Shame On Me

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“Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Shame on me. Shame, shame, shame.

We are just about ready to close on our new house. We are packing boxes for the move. B is acting like the man I used to know…loving, taking my hand, looking into my eyes, telling me he loves me numerous times a day. I feel like a school girl again. Life is good. Until Tuesday.

At 7 am B walks downstairs and tells me he has not been feeling good since Friday. He needs to go to the doctor. Oh, and he feels guilty that I went for HIV test after finding out about his three year affair with our tour guide in Vietnam and he will get tested just in case.  Oh and he has something on his dick.

He returns home.

“So did the doctor look at your dick?”

“NO, I didn’t show it to him, He just ordered panels.”

“Okay, that makes no sense. Why would you go and worry you have something but not show it to him?”

Let me look. I see nothing. My antenna are now a mile high in the sky. Well, actually they were when he told me he was going to the doctor in the weird way he did so. That is just not like him.

On Wednesday morning he has had night sweats for three days and is up at 2 am. He is frantic. He tells me he is feeling really ill and has been sick for days and lost 6 pounds yesterday. He needs to go to the ER now. The man is out of his mind kind of frantic. Crazy nuts kind of frantic. Weird. As he is about to leave he grabs my hand and says:

“I think I caught something. While you took our son to a specialist on Friday (he fractured a bone Thursday) I went to a massage parlor and had unprotected sex. I swear I have never done  anything like that before. That is why I have been avoiding you sexually. I think I caught something and don’t want to give it to you.” (He is still waiting for those Brownie points!)

“Wow,” I say. “If you wanted a divorce all you had to do was ask.”

And off he goes.

That morning I hired an attorney. I am filing for divorce. I also asked the court to step in and oversee a large sum of money that is coming our way the last day of the month. I have to protect our family and make sure that he won’t get the money and skip town to Vietnam with all of it, leaving me unable to care for our kids. Do I think he would do that? NO. Am I sure? NO. I don’t know anything anymore. I can’t believe anything anymore. I have been living an illusion for these past many years. I also wonder if he is suffering from mental illness that runs in his family.

He, of course, is down on one knee begging for forgiveness. Trying to get me to move  with him while he “works on himself.” He is currently at a Catholic church praying for God to help him. He keeps sending me articles like “Five Reasons Christians Fail to Overcome Lust.” (Maybe the problem is you are not a Christian or you are trying to act like something you are not?)

Meanwhile, I flew to New York yesterday to clear my head and be with my son. I am trying to practice compassion for myself, love myself and just be kind to myself. I have had three years of chaos and I just want the freedom to grieve, take it easy and let someone take care of me for a change.

Our children who live at home are unaware of what is going on at this point. I am:

heartbroken

beyond sad

and wondering how I will ever be able to trust again.

I am trying not to be angry or bitter as It will only hurt me in the end. BUT…

my dreams have been thrown down the rabbit hole again but this time there is no soft landing. I am bruised and broken but somehow I will survive.

 

 

Stress Eating/Mental Health Nightmares

I started my diet to lose 20 pounds at 6:00 a.m. It is now 11:30 A.M. and I have downed two pieces of fudge, drank another cup of coffee that is mostly milk and devoured a bag of moon cheese. All within 30 minutes.

I had good intentions. Truly I did. And I was sincere too in the belief that this week would be the one I got off my kester and set to work reducing my waist but at this point my resolution appears to be a waste… for life got in the way.

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It all started yesterday. I drove home from Las Vegas after Gracie’s dive meet where she took a first in one event. So proud of that kid. Anyway, after driving 6 hours I was met at home by an angry teenager. Paul was fine while we were gone but seems he and Gracie got into it the moment she came through the door.  An hour later I was holding him while he melted down and cried. Damn you autism and mental health challenges!!!!

