Adult Children of Schizophrenic Parents

My mom was diagnosed over 30 years ago, and unless you knew her very well, you could assign her behavior to "little quirks." As her child, and now as an adult, I realize that my emotional and social behaviors were directly affected by being raised by a parent with Schizophrenia. I am still, and will probably always be, self-evaluating the missing pieces that "normal" functioning adults have when raising children and coping with society in general. These missing pieces have affected my children and most of my adult relationships - even my ability to maintain long term employment.

I am now in a relationship with a man whose ex-wife is also an adult child of a Schizophrenic parent. Interacting with her is often like looking into a reflection of who I once was before I actively sought to investigate my own emotional and social shortcomings as a result of having a childhood primarily influenced by a parent with Schizophrenia.

Being a novice, with only the benefit of my own self-evaluation and subsequent coping mechanisms, I can identify with many of the ex-wife's "quirks." I witness her interaction with her children, whom I am partial caregiver for, and am greatly saddened by her lack of boundaries and other parenting skills that I have had to force myself to learn in my adulthood. Although I notice these "quirks," I have difficulty assigning them to a specific nomenclature that would help me further understand and address the source of her actions or inactions.

I do not wish to be her therapist (he has one of those for whatever good it does). My goal is to understand and address her ineffective parenting and discipline in a manner that will be most effective to both her and the children we are raising together. It's one thing for me to address my own coping mechanisms and evoke change within myself - I've been doing this for years; but now I am in a situation where I see someone like me who is in need of these same changes - and I can't do it for her, I can only bring it to her attention.

[On a side note: Yes, it is very frustrating to deal with "someone like me." Sometimes the tension builds while biting my tongue while trying to be understanding of where she came from. I want to say, "Don't you know your children need to bathe once a day?!!" But, no.... she doesn't know... The reality is that she missed that, and several other crucial components of her childhood.]

Are there any online resources/ articles that address at length the parenting issues of adult children of Schizophrenic parents?

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Apr 7, 2012

Hi, parenting is difficult when you have a parent with schizophrenia. We're over here having the same discussion on Facebook. Come and browse and 'like' us to add your support too, or your own stories

My Mother's Daughter

fly's picture
Nov 30, 2015

So sorry of the upbringing.. I gave my child to a functional home. .and they are doing great.. This. Is so true this problem. Can not excel in the business..relationship. World. They cannot bring up a child well..sorry you are a victim of thatt

May 16

Just found this site. Do not know what to say. My mother was never diagnosed to my knowledge. Of course she was paranoid so she would not have accepted it if she had been nor would she have shared it. My mother was wonderful and loving but also invalidating and confusing. There is so much that I will never know or understand about her as she kept so much to herself. She once told me that she could not say a lot about what she thought because she would be locked away and I and my siblings would be locked away in foster care. And we never spoke of the things she did tell us. We were raised in a kind of isolation in plain sight of everyone else. To this day people tell me how wonderful our home was and how lucky I was to have my mother. They have no idea. I have been told alternately that I was brainwashed, that I was possessed, and that I was hypnotized. Sometimes by the government, sometimes by demons, sometimes demons running the government. As I child I would have to say "No, mom, it was my idea to do...." as she would blame one of these things on any behavior that was unexpected or bad. Not many kids want to take credit for bad behavior but I did. I had my own will which was never recognized. She also told me that I was possessed by a man (I am female) which was the reason I was a tomboy when I was young and that I would eventually participate in lesbian activity as part of the plan to ruin my life (sorry to any of the LGBT community. this was her thinking, not mine). I can go on and on. So many of the "mother/daughter" talks we had were disastrous for me. And affect me as an adult. Well, I just needed to unload. Thanks for "listening."

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