I’m bipolar and have had many episodes of psychosis since I was diagnosed at age 29 (I’m now 50).
I had a son as a result of promiscuous behaviour while psychotic.
That son spent many years in foster care, because I was too ill to care for him alone, and had little support (his dad also had mental health problems, plus drug addiction, and was never involved…)
That son is now 16 and has come back to haunt me.
He stayed with me for three days a week ago, having run away from the most recent foster placement. He doesn’t wash, bath, brush his teeth or change into clean clothes. He is a terribly fussy eater who doesn’t seem to like healthy food. He seems to feel a sense of entitlement, and that he can sit and do absolutely nothing while others work to care for him. There is no recognition, no appreciation, no gratitude, no acknowledgement of what anyone does for him. He refuses school and college, which he has not attended properly for two years.
The last day that he was here, he repeatedly told me to kill myself. Not in the heat of an argument, but quite calmly, and smiling and laughing as he did so. I called the police on him and they contacted social services who returned him to his foster placement.
He is a Jekyll and Hyde, who can be very charming and seem perfectly reasonable. But as soon as he feels in any way challenged, he responds with bitterness, rage and verbal abuse (to my Mum and myself).
Since he stayed with me and it all broke down again (like the last time he was here) I have felt depressed and grieving. I fear and despair for his future. He is developing no life skills, and has opted out of education. He is just a parasite on others. I also fear the demands on me, of having an adult child who has no life whatsoever…no friends, no education, no skills, nothing except a laptop, Xbox and Ipod. He listens to hip hop and has an interest in animals, and that’s about it.
I also have a partner who smokes a lot of marijuana and is continually on me to give him money for it. I feel that I am dependent on his help and care getting through my days, so I give him more than I can afford, when the relationship should surely just mean that we help each other without expecting a return.
I know all the ‘shoulds’. I ‘should’ regain my self-respect enough to kick out the partner. I have tried to do just this, many times over. But something inside me feels so weak and helpless. He gives me companionship and support, something I have never felt before to this extent. Living independently when you have serious mental health problem that affect every aspect of your life is so damn hard.
The situation is complicated even more by the fact that my partner also has serious mental health problems. In many ways he is even worse off than me, yet he is motivated to go on living, while I often am not… He feels there is no enjoyment in his life however, hence the marijuana. He is in total and complete denial that he has a problem, and any attempt on my part to discuss economies we might make is met with defensive anger on his part. He’ll say I’m trying to ‘put the blame on him’, just as his family used to do before he cut off all contact with them.
My situation really sucks, and if there was an easy way out, I would have taken it long ago. Reading stories here continually reminds me that there are others in similarly awful situations, or even worse. A painless and peaceful suicide is a contradiction in terms, pretty much. It’s a dream. There is no way out other than to keep taking the next step in the hope of a better day…
Love and peace.