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After those difficult and emotional moments it appeared things were better until I decided to spoil myself with a nice warm bubble bath.  And therein lies my first mistake…actually thinking that I could do something nice for myself without being interrupted.  For as I lay in the tub I suddenly heard very loud shouting and a slamming of a door that shook the entire house. As I jumped up and wrapped a robe around me I heard uncontrollable crying coming from Paul’s room. I walked into a mess caused by a kid who had dumped, in a rage, the contents of his desk all over the room and he was sobbing. I went over to him and he yelled at me to leave him alone. Now I don’t know about you but when I hear those words spoken with the tunderous roar of a fighter jet I know that I am needed more than ever. I also know I need to change into my Green Beret mentaility to succeed in turning things around despite the odds being against me.

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What ensued was not easy. I ended up on the floor while this child both raged, hyperventiled and talked scary stuff. I held onto him like his life and mine depended on it. This went on for almost an hour until at last he wore himself out. His words broke my heart. His pain broke my soul. And his anger touched a place in my brain that I never want to visit again.

Later, after going down to the kitchen I realized what the problem was. While I was gone he had not taken his medicine and B had not checked his box to make sure that he had. Two days without meds in Paul’s case is a disaster. He becomes a tsunami of emotions that threatens to wipe out anyone nearby and the result is anger that cannot be contained.

I worry about my son. I worry that one day he will rage at the wrong person. I worry that while “out of his head” he might get shot by police or hurt himself. I worry that in his anger he may seriously hurt his siblings instead of a kicking a hole in the door that is a reminder of when he got seriously mad. Sometimes I worry that his mental issues will engulf us all and carry us down the mountainside with him broken and  buried under tons of stone. I know my marriage has been effected by Paul’s issues and that we all suffer in different ways when he is off-balance and out of control.

This morning, I packed everyone’s lunches and drove each one to their school. I proceeded to the gym in order to kick my diet into high gear. As I was nearing my goal of three miles I received a phone call. Paul was having an anxiety attack at school and could I please come and get him?

He’s sleeping now. His face soft and relaxed. Quiet breaths making his chest rise and fall in a slow steady rhythm unlike yesterday when he sobbed so hard he chest was moving mountains. I look again and my heart fills with love for my son; this boy who feels others emotions so intensely and takes them on as his own. This boy whose face I first saw on an adoption site. Right now, he looks like an angel which is what I am afraid that he might someday be. For unless, we can find a way to teach him to control his emotions I am afraid he will be hurt and possibly killed. By a stranger, The Police. Or himself. Either way, our path is a hard one and we are scraping our knees as we once again escape the sharp edges of the precipice which is our lives.

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I’m Depressed

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I’m depressed. There. I said it. I’m depressed.

Frankly, it worries me as I have never allowed myself to go there. With so many people depending on me and a sister who spent time in a mental hospital; I have never before let myself plumb the depths of the despair I am feeling. However, now I am trying to give myself permission. Permission to explore what is on the other side of two years of marriage chaos and confusion. Permission to grieve for dreams that have been pushed aside by reality and for children who struggle due to the challenges of autism. Permission to just feel what I need to feel, even if it hurts. And permission to feel those deep rooted emotions and to not intellectualize my feelings as all the intellectualizing I do just makes me hurt worse.

I will confess this intense feeling of sadness scares me to my core. Not because I am afraid to feel those lows but because when you have had a family member who has experienced hospitalization due to her mental health issues and you have spent years dealing with hers…well, I just don’t want to put my family into that vat of pain and helplessness you can’t help but feel when surrounded with all of that. Yet, my therapist said to me that I have the skill set to survive if not thrive while looking at those things that make me uncomfortable and sad. And after reading Thomas Moore’s The Dark Night Of The Soul I know that there is plenty to be gained by going there for a brief respite. But still, I hesitate, my feet in cement for fear of going in too far or deep. For fear of becoming like my sister. Of letting people down.  Of not “performing” the requirements that are expected in this one act play that I am living.

