My Last Visit | Life With A Parent With Schizophrenia

Hello and welcome back. As many of my readers know by now, my mother suffers from Schizophrenia. She was diagnosed when I was very young and it complicated things a great deal growing up.

My Last Visit

My last visit with my mother was pretty sad. All visits are pretty sad. It’s hard to watch someone you love deteriorate right in front of your eyes, knowing everything is 100% completely out of your control. Knowing how limited life is for them. Wondering if they’re being treated right, if they’re eating right. Wondering who cares if something is wrong? Who cares if she’s not feeling well? Who cares when she’s lonely? What are the repercussions of an “off day” …? Visits are also very sad because mentally, my mother is gone. She’s not the same person. She doesn’t remember activities and things she once loved. She can’t be the mother I once knew and she doesn’t even remember who that person was or realize how important or special she is.

My last visit was particularly sad because instead of being mentally unaware… I saw a glimpse of hope. Before I left, my mother looked me in my eyes and asked me, “Shawn, will you pray this illness leaves my body? Pray for me to be normal again so I can leave this place.” – This was hope. My mother is realizing that she is sick, that this world she’s created in her mind is not real… She’s  acknowledging where she needs to be for her to leave the institution she currently stays at. She’s what we call “waking up.”

But a glimpse of hope can be a bad thing (too).

You see, the human body is a very tricky thing, especially the brain. Schizophrenia is a tricky condition. My mother’s physicians always told us, the older she gets, the harder it gets to bring her back from these “spells.” They stressed how important it was that she stay on her medications for fear of her doing so much damage that she would never be herself again. – Within the last few years they have determined that she’s hit that point. Medical professionals have advised they don’t see my mother returning from the mental state she’s in. So what about hope? Why is it bad? – Well, because with hope comes disappointment. The next visit she didn’t even remember telling me the things she told me in the last. She was (again) hyper-religious and had the mental capacity of a 5-year-old child.  It’s my life and while I have not learned the best ways of coping or accepting it… I’m forced to deal with it.

 

The Next Visit

This visit we (my family and I) were able to get clearance from my mother’s physicians so we could take her off campus! While my mother is still very ill, everyone agreed on the importance of her meeting her first grandchild! It’s still sad. It’s always sad. It will always be sad. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my mother’s condition it’s that you have to learn to appreciate every aspect of life. No matter how big or small, good or bad. Embrace the life you live.

 

 

 

 

This post is dedicated to Tamia Angel Marie Young.

May you always keep love on your mind and faith in your heart.

I pray you will never go a day without knowing how loved and blessed you are.

Keep family close and someday you will understand that although she doesn’t have the ability to express it, your grandmother loves you very much and has prayed for you before you were even created.

I pray someday you will have the ability to get to know the mother I once knew.

  • xxx Auntie Shawn.

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  • This breaks my heart. My Dad has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but he’s still functional. I didn’t realize the severity of this disease. I’ve been so mad with him over the years for what he’s done to everyone he’s loved. But he may not have any control of it or the compacity to realize what he’s doing is wrong or hurtful. This was very enlightening. Thank you for sharing this. Love you always!

    • Aw, yes it’s a very difficult condition so he may really not have had any control. I know my mother doesn’t and I try to remember that when she says or does something I don’t necessarily agree with, but of course it’s hard for family and friends as well. It’s a lot to deal with. I pray your relationship with him improves! Xxx

  • My ex-boyfriend hd schizophrenia and took his life. Which is hard because he never saw his daughter or watched her growing up. I know I’d must be hard in you for your mother to have this disease. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that; it’s definitely a difficult condition to manage and yes it’s really hard watching my mother go through this. I appreciate you reading . I’m sorry for your loss .

  • Wow! This touched me! I work in a psych hospital and couldn’t even imagine what families deal with. It’s easy for me to come to work, connect with my patients but still go home and still have normal day. The same isn’t the case for patients whose family have to constantly think of them being committed or admitted against their will. Even the voluntary admits. So I feel you! Be strong! I hope somehow, the hope continues to shine and she can at least enjoy family again.
    Hugs!!

