October 13, 2004

The Ugly

The Ugly
I knew it was coming-that rush of paranoia and panic---the fleeting sighting of me just hangin' around at my job instead of being where I am supposed to be-according to Mike. Where I was supposed to be is beyond me, home, instead of driving kids to and from school. This season of the year just rocks everything solid in our foundation and it take days and weeks and hours to get it back to where it was.
I call it the Ugly. Because it is so ugly and unwelcome. Who wants to hear the suspicious dilusions of Mikes worried and tormented mind over and over again? I feel so bad for him and so helpless.
I believe myself to be a champion at recognizing things now-symptoms-things not so normal-a little off balance. And when I do, I act. I don't waite, who wants to go that far down again? Waiting and trying to fix things alone is a relm I refuse to visit alone anymore.
The changes started when the days started to get short-the evenings cool and the stress of good and bad mounted(without my noticing). I don't mean to sound insensitive, but I just roll along day to day doing what I usually do. I sometimes forget that I live with a man that might get stuck in a thought for days and days and I am totally oblivious to it. I just totally treat everything around me like he is just as NORMAL as me. But then we pick our own level of normal as well, don't we? And then something bazzar happens or something is said and the whole reality is gone.
So with all the autumn changes came some medication adjustments too. Not perminant-just until the ugly guy goes away and stays away for a while. It is easier to help this year, I know what is going on and what steps to take. Last year I felt like I was in a nightmere and I was never going to wake up and be OK, either of us. Thank goodness for good doctors, better medicine and lots of information for me to use when I forget what works best.
Its a jolt to the system when all of the sudden, the peace and calm of almost everyday are gone and replaced by dilusions, suspisions and threats. I wasn't looking forward to that day-its that vicious cycle-the ugly guy-I am hoping he moves it along fast this year and leaves the holidays alone.
God bless you all. Love yourself or your family memeber or who ever it is with a return of the ugly guy, and I will pray it only stays until the season settles into autumn.

Posted by norm at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2004

More Normal

WOW ... its been months since I posted anything. I have to say that time flies when normal rules the roost, like it has for the last few months.
I can't say it has been perfect, far from that, but it has been good. Michael is feeling better, sleeping better, and dealing with stress a whole lot better than when I first started this blog in April, and I think it has everthing to do with the drug Abilify and the support he gets from me, (though I am more often frustrated than not), and his family.
He has had fewer than three really bad melt-downs in the last four months, and his dilusions have just about become non-existant. Every once in a while it pops its ugly head up and I have to get it under control, but the time duration has become less and less and he is feeling more in control, and he recognizes them sooner and deals with them better.
Overall happiness has been around a lot lately and that is a good feeling.
His support of me has been great too. My dad had a heart attack a month ago and Mike was the best at making me feel better and giving me support-he wasn't worried or overwhelmed by the whole thing, and that was a help for me. No arguments, no disagreements, he was just by my side no questions asked.
I wish this could be true for so many of you who have cz or are dealing with it with a family member or friend. It wasn't easy getting here, to this point. There was more than one time I was ready to run ... we aren't married, it isn't like I promised anything, I just truely love him and would never walk out in the middle of a crisis, and that is what made all of the difference.
I hope all of you have better days and find comfort in something simple that makes your life worth while. Your children, your friends, a book, God ... I can't say I know what it is like to have sz ... but I know what it is like to see it take the life out of someone right before your very eyes and it is frightening. Hold tight to something concrete, don't let it get the best of you. Anyone of believes that what we have is their normal, we can only strive to make it the best normal we can.
God bless all of you who read this, you are all in my thoughts.
I will keep everyone posted ... remember the holidays are right around the corner ! Unit next time take care of each other.

Posted by norm at 06:25 PM | Comments (1)

June 04, 2004

Good Medicine

I didn't forget that I had this blog, I just got used to using it when things were bad and not good.
Now there is more good and normal than there has been in a very long time, and I thank all of you who write, and the doctor that helps with medication and the new medication Abilify ... it is a good thing, and although it is very expensive, it is worth its weight in gold.
There hasn't been a dillusion in about 6 weeks, not a bad one anyway, and they are not about me, they are about, simple things. Bills paid on time, spending time together, getting work done around the house. NORMAL stuff.
Micheal is enjoying it too. He is happy and eager to help out, and we have been enjoying all of our time together.
I can't say that it will forever be this way, but I can sure hope for it.
I think going to church together has helped with the bad things that were happening too...we have more than one good thing to believe in and that gives us the will to keep surviving this illness.
Micheal is so much better, the battles were worth it, all the pain and the anger and teaching myself to understand ... it has made ALL of the difference in our world.
God Bless you all
I will write again soon ... about the good stuff. Because now there is so much more.

