UPDATE!!! Fearing for my family's safety! Should I have him committed? (long - PIOG)
So as i posted a while ago, my friends (married couple) lost their apartment and are staying with me and dh temporarily until they find a place - prob till march or april.
Now I have known my friend Alex as long as i have known dh - about 8 years. Dh introduced us. Alex quickly became our little adoptive brother we never wanted - lol just kidding, but he was like family to dh and in turn became like family to me. He lived with us for a few months on and off. And he was just his normal, hyper, goofy happy self. The type that was big into bmx biking and loved to crack jokes and smile and laugh. You were likely to catch him popping out of no where hanging on to your bumber of the car while he was on his bike and you were driving - just to freak you out. A big goof ball, the neighborhood little brother next door.
When i was pregnant with ds, alex got caught boosting cars and went to jail for about a year. He came out and was a little different, but nothing too noticeable. We figured he was just adjusting. He was a good kid, just got mixed up in some bad crowds. But he was still normal as to where we felt comfortable leaving ds with him to babysit for a hour or two when ds was 2. Alex was great around kids. A big kid himself.
No we have always thought alex had some ADHD (yes as you all know i think adhd diagnoses in children are bs - just an excuse for bad parenting. But when observed in adults, im a little more open minded and can acknowledge some people with having the diagnosis) No attention span, always had to interrupt you while you were talking for some random left field thought, and always moving!!! omg he would drive me insane!! I have serious issues with repetitive sounds or movements - they drive me absolutely insane to the point i want to throw something. BUT when i do it its doesnt bother me - i always have to have legs shaking - idk it weird, but yeah, I used to make alex sit on his hands at my house cuz he would drive me nuts.
Now like i said me and dh had a big sister/brother - little brother relationship. Every time alex would get a girlfriend, he would bring her over our house to get our opinions on her. He really looked up to us and our opinions really mattered to him (he came from a real broken home - was in foster care for a while - i think we became the family he never had) And after a few skanks (they type that got 3 babies from 3 different baby daddies and were out chilling to 5 am every night) he met a real nice girl. We told him she was a keeper and they started dating.
A little over a year later and they were married. Before they tied the knot we started noticing some changes in alex. He wouldnt come over and socialize as much. We lost contact for about 6 months or so. When we did see him he was a little more serious, but still expressing happiness and joking around. We figured he was just wrapped up in his new girl. Then we started noticing after they were married that his personality really started to change (this was 2 years ago). He didnt really joke any more. We was serious most of the time and seemed a little depressed. Him and his new wife would argue alot and he would usually head to our house to cool off a bit. Then something happened that we never would have guessed in a million years: After a big fight with his wife (some one who was becoming one of my good friends by now).. he put his hand on her and punched her in the face and beat her up. We were utterly SHOCKED! We would have never have pegged him to be a woman beater. He was always the shy one that would run away from a fight. I remember a few times back when we were 19, alex getting into some arguments around the block and dh stepping in to fight for him because alex just wasnt the type to throw punches.
ANYWHO.. I told dh, since alex really looks to you as an older brother, to talk to him find out whats going on and that hitting a woman is not kosher. Dh did and we though we might have gotten through to him. We didnt. The fighting got worse and he started to hit his wife more often. The littlest things would set him off. Then the verbal abuse towards her. Calling her every foul name in the book. One night he came to our house rather late. After he got there, i got a call from his wife, who said she kicked him out and took the keys, so he broke into the apartment and smashed every piece of their furniture. And when she got there he started to hit her. The cops were called, but she later dropped the charges. This was last year.
Since then alex has just been completely withdrawn and anit social. We cant even hold conversations anymore. He just seemed completely uninterested in life. And it preceeds to get worse.
