warm coats. Valuable clothes and jewelry. Expensive well - made shoes that she kept destroying inadvertently.
So I hope readers don’t view me as some heartless witch for saying : " Nuh-uh, that be it ! Goin’ in the dumpster NOW. "

Being viewed as unsympathetic, uncaring, heartless is the other side of it. Sad because we’ve really, really been there.

There is no magic bullit.