I think it will require a few postings to empty myself of all this sadness. So in my fuzzy-brained state, I am trying to measure just how depressed I am and all I can come up with is more than usual. A lot more than usual. And I know exactly what got me here, but I cannot tell how deep into the sadness I am. So I’ve called this posting Part 1 because I’m pretty sure they’ll at least be a Part 2. And maybe more
I wrote in prior posts that my husband has had to put up with a lot being married to me with all my mental health crap. But it was a give and a take and I’ve carried my share of the burdens of building this family despite all of that. It was a good partnership overall. Not perfect, nothing is. But good. And the kids are healthy and happy and decent people. So it seemed good. But something happened last year. I know in hindsight now he was probably starting to become ill, but I didn’t know then that his surly disposition and nasty temper were symptoms of anything but him being tired of me. And so that’s what I convinced myself of and once that happens, well then things really start to disintegrate. The respect, the caring, the sharing and then even the love are just so easy to toss over the side of the sinking ship. Almost 17 years of marriage and in 9 months it appears to have gone to shit. That’s all it took.
In January he started falling down from dizziness. It took weeks to figure out he needed a triple bypass and now he’s been home recuperating for the last two months. And the last thing we needed was to be thrown together 24/7 when we were already not getting along. And I could be wrong. Maybe he did just tire of being married to me. And then I got ticked and made myself feel nothing for him. But he did start it. Before we learned he was ill, he said the meanest things he’d ever said to me in the 20 years I know him. It could have all been the disease, or he could just not like me anymore. But I cannot forget the words he said. I’m not sure if I’ve forgiven him, but I cannot forget. Never. Because he knows that as a Mom with Depression and PTSD from a messed up childhood, I have a few achilles heels. There are things he knows he can’t say, yet he said them…
He told me I was being a bad mother for spending too much time in bed. He said I was harsh and overly critical to the children. He said I was cold. He said I was turning into my mother. Now I know these are things that would greatly piss off any woman, but with me he would’ve been better off shooting me that saying those words. Those words are burned into my skin like a brand. I can’t shake them. And I cannot stop thinking about them every time he is here with me and the kids. I have started to resent him watching me or trying to take over the parenting. I am always certain he’s judging me. And this is after only years of praise. He never said anything unkind like this before. He was so supportive. But then he did become unkind and at first I became despondent….and he got so mad. At me! Because I was making him feel bad for hurting me. Then I got angry and he stormed out. He told me I was being too dramatic. Then I grew silent and he said I was being spiteful. And this cycle of my behaving and his responding has been going on like this for months. I am no longer allowed to have any of my feelings because they are wrong. By his judgment they are wrong so I just have to shut up and have no feelings.
And that’s why I broke. The spell broke. The notion that we would be together for the rest of our days started to appear unlikely. From certain to unlikely in just months. And it’s gotten worse after his surgery. We sit here for hours on end not speaking to one another because I don’t want to have any feelings. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. And I don’t know what at all to do. I am so lost.
Lonely. I have never felt this lonely. And scared because people who feel like this usually do stupid things. I used to do super self-destructive things when I was anxious or depressed. It’s amazing I’ve survived this long. You know, drinking ’til you blackout…going home with a stranger you just met…driving drunk. I guess I have had my share of “get out of jail free” cards. I don’t think I deserve them but nonetheless I am still breathing. But I’ve never felt so isolated while having these other feelings. I want to do something stupid. I want to get out of this house, maybe just book a trip somewhere and disappear. Drink myself into a stupor or worse. But I can’t. I can’t do that anymore because I’m a Mom. I have to keep all of this bottled up inside and pretend I’m normal today. It’s been going on for awhile but especially today. And I can let it show.
But it must show, right? Like cracks in the surface of my being where the reality just seeps out. Like my spirit itself is shattering my body in order to escape? It feels like that. Like I will explode. And I realized I have no one to talk to about it except my Doctors. That’s it. The only people who I can tell how I feel are those whom I pay to do so. And that is sad.
I keep thinking about Grey’s Anatomy. Meredith. If you are a fan, you’ll understand this. I’m like the “dark and twisty” Meredith who is sinking into the icy water and not caring. No instinct to fight back. Just allowing the water to slowly do its job. I always loved the dark Meredith because she felt like me. But as they always say on Grey’s, despite all their crazy, they have “people.” They have their people. And some people or even one, is better than no people. I have no people. My mother is a crazy narcissist and my sister’s life is a disaster. I actually have to avoid them or I get worse. My best friend lives so far away and works like 100 hours a week so I never even see her anymore. The one close friend I had in this town turned out to be a Bible thumping hypocrite and tale teller. She told my secrets to other people. Not my people.