Last spring/summer he told his wife that he hears voices and has pressure in his head. They didnt have insurance and couldnt afford the psych doc. So we all just tried to handle it as a family unit. Im not stranger to depression myself and i am familiar with bipolar (sister/mother) and dh sister has never been diagnosed but expresses the same behavior as my sister with bipolar. So we all started working together and trying to support alex the best we could. Trying to be understanding of his behavior, trying to talk with him. Nothing worked. Then one day he shows up at my house wearing a home made tinfoil hat. At first i thought it was a joke. BUT HE WAS DEAD SERIOUS!! he said the tinfoil helped with the pressure. He wore it for at least a week straight. His attitude would flip flor between extreme aggression - mainly towards his wife, with violent outbursts - and complete lack of interest and emotion.. just flat/blah. Like the lights were on but no one was home. Then the death threats towards his wife started with intricate detail. Not just "i wanna kill you" .. but screaming how he would stab her in the eyes and throat, blow up her car, break her neck. At this point we were very worried not only for her safety, but we didnt want him around us any more. We have a kid and thats just not something i need in my home.We also found out he was smoking dust.. which we at first attributed to his behavior. Shortly after he got arrested because he stole a gps out of a car when he was lost in PA. He spent 4 months in jail and when he came out, he was fairly normal again. Thats when we just all agreed it must have been the drugs. Then a new weird behavior emerged - He would walk around hunched over with a grimace/scowl on his face and make mouth and throat vocalizations like he was constantly in pain. We would ask him if he was ok.. and he would say yeah, but his face looked like he was trying to pass barbed wire through his intestines (poor metaphor maybe) but he just looked like he was being wrenched with pain coming from his stomach. He stood like this for a few weeks. We thought maybe it was for attention.. but we had no clue. We really pushed for treatment for him. I helped her get the charity care to see the psych doc. They saw him right after alex got out of jail. When i asked my friend (his wife) how it went, she said that he put up a front in front of the doctor and seemed perfectly normal and answered each question with perfect answers - telling the doctor exactly what he thought he wanted to hear. His wife tried to explain the way he was at home and wanted him in for observation so they could see his behavior, but at that point the doctor said no, but to make another appointment.
Flash forward to them staying in my home. Alex is completely anti social and doesnt talk at all. He just sits there. When you ask him something or tell him something like "take your snowy shoes off at the door, so you ton track water through the house" he gives you a blank stare with eyes glazed over, and you have to repeat it at least 3 times before he finally responds. And when he does respond he just repeats what you just said. Every movement he makes is done in the slowest, sloth-like manner. Like it takes him 5 minutes just to process the thought to lift his arm when handed a drink. I have been catching him sitting in the spare room staring at a blank tv moving his head back and fourth and making facial expressions and hand movements, like hes having a conversation, but there is no one there to talk to. (like you know how some times when you are thinking like at the super market and trying to remember a recipe - you look up close your eyes, say the ingredients under your breath while counting on your fingers until you remember what you forgot). I started telling dh, that hes starting to make me nervous. The only emotion he ever expresses is anger. One of the conditions of staying in my house was ZERO tolerance for fighting. I told them if they want to argue to take it to the street. There will be no yelling, no cursing, no arguing in my home around my kid. I have had to remind alex about this several times. He starts fights for nothing. He started a fight over chicken nuggets. He was hungry, i told him go eat something. I offered some chicken tenders in the freezer. I told him to pop them in the oven. He was starting to and realized we had no tinfoil. So he started getting very verbal against his wife calling her a "fucking bitch whore" "and that he "would choke the shit out of her if he wasnt in our house" and he slammed the oven shut. All 3 of us were just standing there like "alex, you can put them on a plate. I have oven safe plates" And he was all like "no im not hungry i dont want anything forget it" then he just starts giving his wife dirty looks and making snide comments every chance he got. Trying to instigate an argument. I allow smoking in the bathroom with the window open and the fan blowing out (we live in a big building, cant just keep going up and down the stairs - so the bathroom is the smoking room). Now the bathroom fits 4 people easy. Every time we go in there to smoke and alex comes he makes these agitated mouth noises and rolls his eyes if me or dh so much a bump against his arm. OK.. we decided that we just wont smoke all together. Me and dh will wait. The passed few days i have to constantly yell at him for lighting a cigarette in my kitchen or the room hes staying in. Like no dude bathroom only or you can go outside. its pissing me off. But i dont want to anger him because hes really unstable and at this point im afraid of what hes capable of.
Ds is 5 and was playing ZOMBIE. He was acting like a zombie and trying to "bite" everyone. Which means he pretends to bite you on the shoulder or neck but just really makes that pretend biting noise by your ear. He was playing. So he goes up to Tio (alex) and out of no where alex just yells at him "NO GABRIEL YOU DONT DO THAT IM A BOY AND YOUR A BOY AND YOU NEVER PUT YOUR HANDS ON ANOTHER BOY! DONT EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN! SHOW SOME RESPECT" i turned right around and was like oh hell no. You did not just yell at my son, and yell at him for doing nothing wrong. You could have easily said that you didnt want to play. I told alex to go get some air and if i ever catch him talking like that to my son we would hae serious problems. I called dh immediately after alex left and explained what happened. That was yesterday during the day.
