Please Help Me! Humbly Reaching Out

Yeah, I know what follows is long-winded and maybe even boring, but I’m crying out for help! No, not money or material goods. I just need my friendly readers, many of whom have become friends, to listen and possible offer understanding, some guidance and direction, as well as emotional support and encouragement… Yes, I’m admitting it and crying out! I need your help and will deeply, deeply appreciate what you have to offer! Thank you, and now on to the matter at hand:

My housemate is fully schizophrenic, an adult schizophrenic. This is her diagnosis, and she frequently ~ well, everyday ~ presents multiple symptoms. (And, of course, I don’t blame her at all … not one bit. It’s not at all her fault, and she deserves love and compassionate, as well as tender loving care, probably necessary on a daily basis.) Yet even though I’m no psychologist or psychiatrist, still I’ve lived with her around two years now, with the last eight months in close quarters. And I’ve just about concluded she also has some sort of dissociative disorder.

Well, okay, I’ve looked it up in the DSM-5 and the APA Dictionary of Psychology, and I’ve researched some articles over the months, especially recently, and … no, of course I can’t say for sure. Still, some observations can be made, and I’d like to share these and then move to something more personal. Anyway, my friend and housemate self-reports having at least one other “spirit” resident in her body. In other words, someone else is co-habituating. This other person has a name, Leonard, and according to her, he was a Korean War veteran-turned-preacher.

Somehow, evidently, Leonard “lost” his body. I’m thinking he just died, but anyway… At some point after this, he “met” my friend, whom I’ll simply call Jane Doe, and decided to make a home in her body or, as she puts it, live in her body until he can find another one for himself. And yeah, it kind of, sort of sounds like possession, but she’s fully aware of his presence, and she always seems to be fully aware of herself at all times. Really I’ve concluded that the best way to describe Jane Doe’s situation is with the word “cohabitation.” Leonard and Jane are cohabitating in her body. More specifically, it seems to be a spiritual cohabitation in one physical body, stemming from an otherwise disembodied spirit’s temporary need of physical “housing,” or “residency,” as it were.

Jane Doe carries on full-fledged conversations with Leonard throughout the day (and night!), and frequently receives instructions from him. This cohabitating spirit has, by her own admission, claimed authority in her life. Furthermore, she fully believes Leonard has something like a direct line to heaven, to God. God, or the Lord, speaks directly to Leonard, who in turn speaks to her. And if she does not cooperate and/or obey Leonard, she has many times since I’ve known her ~ rather consistently, in fact ~ claimed that Leonard has, or would eventually, punish her somehow. These punishments can come in the form of, say, stomach ache, headache, painful ear infection, vomiting, etc.

There are other “individuals” in the scope of her “reality,” or unreality, though. For example, there is someone named “Nancy.” I cannot say for certain (believe it or not!) whether she actually converses with any of these other individuals. Jane Doe speaks about them. They are very much part of her “reality.” And this all leads to something even stranger, which is what Jane refers to as “doing” someone else. For example, she frequently talks about herself “doing” a little girl, or Nancy “doing” mother or wife, or Leonard “doing” one of her (Jane’s) three sons, who haven’t even been born yet. Jane has even taken to telling me that I’m going to “do” someone in her life … sometimes one of her little boys, for example.

Stemming from this very odd idea is also the thought/belief that she will live (somehow) for centuries to come. And I’d almost say this partly comes from some deep desire not to die, of course, but when she talks about different possible stages in an ongoing mutating “life” or existence, it doesn’t sound to me like Jane Doe is really grasping the concept of time. And it doesn’t seem to bother her, or even be particularly important to her. And I mean lengths of time don’t seem to be crucial. What’s happening, or is supposed to happen, is what’s crucial. And let me try to be as clear as possible in the picture I’m painting here: 

  • Another spirit, “Leonard,” is cohabitating with Jane Doe within her physical body
  • This spirit will be resident along with her in her body until he “finds” another body for himself; in the meantime, both spirits ~ Leonard and Jane Doe ~ reside in the one body more or less equally and are (seemingly at least) equally conscious at all times. (In other words, Jane Doe never apparently “checks out,” and neither does Leonard.)
  • Other “individuals” are also very much part of Jane’s unreality, and figure prominently into her ongoing view/perspective/grasp of “reality”
  • Jane and Leonard, along with x-number of these other “persons,” sometimes including me, will eventually live out another life together not currently being lived, and this other life will indeed be very different, i.e. essentially a different existence that will play out sometime in the future
  • Finally, many such “lifes,” or radically different existences, will unfold in the future, evidently one following another, with no end-point in sight

Now, some things have come to my mind, even if they’re a bit wacky, but I’ve been trying to make sense of it all. Of course, like I’ve already said, classic spiritual possession comes to mind, although in Jane’s case it doesn’t manifest like typical spiritual possession. There’s also the New Age concept of “walk-in spirits” that seems to fit the bill here, but I really don’t know much about this. Then living out different existences in the future has made me think of reincarnation, but … I’ve never heard of anyone knowing beforehand how and into who or what they’ll be reincarnated. I mean, supposing reincarnation is real ~ just a fact of life in this world ~ still, do folks typically know who and what they’re going to be over the next few centuries … along with all the situations and circumstances … including who and what several other “individuals” are going to be, specifically their identities and roles in life??? I don’t think so. At least, I’ve never heard of anything like this associated with the idea/belief in reincarnation.