That leaves my husband. I mean I can’t tell my kids I’m falling apart because I have no one to talk to. They’d freak. They cannot be my people. But my husband. I can’t talk to him anymore. Our relationship is an emotional black hole. The last time I confessed my anxiety to him he threatened to quit his job and stay home and take care of the family since I was incapable. And he didn’t care if we lost the house because of it. Which frankly is emotional blackmail because now…no matter what happens, I can never tell him about my sadness or my anxiety or my panic attacks. That jackass shut me up but good. I’m sitting here today because my PTSD made it so I couldn’t work anymore. Not at what I was doing. Too much stress. But now because I can’t work, I can’t leave. I’m stuck here. I’m trapped. I have nowhere to go and no one to tell. Except this page. I write these words to get some of the sad and lonely bits out before my kids get home from school.
Maybe somebody reading this will be one of my people. I can hope anyway.
P.S. All credit to anything I cribbed from Shonda Rhimes. I wish I could live in Shondaland. I feel like she could’ve been one of my people.
I’m not going to lie. I’ve been down. Seriously rocked over what happened these past weeks. I took cover the day the FBI reopened the email bulls*&t and I stayed down for a while. I hid from all news sources for two days post-election because I couldn’t stand the sound of “his” voice, gloating and threatening and making my skin crawl. Then I read a few headlines…but still remained off social media. I knew the haters were hating and the trollers, trolling and the spewers of filth loving it up. And I knew I couldn’t handle it. As a victim of sexual assault I cannot properly adjust my working view of this country. It does not compute. We just elected the most unqualified person ever to the Whitehouse. But that is not the real problem for me. For me, he is a vile misogynist, who from his own lips admitted to assaulting women and who simply does not deserve to be anything but arrested. And when the women came forward to tell their stories, he tortured them. He accused them. He called them ugly liars.
For probably a week after Election Day, PTSD was still controlling my life. But because my freaking husband can’t deal with me not dealing with the world, I have to get up and get moving. He actually threatened to quit his job to stay home with me if I didn’t “get over it.” He didn’t vote for the new Grabber in Chief. But he just doesn’t think my stress over the election is warranted. Great. My own husband, my “protector” has decided how I should deal with my fear and grief over this horror show. So I’m shaking, but I’m standing. Because now I know I can’t count on anyone to protect me. I have to get my act together and get past the debilitating fear. Drugs, biofeedback, therapy, yoga…I’m using all the tools I can find because one thing that’s happened concurrent to all of this is now I’m PISSED OFF. And that is motivating.
The anger at having my feelings dismissed in such a way is pushing me up and out of my house. I don’t know if my husband realized how much his words hurt me or how truly angry with him I am, but he sure has gotten me up. First I got into my regular routine for a few days and now into writing for the first time in weeks or maybe it’s been months, I’m not even sure. I even went on my social media accounts. And I saw all the friends out there still fighting the inevitable. Still hammering away at people for choosing a truly hateful and detestable man to lead us. But that was not all I saw. I saw the mansplaining. I saw the disgruntled white men who voted for that man, all over social media telling us (in my case victims of sexual assault, but also all the other minorities our president-elect* has abused over the last months) we need to “calm down now.” The election’s over and we need to settle down and accept the results. Kind of like what my husband said, but this time mansplaining Trump to me. And they’re telling us why, no matter what, he’s better than HER. No, NO he isn’t. HE IS WORSE IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY, so stop telling me how I should freaking feel about it.
I’ve unfriended almost every single one of them. I actually told one of them first that he was a freaking lunatic (after he called HER the devil incarnate) and then I unfriended him. And now I WON’T CALM DOWN. I think I like being pissed off instead of scared all the time. The fear is exhausting. The anger is exhilarating and motivating. I’ve decided to start school again in the fall. I’m going to finish my degree in counseling and work with trauma survivors. Something tells me they’re going to need a lot of help the next few years. I will not allow myself to be a victim anymore. My husband is not happy with me right now. I hope we survive this. But he just doesn’t get it anymore. That’s the really awful part. He will never get it.