    • Well I definitely appreciate all you do! Yes it’s really hard especially with it being a parent but it helps to have nice and honest people working with her and making sure she’s safe. There will always be worries (especially with me) but people like you deff help to ease then a little 🙂 I love that you say “connect” with patients. Not just doing things with / for them but really creating a relationship xxx

      • Oh yes! I do my best to connect with them as best as I can. As much as we stress having boundaries for professionalism, we have to understand that those are humans like us who need genuine relationships. Personally, I like to put myself in my patients shoes… how would I like to be treated? What if they’re my family, how would I want them to be cared for? With that in mind I constantly do my best for them! There’s even more sanity in that rather than just showing up “to work, get paid and leave”. Again, I wish you and your family well and much love to your mom 🙂

  • Shawntel, what a testament of love you have for your mother! Beautifully written post on your struggle to keep a relationship with your mother and the effects of mental disease.

  • First of all, I would like to start by saying that you and your mother are in my prayers. With regards to your comments on hope, I understand why you say them. Even though I am not in the same situation though, I cannot give up on hope nor would I want anyone else. Sure, it seems that your mother has entered the bad zone in her illness that is clouded in darkness for both her and the family. But remember, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Only in the Darkness can you see the stars” This is evident in the day out to see the grandchild. Even though it was perhaps just one “Star” in the darkness, What a beautiful Star it was!

  • Thank you for your post. My mother has mental
    Illnesses…most likely schizophrenia and bipolar…but she is undiagnosed and does not think she is sick at all. It’s kinda crazy that I just came across your post through twitter (I’m a spoonie too).

    I just recently started writing a series of posts about the crazy life we lived as a result of her illnesses. But I’m not quite at the point yet or ready to disclose that. I feel so anxious about doing so because I know she reads my blog and the fact that she is in denial could really set her off and she could accuse me of all sorts of things. But for my own healing I feel compelled to tell my story. Do you have any advice for me on this?

    It’s such a tricky topic to get into. And growing up among big secrets and many many lies, it’s hard to find the ultimate truth in all that we experienced as her children. I feel like I’m walking on a tight wire as I write.

    • Hi Kerrie! Nice to meet you! Yes, my family hid a lot, especially my mother’s condition, for years from the public. Have you tried talking to her about it? Honestly maybe a blog post would be a good way to open the conversation. Even if it’s something simple and not directed at her but still stresses mental health. Does she see any kind of medical professional? Maybe therapy together would also benefit you two. Xxx 🙂

  • This is very touching. I can’t even imagine how life would be for a person suffering from such a terrible disease. Bless her and you!

  • Such a wonderful reading! It’s so tough to have a loved person in a situation like this. But all these persons with schizophrenia deserve our love and our support. The lessons we learn are the best ”gifts” that give us the courage and the strength to keep fighting and to love every minute in our lives.

  • This post raises awareness of the effect mental illness have on families. My heart goes out to you and your family as it is difficult to watch a loved one suffer. My prayers are with your family and your strength is admired. Stay encouraged!

  • Bless you and your family, this must be so hard. My grandad was very ill towards the end of his life so I know how absolutely harrowing the experience of helplessness is. You’re doing amazing things for your mother though, it’s wonderful she got to meet her grandchild! xxx

  • Reading your post brought back a a flood of memories…. It is very moving and so sad to see a parent suffer even as they look perfectly alright to those who don’t know them. My heart goes out to yo and your loved ones.
    Congratulations on the new baby in the family!

  • Omg, I am so sorry. Breaking story. My prayers go to you and your family. I wish all the best for every people out there with schizophrenia. Always supporting.

  • I’m so sorry you have to go through this. This was such a touching post and it was so nice to see how your mother met her first grandchild!
    Lea, xx