Sh*t. I Honestly Think My Husband Is Developing Schizophrenia. F*ck. Help.

Kintsugi

Sponsor
Yeah, so, the title.

I don’t think I shared it here, but we were never legally married. I was pretty into the idea until sometime last Spring, about 6 months after the ceremony. I became sort of passively ambivalent. Then the summer came, and it went from the back burner to “let’s never discuss this ever and see what happens.”

I got my job. Huge boon for me until we lost 20% of our staff in October due to the vaccination mandate, which was VERY literally stayed right after everyone quit just ahead of the deadline in November.

If you followed my last previous post, it was the right decision to quit early last month. I know I talked about my arrest and my cataclysmic spike in resurfaced memories and savage symptoms, but I’m not sure I included my husband, J’s, total psychotic break about two weeks later.

Anyway, things took a sharp downturn for me last August due to revelations that my father totally knew about the abuse by my brother and still pretends to have plausible deniability all this f*cking time (15+ years, but who’s f*cking counting, right?), and then also that he’s showing signs of dementia, so that’s awesome for closure.

Shortly thereafter, J began having these spells of paranoid delusions. I’ve seen it before, especially when we first moved, but I wasn’t really that alarmed. He did have a pretty severe maybe psychotic break while tripping (LSD, not a large dose at all relatively speaking) earlier last year, but I figured he got over it.

September was rough, but I just figured he was intimidated by my job and income. October seemed mostly okay. Then we lost so many staff, and I was working constantly and at odd hours, plus he had then had quite a bit of contact with my coworker, friend, but also subordinate, who is admittedly extremely attractive and educated and a painter but also who I was trying hard to set up with my friend.

Then I got arrested, and about two weeks later, J ate a shitload of poisonous hallucinogenic seeds I f*cking TOLD him I had researched and found dangerous.

He had a total psychotic break for like 48 hours, which included him scaring the shit out of me by accident but then later also triggering me on purpose to make me quiet and complacent.

It was a real shitshow. I couldn’t get out of bed, literally except for one bathroom run, for two days.

Well. He never took full accountability. And then he just kept getting worse.

I’ve been making escape plans for a couple months. Yesterday I finally looked into housing on the other side of the state near family. I mean. I was about to vanish.

But then I did some research. I always avoid the assumption of schizophrenia, but after looking into it, he is f*cking textbook for the onset.

So like… I have no idea what to do. I confronted him about it today. It did not go well. My best friend, who is the only person with whom I’m always transparent and who is the only person I’ve been honest with about everything, concurs that everything seems to finally be clicking if he’s developing schizophrenia. It all makes sense, right down to his super impossibly mysterious biological father no one will speak of.

So like. F*ck. Help. Anyone.
 
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Heather

MyPTSD Pro
I don't have any advice but I have psychotic episodes. They can be pretty disturbing.

I have been prescribed latuda. I take 80 mgs. I've been compliant with taking it and it helps ALOT. Hopefully he can get help and find relief as I have.

Hang in there
 

Kintsugi

Sponsor
I don't have any advice but I have psychotic episodes. They can be pretty disturbing.
I’ve also had psychosis as a pretty regular feature of my PTSD, which is why I find it SO frustrating he’s so defensive. It’s like he can’t even remember that I’m particularly open about having a treatment-resistant incurable mental health disorder myself.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
So, we've got a lot of this going on in my family. I say a lot, really, it's three people - Father, Uncle, and brother.

Brother's diagnosis continues to evolve, but his is the most related to a lot of what you're describing.

Age wise, is J anywhere in the typical adult onset window (20s to early thirties)?
And/or, did he start using hallucinogenics anywhere in the young adult or adult onset window? (14-21/21-34)?
I’ve seen it before, especially when we first moved, but I wasn’t really that alarmed. He did have a pretty severe maybe psychotic break while tripping (LSD, not a large dose at all relatively speaking) earlier last year, but I figured he got over it.
It's pretty well-established that there's a direct connection between LSD and schizophrenia, for any individual who has a genetic predisposition towards it. Even if he's unclear about his genetic load, the psychotic break you describe as happening post-LSD not too too long ago is an important reference point. Triggering that latent schizophrenia isn't especially dose-dependent. The one that really instigated my brother's full break from reality was a relatively mild dose as well; it's just that the button was there in his brain, ready to be pushed. And he'd already taken on a significant amount of THC in the years before his foray into LSD (THC has also shown to be capable of instigating schizophrenia in people who are predisposed, genetically).
Then I got arrested, and about two weeks later, J ate a shitload of poisonous hallucinogenic seeds I f*cking TOLD him I had researched and found dangerous.