Well, enough psychoanalysis from me. I’m at my wits end just continuing to live in and with this situation. I love this Jane Doe, as a friend, and care about her, but the constant almost-insane conversations with Leonard, or whoever, along with frequent maniacal laughter (which is rather disturbing in itself) has all left me drained … almost totally wiped out. Eight months living with her in close quarters, with very little interaction with others (mostly because we live out in the boonies), and being subjected to several such psychotic manifestations has really taken its toll on me. And I don’t know what to do. I’ve come to the conclusion, as I shared in another recent blog post, that I cannot provide Jane Doe total care. I cannot, as my friend and landlord likes to put it, “handle” her, much less actually cure, or heal, her. I’m just not able, but what frightens me more now is what’s quite evidently happening to me. I’m losing my grip, to put it mildly. I’m on the edge of just totally falling apart, and believe me I know what that’s like! Been there, done that already! And I don’t … I can’t go down that road again.

So what do I do? Well, I’m thinking it’s time for me to move, perhaps closer to town, and involve myself in good, healthy extracurricular activities with healthy, stable people. Also, since leaving the group home I’ve seriously intended to continue my education, and that’s something I can do online. I’ve planned on working on an MA in either liberal arts or community counselling. I’m seriously thinking I need to really pursue that goal now. No more time to waste! Somehow, though, I’ve got to move on and into some better, healthier situation in life … for my own good. But then, what about this Jane Doe? What happens to her? Well, of course I want her to be safe and secure. Certainly I want her to have a roof over her head, bed to sleep in, at least two square meals a day (if not three), the professional care she needs, etc. But is it realistic to think I can provide this? I don’t think so. In fact, ultimately I can’t even make sure she ends up in a good facility of some sort, like the group home where we originally met.

Ah, now I’ve gone on for so long! Well, if you can, please help me sort through all this! I need your good counsel/advice, as well as any encouragement you might graciously offer. And thanks!



29 thoughts on “Please Help Me! Humbly Reaching Out

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Jonathan. “Jane Doe” is the old fashion, typical, classical case of multiple personality. She is not possessed. It’s mental rather than spiritual problem I had one client with multiple personality when I was a rehabilitation counselor when I first came to Los Angeles. All the personalities are real to the “resident.” She needs professional – psychological and psychiatric help. She needs counseling as well as medication.

    Her situation is beyond what you can offer. I’m still doing volunteer counseling. When we have cases like that, we just refer them to professional help and not to drain us.

    Yes, you do need to live in a healthier environment and be with healthier people. Going back to school or taking online program is a fantastic idea. You can start taking a few classes and see what attract you before deciding on a major for your degree program. Think of what would offer you a job (just to be practical). In term of counseling, you can always to work under someone until you have more experience.

    I would say take care of yourself. Let the professionals take care of “Jane Doe.” I always visualize the weight and the size of an object. If it’s bigger and heavier than I can carry, I wouldn’t want to try. It would injury me before I could help to carry the burden.

    Take care, Jonathan!

    1. Oh, thank you so very, very much, Miriam. I hadn’t thought of multiple personality disorder, for some reason. Now that you say it, this makes perfect sense. And thank you for encouraging me to move forward, too. You’re right, I can’t really adequately take care of my friend. Like you say, she really needs good professional help, while I need to move forward in my own life. God bless you! And thank you again!

      1. You’re welcome, Jonathan. Yes, multiple personality is real. It’s a tricky mind game. You can’t argue with the person or persons.

        Take care of yourself. God bless you!

