There are some things I don't discuss much here, and, as you may have noticed, there are some things I regret having discussed here now. So I am going to discuss one thing I don't usually talk about. It has to do with my family.
When I got sick and was first delusional, a major delusion I had, which I thought explained a lot of my symptoms, was that I had been sexually abused as a child and blocked out the memories of it. I was not diagnosed with anything, except depression, and then I was diagnosed with PTSD and a dissociative disorder, because I would go to therapists, and later to hospitals - and in particular one in Washington D.C. with a trauma treatment program - and I would say, I have these recovered memories of abuse, and I have problems with wanting to die, and wanting to cut myself or starve myself, and I can't concentrate or think well anymore, and I can't remember anything, and I think I'm dissociating all the time.
And so I was marked with this label of the abuse victim/survivor. Only, the trouble is, what happened next. Eventually, I ended up not just thinking I was abused by my grandfather, but also by my dad. Then I thought it was more than them, it was a whole Satantic cult that somebody got me involved in when I was a kid (this was all imagined). Then I thought my bigger delusions about the Masons, and the mafia and the government being after me...and that I was programmed by mind control.
All that evolved over some time though. Some years. So during the beginning of those years, when I thought it was family members who abused me, I became very concerned that these family members were currently abusing other kids in my family. So I reported them to the police and the social services departments in the states where they live.
In one case, I was in the hospital when I reported my dad. I was psychotic, and this fact seemed to be lost on everyone around me because I did not know I was psychotic, I just thought I was having "flashbacks" all the time. I wasn't having flashbacks, though.
My dad, by that point, had already stopped talking to me long beforehand. It was six years that went by where my father and I did not speak, because of this delusion.
I have an alcoholic pervert of a grandfather, who sits in his living room masturbating and watching porn in front of people, so I ended up having the delusion that he abused me as well. I knew this like I know the back of my hand, and I thoroughly believed it happened. I was even afraid sleeping in his house as an adult that this old man was going to come in and rape me in the middle of the night, so I would pile books and chairs and things by the door so he couldn't get in when I once stayed at his house.
I told a lot of people that this person abused me, and to be quite frank, I am still not sure that he didn't abuse me. My dad himself has said he thought my grandfather abuse me. So how am I to know what may or may not have happened when I was too young to form permanent memories? But most of the time, I think, I was delusional and imagined this.
The thing is, I told this grandfather what he did to me, or what I thought he did, that is, and I told the police, and they interviewed him. That was like six years ago. He still hates me to this day. I have gone through many hospital trips, long-term hospitalization, living in a group home, therapy and support groups and many many many medications, and these grandparents still do not believe that my accusations were the result of my mental illness. They think I did something intentionally mean to them by making up lies. That is not the case, and I have tried explaining this to them more than once, and I have apologized to them more than once.
So, now my grandparents are about 80 years old, and I would like to visit them because I haven't seen them in years and they have health problems. My mother decided to take a trip to Maryland to see them, and asked me if I would like to come along. I said I would go, but I would have to stay in a hotel because I know they don't want me in their house. Oh, no, no, she said. They won't mind you being in their house now. They know you have a mental illness.
But they told her later that they do mind me being in their house, and they do not want me there. That makes me feel great. It makes me feel almost as great as I feel about the fact that all my other - and there are a lot of them - relatives in Maryland, also never talk to me, because they do not understand or want to understand that I have a mental illness, or they do not care enough about me or my brother or sister to ever call any of us on the phone at all, ever.
I don't like to go where I am not wanted, so I have no desire to call up any of these people who I never hear from and ask them if I can stay with them for a few days. That would be uncomfortable an humiliating.
Then there are my dad's parents. The last time I saw them was when they kicked me out of their house 8 or 9 years ago. I had called the police on my dad because I thought he was going to kill me. My grandmother said, "You need a psychiatrist", and they put all my stuff in trash bags and left them waiting for me; then they aske for their key back. I ended up living in a homeless shelter for months, and then in my car for a few weeks. I had nowhere to turn to because my family all treated me like I had Leprosy.
If I had known then that I had Schizophrenia, I could have gotten the proper medication and I could have understood I was having delusions, like I came to realize years later. I could have explained the illness to my family too. But I was not diagnosed and I did not know what was really going on.
I wanted to share this here, because I think it is hard for many families to understand the mental illness of someone and that often people are blamed for doing things that upset others because no one understands that the reason the person did this was a mental illness.
I am planning on joining NAMI in speaking to the local police department as part of their Crisis Intervention Training, and when I speak to them, I plan on mentioning that I called the police to report these crimes about my family members when I was psychotic, and I hope that in some way, I am making up for the problem that I caused and making amends by having things come full circle like this.
I just really wish my grandparents were not so bitter towards me, because I hate to think that they are getting old enough to the point that they may not be around much longer, and they still harbor t his resentment towards me for things I said when I was out of my mind and hallucinating. My grandmother does send me emails and cards and talks to me on the phone, but when it comes to staying at her house, apparently she does not feel that she can allow that. Meanwhile, my grandfather sits on a chair every night in his living room getting completely drunk by choice, never admits he has a problem, never seeks treatment, and everyone in the family and in the surrounding neighborhood knows about his drinking problem. But I am the horrible person because I have a mental illness that I fail to be able to fix. Oh well.