I'm not sure why mom left dad but my understanding is schizophrenics often become alienated from their families. They looked so happy together when they were younger.
My father was known to have a big temper. He had been the captain of his hockey team at Queens and a golden glove heavyweight boxer in the navy who was proud of giving an opponent amnesia for a day when he knocked him out.
When I was in junior high, he took Jane and I skiing and somehow we got in a good-natured snowball fight between the three of us. I threw a long one and got lucky, it came down on my father's head and packed snow in his sunglasses. I thought it was hilarious and started laughing.
I guess he thought I was mocking him and he marched me to our cabin, made me pull up my shirt and drop my drawers, and he lashed me with his belt to teach me respect. The whole time I was thinking I would never forgive him, I didn't have to, nobody could make me. I had thrown a snowball and didn't deserve this.
The next morning Jane said I had big welts on my back. It was a long drive home and I didn't speak. When we got home, Julie knelt down to give me a hug and I just walked past her and went to my room. She must have talked to Jane or dad because eventually she gently opened my door and sat beside me on the bed without speaking. I was lying face down, sulking, and she gently slid up my shirt to see my back. I heard her give a soft gasp. She just sat beside me for I don't know how long with her hand on my arm, but we never spoke about it. We didn't need to.
I was never the same around him after that, not until I became an adult and married Toni. I think I got over it in a year or two and I always tried to impress him, I just wasn't going to mess with a temper like that.