Last night we had sil over and we were
all talking and joking and bringing it back to funny memories over the
years. Alex just sat there on the corner of the couch with a mean
looking scowl. Every time you would try and include him in the
conversation like "remember the time" He would look at you with his
fists balled and shoulders up like hes about to hit something, then say
"what" like you just offended him and the look on his face terrified me.
Just like pure hate and rage. After you repeated yourself a few times
he would give a "uh-huh" breathe heavy and then look straight again and
go back to silence. I pulled dh into the bathroom to "smoke a cig" but
really to explain what i was seeing and that i was petrified. We went
back to the living room like everything was normal and dh now aware,
began to observe his behavior. The went to bed around 12am and me and dh
started talking. WHAT DO WE DO! Im afraid of him. Im afraid that he
going to just start going into a violent rage and start pulling a knife
on us or something. I stayed in the living room all night barely
sleeping to make sure nothing happened to my son. I had to go to work
today but me and dh both agree that under NO circumstances is ds allowed
to be anywhere near him unless either me or dh is in perfect visual
distance. No more then 2 - 3 feet away at all times. And that ds is
never to be left alone with alex or even with alex and his wife. Not
even to go to the bodega under us for toilet paper. I even told dh that
after school, to take ds to the park and wait for me to come home from
work. I do not feel my family is safe. I havent said anything much to
alex, because i dont want to set him off. I dont want him to even know
that we were talking about him. Before his wife went to bed they started
to get into a little argument, she came out to the living room and i
asked her if she had ever thought to get him checked for schizophrenia.
From what i knew of it and what i observed in alex, with the talking to
himself, that anger - it seemed like he maybe suffering. So at work
today i looked up the signs and symptoms.. and alex has almost every
single one!! right down to the tinfoil hat - WebMD said tinfoil hats
with schizophrenics are common. They feel it protects him. Now i def
know that he was def not joking last summer. I printed out some
paperwork and highlighted all the symptoms and behaviors that alex had -
10 pages and almost all of them are completely yellow. I called a
mental health hot line and asked what i should do. In once sense, we
love alex as a brother. If he has this illness (which i am 97% sure he
has) i dont want to just throw him out into the street. We want to get
him help. But i cant have him in my house. I dont feel safe at all. He
is dangerous and unpredictable and he is getting worse and worse. The
look in his eyes last night... He looked cold, devoid of all emotion
other then hate - like he wanted to kill me. I think if i had said
anything that may have slightly offended him he would have attacked. So i
talked to the hot-line and explained everything and they gave me a
number. I would hate to have to make the call to get him committed, with
out consulting with his wife first. I mean after all that is his wife.
But he is in my house. I dont think i will be sleeping at all unless he
is gone. I plan to have sil take ds for a little while after i get home
and me, dh and alex's wife are going to have a sit down conversation and
i think i might have to tell her either they leave by tonight or she
makes the call to the inpatient and has him put into a program. Here in
jersey you can be involuntary committed if you are a danger to yourself
or to others. (i had to do this to my mom when she went manic and
started popping her xannax like candy and tried to stab her husband).
Also i forgot to mention that we would catch alex either sitting or
standing in weird positions just staring out into blank space - like it
was just his shell. And he would be ard to reach. We would have to call
his name a few times before he would look at you and then tell him to
either relax(if he was sitting) or sit down (if he was standing) cuz hes
making us nervous. His wife told me before they lost their apartment
she would catch him standing over her while she was sleeping - just
staring at her in the dark. It would freak her out.. and she freaked me
out when she told me.
OK - After that very long vent.. sorry for that. I really am truely scared, for alex, for his wife and for my family. \
Do you know any one with schizophrenia? Do/did they have similar behavior?
What should I do.. should i give them her the ultimatum to have him admitted tonight or leave? Should i just call the cops? Should i just throw them out?
I really have no idea! Oh and i posted here since i couldnt find a schizophrenia group - will be posting in other groups as well.