My confession: the beginning
I am married to a man with schitzoaffective disorder.
For those of you who are unaware of this chronic mental illness, as taken from WebMD:
A mental health condition including schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms.
• More than 200,000 US cases per year
• Can’t be cured, but treatment may help
• Requires a medical diagnosis
• Lab tests or imaging not required
• Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
What is not listed:
Paranoia, delusions, tendency towards addiction, often medication resistant, self absorbed, unaware of bizarre behavior, low functioning and very dependent.
Examples of the disease, common:
• Believing electronics (television or radio) are sending messages specifically to that person
• Conspiracy theories all centered around the person
• Trust issues
• Erratic behavior
• Fixations on a multitude of possible different ideas – all not real or reasonable
Re: My confession
In choosing to remain with my husband, who has been in FULL blown paranoia and delusional mide for the past year, I am sick.
We have been together for nearly twenty years and married for more than fifteen. There are years that are painless and livable; there are years that break you.
As he has been so very ill for a year, I am sick and broken.
My days are dictated by whoever wakes and his mood. I’ve allowed myself to lose my person in an effort to survive his illness.
Rock and a Hard Place:
Love, obligation, caring, self-esteem issues and fear for him all have kept me hostage. I do love him, there are also days when I cannot endure another moment with him.
Today he emerges from the bedroom just before 1:00pm. The entire house is immediately engulfed in his “mood”; on edge and cold.
As always, he calls his mother before uttering more than a word or two in my direction.
My heart hurts because he can be so sweet, funny and living; it’s been a while. Each day I hope and pray that his illness will ebb, leaving room for us to bond again. It’s my daily secret wish: “please let his illness slow, please bring my husband back to me“.
I know that there are people who would have fled this situation. Some of these people are very much in my life and wonder why I stay on this endless, impossible roller-coaster. I’ve no answer for those who question my sanity almost as much as his.
Perhaps it is fear:
• My fear of what would happen to him
•My fear of being alone
• Fear of abandonment
• Fear of disappointing him – or myself – or anyone
Eventually he relaxes as we watch mindless television. I rattle off things that I want to get done on this day; I say the words more to motivate myself than for his reaction. Much of what is done in our world is achieved by me, there are days when I begrudgly enjoy the control. There are other days when I resent all of the responsibility.
Desperately, I try to save myself and him all at the same time.
It is no wonder that I’m riddled with anxiety!