Posted by norm at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2004


I just realized its been a while since my last entry. Everything seems to be going very smooth right now. Medication is being taken on time, problems and dilusions are being handled quickly and resolved, and we are even having some fun and not focusing on the problem so much lately.
It feel good not to be on guard.
I just wanted to say that it isn't always bad. Sometimes everything works together for the good of everything. There seems to be a tranquility lately, and that is good for Michael, he can be relaxed and not paranoid and worried for a while. I am going to drink up as much of this good time as I can, because there is no telling what will happen next. Surely if things keep going and the consistancy remains the same, it could stay this way for a long time? I won't get my hopes up.
I just know that I am feeling good too, and that is nice for a change.
Things are good ... and we are happily enjoying each other. That is what makes all the hard work and time worth while.
I hope everyone else is doing OK too and my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
God Bless Have a good month.

Posted by norm at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2004

Ext ...

And so it keeps going. I have come to the conclusion that family and loved ones of persons suffering from schizophreina are very special people, and VERY SELFLESS. We have not only our own sanity that we must handle carefully and nurture to make sure we don't fall backward, but we also have to be on our toes for whatever may be in store for us, everyday, with our suffering loved ones.
I am not made of stone, nor is Michael. The anger and frustration I feel at times is so over-powering that I fell like I am going to pass-out. It is sometimes just too much. Like pressure on every inch of your body, pressing in on you, until you are going to pop.
Finally the other day he told me what his diluision was, and I laughted. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And at the same time to realize that his brain takes so much energy and turnes one suggesting into an event that he actually lives and experiences is madening to me. I still can't comprehend it all. It totally blows my mind. Yet with each dilision he is feeling and living each event-I think he feels like he is in a dream. 24 hour a day, every day of his life.
He told me that his dilusion is that I am "a sex addict and that I have sex with anyone I can as often as I can." Yea ... well, I don't know how I feel about it all. I do know it made me absolutely sick to my stomach. Understanding it Kind OF still doesn't make it any better. I just try to forget it. I just try to hope that one day this month will be normal and nothing will be said about suspiscion or noises or things that were never said. This is not something that one recovers from easily. This is something I have decided to make part of my life. Now is that nuts? To me, no, not if you really love someone. Its is so complicated, I get headachs trying to figure it out. Its more drama than a Soap Opra.
Anyway, the confession didn't make anything better, now it is almost a daily question, and daily plea for "I just want to know the truth." When the REAL truth is...he will probably never believe anything other than what his brain tells him to believe, no matter what type of proof he is given. That is so exhausting.
I have never been so tired in my life and with this choice, I will probably never feel rested again ... not for the rest of my life.
So hang in there everybody. Say many prayers. Only the good Lord can help me throught this everyday-and help from loving people like all of you. I guess we will have to just stick it out together.

Posted by norm at 02:52 PM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2004

And it begins ... again

I just have one short entry ... I was asked to move again today because Mike believes that I am cheating on him ... and I just don't know what to do anymore. I just don't know. I hate this disease, I hate the agony he is in, I hate the fact that he really wants to hear me say yes I am doing this stuff so that he can be right, and I can't handle the constant dillusions. It is out of hand again ... and I don't think that it will ever be any better.
I will leave him alone with his dillusions, but what good is that. I just want to scream..................and never stop.
I'm just sick and I don't know what to do anymore. I HATE IT.
That is all I feel right now. And I want the hell to go away.

