Monday, October 1, 2007

It's all so confusing...

Well, you are almost all caught up on the nutshell version of what has been going on in my marriage this past year. I’ve reread my posts and I was wondering to myself if it sounds like I’ve created this blog just to bash my husband for being sick. And then I wondered if some of you might think that way too, so I wanted to clarify a little.

In the last year, there has been more than a lifetime’s worth of “crap” happening to us via this illness. Most of it directly affects me, and I am, for the most part, and depending on who you ask (LOL), not mentally ill. So I react first to these things in a very human way.

When you think about that little story we all have in our heads about “what it will be like when someone truly loves me”, well, mine kind of goes like this:

1. Someone who loves me will discuss decisions before he makes them.
2. Someone who loves me will consider my thoughts, feelings, and suggestions when he acts.
3. Someone who loves me will be unselfish and share the same vision and dreams with me, or at least, if his dreams are somewhat different, he will respect mine too.
4. Someone who loves me will not steal from me.
5. Someone who loves me will not willingly contact other women for anything other than business reasons.
6. Someone who loves me will not lay around in bed all day, watching me work two jobs and take care of the household.
7. Someone who loves me will go out of his way to make sure that I have what I need.
8. Someone who loves me will accept my love and care willingly and with appreciation.

And so on.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that being a mostly psychologically healthy yet very human person, sometimes it is very difficult for me to acknowledge the fact that I do know he loves me, yet he is being disrespectful on every level. Just because he is mentally ill doesn’t mean that I don’t feel disrespected when he does irresponsible things in the throes of his illness, I feel awful. And I think that’s very natural. And part of me says, “THAT’S IT!!! GET OUT NOW!!!! NOBODY WHO LOVES YOU WOULD TREAT YOU THIS WAY!!!”

But with mental illness, it’s not that easy.

I married him forever, not just when times were good. And I do love him very much, I really do. Before mental illness came into our marriage, we had a wonderful marriage, very respectful, compassionate, giving, on both sides. But sometimes it just doesn’t feel worth it, that’s all, and I know a lot of people might agree with that. But if he had cancer, and we had $40,000 in hospital bills, I wouldn’t think about leaving him….and if he had Alzheimers and forgot my name or started to hit on the nurses or something like that, I wouldn’t leave him either, so I have to work really hard to put it all in the perspective of the illness, and most of the time I can, but there is still resentment and anger, for sure.

And the fact is, that just when I start to come to terms with some aspect of his illness, and finding ways to cope, some other aspect that I never considered shows up, and I have to start it all over again. It’s all very frustrating and confusing, and I’ll try to write more about that in the future.