I know I need to take a look at what is coming up from the depths of my soul. I know that I need to allow myself to feel these intense feelings. I suspect that it is similar to drilling for oil while trying to contain the amount that surfaces at one time. And its also acknowledging  that what comes up will have to be refined in different ways depending on how it will be used. And I acknowledge that any spills that occur will give me new skills to better contain the overflow the next time.

If I had my way I would stay in bed for a week and pull the covers over my head. I would play every sad song I have ever heard and have a Bailey’s on the rocks sitting on my bed stand sipping it over several hours. Oh hell, maybe I would guzzle it instead. That is what I wanted to do today. BUT…I had to make breakfast and lunch for everyone, take them to school, take a kid to the doctor and another to get her allergy shots. I had to wait for the dryer repairman, do the dishes, and mop the floor. I had to pay bills, get the oil changed and attend a meeting. Tomorrow it is more of the same.

So, here I sit, one toe half in and half out of this deep sadness. This depression. Perhaps if I am brave enough I will step on in and let it take me where I need to go.  To places I have never visited but probably should. Only afterwards will I understand that there are things to be gained from examining things below the surface. And who knows…I may just strike the motherlode while I am exploring with the sheets making the perfect tent in which to hide away from the world.

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Therapist

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So this is about HIS therapist. The one we went to for marriage counseling who uses the Gottmann method and the one I stopped going to with B because:

  1. I thought he needed to see a therapist by himself’
  2. I didn’t think that she was getting into our problems just helping us talk sweet to one another.

So let me also say this. I have never written about B’s past on this blog mostly out of showing respect for those things that are his. Mostly because I do not know how I would feel if the tables were reversed and because this blog is about those parts of me I want to share. I was never completely sure how much I had a right to share about B and I still have not resolved the issue.

That said, I will admit I am horrendously confused. Those of you who have read my story for the past two years have a rough idea of my life based on those things I have chosen to share. You have given me good advice and given me pause for thought making me really look at myself in ways that have at times made me uncomfortable. But it has been worth it because I am finding myself thanks to hard work on my part and some help by you. So I am coming to you for help.

One of the things that I have always felt has impacted my relationship with B has been his family of origin dynamics. His mother especially.  For the past two years I was under the impression that B was talking to his therapist about his abusive mother but this week I have found out it is not so.  In fact, when I told B I thought this relationship needed to be examined he talked to his therapist who told him not everyone has to look back at their past. Frankly, I was floored especially when the therapist knows some of the dynamics because we talked about them when we were going to counseling together. His mother and sibs impacted our relationship tremendously early on and I fought all the fights and said the words that should have been said by B who didn’t know how to stand up for himself and wanted to preserve peace at all costs.

B told me he wouldn’t know what to say to his therapist about his original family.

So here are just a few of the things that I question, that I wonder if they are affecting our relationship because he has not worked on them. What do you think?

  1. His mother was mentally ill. When B was a child his mother was removed from the house by the police and taken to the state mental hospital where she stayed quite a while and underwent shock therapy in 1970 which is not like it is now. She was supposed to be on meds all her life and refused to take them. She went into rages, had a grandiose ideas of herself and also was depressed.
  2. There was a bitter divorce in which she poisoned the kids against their father, until the father no longer came around. B loved his father deeply.
  3. When B was in 4th grade one morning he stood up for his dad and when he came home from school his clothes were packed and his mother dropped him off at his father’s while the rest of the 5 kids lived with her. He lived with his Dad for about a year until he couldn’t stand being away from his sibs.
  4. His mother had an affair while married to his dad.
  5. All the adult children handed over their paychecks to their mother and mother decided what careers they would choose in college. They would live at home while going to college
  6. There were indoor chickens and the house was a mess.
  7. One of his sibs was in a terrible work-related fire and his mother would say to B “It is your fault. It should of been you.It was your selfishness that made your sib change dinner hour with you and it should have been you.”
  8. B put the fire out on his burning sib
  9. B’s mother wouldn’t let sib stay in hospital long enough because she didn’t like the outside influence
  10. No one could date as adults. If they tried she would comment “You sure are walking funny” after they returned home and it never seemed worth the effort
  11. When B and I were first together we took some risqué pictures and she had his sibs snoop around his grandmother’s house where these pics were found. His mother forced his sisters to look at this “big dick” in the pictures.
  12. She would send me letters talking about her great beauty and giving me her measurements, talking about B’s high school sweetheart,  how he was using me, how she knew “all about girls like you”, etc.
  13. She tried to get B to come home to her when I was pregnant after years of us going through fertility treatments and we were happily married.
  14. After we had our baby we flew back and she refused to meet her month old grandchild. She also refused to attend B’s siblings wedding.
  15. She was cruel in her words to him and always tried to make him feel stupid and weak. He could barely make a decision on his own when I first met him.

