Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Depression


The title doesn't refer to me.  Considering the uncertain situation we're in, I'm relatively happy;  just putting one foot in front of the other.

In the afterglow of our major achievement the other day about keeping our assets intact, I think the finality of it all has sunk in for my wife. There are plenty of other things causing stress as well.  

It has been a very difficult few days for her.  I think maybe a full-blown case of depression as settled in. The slightest trigger seems to cause an emotional breakdown. This downswing in her mood will pass eventually; these cycles have been going on for most of her adult life, although they have been far worse in recent months.

We discussed all this during a very emotional phone call.  There's very little that I can do in the face of such distress, especially when the opportunity for professional help is refused.  I said, "I'm sorry ... I'm so sorry I put through  this.   I'll regret it forever."

Her response:  "Don't blame yourself.  It's not your fault... you didn't know.  You just didn't know."
   
I got misty-eyed at that response and again while typing this.  This was the first hint of forgiveness from her, the first acknowledgment that she now believes me what I told her. Another major step forward, I think.
 
When I got married, I didn't know I was gay... I just didn't know.   I would never have put anyone through this pain deliberately.

I discussed this conversation with my oldest who promptly cancelled some plans and arranged to be driven to her mother's house to spend the night.   With great compassion, my daughter instinctively understood that her mother needed her there.  There's nothing like having the emotional support of your children to give you hope for the future.
http://yummyhairydudes.tumblr.com/ -NSFW

11 comments:

  1. From all the tiny bits you've been so kind to share with us, I must say that you are all doing rather well considering the whole situation. You have great kids. Your wife is going through a very normal phase. Yes, all you need in those times is the love of your family and your friends.
    My mother went through a severe depression after her seperation; she needed professional help. She took the depression as some kind of personnal failure. But when you understand that depression is not a mental disease (which is what she thought it was) but only a hormonal disfonction cause by accumulated stressful events in ones life, the nervous system is simply "out of fuel", well, she finally accepted to go on medication for a while, and it helped her greatly!
    Take care!

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  2. The loving concern you have shown for her is likely to make her depression easier to deal with.

    It's good that she realizes that you didn't know.

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  3. I second what the other commenters have said:

    You loving compassion for your wife is moving. It's clear that you are trying really hard to do what's best for the both of you. What makes it difficult is that there are conflicting needs going on.

    And, your kids really are amazing. You should be proud of how they are handling this situation, looking out for the needs of both of you.

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  4. It's great that your wife realizes at some level that it isn't your fault and that you didn't want to put her through all that. The depression is a challenge to be worked through.

    And I agree that your daughter is amazing. I'm sure my daughter is playing a similar role with my wife even though she has forebidden her to talk about her and my son with me. Living in separate continents from all of them has its pros and cons.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck as you continue your journey out.

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  5. DeepBlue: thanks for sharing your story about you mother! I hope my wife seeks help (we're working on this on a number of fronts) and has the same happy outcome as your mother.

    Everyone: thank you for commenting and your good wishes. We are all doing very well, of course with once exception. I'm very proud of my children!

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  6. anne marie in phillyMay 4, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    (speaking as a divorced woman who remarried) - the divorce was like a death; the 5 stages of grief had to be experienced. and I initiated the divorce!

    as it turned out, both of us wound up with better-matched spouses. we should have never married in the first place, but "we didn't know". it can happen to anyone, gay or str8.

    you are not alone, honey. smooches!

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  7. anne marie: thanks for sharing your experience! I've heard divorce described as a "living death" because your spouse is still around providing a constant reminder of your pain.

    I'm sure my wife is grieving the end of our marriage and all the years of good times we had. The grief would be mixed in with anger, bitterness and confusion. It will take time to work through it all.

    Not to sound callous, but I emotionally left my marriage long ago after years of verbal abuse. I've already been through the stages.

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  8. depression is an evitable part of psychic healing. No way around it. Only bright side is this too shall pass, and it is a sign of healing, not unlike the colours of a bruise

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  9. Thank you, Dr. Spo. I was hoping to hear your opinion on this!

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  10. Buddy, I'm curious about something. You didn't know you were when you married. What if someone would have told you? What would you response have been? Would it have saved you from going down that path?

    I ask because I have known several "straight" men who were obviously gay (obvious to everyone but themselves) and who have married females. I know one day those marriages will end terribly. Should I have spoken up and said, "Hey don't marry her. You are gay!". Or should I have kept my mouth shut like I did?

    I've always heard you cannot tell an alcoholic that he is an alcoholic. It is something he has to figure out on his own. Perhaps the same goes for someone who is gay. And perhaps the only way he'll find out that he is gay is by marrying a female.

    It's so mixed up, but what are your thoughts on this?

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  11. Nobody told me that I was gay or suggested it; if someone had, I wouldn't have beieved it. The thought would never have crossed my mind, never in a million years. As far as I know, no one was whispering about it behind my back. I was never teased about being gay throughout middle and high school.

    I really don't think I had many of the external stereotypical indicators (ie: having really feminine mannerisms or an interest in musical theatre) that would suggest I was gay.

    I certainly didn't feel gay, nor did my wife think so, in the first couple years of our marriage when were having sex every day.

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