Returned

He bought me an expensive necklace weeks after my birthday while manic. 

Today I asked him to return it despite the 6% fee. 

It was beautiful and under other circumstances I would have cried with joy upon receiving the diamond necklace; but I am not there right now.

I am not the person who gets that gift from her husband because he is not that husband. 

As I said,

He purchased it a few nights ago during a manic phase. It was never truly meant for me. 

And now I sit in the waiting room of his psychiatrist’s office…

Exhausted and wishing I was at home with my sweet dogs. 

Returned home.

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Bullied

I don’t want to discuss it but he’s back. 

Bullied, meant to feel guilty and back to the wall; I caved

There is nothing to talk about now. 

No words. 

Fooled, backed into a corner and taking two steps backwards..

His paranoia seems to have waned but his restless selfish demeanor remains fully intact. 

I am confused:

• the wife who can’t live with her husband

• the wife who can’t believe that she may end up alone

• the wife who misses what she has romanticized 

Perhaps things will feel better tomorrow.  (Insert sitcom laugh track here)


Save Yourself

Today I listened to the wind as it screamed “Save Yourself” and so I took an apprehensive step forward. Instead of spending another day seeped in regret and pain, I drove him to his parent’s house and didn’t look back.

Of course things are never as simple as they sound, he’s called too many times and doesn’t believe my thick line in the sand.

“Get well or you cannot come home, this takes time so do not fool yourself into believing that you will return quickly”. 

Words that fall on ears that cannot hear over those of the paranoid and delusional voices. Simple statements that must be law. 

I’ve let go of the rope that has tied me too tightly and for too long. My future is no longer entwined with a noose. 

“Save Yourself”


Words

All of the words, the work and the stress involved in remaining in this marriage are bullshit. He is never going to get well and I am never going to have the guts to end the insanity.

I’ve adopted two dogs, they are my CPR. They have breathed life back into this empty soul. 

My twin hounds are going to save me from this enormous anchor called my marriage.
Otherwise, I’ve got no more words to share with the abyss of this blog.

  

My Confession: the Shadow

My Confession, the Shadow

While he is awake, I am NEVER alone. 

He stands behind me while I am on the computer. Calls out my name when I am in the bathroom, as though there are so many places that I could be hiding.  

Worst of all, he comes up behind me constantly, peering over my shoulder – watching.  

Perhaps all of this “attention” would not be so painfully annoying except for the fact that he’s constantly shooting little arrows.  He claims that they are all benign but I deem them to be rather venomous.

It’s maddening!

Lack of Trust, a Symptom

The reality is that his constant attention is a symptom of his illness: schitzoaffective disorder.  

He is paranoid – very. Untrusting.

There is a persistent lack of trust. He does not or can not trust me (or almost anybody with the exception of his mother) even though his fears are without merit.  

It is an uncomfortable feeling: being married to and living with a man that does nottrust you” more often than not. In fact, the writing that I do is in secret.  I could never attempt a novel or short story because of the limited time I have to be alone and create. 

Most of my writing is done in stolen moments or while he is asleep.  

Perspective, my Attempt & Art

It must be terrible to live in fear. Never trusting those close to you because of a delusion that is your truth.  

Keeping that perspective has become what allows me to remain. 

• Forever, or so it appears, we will live in his world of sickness.  

• Forever, or so it appears, I will walk on eggshells and have the hollow feeling that comes with loneliness.  

Perspective was originally taught to me in college; illustration and drawing classes. How I enjoyed evolving from simple train tracks to abstract art.  

It is no different with the perspective necessary to live trapped within somebody else’s nightmare.  You begin with the basic skills necessary and, over time, you learn how to see it as art

Was it Andy Warhol who said, “Life is Art“? Maybe not.

My tolerance for the “shadowing” is an art in patience.  The strength that it takes to live so alone: art. Some of the most talented artists of the modern era create hideous but highly acclaimed art.

Introspection

Looking past all that is happening, whether real or not:

I’ve become the Shadow of myself.

  

My Confession: the beginning 

My confession: the beginning 

I am married to a man with schitzoaffective disorder. 

For those of you who are unaware of this chronic mental illness, as taken from WebMD:

Schitzoaffective Disorder:

A mental health condition including schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms.

Common:

• More than 200,000 US cases per year

• Can’t be cured, but treatment may help

• Requires a medical diagnosis

• Lab tests or imaging not required

• Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong

What is not listed:

Paranoia, delusions, tendency towards addiction, often medication resistant, self absorbed, unaware of bizarre behavior, low functioning and very dependent.