He had a total psychotic break for like 48 hours, which included him scaring the shit out of me by accident but then later also triggering me on purpose to make me quiet and complacent.
This is practically a billboard-sized sign that - if it's not something on the schizophrenia spectrum? - he's at a minimum suffering from dug-induced psychosis, which does not actually end when the episode appears to end. It's recurrent. IIRC, it's considered a life-long condition. Doesn't mean it can't be managed, but there's a lot that goes into managing it.
I confronted him about it today. It did not go well. My best friend, who is the only person with whom I’m always transparent and who is the only person I’ve been honest with about everything, concurs that everything seems to finally be clicking if he’s developing schizophrenia. It all makes sense, right down to his super impossibly mysterious biological father no one will speak of.
The worst and hardest part is that the schizophrenic person has a huge hill to climb, just in being able to grasp that there's something going on in their minds. It's why it's so difficult to treat. The person with the symptoms needs a catalyst event, where they learn that their experience of the world around them (the delusions in all their forms) is NOT an objective reality. That catalyst is going to happen when they are somewhere in the middle of an onset; early enough that they can perceive reality, but far enough along that they are legitimately confused by the conflict between objective reality and what they are perceiving as real. Catching hold of that catalyst AND then having help immediately at hand...it's a real million-to-one shot. Being in an inpatient environment makes it more likely that they'll be observed whenever that opportunity hits, and that a talented psych will be able to help them navigate.

I remember a doctor (during one of my brother's hospitalizations) also making the point that for individuals who still have some lucidity, being able to see other schizophrenics who are more out of touch with reality can be. helpful, in that they might be able to see the disorder more easily in others than in themselves.

But, it's also a hard truth that the majority of options for inpatient treatment are really bad news. Best bet is to sort through who is on the forward edge of the research, identify the hospital system they are affiliated with, and figure out how to get them to take a look at the case. Also, not easy.

For the person in your position? It's a real nightmare. Until J accepts that there is something wrong, there's very little you can do. And a not-insignificant amount of potential danger you're in, especially if J persists in any kind of recreational drug use at all. I can't emphasize that enough. I'm not anti-rec-drugs at all...I just know that for someone with the potential to present schizophrenia, they are like flamethrowers shooting into pools of gasoline.

I'm just really sorry you're going through this.
 

Kintsugi

Sponsor
Ugh. @joeylittle. You’re helpful as ever.

So like, important thing I never mentioned, probably even to you privately before I even started dating J? You remember: I asked you for an intervention. Good times!

So part of the reason I didn’t want to touch him with a 10-mile-long pole romantically is he had a pretty severe on-again-off-again relationship with opiates but, far more importantly, meth, which he used to be WAY in deep with.

We haven’t had acid in a long time, but if you remember, we were using LSD together every other week for over a year and a half and, after that, continuing the trend depending on bulk availability.

So yeah, I did not expect him to have a break at all, and then afterwards, he started getting into riskier business and being more and more careless with drugs. I have been worried he’s using meth again, because we have a vagrant friend who I recently found out uses meth (I assumed it was heroin), but I don’t really think he is. But I will say money has been disappearing for awhile, and I track our finances, and he has been increasingly secretive about his income and taking cash out of his checks when he makes a deposit instead of using an ATM later. One weekend, $300 disappeared, for example, that he could not explain, and he blamed me for not being vigilant enough as our finance manager, which I categorically told him was total bullshit.

But that’s the other thing. He’s been gaslighting me SO HARD. I’ve been progressively more transparent and aggressive that I want to get away from him, that he IS my problem, that he’s extremely expensive and incorrigible, that I’m not happy, that I don’t recognize him. Occasionally he has these moments of clarity where he agrees with me completely and seems genuinely distressed and scared. Mostly he blames my PTSD. He calls it a fleeting moment. A meltdown. I’m unstable. I’m just being mean to push him away. But I have evidence going back months. My unhappiness is demonstrable daily and not quiet.

It’s driving me f*cking insane. I feel like Ophelia, walking around the court singing about rape, and no one is f*cking listening. But I don’t want to end up like Ophelia: too much of water hast thou.

Ediit: he’s 35, but he’s had a storied history of extreme paranoia going back to maybe 25ish, and his delusions when we moved were when he was… 32? (He thought I was surreptitiously buying cocaine hidden in the shredded carrots in the grocery store that there were people in my car. I f*cking hate cocaine, and he persisted in delusions around that for a few weeks. The problem is when he says stuff like whispering, “I can see the people getting in your car,” I flip out, because it’s taken me 15 years to stop being insanely paranoid myself.)
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
we were never legally married
That might be a good news/ bad news kind of thing.

He certainly sounds like he needs to be evaluated by competent professionals. I guess there's two challenges there. Finding such people, then getting him in to see them. I've been running "What would I have done if something like this had happened with my ex?" though my head. He wouldn't have listened to ME, for sure. But, there were other people in his life, friends and family, who make have had some success getting him to see someone. It would have been necessary to enlist their help. That's pretty much the same scenario, married or not, I think. Step One, find help. Step Two, talk him into going. The thing about turning him and the problem over to "the experts" is, they deal with people who think they're normal when they aren't ALL the time. It's part of the package. They more than likely know a few tricks of the trade that you don't. And it's got to be easier if you aren't emotionally invested in the situation. So, my first thought is, are there other people in his life that you can talk to and enlist to help shepherd him in the direction of potential help?

