Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anger and where I bite my tongue

Well, I've been giving a lot of thought to the comments I've received, and I was still putting off doing anything at all, because it's hard. It's very hard.

But on Sunday, it was the third day where he said that he would scoop out Shasta's litter box. And he was going to clean the kitchen, too. I was a little hopeful, and I went to work. I talked to him at 3am, when he called me to tell me that he was going to bed. "What did you do all night?", I asked. "Oh, just watched movies." I thought that maybe he was just leaving out the cleaning part. Ok, I didn't really think it, but I was kind of hoping.

I got home and the house smelled like a zoo. Of course Shasta's box hadn't been done, nothing had been done at all. I take that back. He loaded the dishwasher.
But out of the 10+ hours that I was gone for work, that is what he did. That and watch movies.

So when I went in to bed, I made enough of a commotion that it woke him up, he asked me what was wrong. I said, "I thought you were going to scoop Shasta's box...? And clean the kitchen...?" He said, "Oh yeah. I was, wasn't I?" And he went back to bed. I set my alarm for three hours later, so that I could get out of bed and clean. When my alarm went off, he asked me why I was getting up. I said, "because this house needs cleaning, and I am going to do it." He kept saying, "I'll clean, I'll clean, just go back to bed." But I cannot depend on him (clearly) so I just continued to slam things around and clean the kitchen. Then he got up and said, (can you believe this)..."Did you buy me some cigarettes?" I almost laughed, but I didn't. Actually, I had forgotten to pick them up on my way home, got into the driveway and thought, "I'll just run to the bathroom before I run back to town to get them." But when I got inside, I changed my mind. I said to him, "No, I didn't, because I was mad." He said, "Never mind, I'll get them myself." And went and got a bunch of pennies out of his change jar and left.

Then he came back, and I could tell it was "That Guy" and he was angry. But he went in and started vaccuuming the living room. He wasn't speaking to me, which was fine with me. Then, he went to lift the coffee table up on to the couch so that he could vaccuum that area, and Woo-Woo, one of the dogs, was in his way. "MOVE, GO*DAMMIT, YOU STUPID THING, GET OUT OF MY WAY!" He was screaming at the top of his lungs. I have never heard him scream like that and it scared me. So I went into the living room, looked at him and said, "Leave. Right now. Leave." And he screamed at me, "I DON'T HAVE ANY GAS TO LEAVE, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LEAVE!!!!!!" So I gave him a $5 bill, and he left. I was hugely relieved at first. All I could think of was "he's gone, thank goodness."

But then I recognized that the $5 was not going to get him to his mom's house 4 hours away. And it would not get him a hotel room. So then I started thinking that he might choose to hurt himself, and I called him. He sounded very different. He had already asked his mom to Western Union him some gas money, so I was wrong there. But we sat in his car and talked, and I could tell that "That Guy" was completely gone. DH said, "Nothing about this is about you. You are doing everything right. You are doing way more than your share, and you have a right to expect me to help out. I don't blame you one bit for being angry. How can we fix this?" And so on.

So I told him that he has to start taking his pills on a schedule again and not fighting it. And he agreed. He will keep his morning pills next to the bed, so that he can just reach over and take them. And he will take the nighttime pills at the right time, and not put them off just so that he can stay up later.

And he apologized again for not helping. And he agreed that every day I would make him a to-do list with one chore on it and he would do that. (I'm realistic enough to know that he might not do that even, but it's more than he's doing now).

And since then, he's been doing more, and whining less. I think he is at least getting an inkling that I am near the end of my rope. It was probably wrong for me to not stick to my guns after I told him to leave, but I didn't think he had an option like having his mom wire him money. I am very much hoping that if he can start taking those pills at the right time(s), that he'll become more stable, too.

I don't want my marriage to end. I love my husband. I wish I was better at handling this. It's one thing for me to say, "Well, he's mentally ill, I can't expect much", but when you want a partnership marriage, that isn't good enough. I'm confused, worried, and sad. And I don't think I'm ready to give up yet, although I think quite a number of you will question my own sanity on this one...


Stacy said...

I so understand that you want a partner and not another child. I hope that him taking his meds really does improve things...

Elizabeth B. Alexander said...

