Q. Hi. I wrote earlier and I want to thank you so much for your reply. I was still very emotional when I wrote to you the first time that I don’t think some things I wrote were very clear. None of my family members stopped talking to me. It was I that stopped the communication. However, they were just fine with that lol. I did realize how very unhealthy the whole thing was and just felt I had to turn away. Especially since it was obvious that neither one of my parents were going to get any mental help whatsoever. My Dad doesn’t blame me for what has happened as far as him shooting himself or my moms illness. It is just that she has mentally abused him for so long that he doesn’t think anything is wrong with her, he thinks it is all him and that he doesn’t make her happy. He was getting ready to go home to her and she let him know that a relationship with me and my family was not going to happen in her house. (knowing her that is what happened) So I am sure that is why he got angry with me. He wanted to run me off so that he could be happier at home with her. If not, he would have endured so much verbal abuse. They have lived like this for 47 years and I don’t think it will ever change. I still wake up at night with the “I wish I had of said this, or said that”, or waking up to replaying every word said through the whole horribly sad ordeal. I did ask my Dr. if she thought I might be schizophrinic also and she does not believe that I am. I have never had a psycotic episode or any kind of halucinations. (My mother has audible ones) She hears someone knocking on her doors at the house and people ringing her door bell all through the night. I have been diagnosed bipolar for many many years and have been taking my medications faithfully for 9 years. As for my son’s problem. I have talked to him several times about getting help. He has me make the appointments then he backs out. He has gone to 2 appointments in the last year but never returned and never continued his meds. I honestly don’t know if he really needs mental help or if he is playing me so that he has an excuse not to work. It’s been very difficult for me to deal with him since I am still grieving for my parents and sister.

My husband is my son’s step father. However, my son says he IS his Dad. The only Dad he has ever known. He calls him Dad and my husband calls him son. They have a very good relationship and my son respects him immensely. He says my husband is his favorite of the whole family. LOL That is fine with me. My husband is wonderful. My husband and I talked. I told him right now with grieving, my son’s problems and working that I feel like I’m only hanging on by a thread and possibly about to have a break down. So we decided that I’m going to concentrate on work and he is going to take the responsibility of dealing with my son. Which is probably a good idea anyway since they have a mutual respect for one another. My son loves me very much, but also knows that I am very loving and good hearted to a fault. He knows he can get away with pretty much anything with me because I’m too soft. I told my husband I just can’t stand hearing or seeing the tension between him and my son and my husband told me that I needed to go for a walk then while they talk. Sounds like a good idea to me! I’m back tracking here, but my mother quit speaking to her family 7 or 8 years ago. I’m not holding my breath that we will ever speak again. And if she or my Dad do not get any kind of help, I don’t want to. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt horribly though. It also kills me that I couldn’t do anything to help. Nothing at all. One last thing. I find it so hard to understand why I couldn’t see the disfunction and mental illnesses in my parent’s house before my age of 45 years?? And by the way. I could not have made it through this without faith in God and having a fantastic, loving and understanding husband. Thank you again for your time. I really do appreciate it. It helped a lot to read your response.

A. You’re very welcome. Thanks for writing back to provide me with an update about your situation. It seems that despite all that you have endured you’re still able to manage your difficult set of family circumstances. I am sure this likely due to the love and support of your husband and your ability to be resilient.

You also made the comment that you find it difficult to understand why you weren’t more aware of the dysfunction of your family sooner. It is possible that prior to this, you may not have been emotionally or psychologically ready to fully grasp the reality of your family situation. The fact that you are now aware of some of the problems in your family indicates that you are now emotionally or psychologically ready. These new insights can occur when an individual grows, learns and changes.

Now that you have a better understanding of your family situation, you may be better able to work through the grief you feel associated with this reality. It may never be easy to accept that neither of your parents will likely get help even though they seem to desperately need it, but at least now you can see their situation for what is it and you can learn how to live with it. You don’t have to like what your parents are doing and you don’t have to be a part of it but it is important that you see the truth of their situation, no matter how much you like or dislike their choices or agree or disagree with their choices. This would hold true for any circumstance; seeing the truth and reality in every situation is so important. I wish you luck. Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Aug 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Follow up: Mom’s Schizophrenia is Tearing my Life Apart. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/08/25/follow-up-mom%e2%80%99s-schizophrenia-is-tearing-my-life-apart/