Relationship lost due to ignorance


An ex-boyfriend of mine who is Irish left Ireland and came to live near me in Liverpool. We were both in our early 20s. Before coming to England, he had been a member of the Irish Guards and had been posted to Lebanon for peace work. While there, he witnessed several very distressing incidents, which were not addressed by authorities at the time, or when he returned to Ireland.

On arriving in Liverpool, he was well and happy. Over a short period of time, however, he became quite depressed. He had also smoked dope, and although this had not noticeably affected him while in Ireland, his intake increased over time when in the UK.

One day when I came home from work, he met me and told me that flowers in the vase were moving, and made me sit down to watch them. What happened after was extremely frightening for me, as I didn’t understand what was happening.

He was insistent we went to a local church and prayed together, then he went to the pulpit, lit candles, and [behaved inappropriately]. Church leaders came and told us to leave. I took him to the GP, and he was eventually admitted to a local psychiatric ward.

He was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia, and then psychosis. He has been in and out of hospital for the last few years. Our relationship fell apart, mainly due to lack of understanding of the condition by me, friends and family, and I am ashamed to say, my fear due to sheer ignorance.