Posted by norm at 02:44 PM | Comments (4)

April 14, 2004

Normal days

Its been pretty quite around here lately. No suspicious or probing questions. No accusing statement. Only on Easter Eve did the symptoms start to dig at the foundation of the calm in our day and I chased them off. I stopped it in its tracks and I haven't heard anything since.
The calm before the storm. No, there is always something somewhere. The blank stare, the rolling of the eyes, the expressionless face. The forced looks of happiness. He knows when to give them, because he knows he is normally without them.
I remember the first time anything happened and I didn't have a clue, only the little bit of information he had given me about his condition. He kicked me out of the bedroom and locked all the doors. Locking me out. Or locking himself in. I don't know what he thougth he was doing. I was so mad, but then I remembered, he can't help it. I remember telling myself that. I guess that is how I conditioned myself. I guess that is how I have made it without looking back.
I guess for today this is our normal. There is no telling what tomorrow will bring, if anything. Who knows what will be hurled our way. I pray it is eventless. And Normal as it possibly can be - for our house.
We will enjoy this normal calmness, we are storing up our enegry for the next round. Its like war. A war that will never end, and one that I will continually find amunition for.
God bless all of you. Hang in there-enjoy your normal every minute you have it.
We all know it can be taken away so quickly.

Posted by norm at 02:23 AM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2004

letting it settle

I would never want anything to happen to Michael. In the past few month I got so caught up in what was going on with him that everything around me suffered. I was afraid to come home sometimes because I didn't know what his current dillusion might be.
I spoke to a family friend one day not long ago who grew up with him, and I told her what a hard time it was getting to be and what a terrible disabilty it is and "how I would never want it." She looked at me and said, "but you do have it. It is your life." From that point on I guess I have been trying to deal with the situration a little differently.
My choice to stay was based on the fact that I knew if he was consistant with his medication, he would be ok, and he is doing good. We are doing good. I can consentrate again and so can he and that is something that is essential for survival. I had to be able to work and concentrate and not be distracted, so did he. And I was very distracted, very worried, and feeling very sorry for him. But that has changed. Actually there hasn't been anything major in a month or more and that is a relief to me. When someting does happen, it is very mild and we deal with it immediately and it is over. No more six hour talks. Its just over, and that is something different too.
I always remind myself that this is something new and to remember there will be days, bad days, but, today isn't one of them. Today is a good day, and they keep getting better.
The holiday seems to be a non-issue right now too, and that is a relief.
My advice is to just hang in there everybody. It is like a theaf in the night and strikes when it is least expected. Always be armed and ready to help chase away the bad things going on in their minds. And enjoy the good days without symptoms.

Posted by norm at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2004


It was one of the scariest things in the world to see Mike at his very worst. I felt sad, and helpless and furious. I hated the disorder. I couldn't believe that what a schizophrenic sees in his mind is a real emotional experience for them and no amount of talking was going to change it. And the thing he thought I had done to him was be unfaithness.

In the beginning symptoms were mild, but throughout last summer his doctor started to adjust his medication and that is when the world as I once knew it was gone forever. It was a physical and mental roller coaster ride throught hell.
He went from one medication to another with some calming in some places but in other places the symptoms got unmanagable.

That is where the books came in. I learned the terms associated with the disorder like cyclical, and ruminating thoughts and symptoms and decompensation. And they all seemed to happen around the same time. All at once-like a stew.

Holiday and family get togethers are stressful timed for him, and getting a new girlfriend that " is so patient and so willing to do what she could" sure did help matters, for his family anyway, the pressure was off a little for them.

A little backround. when Mike was diagnosed he was sent to a mental istutution for a month or two, and he was in his early 20's. Not long after that, a couple years maybe, his mother died in an accident, which left hiim fighting for support not only to compensate for his mother, but to understand and manage the schizophrenia. (I don't like to say His, because it isn't all he is. It is just something that he has). This made things much more complicated for everyone, and now the trickle down effect still exists and it is at these times of year I have found that he is most likely to decompensate.

It was hell, even sometimes now it is but nothing compared to those few months. He made me move during that time. He truely believed that I had cheated on him and it was so real to him, he was shaken. It was so confusing for me. The day I left (for a week) I called his doctor and told him he needed immediate attention and that he should call him as soon as possible, and I left. It was what I felt I needed to do to keep him out of the hospital. The quiet and calm of being alone and develping some structure along with the right medication did the trick. That time anyway. It has never been quite that bad since.

The worst feeling for me was knowing I didn't do anything and that there was nothing I could do to change his mind - he had already lived it and it was too late.

