Bear with me for this will be long winded...
I have an older half brother - we'll call him Lee - who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia (with coexisting addiction issues). He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 19-years-old and has spent the past 24 years at various levels of stability (best - a two year stretch in his own apartment with zero hospitalizations; worst - 16 hospitalizations in one year). For the past 10 or so months, he's been in a state mental hospital (court ordered). He's not developmentally disabled, rather he has a very high IQ; he's got a great support system in that our family is very much involved in his life, and he's got a decent treatment team ~ doesn't sound like much, I realize, but it's more than a lot of the mentally ill population has. That said, he is non-compliant more often than not (e.g. doesn't regularly stay on medication, sporadic group participation, very little interest in self care, etc.), and odds are he'll ever reach an independent, healthy and stable life again. It's a shitty existence, and my heart breaks for him and the hand he's been dealt. I can't imagine what it's like to have your brain...your sanity...be your greatest enemy.
So here I am, newly engaged, over the moon happy, planning a family wedding...and I can't stop thinking about Le. My mom wants him at the wedding (clinging to the dream that he'll suddenly stabilize in the next 6 months), FI has never met him and is terrified he'll show up and all will go to hell in a hand basket (based limited experience he's had with the mentally ill), and I just feel torn and sad. I adore Lee, and would LOVE for him to be part of our celebration of marriage...but the reality is he won't. And if, by some act of God he did suddenly stabilized enough in 6 months to take a long ass trip to northwest Montana...the reality is that it would be awkward at best and far from enjoyable for most of us who are charged with his safety and well being.
Ugh. I'm just venting I suppose. I don't expect anyone to give advice or even really understand this rambling, though I know others who have mental illness in their family may appreciate such dichotomy of emotions. Thanks for letting me spew a whole lot of nothin'...I think it's time to call this day a wrap, go have a drink, and get back to thinking about all the good stuff that's happening in the world.