Stigma Fighters: Confession

Confession

I am not disabled.
I do not have a mental illness.
I have no addictions to speak of, other then burgers and matzo ball soup (especially when stressed), but I’m pretty sure I can stop whenever I want to. Maybe.

I don’t abuse my son or my dog or my spouse.

I have never smoked a cigarette, and other then my 21st birthday and this one time in Finland, I have never drank alcohol. I have never experimented with drugs.

I have never had sex outside of monogamy.

I was a straight A student, a Varsity athlete, and worked full-time all through high school and collage.

I am afraid of everyone and trust no one.

I am the daughter of an alcoholic and a mother who didn’t want her (and told her that regularly).
I was abused physically and verbally my entire childhood and young adult life.

I moved out when I was 18.
I put myself through college.
I married a safe, stable, loving man who was much smarter then me and had good prospects.

I am extremely loud, appear very confident, and am as strong as an ox.

You see me as strong willed, as brash, as cocky even. But you know nothing. You don’t listen.

The man I married developed a mental illness, complete with addictive behaviors, as he hit his 30’s. Depressed with psychotic episodes, alcoholic, prescription drug abuser. Started smoking.
It happened very slowly.

Hospitals.
Rehab.
Outpatient therapies.

The safe choice I made- something in me maybe knew he was familiar. Maybe it’s true we all seek what we know. Deep down. Maybe I knew. Maybe I’m not so smart. Not so reasonable.

Young mother, keeping it all together. Working 18 hours a day. Trying. No one knows. Until she can’t. And then they do.

I can’t fix him, he doesn’t want to be fixed. I can’t keep him here, he’s not safe. He broke everything. And then I’m the bad guy, right? Unsupportive. Home-wrecker. Not at all understanding. Unsympathetic.
The Disney villain of her own story.

There are no support groups for villains. No hugs for monsters.
All the “right” choices lead to all the wrong places. Where do you go from here? And who stands with us miscreants?

It’s a very alone place, this one.

Tomorrow, I will get up, wake up, and do it all again. And no one will know. Unless they do. And I will keep it (mostly) together as it all falls apart, until it’s all over. And I will start again, me and my son and the dog. Maybe this time, I’ll learn. This time, I’ll do it right. Then you will love me, too. And I won’t be all alone anymore. Maybe this time.

  • http://traumadad.blogspot.ca/ Trauma Dad

    <3

  • Kitt O’Malley

    You are not alone. NAMI helps family members devastated by the mental illness of those they have loved. There are support groups for people like you. You are not alone. There are shelters for people like you. I once worked at a battered women’s shelter. Many spouses live in fear due to untreated mental illness. You are not a villian for taking care of yourself and your son. You are a survivor. If your husband sought and participated in treatment, if he was in recovery, then it might be different, but even then it might be in your and your son’s best interest to leave someone who is tearing your life apart.

    I am a wife who lives with mental illness. I have not always been an easy woman to love or to live with. But I have always been very motivated to seek treatment. I want to be the best wife and mother that I can be.

    Then there is the fact that mental illnesses lie along a spectrum. Some of us do not, cannot respond positively to the treatment options available. Some of us are more fortunate.