Saturday, August 20, 2011

I've become unsympathetic.

And it shocks me.  When DH is moaning in pain from his back, I don't even feel bad for him.  I find myself getting angry, because all he wants is for someone to give him a pill (preferably Percocet) to get rid of the "pain" and he doesn't do anything at all to make sure he doesn't get the pain in the first place, like go to physical therapy, exercise a little, or maybe make a half-hearted effort to lose weight (I know weight loss is hard, even for people without mental health issues, but if he just showed me he was trying to do something, even if he was failing, it would make me feel better)....

And when he comes home from work all sad because he was sent home from work for having high blood sugar, instead of being the "supportive wife", I turn into the "angry and disgusted" wife.  Because the problem is so easy to avoid, yet he doesn't. 

And he doesn't realize these things for whatever reasons, every time it happens, even if I've told him that it will happen, he is shocked and surprised.  And I'm not.  I just get more disgusted.

And that surprises me on some levels.  I know he believes his problems are not of his doing (don't a lot of us?) and that he has a mental health condition that warps his thinking.  So should I really be angry with him for something he can't seemingly control?  I feel bad.  But I just can't see how it can be pointed out to him, step by step, and he still doesn't do anything about it.

I have no sympathy.  When he goes to the Emergency Room for his back pain, I don't even go with any more.  Because every week there's some different ache or pain.  And it's never anything serious.  Last week he was having strange pains in his ribs, under his arm, on his right side.  I just got angry, wasn't even worried about what might be going on, because it's always something.  Then, I was glad that he was gone to the E. R.  Then, I kind of mentally chastised myself, because what if I feel that way and he's really having a serious health problem?  It's like I have run out of sympathy.  It's not something I'm proud of.  But after rereading what I've written here, it might not be as surprising as I thought it was.


Reighnie said...

It's your defense mechanism. You still care but you can't deal with it so you push him away. You tell yourself you don't care but you rationalize it.

There's only so much a person can handle and God doesn't expect you to be Job. it's ok to walk away if that's what you need to do Carol. Sometimes God leads us to do the very things we thought we would never do. Things will never work out if we continue to fight what we already know is in our hearts no matter how much we don't want that to be. You know?

Plus, change is SO hard.

It's not my place to tell you any of this...but obviously you still care for your husband and you are concerned about what you perceive as your lack of feelings towards him. If divorce has been on your mind, maybe it's time to move forward with that or a trial separation before things really do get ugly between you guys and something does happen that someone will regret?

You are in a tough place with no easy answers. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Carol, I have to agree with Reighnie on this. It IS okay to walk away from all of this.

Anonymous said...

I have been following you for a while and my heart breaks for you. The major difference between your situation and mine is that my husband is actually compliant with his treatment plan. We go together to counseling at the VA, he has a gazillion supportive doctors and a major diagnosis. Still, the stuff he has done, the stuff that NO ONE else knows about, makes me question my motives periodically.

Please follow your heart, your intuition and get some outside help (counseling?) from someone you can trust. There is no right answer, except what feels right to you.

diane said...

Have you ever gone with him to appointments with the psychiatrist and asked exactly how responsible you can expect him to behave?
It sounds like counselling for you might not be a bad idea.

Miss Kitty said...

I agree with the other posters: It's OK to walk away, if you finally decide that's best. You've held up your end of the bargain, and he hasn't. Yes, he's ill...but even sick people have to participate in their healing. If I break my leg, I have to be careful while it's in a cast, and keep up with my physical therapy. If I have diabetes, I have to check my sugar, watch my diet, take my insulin if/when needed, and eat regular meals. If I have cancer, I have to go in for chemo/radiation, make arrangments for work when I'm way too sick to go in, maybe have surgery, deal with the emotional turmoil...and so on. You're right that we treat mental illness differently from physical illness. You do a great job at recognizing just how debilitating mental illness is, and have been very supportive. I say it's time you held him just as accountable as if he had diabetes or a heart condition. I've heard of doctors "firing" patients who refused to stick with their treatment regimen (my doctor told me a few months ago of having to "fire" a patient who wouldn't keep up with his diabetes treatment and kept getting worse and worse and worse, and I can't say I blame my doctor--that's got to be maddening).

DH can't help that he's bipolar. But he CAN get with the program, at least to some extent. Hell, I have medication-dependent emotional/psychoneurological issues myself, and I got so tired of my life being in the crapper that I knew I *had* to take control. It's tough! But I'm so glad that I have more good days than bad, and that I can usually stop my mental "hamster wheel" before another downward spiral begins.

Carol, you're an awesome person and a wonderful wife. Anyone who's been through what he's put you through would have to recognize their feelings and anger sooner or later. Nothing wrong with you--you're just human, and in a hellacious situation.