After I had my psychotic break, relatives believed my mother was to blame for my illness. They believed I wasn't raised right and my mother's parenting skills were to blame. Although this was a harsh attitude towards my mother, it was another form of denial. Family made accusations, although I was not even raised in the same state as the rest of my family. Once a person has a mental illness the whos, whats, wheres and whys really do not matter. The only thing that should matter is getting that person back on the right track and moving forward toward recovery.
During my childhood, I always felt loved by my mother. She would call me her "princess," "little queen," "pumpkin pie," or "ratcoon." I remember her telling me "I love you," and exchanging hugs before bedtime. She always had high standards for my sister and me. My mother was very strict, we had a specific routine to follow, do our chores, do our homework, and then play.
Before my illness interrupted my life I was involved in a lot of activities. My mother still does not understand how I managed to juggle so many activities while I was in school, to this day. I was involved with my college cross country team, part-time job, church, and school. I was very active, an over achiever having made the Dean's List my freshmen year of college. My family never remotely imagined me having an illness such as schizophrenia.
Accordingly, my family's anger turned towards my mother. She was an easy target because she did not live her life the way other relatives wanted her to. She divorced my father when I was a baby and did not remarry. Neither of my relatives lived a perfect life either, but it was very easy for them to point a finger. This incident caused a lot of friction within my family, that still hasn't been resolved.
The truth is, nobody is to blame for mental illness. My great grandmother having a mental illness, is evidence that the illness started its course before my mother was even born. If you are a victim of being called a bad parent because your child has a mental illness, it is not true, and you are not alone.
There is no known cause for schizophrenia but it does involve a combination of genetics and environmental factors.