Part of the deal…part of why I still work at this, was an agreement we made… he goes to therapy every other week, to a psychologist once a month for medication management and I have been going to therapy every other month and to a support group monthly. If it weren’t for the ongoing therapy, I would have bailed. Group therapy… which is a caregivers support group focused on caregivers to those whom have served in the military… is amazing. I bond with other women/men that go through similar griefs that I do. There are times, ladies 20 years older than I- attend. They offer a lot of advise…but then I sit back…and my mind screams at me- Is This what’s to become of you?? How can I change my path without leaving??
The thoughts of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera cross my mind…Kahlo and Rivera kept separate, but adjoining homes in San Angel, it comprises two separate buildings – one for each artist – joined by a walkway. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera lived apart, yet loved each other… I can honestly say that the thought entertains me!
I am very proud of my husband for attending therapy…and he is somewhat stable, leaving me with the time to think- how do I take care of me again- where do I begin? I start to work on my support system…my friendships. With 4 kids, and a disabled husband…friendships are difficult to sustain, not because of the situation, but because – its so damn hard being a mom, a wife, an employee and a full time graduate student! Its SO HARD to get it all done! So… I just ..get it done…..
Living with a partner with mental illness is infurating sometimes…
I married a man with mental illness…and i didn’t listen to the little voice inside that told me not to. Who would have thought…that my life would take this turn? He was just a boy I fell in love with when I was working in high school. He joined the military…I entered the medical field. Years went by without contact- mainly due to computers/internet and cell phones were not part of our lives at that time. 17 years later- thanks to Facebook- he walked back into my life. At the time it felt wonderful. We both were single with children…he was retired, I now had a masters degree working at a local acute care hospital. We were both eager to feel loved. It was familiar. It felt good to have someone know me- where I came from….I did not know, nor did I immediately catch on, the extent of his mental illness.
I’m primarily started this blog with the realization, how little support there is for the partners of those suffering from Mental Illness. I didn’t realize the need until I physically went to a support group. I need to express my personal experiences, research, good, bad and the constant tug at my heart to just leave him…and the love I have not to abandon him. Its a struggle that grows within my own heart as each year goes by. I live with two/three people within one…Theres my husband…whom i adore and he adores me- that one would do anything….theres my PTSD husband that is hyper vigilant and unreasonable at times…and the mental illness that coincides with his PTSD that becomes overly aggressive, cruel, yells, is mean, hostile, makes everything out to be my fault and emotionally abandons me for weeks at a time. I have minimal emotional/physical intimacy with him and now often feel like a nurse, rather than a wife…treading through life and at times wondering what happened to me??? He gave his life as a blank check to the military, yet somehow now I’m suffering alongside him…wondering what is going to become of me …why am I still here to care take…why…My life consists of care managing our family, our finances and my husband. Somehow…Im beginning to lose myself and I reach and grasp for whats left of me.