  2. Wow! That’s interesting Jonathan. Of course I don’t have any “silver bullet” answer to this — either for Jane or for you. I think you’re wise to put some personal boundaries between you and her, so you can 1) focus on your own needs/goals, and 2) keep her from imposing her chaos onto your life.  She’s clearly in a “reality” of her own. My instinct would be to pray for her (or pray with her if she’s receptive to that), but always with the recognition that you or I can’t fix her. If it’s helpful to talk with her (and maybe it isn’t?) you might gravitate your questions to the part about Leonard being a preacher… and work that way towards a focus on Biblical truth. Reincarnation goes against the idea of grace, and since there’s a priesthood of all believers that means she can have direct access to God. And further, God is a God of love and grace; He’s not a cruel taskmaster. The truth makes one free. Whether she’s receptive to taking it in or not is another story. I’ll keep you in my prayers, my friend. God bless you,


    1. Thank you so very, very much my friend. You’re certainly spot on about my need to establish and maintain some personal boundaries. I’m thinking that may mean ~ and probably does mean ~ moving on into a more stable, healthy living situation. Another dear friend of mine, Miriam, has also commented, and she made the observation that, in addition to schizophrenia, we’re probably looking at multiple personality disorder. She has some counselling experience and relates that to someone suffering this malady, the other “person(s)” seem quite real, and their version of reality, of course, seems very real. Well, this seems to fit my Jane Doe. More than this, though, as you and Miriam have both said (albeit in slightly different words) I can’t fix her. Naturally, I would be more than happy to pray with her, but strangely enough she’s resistant to this … and I really think it’s b/c of “Leonard.” At any rate, she’s real funny about prayer, the scriptures, going to church, none of which this “Leonard” wants her to do, or at least that’s been my conclusion. But you’re right, God is Love, and God is not a harsh taskmaster, and she certainly does have direct access to our loving God. I just wish she WAS receptive to hearing and believing this. In the meantime, I think I’ve got to be a little selfish and take care of Jonathan for awhile. Thank you so much for your love, encouragement, and prayers! Blessings to you, my friend!

  3. I would agree with your first commenter above. I would seeke to get Jane Doe into some sort of counseling situation — and it may be helpful to you as well as you deal with this situation. I would also seriously consider moving soon and getting your own life in a different, more positive direction. The idea of furthering your education is excellent if you are up to it — at least something more stimulating and positive for your own health would be good. Best wishes.

    1. Thank you so very much! Yes, my friend Miriam (and another) have offered excellent advice as well as encouragement. And I really think you’re right: I need to seriously consider, and even start planning, on moving into a more positive and healthy living situation. And I think I’ve just about decided that, yes, I’m going to jump back into school. It’s something I’d set as a goal last year… I’ve just allowed myself to get discouraged and to kind of let go of that goal. But it doesn’t have to stay this way … and by the grace of God, it won’t! Thanks again so very much! Your words of advice and encouragement mean an awful lot to me! Cheers!

  4. You’ve gotta do you. You can’t take responsibility for other people. I would say, suggest that she talk to someone about the people who are inhabiting her body, because it sounds like classic schizophrenia (my grandmother was one). All you can do is make that suggestion, and then say that you have to pursue your own goals. Put whatever boundary you think is healthiest for you in place in terms of any future relationship with her (that you’re free to talk to her, or that you can’t help her because you have to focus on yourself, etc), and then move out. It sounds like you know what to do, you just feel guilty doing it. Best of luck!

    1. Ah, yes, you’re right. Yes, moving on into a more positive and health environment is absolutely necessary, and even though I care, it’s like Miriam and other commenters have said: I can’t fix her. Yes, I think you’re right that I probably need to sit down with her, suggest that she get into some one-on-one counselling with a professional (and she already takes meds), but beyond that, set healthy boundaries for myself. And you know, thinking about all of this has at least made me realize that really I need to set good, healthy boundaries anyway … with anyone and in every situation. I’ve finally come to realize that, hey, we all need some boundaries in life! Again, thank you so very, very much for your advice and encouragement! Blessings to you!

      1. Absolutely no problem! Honestly, if she’s already on meds, she needs to switch to something else because it doesn’t sound like these are working anymore. Or she may not be taking them. But in any case, I personally find it difficult to set boundaries, but I know they help everyone. It’s hard when you can’t fix people and you have to just walk away, but it’s for the best, for both of you probably. She can stop leaning on you for support and hopefully seek it in a professional environment, and you can be released of caring for her when it sounds like you’re in way over your head. Again, I wish you both luck with this!

        1. Thanks so much, and you know what? Just today, not even an hour ago, she walked in and told me she knows that she needs to go back to a more secure, structured environment, where she can receive the help she really needs… All I can say is Wow! Simply amazing. It’s almost like someone up-above heard my cry (my painful, prayerful plea) and answered. Anyway, I’m glad and relieved. And I’m also fully ready to move on and upward myself. Thanks again and blessings to you!

