This is going to be long but shortened down version there’s plenty of content over all the years but that would take days…
My father served in the military for years and was very high up in rank. He suffered from PTSD yet still kept going to Afghanistan during his final active years and even after as contract work. Once he returned in about 2011 his mental health started to decline drastically. He constantly thinks someone is trying to harm him by zapping him or gas.
Fast forward about 5 years and my parents divorced. My father wouldn’t (still won’t) sleep at night, he’d constantly check the vents in the house/air quality, he’d check on my mom through out the night asking her to get up to make sure she was breathing well as well as my brother who lived with them still at the time, he asked my mom to drive somewhere far away during the day so he can sleep in the back seat for a bit, he had camera’s installed all around the house, he bought a thermographic camera (infrared camera) to detect if anyone is between the walls, and he wouldn’t ever sleep. He constantly watched the surveillance cameras even on top of a full-time mindless job.
What tipped off the divorce was mainly all the stress this has on my mom. Everything he bought was costing more and more. My father holds a simple hourly job on top of his retirement. Yet my father is extremely educated, he has a few masters from top colleges (always had a 4.0 too). My mother has never had a job, they married young. On top of this she suffers from depression (has had plenty of suicidal thoughts that I’ve had to talk her out of), anorexia on and off, arthritis, and Parkinson’s. Right before the divorce my father swore he saw someone on the roof of the house, my mom calls the cops, they come and there’s no evidence of someone being up there, they took my dad in for a physiological evaluation, and he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia then released. My dad thinks he’s perfectly fine and refused to get any help. Even before the divorce my father and mother went to couples counseling for years and nothing came of it. My father wouldn’t/won’t go alone.
After the divorce my mother went and lived with her non-biological mother for a year (she was adopted at a young age). This didn’t help anything because my mother was sexually abused growing up by her mother’s ex-husband which her mother still claims she knew nothing about it to this day. So being in that house only put her in a worse place mentally. I insisted she live with me at the time (and to this day) and she won’t take me up on it long term.
Fast forward another year and my mother did end up moving in with me for about 3 months. Yet I just recently married and she kept feeling like she was a burden to us even though we’ve both told her how much we loved having her there/with us. She ended up moving back in with my father to take care of him. She does house work for him, makes his meals, and has fallen back into the routine of survival mode. My father has been through a few apartments (flooded one), a rental, and now he bought another home. He just bought and installed an underground bunker for the backyard (sometimes he’ll sleep out there now), he has tinfoil within the whole laundry room, same camera’s all around, and the infrared cameras. He never picks up anything on these outside the dog or other little animals yet he is still convinced someone is after him. If my mom is ever sick he thinks ‘they’ got her or if any of us are hurt or sick that he notices he’ll think ‘they’ got us.
I keep trying to help my mom with his diet and her own diet. I encourage him to stay active. He wants to actually start doing yoga which I think will be great for his mind. When he’s out and about with me or my husband he’s perfectly fine. He laughs, he carries on conversation (he never mentions what’s going on at home), he’s happy, and he’s my dad again. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t think my dad knows that I know everything that’s going on at home – I get all my information and pictures from my mom. We can’t force him to take drugs or anything because he’s not harming himself or others. I wish he’d stick to a stricter diet yet he doesn’t. Text from my mom are so up and down day in and day out. One day she can’t walk because she had to sleep on the floor for a few hours and others she’s happy about a display at a store.
I just want both my parents to find peace and to be happy. My mom loves my dad and I know my dad loves her. It’s getting harder and harder to get my dad out of the house/out of his routine. Luckily with my husband he doesn’t want to let him down so he’s more than willing to get out for him but I feel that will eventually fade. My dad doesn’t want me to come over, he’d rather us meet at a coffee shop nearby.
They have both literally lost everything to these mental illnesses and disorders. I don’t know how to help them anymore or what to do. I do want children in the near future if we’re lucky enough and I’d like them to see/grow up with my parents around in a healthy way.
If there are any psychiatrist out there that read this please let me know your thoughts.