Friday, May 25, 2007

Coup de grâce


We lay in bed talking last night. Mr Man told me that the last time he met with his Dad he had asked him about his illness.
“What did you say?” I asked.
“I told him about the numbers thing. He asked me if the voices ever give me the lottery numbers!”
I laughed.
“I’m not really sure how much he knows about my illness” he continued.
“You could always direct him towards my blog, although I’m not sure how he will feel when he reads that I wanted to kill you!” I joked.
Then the conversation turned serious.

I never wanted to be without Mr Man, I just couldn’t bear to watch him suffer any more. He had already been in hospital for 6 months, and had come home no better than when he went in.

Recalling how I felt I started to cry.

I didn’t know how I could help him. I had let him go into hospital in good faith, thinking that the staff would care for him and make him well. In reality he had suffered more in their hands than at home. They called him a liar, mocked him, humiliated him, criticised him, cornered him and argued with him, obviously aggravating his already debilitating symptoms. The consultant was sadistic, and deliberately caused him physical suffering by keeping him on medication that caused him pain, but offered no relief of the actual symptoms. He was visibly amused when I tried to challenge him.

So many times I wanted to take him away from that place, but where to? What did I have to offer him that would make him well?

After everything he had been through I was relieved to have him home again, even though it meant 24 hour care. My friends tried to tell me that it was too much for me, but I wanted to do it. I showered him in love more than ever before, trying to make up for the suffering he had endured at the hands of the hospital staff. I felt I had failed him by not being able to protect him from them. My complaint went nowhere; the people at the top don’t listen to us little people.

Mr Man had harmed himself more often on the ward than at home. The only time he harmed himself at home was when I listened to their advice, and allowed him to go to the toilet on his own. I seemed to understand his illness better than they did, and yet I had no idea how to relieve his suffering; I only knew how to show him love and keep him safe. But that wasn't enough.

He continued to suffer, and at that time I believed that he would never be well ever again. I felt selfish; I knew he wanted to be dead, but I was forcing him to face his waking nightmare with no prospect of relief. I wanted to end it for him.

I could never have imagined that I would now be lying in his arms and laughing about his symptoms with him. I’m so glad that I didn’t follow through.

Related posts: Questions from Readers


Slurry said...

Very good post, and very moving, made me think of my own situation in sence. I am currently staying with my parents for the night, and I am trying to build up a good relationship with them again, and getting to know them and vice versa, as all they have known since i was 18 has been my schizophrenia and the very very difficult symptoms which went with it, they lived not knowing if I was dead from one month to the next, not knowing where I was, what i was up to, or even in hospital, only if someone knew who i was did anyone think to call them, but often they didnt know, then would get random phone calls from me very pyhcotic, or from a medical ICU saying I was in there after my latest escapade. My parents couldnt deal with my illness and in a way still cant, they were never given any advice or really told what was wrong, they didnt know what to do and were given no support. But thankfully over the last year we have started getting on better with them, I dont see them often, but when I do its good, and we kind of laugh about some of the things and they are getting to know not as a illness but as a person, and its good. I dont know if to feel glad for the recent good times, or sad at the wasted years, but im only 24, many good yrs ahead. OSrry really long odd post, but felt in someway relavent if in a long winded way!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Don't apologise Slurry;it's always good to hear other peoples experiences.

Lack of information for relatives seems to be a very common problem, and in my view a very big mistake of the mental health services. Something I will no doubt write about another time.

I'm so glad that you are slowly building a good relationship with your parents. As you say, you are only 24 and have plenty of time ahead of you to strengthen that bond further. Look at it this way: most people fall out with their parents in their teens anyway, so you probably haven't missed out much more than most!

Catherine said...

Oh wow, I didn't realize it was that bad for Mr Man in the hospital. And it must have seemed overwhelming at times to have him at home all of the time too.

It goes to show how much of an impact love can have.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Yeah, I suppose that's why I'm finding it so hard to find the strength to continue with our story, past the point of the day he was admitted. It still upsets me so much. I feel angry that they betrade that trust, and guilty that I couldn't cope with him at home. And I feel angry that the NHS played it down when I tried to complain. It's no wonder that I ended up needing counseling, but imagine the impact on Mr Man!

sassy said...