  5. Wow Jonathan and I have heard stories like that a lot with people and in India we have these witch doctors who will do some magic and remove these type of bodies who are in such weak bodies and I don’t know but since she is a weak thing this body has got into her and playing around with her instincts or who knows what or maybe she is also acting cause sometimes these type people do. You know my daughter is a counsellor and when I asked her she said that they create a separate personality and talk to them and they hang on to them and they think that there is someone out there but there isn’t anyone. These people can be very dangerous towards themselves too and to others too. I would say Jonathan pl. get out from there and start leading a happy life and of course pray for God’s help and you are doing an awesome job of giving and protecting her but you need to move or you may get pulled into all her so called imagination. Thanks for this wonderful share and yes we as friends only can guide you in our small way. Pl. take care of yourself dear friend. Love and Light to you.

    1. Oh, thank you so much, dear Kamal. Yes, I’ve decided I need to move on into a better, more positive, healthy living situation. And even though I care for my friend, I cannot effectively help her. I certainly cannot cure her. It seems she needs professional care, possibly even around-the-clock professional care. But you know, I have never thought about her possibly being a danger to herself and others. You have given an excellent observation! Yes, now that you mention it, she really could be a danger to herself and others, including me… Wow! Yes, she needs help, and I just need to move on and focus on taking care of Jonathan for the time being. Thank you again for your kind words of encouragement, wise counsel, love and prayers! Peace and blessings to you!

      1. Yes and I have asked my daughter and she explained so nicely to me. They create these personalities and we as ordinary humans can’t do anything. They require help from psychiatric Dr. Sometimes u know Jonathan we feel pity for our loved ones but in return we get fully sucked. Yes u must live for yourself and Jonathan requires Jonathan’s help now. Just tear open and take the plunge it will be very difficult but later on u will feel relieved from such a relationship. Love and blessings to u dear and whenever u require my help pl do so I am always there for you dear.

  6. My immediate thought was multiple personality disorder as well. But I am no expert, and it is a coincidence as there was a news item recently on tv here (in South Australia) about a woman suffering from exactly this who was allowed to have her different personalities testify in court against her outrageously abusive father. She has 2000 different personalities (but only a few of them testified).
    I think it is so lovely that you care so much! I agree that she really needs professional help. My heart goes out to you both.

    1. Thank you so very, very much. And wow! 2000 different personalities? That’s overwhelming, indeed. And, well, my friend just informed me not too long ago that she realizes she needs to move back into a more stable, structured environment and, in fact, put a phone call into an individual in the local mental health care system. They know her already, and so I really think they’ll get her the help she needs… At least she realizes (on her own, without anyone else having to tell her) that she needs to make a change now. Thanks for reading and so kindly responding. Peace and blessings to you!

      1. Yes, it was an extraordinary story. Unfortunately I didn’t hear all of it.

        I am so glad to hear that about your friend! That is great news.
        And you are welcome, God bless you too!

  7. Wouldn’t it be interesting if people with Schizophrenia are that way because they remember their past lives while the rest of us don’t. Now that’s a wacky thought! Anyway, you have to look after your own mental wellbeing and a move is certainly warranted. You could still maintain a friendship with your current roommate and check in on her. I hope she’s getting the professional help needed.

    1. Thank you so much, and I’m so glad I can now say that she realizes some changes need to be made. She just told me not even an hour ago that she knows she needs to be back in a more secure, safe and stable environment where professional help is available basically 24/7. All I can say right now is “wow!” It’s like God just stepped in and is now taking care of this… Anyway, I’m breathing a sigh of relief while also preparing to move on and upward myself. Time to take time to care for Jonathan just a bit! Thanks again and God bless!

  8. Oh, it’s hard times. We want to recognize our friend as it was from the beginning.
    What has happened on the journey, why did everything happen on the way, what can we do … we can love our friend when we can.

    1. Yes, most certainly, and we can only help as much as we can. Thankfully, my friend has recognized her need and decided to move into a more structured, secure environment where she can receive the professional help she needs. I’m both thankful and relieved. Thank you, too, for reading and for speaking such kind words. Blessings to you!

    1. Yes, I believe you’re right. Thankfully, she has at least come to realise she needs to be in a more structured environment with professional help available 24/7 … so she’s moving out soon and into either a group home or one of the apartments operated by the local mental healthcare system. Of course, I’m relieved and thankful! Blessings to you!

  9. Hi dear Jonathan,
    I read above that your friend is getting the suitable help, which means you have ‘your life back’ and can be just that; a friend to her.
    About the DSM, you might find this interesting:
    Please, please my dear friend, re-start taking care of yourself again. Focus on routine as enough sleep, healthy food, exercise and live your life in a way that makes sense to you. As the beautiful unique human being your are.
    Big hug! XxX

    1. Thank you so much, dear Patty. I am finally getting my life back together again, and my friend is moving back into a more structured environment b/c she has finally realized she needs 24/7 care. I’m so very thankful for her and me! In fact, I’m so excited that I’ve actually started planning a new book! Blessings to you!

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