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One other thing I wanted to write about is religious fixation.
At one point when M. was having a terrible time, he thought he was Jesus' son.
He did not talk about it much, but spent a lot of time reading the bible and looking off into space.
This was about 6 yrs ago.
Recently we saw the movie "The passion of the Christ". I wondered how he would react to the movie. On the way home, I asked what he thought and did it bother him. He said "I thought before the movie that I might make some connection with the movie and see if I could justify or prove the fact that maybe I was Jesus' son." (I had not heard of this fixation for several years), He says he did not make any connections and knows now that he is not Jesus' son. I will admit this freaks me out if I think of it too much! LOL.
He says that he felt that the things in his life that have happened to him were like being crucified. That he was suffering like Jesus did, and that it was because he was Jesus' son.
That was one delusion that I had a lot of trouble dealing with.
One thing that still bothers me even after 20 yrs is how to respond to M.'s paranoid thoughts. When he tells me something that is a paranoid thought, I usually respond with 'That is a paranoid thought. It just isn't possible that it could have happened that way, etc..." I feel bad that I constantly have to do this, I feel it makes him not tell me everything.
He sees connections in everything. We may get junk mail in the mail box that is tied in with something he said to his boss 15 years ago. He thinks that everyone in 3 counties knows him and of course does not like him. "They" try to run him out of the country on a regular basis. "They" know what he is really like...and know of all the "things" he has done. Which, bytheway, is NOTHING. He has done nothing illegal or bad.
It has taken me a lonnnng time to understand that this is the disease, and it just will never make sense. At first I thought "Why do you think that you are soooo important that people really give a crap about you?" The world does not revolve around you and what you said or did so many years ago." That sounds so harsh, but things like that went through my mind. I mean you can only hear so much, before you lose it!
Before I realized that there were others in my situation, I thought I was a terrible person to be thinking bad thoughts when he would talk about all his paranoid thoughts. I am not perfect and make lots of mistakes in this marriage. But we learn from our mistakes.
One other thing that bothered me in the past was the amount of sleep that M. required. We had 3 children in 5 years and I was one busy mama. Because of the medication, M. would sleep a lot. I needed help with the kids, and I did get pretty angry and resentful. As the children have grown older,it is better. I knew at the time it was the medication that made him so tired, but that didn't stop me from becoming resentful. LOL.
I do think that we as spouses go through the grieving process after our spouses are diagnosed. I can see now when I was in denial, angry, trying to make deals with God, depression and finally acceptance. I am glad that I stuck it out til I reached the acceptance part. I have accepted the fact that this is the way it is. M. did not ask for this disease and neither did I. We deal with the problems as they come and make the best of a bad situation.
Hope I am not rambling on too much!
First off, thanks for the replies to my first post.
You know, I think we are a pretty ordinary couple, other than the sz. Of course, I guess I am not real firm on what ordinary is because this is all I have known for my adult life.
I do know that I am pretty lucky, that we don't deal with drinking, illegal drug abuse, physical violence or infidelity. I know a lot of "normal" people who do all those things! Thank goodness, we don't have to add any or all of those things onto an already full plate.
Don't be misled...this is not a bed of roses. Plenty of times, I have thought of walking away and never, ever looking back. What has kept me here? Sometimes I don't have a clue.
M and I have 3 children. He is a good father. He cares deeply for the kids and has their best interest at heart. He may not be the same as all the other dads, but he is pretty darn close.
Our kids don't know M. any other way than the way he is today. I have only recently explained to them what sz. is. They are teens now and I feel they have the ability to understand what it means and how they need to react to it. I also felt the need to talk to them about the genes, their possibilities of inheriting it and what they need to do if they start to feel problems coming on or any symptoms, etc... We also had a big talk about illegal drug use/abuse and how that figures in to their possibly of inheriting it. I stressed the fact that they have a 90% chance of not getting sz., but there is still that 10% chance that they could. I wanted them to know that I am their strongest supporter and they can rest assured that I will do everything possible for them if something arises. Phew. This is my greatest worry in life that one of my children will suffer with this illness the way M. has.
I went for 17 years without support for myself. I knew that their must be other people in my position, but never had the time or desire to find out. After buying my computer, I was astounded at the number of spouses/signicant others that are here on sz.com. And the fact that they have heard it all, seen it all and are not shocked by anything was amazing to me! It truly was one of the best days of my life to connect with people in my situation.
Recently I also started on prozac to help myself with depression. What a difference! Why did I wait so long? Who knows.
M.'s disease has been a secret for 20 years. The only and I mean only person whom I have told is my sister. I have 2 very, very close friends that I have not told. I am not worried that they won't "like" me or judge me- I am worried about that they will feel different toward M.
M. does not tell people either. In the small town that we live in, more than likely he would be quickly excluded.
It is a shame, a real darn shame, that people are so ignorant about mental illness. It doesn't help that tv, music, press throw out words like sz., bi-polar, multi-personality disorder...when they have absolutely no idea what those words mean. Maybe someday I can do something to help people in the world to understand or at least know the facts. I will put that on my 'to-do list" :O)
My blog will consist mainly of what happens in my life with my mentally ill husband, who I will refer to as M. M is diagnosed as schizo-affective. We have been married a little over 20 years and have 3 children.
M was not diagnosed until after we had been married about 3 years or so. However, he says he knew that something was "wrong" when he was in high school. I also must include that M has insight into his illness. He takes medication and sees a dr. regularly. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons our relationship has endured.
M suffers tremendously with paranoia, even though he is on a great deal of medication. This is just something that he trys to live with, however it gets the best of him and me sometimes.
One of the keys to our relationship is truth and trust. I know that by telling the truth always to M. he will trust me, which is something he does not do easily. It is hard for him to trust anyone. Sometimes, if he questions me or my motives, I remind him that I have always been truthful and have been here for 20 years. I would never, ever do anything to intentionally hurt him.
This life that we lead together is not always a straight path. We have our ups, downs and dangerous curves.
Love, medication, hope, commitment and friendship have kept us together so far.