peeling away layers of pain

Just experienced another frustrating talk with Esposo.  He called to invite me to do something later in the week that he knows I would LOVE to do if everything was normal.  Yet everything is not normal and so I’m once again wearing this veil of tears. 

Lots of people asked me why I stayed as long as I have and it is because I know this person, this person behind the shroud of mental illness. Many days are good.  More and more they’ve become bad.

What is difficult is this learning to be separated/divorced.  There are lots of help books out there for people with kids, sharing of property, etc.  I’m flat broke so there’s nothing to take, although I suppose he could demand alimony later if I end up earning something.  I don’t know that he’ll be able to get his %^& together to do so.

I’m so ANGRY and writing it out just seems to help me get more peaceful again.  I sometimes wonder about sharing this pain with the world, but if someone, anyone, can learn from my situation it will be useful.  And a transformation blog will have ups and downs.  I think I’m learning to be my own self guide here.

“You need to meditate.”  Oh, really? Really?  I do it every day, practically every hour.  I focus on the positive, but the reality is still there, staring me in the face when I’m done.  Sometimes I’m more calm and relaxed facing this post-meditation, sometimes worse.  It just depends.  How about HE needs to stop drinking and smoking pot every hour of the day?  I’m sure if I smoked that much pot I’d be more relaxed too, and not worry about anything so much. I’m sure I would be able to go on living off my parents for over 2 years without finding work.

Oh, yah, I’m gonna be mean, cruel, and vindictive here. I’m gonna be snarly.  I’ve had it out with him already, and it hasn’t done any good.  I’ve tried to tell him I’m concerned about his health, if nothing else.

I AM SO PAST DONE.  I can’t believe I tried as long as I did.  I can’t believe I put up with it for that long, even from someone who has a disorder.  Well, if you have a disorder you should bloody well get help and stop moaning that the rest of the world does nothing for you, particularly when people like your spouse have done everything they can.  I think I’ve mentioned it before, but a film called Dirty Filthy Love summarizes my situation quite well.

So here are my pointers for identifying if the one you love is mentally ill/an addict.  I know it seems obvious, but trust me, behaviors sneak up on you.  It’s not like he was smoking pot 24/7 when we met.

  • Immediate offbeat or irrational behavior.  (We all have rants, we all have frustrating days.  But jumping up and down on your living room floor or cowering in a corner is not normal adult behavior).
    • This change in demeanor usually comes on quickly. The person may have been happy, even elated, moments before.
  • Frequently changing projects/not completing them
    • My husband is brilliant.  He could accomplish anything, if he stuck with one project for more than a couple of days.  Instead he varies: working on Renaissance wear for an hour or so, then leaving the unfinished project everywhere while he goes to play a video game. Removing all the albums from the cabinet to arrange them and never putting them back.  Leaving dirty dishes everywhere as though there is a dish fairy who will magically spirit them away.
  • Lack of motivation
    • Again, seems easy.  When he’s “worked on his resume” for 5 minutes and played “Rome:Total War” for 5 hours it’s not as though I’m monitoring his computer use.  But the outcome is easy to see.
  • Critical of situations/others’ behavior but never their own.
    • OK, this one is VERY obvious. At first it was easy to kvetch with him about Stepford Wives. Then he becomes focused, nay, obsessed, with the subject.  Bringing me to the next…
  • Ranting about issues, rather critical or non-critical
    • Allright, I get that you care about global warming. Actually I don’t.  If you cared you’d get off your ass and do something about it instead of ranting to me for 45 minutes about harmful consumer practices.
    • PS even more annoying when it’s a non-issue, why people still use teflon when we don’t, for instance.
    • Ranting can occur for all of us and it is a normal thing.  Becoming obsessed with certain topics/life events and the refusal to let it go is another.
  • Unwilling/unable to see others points of view.
    • Esposo is always right, period.   Even when he’s very wrong he’s right.  Facts do not change this.
  • Negativity abounds
    • Critical of everything, everyone, but then says YOU are the negative one.
  • Increase (over time) utilizing substances.
    • It may seem like the beer in the fridge disappears faster.  If it’s gone by the time you get home from work, there’s a problem.
    • He’s actually flat out refused to cut out drinking for even one day, and doesn’t see a problem with this.

I am telling you, as a person in a relationship, if your partner exhibits the above behavior, I would say, at least 3 times a week, it’s not normal.  If nothing else, if their behavior is annoying to you, then they are not the right person for you. Period. If it’s starting to bug you, take some time away from your partner.  Realize what’s normal again for you, before it’s too late.  If you’re happier/ more relaxed without them, it is probably time to walk.  See a counselor/therapist early on if you really want to make it work, or if you need help getting out.  I’ve been to a few counselors (we move a lot) and wished I started at the first sign. There are affordable therapists out there, and sometimes they’re the best ones. Once you’ve achieved my state of madness, there is virtually no return.

There are other things I will vent later, like probably how I wasted my child bearing years hoping this man would get well.  That was MY choice, and I have to live with it.  However all I hear about is HIS suffering, despite the fact I’ve lost 5 family members in as many years and STILL had to be the strong one.

Well, I’m done, I’m done, DONE.  This is my accountability forum.  I know he’s not well, but I’m refusing to continue enabling him.  I’m focused on ME and that’s where I should be.

For those who think I may be a bit harsh: EVERYONE in this man’s life have told me they’d understand if I left. Most of my friends have been at me for years.  I’m not saying it’s the easy thing to do.  I really felt I did everything, reached out to everyone (even priests and I’m not at all religious), to solve this.  But it’s a 2-way street, friends, 2-way.  Please just don’t be as foolhardy as I was.  Give yourself a break if you’re in this type of relationship.




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