And I could go on.  But won’t  and for the most part I have truly let this stuff go because it was poisoning me. The only reason I am writing it here is to ask:

  1. Are these the types of things people can just let go and forget about while not having them effect aspects in their adult relationship? Can you really do this? Is his therapist correct? Can you survive unscathed a traumatic childhood that then goes on to create chaos in your relationship with your wife and those around you?
  2. B says he realized early on that his mother had issues and just accepted it while knowing he could not change it. He says it made him stronger and credits all his early chaos for making him the driven, hard-working man he is today.
  3. So what do YOU think?

Thoughts on “Maybe” Divorce

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“As you become more attached to yourself you will become less attached to the outcome,” my therapist says with a smile.

Sometimes I wonder about this statement. Although it seems true enough as I continue this journey of the “maybe divorce” sometimes I wonder if this attaching to yourself, this honoring your self and your desires, really means at some point that you just dial back the caring…maybe you just begin to not care anymore because the fight for keeping your marriage has cost you too much personally. Your anxiety has increased to the point that everyday you wake up wondering “if this is the day.” And while once I believed that this thought might kill me, now, sometimes, I just wonder if it would be a relief for it is difficult to live with a man who no longer loves you the way he wants to and the sadness plays out like recessed shadows etched deep into his face.

I know when this began two years ago I felt like the world was coming to an end. It seemed as though my heart was being ripped out of my chest and I couldn’t sleep at night. After all this time my anxiety about divorce and what it would do to my children has decreased but is it because I am working really hard on integrating all aspects of myself and discovering more about who I am or is it because I am shutting down? Perhaps I see the train wreck in the distance, so I move away, because I don’t want to witness the carnage firsthand. I also don’t want to deal with the repercussions that it might have on two boys with autism and one with mental health issues much less the fact that four of my children are adopted and have already suffered so much loss in their young lives.

And so I continue to work on myself. To find corners of sunlight and to open the shutters wide to let the sunshine flood into my life. I work to make myself more aware of what I am doing and why I am reacting in the ways that I do. I am practicing ways of building up my resilience and incorporating peaceful ways of thinking as a habit that I can rely on to keep me centered. And I am trying to learn not to allow negative self-talk rule my head and my heart even though it still wants to.

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So if this work, if all this trying to find better ways of attaching to myself, is going to make me wiser, happier and more peaceful; I am all for it. For I am becoming a better me and I am finally doing all of this psychological work for greater self understanding of what makes me tick.  And if the “maybe” divorce comes to pass I think I will be in a much better position to retain my own dignity and grace during the process. And for me, that is what is important.

So be it.

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Chiggers

 

My therapist tells me that I need to “just sit with it.”

Don’t make any decisions and don’t go planning out your entire life

In a moment of fear or concern

Just sit with it…listen to it

But how does one do that with this sort of news?