So lately things are calmer and as normal as things can be here in our house.
I never know what is going to happen from day to day and it is always a surprize to me.

I would tell him early in our relationship that I wish I could just cut it out of his brain. I think everyone that deals with this with someone they love with this feels the same way.

Easter is just around the corner ... I am waiting to see what happens with that.
No matter how under control everything is right now ... I know that there is something brewing, and I guess as long as I know that, I will be a little prepared for what might happen during this holiday.

And I make sure he takes his medication-everyday at the same time. It a necessity.

Posted by norm at 05:12 PM | Comments (3)

March 31, 2004


I alway had a choice. I didn't have to stay with Mike. I could have gone back to my life where I didn't have to learn how to handle such a mean and unfair disorder. But putting that aside, he was and still is the most wonderful man. So, I started reading. The first book I got out of the library was so old that it talked about old drugs that were used like thorezine and electric shock.
So I traded that in for Diagnosis Schizophrenia by Rachel Miller and Susan E. Mason. I ordered it from a book store because they didn't have any in stock. While I was talking to the cashier about there not being enough information out about the disorder for people like me who want to learn more and handle relationships better, she shared that her brother was also diagnosed with schizophreina. She told me that he was married, and didn't want children. She said that he had a very hard time when he was first diagnosed, but that he was now married and his wife was his rock.
That's kind of Ironic. Mike calls me his rock too.
Anyway, the book helped. So did a lot of the internet sites. The information helped me discuss it with Mike. It made me brave enough to make sure he knew to take his medication. I ask him everyday, because he takes it the same time, everyday. He has to.
That has been one of his biggest problems, remembering his medication. Without it the symptoms swoop in like a bird of prey and steal his true reality away from him in an instant.
Medication is so key. It is as essential as to his well being as sleep and food. Without it I know I would not have been here so long. He still has the "there is nothing wrong with me" attitude. My attitude is if "you don't take your medication I can't stay with you and be happy."
He takes his medication.
I have also learned that the symptoms come and go in a cycle, a very normal cycle. Almost like a woman's menstral cycle. The symptoms always come to head. Sometimes they are so extreem he is completely exhausted and withdrawn afteward. Others he gains control again quickly. It depends on the time of the month. (And if he has taken his medication consistantly). At least his does. I can always tell something is eating away at his brain. That something is not quite right, that the reality has turned into something he doesn't want to believe but has no control. He gets this look on his face. Its a confused, scared look. It is mostly in his eyes because expressions are so rare for him. Smiles and frowns are what I get most often. There is not much else in between.
I feel and felt so bad when I first found out that alls we did was talk. We would talk for hours until I talked him back from the edge of whatever dillusion he might have been having.
I reasured him over and over and over that what he saw or heard was not real and that it was a dillusion-now the talks don't last so long. He feels better quicker. But that took a lot of work. A lot of work and a lot of tears and anger and sometimes hate...somedays I hated his disorder. Someday's I still do. But I can't blame him anymore than I can blame someone who has cancer. It's not his fault and therefore, I had to find a way.

Posted by norm at 03:25 PM | Comments (1)

March 30, 2004

Finding out

I want to share my last year with you, to let everyone know that even with all of the days you want to just give up, there is always some type of silver lining.
I want to share with you my journey into the unknown-trying to keep my head above water so that we both didn't go under.
I want to tell you about the love of my life Michael and how by the time I found out he was diagnosed with schiziphrenia-it was too late for me to go back. I was already in love with him. He was already a major part of life when THINGS started to happen. And the worst thing of all, was that the dillusions were focused around me. Not the CIA ,or terrorist or the television watching him, but of me cheating on him and sneaking around and having strangers in our house and doing unthinkable things with imaginary people. The only problem was is that to him IT WAS REAL. Every thought and face and voice he heard or saw or thought...and that was when I had to start learning whatever I could to make life go smoothly. That is not easy either. But I had to keep telling myself that "I can't be mad at someone who can't help what is wrong with them."
There's so many things I can't wait to share, how we made it this far. Surely not as far as some of you who have stayed put even after 20 or more years. But I won't leave. I won't let it ruin my life with him. And I hope what I share will help all of you with the questions that come with the questions.
I will be writing more soon
Hang in there

Posted by norm at 03:25 PM | Comments (2)