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When You've Reached Your Limit

I was listening to the radio station KLOVE today as I was driving and heard a Christian singer talk about a time in his life when he was de...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

In My Husband's Words

I am very blessed by God to have such an amazing help-mate in my life in my husband.  He has been there through the toughest times when I thought he would rather not be.  We have weathered a lot together.  And my onset of depression was the beginning of a huge learning curve for both of us.  Below is my interview with my husband.

What were your thoughts and feelings when I told you my thoughts I was having about our daughter to harm her?

The first thought was okay, I need to take this seriously.  I took cautions to keep Sarah safe by sleeping in the doorway by her crib.  Second thought was, why is this person I married who really wanted children thinking this way.  It wasn’t normal and with the way you wanted children.  It seemed like it was not a thought of someone who was thinking properly.  This is irrational so something is seriously wrong because you would normally not think this way.  Thoughts about leaving you never entered my mind because of my vows to God and to you.

What were you thinking and feeling when the doctor at the Psychology Clinic recommended I go to Charter Hospital?

I was thinking it was probably a good idea because you needed help because the thoughts you were having were not normal.  I was really worried for you, for Sarah and for me.  I was confused, fearful and just trying to figure out what you needed because I had never dealt with that before.  I was raised that if you’re depressed to just get over it.  That’s what I saw in society.  Not sure if my parents ever preached that though.

What were your feelings and thoughts when you had to take me to Charter and subsequent visits to a psychiatric ward environment?   

Again , I was more worried about you and your well-being.  It was always a forefront of my thoughts that you wouldn’t hurt yourself.  As the years went on, the more I became in tuned to the signals you would give off that you were in a dive.  It took a lot of me wanting to know what your triggers were.  I had no idea what I was dealing with.  I had to talk to the doctors and started getting angry at God.  And as I sought counseling I started getting angry in general.  I couldn’t figure out why or how to deal with that in a loving responsible manner.  I started to get short and stuff like that.  By talking to counselors, they taught me that I wasn’t dealing with someone who could just get over getting depressed.  It was explained that it would be as if I was in a deep dark hole with no one around, no food or water, a kind of desperation.  They said it would never completely go away.  I had to go through the grieving process because I felt like I had been robbed by clinical depression and other names (OCD).  I felt robbed from my wife.  But that changed and it taught me to put more of a focus on you instead of myself. The whole situation put a lot of extra duties on me like dad duties and mom duties, the time the mother would spend with the baby in the beginning months.  My mom could tell I was giving the primary care because Sarah would come to me rather than you.  She could tell you had withdrawn.  My empathy came from talking to my mother, your mother and your sister.  They helped me a lot to understand that this was not the normal you.  And my mother helped me understand that it wasn’t my fault or your fault, but just something that happened.  It was a big learning curve.

Did you ever feel like you were losing me as a wife, person, mother to our child?

Yes at times.  There were times when you could help and times when you couldn’t and you had to focus on yourself getting better.  I never thought ever that this was something you were doing on purpose or that you could control.  It wasn’t your choice to deal with this.  What sane person would?  

Were you angry with God?  How did you get over that?
Just by praying and getting into the Bible and talking to people--Christians about it.  Trying to figure out what was going on.  It took a lot of prayer and reading, a lot of yelling at God, a struggling and wrestling with God.  Why would you allow this to happen?  Then it would lead to acceptance that things happen and you just have to deal with them.

How did you cope with your feelings and thoughts?

Counseling—that was important.  I had to be there for you, but at the same time had to be there for me.  I was angry at the illness.  Eventually I got to the point where I was just angry with the illness, but it didn’t have anything to do with you as a person.  That was something you couldn’t control.  It’s not something anyone would choose.  It was horrible for me to watch you go through it because I couldn’t help you.  I was totally helpless.  The more I tried to help, the worse it got.  Because I would say things that I thought were helpful but they made you more depressed or they weren't helpful, such as, “You’re sleeping too much.”  These were things you were doing to deal with it, but I was making you more upset and causing more damage.

Any further thoughts or feelings?  Any advice to spouses?

I think the biggest thing is if you’re in a marriage for the long haul as you should be then you should be more worried about getting the other person better—as good as they can get like me making sure you were taking your medicines and paying attention to you.  It’s a balance you have to find between taking care of the person and trying to keep yourself sane and not say things that are harmful or detrimental.  It took therapy and talking to people.  I did a lot of research on the Internet also.