As I open my eyes for the start of a new day, I am hopeful. I awaken with a chipper exterior and a life that cannot be contained. I envision the day, its stressors and beneficial highlights. I plan accordingly and seek all the positivity that this world can offer. The daily routine of applying make up to the gospel word, kissing my loved ones good-bye and driving an hour to work as I blast music the whole way through.
Enjoying the day with an extreme amount of enthusiasm all the while hearing the gnawing voice within. The one that creeps in when the end of the day is in sight. The anxiety builds and in a brief moment I think to myself, I miss him. I want to snuggle and feel his everlasting warmth, to kiss the smile on his lips as it forms. I naively think that he will be all the things I allow myself to envision and dream of.
A rude awakening always emerges itself in some form or another. A late night at the office, a text message or email from a male coworker or a misspoken word; can suddenly bring me back to the reality of my life.
My spouse has dysthymia.
He screams at me as I trudge in after a long night of work.
“Where were you?”
“Why did you not answer?”
“Who were you with?”
I plan a day at the gym with friends and it continues…
“You are easily influenced, so gullible.”
“You don’t need to work out”
“Just come home and eat and relax”
You find yourself “walking on eggshells”, never knowing what you will do to set him off. What you will say that could potentially make it worse. Your feelings mean nothing and are laughable because his triumph all.
You coware when he screams afraid he will hit you. He screams profanity and anger at you. How can you even begin to reason with someone who has no perception of whats real. One moment he is the most loving husband and extremely apologetic; the next he stares at you with hatred that makes you wince in pain.
His depression, lack of self work and anger, slowly take over him and he no longer sees reason. He only sees his uncontrollable feelings.
When you love someone with a mental illness who verbally abuses you, it can bring pain and a sense of loneliness inside you. The fear of him hurting you is always there, the sadness that overwhelms me when all I hear are his hurtful words of how stupid and naive I am replaying in my mind. Living with him at times can be the most depressing and hostile environment I feel most of the time; as if I am drowning. If I try to take myself out of the negative atmosphere, he resents my absence; if I remain in the environment he resents my presence. Nothing I say to reassure or comfort him helps and some how I manage to always fail.
He doesn’t see the names he calls me, how he belittles me, he doesn’t know that he shames me, at times he doesn’t even care that his ballistic rage comes for very little cause. He can’t understand that his threats scare and intimidate me, that my feelings are being dismissed and even more so he doesn’t get that he’s trying to manipulate me because of how he feels.
He doesn’t see that he is abusive, he just knows how he feels. He knows he’s angry at me and so I must have done something to deserve everything that he does in retaliation.
With every day that passes by I always remember the nights I cried myself to sleep, the pain his words have triggered within me, the sadness I have developed within because of the opportunities I have let go of in order to not upset him. The joys I have set aside for maybe another lifetime because he needs me….
Somewhere in all this, I have spent so much time trying to lift his spirits and act according to his reactions, I’m not so sure if that extremely happy smile I bear is real or just another act that I have perfected so well over time, that I even fool myself….
I simply know that I love him through all the mental illness that clouds his judgement is caring and loving individual.
I feel most of the time as if I am drowning. If is take myself out of the negative atmosphere he resents my absence, if I remain in the environment he resents my presence,