Going back to that quote though, there's going to be a difference in how a "friend" can be involved in that kind of process and how an actual legal spouse/family member can be. If you're not actually married, there aren't any legalities keeping you there if you just want to take off and let him fend for himself. Even if you're married, you can always leave. That doesn't help him any though. So, how do you feel about him? What are you up for here? I don't imagine anyone wants to deal with a spouse with a severe mental illness. It would be hard, scary..... No fun at all. In a way, you're in the same position as a lot of people who show up here as supporters. The first step is to recognize that it's a huge challenge and the second one is to figure out if it's a challenge you want to, or are able to, take on. A lot of times, we WANT to do things that we really aren't able to. That's a legitimate thing, so give yourself some space to think it through. Whatever happens, you've got friends here who are with you, no matter what. (Which reminds me to ask, have you got people in real life you can share this with too? I hope so!)
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Wow! I'm sorry Simon! What a shitty thing to happen. No experience with schizophrenia but definitely experience with drugs (doing it myself and living with those that do) and it sounds like, from your post, that you aren't in the safest (physical and mental) place here. I understand not wanting to run from someone having a mental break but, man, I dont know about your own saftey here. You have to put yourself first.

I agree with giving yourself space to think this through. Do you have some safe place to do that? Stay with a friend maybe? I also agree that I would gather a few friends that you can fully be honest with that would have your back. A few people you can retreat to if things become dangerous for you. Also, a therapist? Seems like a must here. If only to have someone go through options with you and really help having some plans in place.

Thinking about you! Hugs to ya!
 

Kintsugi

Sponsor
I want to set something on fire. There is only one perfect parallel to the slide into schizophrenia. Something he has a very storied history with. But I didn’t want to believe it, even when my buddy told me point blank it’s what he saw.

Meth-induced psychosis. The spiral into increasing addiction. And it lines up perfectly with him meeting who I recently found out was an easy connect.

I. Am. So. f*cking. Enraged.

I want to set something on fire.

Like he did.

That piece of shit lying useless waste of f*cking space vampire on my life force and bank account entitled motherf*cker

f*ck.

This.

Noise.

ETA: Does he think I’m f*cking stupid? I confront him on a Tuesday. All the symptoms evaporate in 48 hours. Funny how he seems to be sleeping so much better. Like a baby.

Goddam it.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I really think the best revenge is a life well lived. Take good care of yourself and your future.

How did he handle the confrontation? None of my business I guess. I'm wondering because, for me, there's a potential difference between a tearful confession and a denial. And, as I write that, I'm remembering that my ex-husband, the narcissist, used "tearful confession" to good effect when he wanted to. I guess, in a way, the good news is, there's no need to feel responsible for someone who has the ability to look out for themselves. (Not a lot of good news there though.) Take care of yourself Simon!
 

Kintsugi

Sponsor
How did he handle the confrontation?
Very, very, very defensively. Denial. Indignation. Anger. Disbelief. Laughter. Nonsense bullshit.
None of my business I guess.
Oh, hush. You’re on my Most Wanted for Comment list, always. I love hearing from you. I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t respond to your last post. And then he got better. And I was happier. And then I thought, it’s like magic. Hm. Like magic. Almost like… the source was suddenly switched off. Sh*t. He IS using.

It’s all right, though, folks. After doing my due diligence talking to people who know meth addiction and withdrawal intimately and being quite convinced by their saying—and they’re very pro “Work it out” people—that everything points to relapse, I confronted him, though I tried not to, in lieu of laying awake wanting to f*cking choke him.

And it’s totally fine! The recovering meth addict acting exactly like a goddamn meth head says he’s not relapsing. Case closed.

But he finally caught my f*cking drift. Either you’re sick, using, or just a f*cking dickbag. There is no good explanation for your appalling behavior, motherf*cker.
 

Friday

Moderator
I’ve been making escape plans for a couple months. Yesterday I finally looked into housing on the other side of the state near family. I mean. I was about to vanish.
This.

Not saying to do it, am saying to use the Supporter-Trick of only tolerating what you would tolerate before being given a great big shiny excuse.

You might do extremely well on the rollercoaster of addiction & mental illness. Super high ups, super low lows, very little “normal” middle ground. Keeping shit interesting, without having to venture into the land of DV; whilst remaining in the drivers seat of being the sane one / the one to come to the rescue / the one in control. In addition to the distraction/excuse from anything going on in your own life. Randomly. (IE Theory of Random Rewaed = less blame game, far more staying on your toes, at all times, because you can never count on any particular time to be not-a-crisis. Perm Midterms/Finals week exciting stress of never knowing if you have enough time to do anything. Sometimes you will. Sometimes you won’t. Keeping you striving to do more, better, faster… and happy-crash. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.).

Or that particular brand of chaos, & never being able to trust (for long) might hit you where you live; keeping you eyeballs deep in active trauma re-enactment / triggers&stressors / spiking symptoms, self-medicating to deal with both, distracting from your own life, branding old problems into new scars.

Or some from column A some from column B.

But whether it’s mostly good, mostly bad, or an unholy mix between? Has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with you. What you want your life to look like, and what makes you amazing or a shell of your former self.

2.02/10 = Think like a supporter.
 
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