Examples of the disease, common:

• Believing electronics (television or radio) are sending messages specifically to that person

• Conspiracy theories all centered around the person

• Trust issues

• Erratic behavior 

• Fixations on a multitude of possible different ideas – all not real or reasonable

Re: My confession

In choosing to remain with my husband, who has been in FULL blown paranoia and delusional mide for the past year, I am sick.

We have been together for nearly twenty years and married for more than fifteen. There are years that are painless and livable; there are years that break you. 

As he has been so very ill for a year, I am sick and broken. 

My days are dictated by whoever wakes and his mood. I’ve allowed myself to lose my person in an effort to survive his illness. 

Rock and a Hard Place:

Love, obligation, caring, self-esteem issues and fear for him all have kept me hostage. I do love him, there are also days when I cannot endure another moment with him.

Today he emerges from the bedroom just before 1:00pm. The entire house is immediately engulfed in his “mood”; on edge and cold.  

As always, he calls his mother before uttering more than a word or two in my direction. 

My heart hurts because he can be so sweet, funny and living; it’s been a while. Each day I hope and pray that his illness will ebb, leaving room for us to bond again. It’s my daily secret wish: “please let his illness slow, please bring my husband back to me“.

I know that there are people who would have fled this situation.  Some of these people are very much in my life and wonder why I stay on this endless, impossible roller-coaster. I’ve no answer for those who question my sanity almost as much as his. 

Perhaps it is fear

• My fear of what would happen to him

•My fear of being alone

• Fear of abandonment 

• Fear of disappointing him – or myself – or anyone

Eventually he relaxes as we watch mindless television. I rattle off things that I want to get done on this day; I say the words more to motivate myself than for his reaction. Much of what is done in our world is achieved by me, there are days when I begrudgly enjoy the control.  There are other days when I resent all of the responsibility. 

Desperately, I try to save myself and him all at the same time. 

It is no wonder that I’m riddled with anxiety!



Her Father’s Daughter: A Short Story (in progress) – Preface & The First Step 

Her Father’s Daughter: A Short Story in progress

Preface:

She walks in his well-worn shoes and is not conscience of the great parallels of their lives.  

In her mind he is a myth: brilliant, perfect and strong; a memory that she clings on to each day for survival.  

In her world his flaws, obvious but always forgiven, are overlooked because his love for her overshadowed them by far.

Too proud that she carries many of his traits, it is of surprise when she realizes that his darkness so closely resembles her own.

Her father died far too young with a simple few years of true freedom, if that at all.

Expectations. Did she fulfill his and did he live up to his own?

Did he ever resolve his sense of obligation? Would she?

On a cold January afternoon she sits perfectly still as the ferry bounces up and down along the choppy Hudson River.  

Once again her mind filled with unanswered questions.

Step One:

This session left her questioning her mortality; the quality of the shrinking years of her life. 

Hearing the reality: “you’ve probably got thirty years left – twenty where you can do anything you want” left her breathless.

What was she waiting for, her father lived within the same self-imposed confines but managed to find sorted joy. How?

Where was her joy?!

Her love of dogs, now a source of pain and loss, compartmentalized. “I can’t – not until – what if“. 

Each and every day missing the unconditional love in her world of piercing emptiness; it would never be “the right time“.

Staring out at the fog as ferry ride turned Manhattan into a fading illusion, she screamed.

Before she lay her head on the pillow that night, she had adopted fraternal twin basset hounds. 

Heart bursting with excitement, the boys would arrive by the end of the month. Is this joy?

The ridiculous happiness that she believed could never be replicated, the warm smell of ears and paws, it was going to happen again!

A life filled with guilt, self-loathing and almost void of the flutter of love; how did this happen? 

Childhood memories of her “perfect” father’s face when he thought no one was looking was now a mirror of her own self-sacrifice. 

He adored her dogs almost as much as she did; they gave her comfort every moment of each day before and especially after he passed. 

Waiting was not an option. She looked down at her feet and his shoes – it must be time to stop punishing herself for unknown crimes.

Just as he adjusted by the decade in order to survive, it occurred to her that she could walk barefoot in the grass. No shoes – his or mine. 

The romping of two excited hounds and a barefoot girl, imagine: no guilt. 

Be Happy“: Her father’s mantra repeated time and again since she was a child.  Because there was no example she invented masks to fulfill his edict. 

Hearing his words, she had an overwhelming secret guilt in any happiness that was exclusively hers. 

Get Rid of the Guilt!“, her doctor had said week after month and year. His words filled the quiet office, he spoke in a language foreign to his patient. 

And so…

Days later, despite commentary, lack of help or mutual excitement; she knew it was right. She was due.

These sweet dogs would help her untie the first notch of the self-imposed noose. The noose; a painful and cumbersome necklace she’d worn for almost as long as she could recall. 

Yes, slightly loosened: Small Step One.

  

Step One: The Boys!