It's good to see a post here from someone with schizophrenia. Because I do feel it helps to understand things from the families perspective, it also helps to know that no matter what your family love you even though they do not know how best to help you. My heart goes out to you Mr Mans Wife, because all of the feelings that you describe I have felt myself, for my son. And am in battle where I live to get across how important it is to support and give advice to families as to how best to help their relative. Have a few stories on my website including my own story grr..

Mr Mans Wife said...

Wow, I've taken a look at your site Sassy; it looks great. You really keep yourself busy don't you? And it seems that you have thrown yourself into the role of carers advocate whole heartedly. Good for you; I'd love to get more involved with carers issues myself but I find that my own health continually lets me down.

I have a meeting to go to in the morning though, and I will try to report back on here at some point (I'm already behind on blog posts; we have a new carer support developer in our area and I still haven't written about that yet!)

Thank you for your comments Sassy, and for the link to your site.

Anonymous said...

All my life I have been that guy. The one who don't wanna get attach, the one who only sleeps with you then sneak out in the middle of the night. Yes I was an Ass and at that moment in my life was very proud of it. I was young and stupid, until I meet her.

I meet her back in 2009 by coincidence. I just broke up with my X and was so angry I throw my phone over a hill(was angry because of what she said she was gonna do). From the distance all I heard was WTF! She came running down the hill angry wandering who throw the phone at her. All I can think of at that moment as she came down the hill was am I dreaming? Or have I just died and went to heaven(corny I know). She was like an Angel. I admitted it was my phone and said sorry. As I turn away and try to walk away she notice the tears in my eyes and stop me. She ask if I was ok? I tried to hide it and said yes, but she saw though it. Over the next few hours we talk, talked about anything and everything and nothing. Here I am for the first time in my life opening up to someone a stranger. As the night ended I was able to get her number and during the next few weeks hang out with her and enjoyed my time.(She was the only girl, I was able to control myself with, not even thinking of sleeping with her). We became Boyfriend and girlfriend by the end of 2009. As the New Year approaches, I was promoted in my job and earn many more responsibilities. We where 3 hours away from each other. Even with the distance and time management we where able to see each other atleast 4 times a week. Sometimes she sleep in my place and leave in the morning for work and sometimes I did the same. We made it work. I was falling in love, for the first time in my life I was in a real relationship.
One early morning I received a call from one of our mutual friends. He ask if I have seen her? I hurried to her work hoping nothing bad had happen. As I park my car on the parking lot, saw a part of the building missing. I got out of my car and started asking around. The more people I ask I found out that she was the one who did that to the building. I found out that she is in the hospital, but nobody knows where. For the next 5 months I looked for her. Searching every hospital and institution around. It was not until I was committed to the mental Ward June of 2010 that I found her. She did not remember me, but I remember her. As I was in the Ward I found out that she have schizophrenia and have been in the hospital for the last 6 months. I saw how bad her condition was. I didn’t give up, she was the only girl that made me human, she was the only girl that made me feel love. I was in the hospital for the next 2 and a half weeks. I have to start from step 1 with her cause she don’t remember who I am.(I later found out that she was in an ECT treatment, which can erase some memories). For the next 2 weeks I slowly earn her trust, but never told her who I was in fear of her avoiding me and not believing who I am. As I was discharge from the hospital, I brought her food and magazines and called her every day.(I wasn’t able to visit her because of the 6months patient visiting policy). As each day past she made me fall in love with her even more. We became Boyfriend and girlfriend again that same year. I was very Happy.

As the year came to an end we found out that she was being transfer back to her home state. We both where very excited. She can finally be close to her parents and relatives. A few days before Christmas She was transferred. And a few days after that I didn’t hear from her. I was so worried and irritated. I waited for as long as I can til I began a new search to find her. For months I looked. It was only after I was helped by a friend who worked at the VA that I was able to find her again. to be continue....