*Quick note: I disrespectfully refuse to use the capitalized version of the word president, or any of its derivations when it references this person. It’s still frigging America.
Not seriously…but a little bit seriously maybe.
I cannot believe I haven’t written in 2 months and this is what I am going to write about. But it’s the end of summer (an extremely hot August filled with grouchy and bored children), and I just couldn’t sit down and write about it. I couldn’t put into words how much I hated going outside and driving to camp and even taking the time to water my flowers. Yes, they are all very dead now. No…I was too depressed. So by Labor Day, I was no joy to be around. I was, although, very much looking forward to school starting again. I probably have been awfully difficult. The heat plus the depression plus whatever is starting to “change” at my age all adds up to a truly sucky attitude. But now to add to all of that, my husband has lost all patience with me.
Why did we have a terrible fight? Why did we yell in front of the children, which by the way we (especially him) never do? Why did he call me a bitch? I wish to Hell I could tell you. He was mad because he didn’t think I was diligent enough about the kids’ summer assignments. He doesn’t think “anything happens around here unless HE holds it all together.” Maybe that was it. I don’t think so. I think he is mad because I’m depressed again. I think he’s mad that we’ve been married what will be 16 years this month and I’m depressed AGAIN. I think he’s mad I didn’t get better.
I don’t really think he hates me. That’s hyperbole I’ve used to try and get you to read my blog. I want someone out there to hear me. Because no one in this house is hearing me. My therapist hears me, but she always hears me. She’s the only one. I pay her to hear me. If you’ve seen my other posts you know for sure my mother isn’t hearing me (and Oh, Lord save me, she’s coming next week). But no, I don’t really think he hates me. I just don’t think he likes me very much. Is that possible? That he loves me? He thinks I’m a crappy mom and loves me anyway, but is just sick of me? See he’s been divorced before and it was horrible on him and his other children so I think I’d literally have to Trumpishly “shoot him in the street,” before he left me. But I just don’t think he likes me. Maybe that’s a thing? I don’t know. What do you think?
I know I don’t like me so it sure seems possible to me.
I cannot believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted. But depression can make you lose track of days and weeks in a blur of mindless activity between the blissful periods of unconscious sleep. I try so hard to walk the walk with my kids and enjoy every minute I can with them but sometimes it’s just beyond my capabilities. And of anyone out there whom I though understood, I thought my husband did…but he really doesn’t. Not totally.
Last month we had an awful fight. The kind that erodes a small bit of your relationship. If you have too many of these kinds of fights I suppose that’s how you end up divorced. Luckily (and I hope it stays this way), we don’t ever fight like this. He said things that night out of frustration that I know he now wishes had never escaped the filters he normally uses with me. I understand that my moods make him “crazy” sometimes, but he has to shield me because I’m so vulnerable. I have no natural protection from hurtful words. PTSD does that to me. But this time he couldn’t help it. And now I feel just a little bit differently about us. He was my biggest protector and my best friend and he used my trigger points against me. I’m still somewhat shocked even a month later.
It started as simply as this: He’s working insane hours lately. And when he’s not at work he is going to my daughter’s softball games. Every weekend, non-stop. I go sometimes…when I’m up for it and when the other two kids want to go. But not all the time. Otherwise the whole family would be living at the softball field. But one night, I was really down and feeling so lonely that I told him I feared he was spending so much time with her to avoid being with me. He went nuts. Not only did he accuse me of being a poor mom for not participating in my kids’ activities enough, he said I was just like my mother! Isolating myself and hiding away so I could wallow in my depression. He said I was also being like my father by refusing to foster friendships with new people…softball moms especially. I couldn’t believe it. If there were a list of “the worst things you can say to hurt me,” these were the top 3.
I cried for the next several days despite his apologies and claims I misunderstood. He even took two weeks off from work to spend time with me. But it took about that long for me to be around him again without getting upset. His words kept bouncing around my head so badly that they were drowning out everything else. I’m just now, a month or so later, coming out of the fog this fight caused. Mother’s Day was nice despite him being with my daughter at a softball tournament all weekend. Her team won the tournament so I just decided to be happy about that. But something is different now. I’m a little more broken than before. Something has changed in the way I see my husband and I’m not sure it will ever go back to the way it was. I am praying not for forgiveness…I have forgiven him. I am praying I will forget the words. I wish there was a way to erase that memory forever. I want my best friend back. And I’m the one keeping him out.