We all have challenges to face in life. Some are wonderful ones that we keep as long treasured memories, others are stressful and I consider these challenges as ‘Learning Curves” to try and better understand people around us.
I have written in the past about domestic abuse. That this effects not only women but men too. I wrote about this as: Abused men When relationships turn bad. I wrote that post because I was thinking about my husband. In some of the posts I have shown us having fun at events or the Christmas in New York. I have even added some of his poetry, which many of you have loved and which he’s trying to turn into songs, putting music to them with his guitar. He turned to poetry and music to vent his past. He was in a 25 year abusive marriage. His wife is addicted to pain medications and alcohol. I say is because sadly she has been in and out of Detox facilities and Rehabs over the last ten years, never completing a rehab because she always had an enabling boyfriend, her relationship was a long one, roughly… 18 years by our calculations. My husband finally left 10 years ago, after pleading with her to stop seeing this man… but she couldn’t. She didn’t want to leave her boyfriend but yet she didn’t want my husband to leave either.
Through the alcohol she became violent, very violent. He stills bears the scars where she scratched his face and drew blood. He still bears the emotional scars of her threatening him with a kitchen knife. For him and his children it was a terrible time and when my husband left the home, under the advice of Police, she couldn’t cope. His eldest move out and a year later he gained custody of his youngest. His wife went to live with her boyfriend.
Why am I posting about this today? Simple. Because last week after years of chemotherapy her boyfriend was taken into a hospice. The result of this was his ex-wife tried to commit suicide… again. The second attempt this year. Why? Because she has difficulty facing the future on her own. You see, all the partying, the alcohol etc has had one big side effect – Schizophrenia. She was diagnosed with this 10 years ago and has been on disability because of it since.
People tend to think of the side effects of being an alcoholic is kidney and liver failure – true. Also damage to the brain – true but combine this with other concoctions and you get Schizophrenia.
It is so sad to think that once a while ago this was a vibrant woman and not the one we see now. One we see suffering from auditory hallucinations, paranoid or delusional, disorganized speech and thinking. This illness also brings with it major depression and anxiety disorders. She will hear people not there talking to her. There will be moments where she ‘opts’ out of the current situation and don’t get me wrong this is not like PTSD where the mind crashes but we are fully aware of where we are, we just can’t get the thought processes up and running for a second, like a 2 second computer crash but we are here, no it’s not like that, this for her is a sudden total shut down, like she is asleep, then suddenly she comes back to life. Her speech is mumbled and at times incoherent, sometimes joining in conversations with the family, the next with herself. To make matters worse for her it comes with short term memory loss too.
When I researched it, to try and understand why she does the seemingly crazy things she does it started to become clear. It isn’t but it’s almost akin to Alzheimer’s, but sadly schizophrenics are depressed, very depressed and suicide is usually successful for them. It was for my husbands ex-wife last week but she was in the hospital, in ER and they brought her back. Now people who are supporting her are hoping and praying that she will enter a long rehab facility, at least two years, to become dry, to try and become a functioning member of society who can finally understand herself.
Usually family and friends desert schizophrenics because they lose patience with them, get angry at them. This leads to many homeless and living on the streets. His ex-wife’s family has deserted her… The only people who haven’t are a couple of her friends, her children and my husband… Let me repeat that last little bit for you, my husband. Even though he has scars from her, memories of her trying to drive them both off a bridge after a hospital visit, the beatings he took, the verbal and mental abuse over the years.
Trust me… He doesn’t forgive nor does he forget but if you needed one man to be there for you in the worst of times as well as the best, he’s there. A true and loyal friend, even when you’re an abusive ex-wife.
Do you think you could support someone like this? Could you? Think about it… Someone who physically tortured, beat and mentally abused you? I’m not sure I could to be honest with mine or maybe I would, because her situation is different to my abusers. I know neither of us hold any ‘ill will’ to her.
If I met my abusers I would still like to poke their eyes out with a wet ferret… Sorry that’s an old Yorkshire saying - “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a wet ferret!” Seriously… would you want to tackle a wet ferret? No… You wouldn’t…!
- Coping With Schizophrenic Hallucinations and Delusions (everydayhealth.com)
- Schizophrenia Myths and Facts (everydayhealth.com)
- Spotting the Signs of Emotional Abuse (everydayhealth.com)
- Auditory Hallucinations: A Demonstration (saintleoinkblot.com)
- When Schizophrenics Don’t Recognize Their Illness (everydayhealth.com)
- Treating Depression and Alcoholism in Alcohol Rehab (casapalmera.com)
- Can Drug Use Cause Schizophrenia? (everydayhealth.com)
- We are the battered husbands (express.co.uk)