Because as I sit in the silence

Trying to meditate myself out of the place I am in

I hear the incessant buzzing of an annoying insect

Trying to tell me something

That I don’t want to hear

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Just sit with it…feel it

But instead I feel the sharp bites of chiggers

Trying to get my attention

Biting around my ankles

So I will get up and move

From this place that is suppose to be a refuge

Away from what is suppose to be a peaceful spot in my mind

While agreeing with myself that sitting with “it”

Is much too hard

I know I over think… over analyze

I have enough 20-year freeze dried food

In my pantry I feed us for a year

In case of a holocaust

I am prepared for every disaster, every emergency

Except this….not this

B says, “I don’t want to think about the future

I just want to live in today”

Smart man

I wish I were that way

Able to block out what I do not want to deal with

Or compartmentalize things in lockers so deep

You die with them stuffed deep inside

Locks rusty and worn but secure

Taking them with you

To God knows where

Maybe that is hell

Having to look at those items over and over again

The things you refused to see

When you were alive

The things you could change  but chose not to

Or maybe hell is that place

Where you go over your plans a million times

Trying to change the outcome

But are unable so you remain in that

State of anxiety for eternity

Neither sounds appealing

So I will go and get the bug spray

In an attempt to remove these distractions

And sit with “it”

In the silence

Alone

 

 

Falling Spirits And Falling Faces

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My face is falling as are my spirits

My life in free fall too

The jowls of my life crammed and swollen full of life’s misery

While the jowls of my face sag and slide into other parts of my body

Lines like jump ropes criss cross my life

Over which I play an endless game of jump rope

The beat as they interrupt my life kerplop, kerplop, kerplop

In rhythm with my teardrops falling

While my heart goes into an arrhythmia making up its own disorganized beats

The lines around my eyes crinkle

Belting out a song sounding like an opera of sadness and worry

Madame Butterfly perhaps

These lines now permanent reminders of times gone by

And things yet to come

Scary things, sad things, worrisome things

Over which I have little to no control

Will I find joy with the hand I have been dealt?

Or must you look for it under rocks and in deep dark forests?

Elusive joy. Elusive happiness. Elusive everything

My eyes are closing through no fault of their own

Loose skin moving like an avalanche

And weighing them down

The suddenness of this onset surprising me

Taking me down

Down further than I have ever been

I hate it down here

In this sad and lonely place

I have given myself a week to digest this doctor’s news

Give myself a pity party

And then I shall climb back up

Plaster a smile upon my face

And find some sort of life

With the new knowledge at hand

What it will look like

I have no clue

Do we ever?

Copyright 2016 as are all writings put onto this blog

 

 

 

 

So Paul’s Therapist Says…

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So Paul’s therapist said to me yesterday, “I know you are not going to like this much, less want to do it, but you will have to do this so it gets through to Paul. If he attacks any member of the family you must (without telling him) call the police and have them take him to the hospital on a 5150. He is getting too big and he needs a reality check that if he hurts someone there are dire consequences. If you do not do this now at this age while he still has a chance as he ages he will be incorporating this behavior more and more into his life. You have got to try and stop it now.”

Hearing those words cut me. Deeply. Call the police on your own child. You must. You have to. It is your obligation. Failure to protect your other children charges could be brought against you if you don’t. He has to learn.

And so I “get” the logic I must ask … if he was rational I would agree. BUT if someone  is undergoing and episode of psychosis/mental illness how can they just stop themselves? Is it as easy as all that? I think not.

One of the things that scares me is that police will come to our door. What if Paul were to run, resist being taken or because he cannot stand being touched in certain ways..hits an officer? We all know what happens to minorities in these times of situations. Often they are seriously injured or they die. How do you risk this happening because a 14-year-old is in a rage?

Yes, I know it is what must be done but what unintended consequences might result? Could I live with these if something horrific happened because I picked up the phone? Could I live with these if something horrific happened because I didn’t pick up the phone?

How do you wrap your head around all of this without it destroying your soul? Without it destroying…you, relationships, your child and your heart?

Nothing makes this possibility better. Nothing. All it looks like is a long scary road which I do not want to take but will in order to try and save my son.