No witnesses, no validation, no one to relate to. Print
Written by Beyond Frustrated   

I was 5 years old... my mother has a psychotic break down
'I discovered a support group but most were siblings or parents themselves'

Hi! I am a 55 year old lady, who is an only child who had a mentally ill mother and still have a lesser mentally ill aunt.

When I was 5 yrs old my mother had a psychotic break down and I came to live with my Aunt and Uncle. My mother would live with us periodically - in and out of the hospital with schizophrenia and then bi-polar schizo affective behavior. I did not have the best relationship with my aunt and uncle as they were rather difficult also and of course the whole frustrating situation made it worse. After high school, I tried to escape for awhile to a different state, but of course had to come back to help mom. My mom was trying to live on her own also which wasn't working due to lack of support. She continued to do the revolving door lifestyle and ended up in nursing homes and still somewhat the revolving door. She even got on a plane and left the state at one point which is when I discovered a support group - the local NAMI - but most were siblings or parents themselves. Not the same, however I did get a name to help me get my mother back after 5 years of absence. Of course I never shared this with anyone at the time other than the support group.

Meanwhile my aunt who raised me was also having Manic -Depressive episodes and went into the hospital some. Not to the degree of my mother. My Uncle helped take care of her also in his own controlling way. Neither would admit anything was wrong with them.

My Aunt and Uncle moved out of state and she continued to be extremely depressed and under psychiatric care but at home.

My Aunt and Uncle finally decided to come back near me and moved into assisted living. I was also visiting my mom in the nursing home or whereever at that time. Mom passed away in 2003. My Uncle passed away in 2004. Now my Aunt is bi-polar and in a geri-psychiatric ward waiting to be placed in a nursing home which, for me is bringing back painful memories.

In my mother's family there are three that have/had mentall illness. Their youngest brother was also schizophrenic but lived in another state - he passed away several years ago.

I quit going to the NAMI support groups as no-one had ill parents and I could not relate. I wrote to NAMI's national office but got no response. I have seen this site for a couple of years, but I was hoping to see one in the U.S. The hardest thing for me has been almost no witnesses because I am an only child, no validation, no one to relate to. I was afraid to have children who might be schizophrenic and do not regret that decision but also find it hard to relate to anyone with families - which is almost everyone. It is great to read some of the same feelings finally. It sounds like we really need to get together somehow.

Thank you for your web site,

Beyond Frustrated
US Colorado