Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trying to muster up the nerve

Today DD and I met with DD's therapist again. DD has been doing really well, so we didn't have much to discuss with her therapist. DD wanted to draw on the white board in the therapist's office, so she (the therapist) and I went into another room and talked a little about DH.

I told her about how much better DH is doing, but that he still isn't back where he was. I said, "He's not where he was 5 years ago yet, but he's doing a lot better than he was last year." I think that's pretty accurate.

Then I talked with her about DH's work situation (or lack thereof). She (the therapist) is of the opinion that DH will improve greatly if I (we) can get him back to work. I told her about how I feel like I'm putting too much pressure on him, and that if he could work, he would, and she agreed with me. I told her that sometimes I don't know how to be a good wife--if I remind him five times to go look for a job, one day I'm nagging him, and the next day, I remind him five times, and he's grateful, because he forgot to do it (all five times). So when I told her I had decided to just assume that he wasn't going to be working soon, and she asked me about the jobs guy. I told her what I knew, and she believes (and I think she's right) that DH is presenting himself to the jobs guy as more capable and more independent than he really is right now. That he probably hates to admit that he needs help to work. And so he "talks the talk" and says all the right things to the jobs guy, so the jobs guy thinks all DH really needs to do is go out and apply. But DH really needs some more support than that. He probably needs someone to actually place him in a job, and it needs to be a job that he can succeed in, and a job where, if DH has a "bad day", and breaks down crying or something like that, it will be understood.

DD's therapist strongly urged me to contact the jobs guy myself and tell him what I see and think about DH. Kind of like I did with the NP before DH got put on the Lithium. It really sounds like something I need to do. But it also feels so wrong!
I would never ever "interfere" with my husband's job search/work life before this. It's a boundary that I would never dream of crossing. Intellectually, I know that this is more of a mental health issue than a "work" issue, but when I start imagining myself actually calling up the jobs guy and telling him about DH, I feel kind of like a traitor, anyhow. And it's not something I think of consciously, it's more like a physical aversion to the thought. I just am having a tough time bringing myself to do it. I'm hoping that if I keep mulling over it, that on Monday, I'll be able to give that guy a call and put a bug in his ear. It seems like it would be so easy, doesn't it?

It's kind of (but not really) a similar thing to the people in town here that have given DH a "charge" account. What those "accounts" are really for, is, if you have an emergency, and you don't have any money, the hardware store, will still sell you that special screwdriver, and you can pay them back on payday. DH owes three different stores in town over $500 each. On the one hand, I know that I should go and explain the situation to the store owners, work on paying off those bills, and ask them not to extend credit to DH any more. But that is also a tough thing for me to do, because a) it'd be nice if the whole town didn't know DH had a mental illness, b) some of those people are "friends" of his, and might think less of him if they knew and c) I would never dream of crossing that boundary if DH was "normal". But he's not. And there's a lot of these sorts of things that a wife has to think about. And it's not fun.


Anonymous said...

Ok so I understand your wanting to kinda hide & protect him from the world that he has a mental illness. But on the other hand the crazieness needs to stop. You need to under stand that he is really sick & I no you do. I no that what I just said went on. But I'm trying to be very delicate not to hurt your feelings. I think the accounts need to be stop & put on hold. I have been following you from the first post & I think that you need to call for him to find work. I no you can get through this & think of it this way things are getting better.

perphila said...

I agree with you that the idea of needing to do the things the therapist recommends is daunting. What you felt was not acceptable or was a line you felt didn't need to be crossed is still there in your heart. I think though what was ok before illness and what is ok in the time of crisis can be totally different. It would be so much easier if you were able to talk about this with DH in a meaningful way and be able to agree on what is ok to do when he is feeling bad like helping out with finding a job. That however may not be an option yet. It may take a bit longer with the lithium and therapy before a conversation like that can take place. Is it even an option to be able to see a therapist together? I guess if you feel that helping to find work won't become something to threaten your marriage to the point of divorce then do so. You can explain later when he is healthy your reasons for doing so. Know matter what you choose to do just make sure you are as comfortable as can be with that decision. You are supported no matter what.

Tammy said...

I thought in the early years for being diagnosed bipolar that the only job I would ever have is stocking shelves at night at the Everything for a Dollar store. I had absolutely no confidence. It took years to find the right combination of drugs that really worked. I was offered a job teaching computers part time. It was hard but I told them that I had biploar disorder and that I had a visible tremor. I had some very difficult times teaching and had set backs but I didn't miss a day of school. Now I have been homeschooling for the past three years. We start early so if I fall apart we have plenty of time to finish the year. It's not easy I've had depressions where I stare at the wall most of the day and I was even in the hospital for a week this past Spring. But the point is that there is always hope for more. Just because DH can't do much now doesn't mean that is how it is always going to be. Getting in touch with your limitations and being able to communicate that to other people makes the transition to work much easier.

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