The more normal my sleep schedule is the better I am. You're right, meds at the same time really help that. I think unstable people really do need a fairly strict routine. I do anyway. Same expectations every day so I know I can handle the day right when I wake up.

I still sleep entirely too much, but if I can wake up by 10am then I can still sit for two hours and still have 6 hours for a few chores or errands. I know it sounds lazy, but it helps me keep the hubs from getting too frustrated when I'm "that girl." She sucks.

While my illness is much less severe than your husband's, I often experience what you describe as "that guy."

I know how hard it must be waiting for him to improve, but he's trying even if it's a little. It's going to add up eventually. You just never know when that right blood/brain barrier, neurotransmitter, hormonal combo will happen.

Anonymous said...

Your husband doesn't have a chance of getting better if he won't take his pills. Not just take them when he doesn't feel "right" but take them faithfully and on time. The medications he's prescribed have to reach a stable level in his body to work the way they're supposed to.
I've noticed that when people are sick they tend to get very self-absorbed. Your husband wants his ciggies and his soda and he's not interested in doing chores around the house. He needed to be shaken up and I'd say you did a great job of doing that.
Now it remains for him to take action. As I mentioned before, talk is cheap. He can agree to clean up, let the dogs out, do the laundry, yadda yadda and so on but it doesn't mean a thing if he doesn't get his heiner off the recliner and DO something.
I don't know how much exercise your husband gets but I'd be willing to bet it's not enough. He should walk or ride a bike or chop wood, anything to get moving and get the endorphins pumping. Sitting on the couch all day will make anybody slide into depression and apathy.
I hope something constructive comes from the incident you described. You have a right to be angry. Ninety-nine out of a hundred women would have kicked him to the curb long ago. I'll keep praying for you both.

Elizabeth B. Alexander said...

We know, anon. No one enjoys being out of control of their own emotions and personality.

Sometimes it's not even the depression but being too scared of mania to get off the couch. I'd say if hubs even has the recognition he needs to do more, that's a big step. That means he's in reality, if only for a little while.

You're doing great, Carol. You know he's in there somewhere.

perphila said...

The real question is if the recognition is truely there or if the illness is just having DH say what it knows you need to hear. I always felt after a blow up like you described that my own husband had felt remorse and knew he needed help. He said he did, he said all the right things, he even did things for a little while but I began to undersatnd it was all just manipulation to shut me up and I would be so exhausted I would let things go and not stand my ground. I understand completely about wanting to save your marriage. I felt desperate too. You are doing everything you can and doing a really great job. Don't doubt that. The meds are so important. If Dh can take them on time and have a clear routine then there is real hope for him and your marriage. At least DH isn't in denial. It is a task of doing what he needs to do to help himself. That is a step in the right direction. Just watch out for the words not followed with actions.

Accidental Mommy said...

I'm not judging you at all. I just wish he would have decided to go to his mom's for a few so you could have got a break.

Things didn't start happening around here until I lost my shit and "quit". I did the bare minimum and disappeared into my room with the door shut. No dinners, no laundry nothing. I just couldn't anymore.

Your previous post. I can so relate. I have felt exactly like that. When I think of you, I feel you are the only person who could truly understand what I go through on a daily basis. We have different situations but we feel the same way. We are at what seems to be the end of the road for us but not for our situation. We are the only "sane" ones and have no help.

I hope things get better for you and I don't think it would hurt for your Hubs to visit his mom even when he is doing great. If I could get a break from my hubbins and know that he is safe, I totally would.


Carol said...

Sasha, I'm so glad you posted!!! I've been so worried about you!!! If you want me to, I'll delete the post I made to you....I'm sorry I did that, but I was so worried!!!!

Story of our Life said...


Many people with mental illness DO work, DO hold jobs, DO clean their house, DO...LIVE a somewhat (with alterations) NORMAL life, IF they choose to.

As I've said before..He (not you) needs to want to get better. He can not get better if you want him to get better, that in and of itself. Instead...he has to WANT to get better.

By wanting to get better than your wanting/support will obviously help him (and you).


You have a right to expect effort and sometimes the illness will overtake the ability of him giving any type of effort. And in reality that is okay - sometimes.

(((HUGS))) Gala

Anonymous said...

Holy shit that was a boring story