I see you. You may feel I don’t, but I do.
It must be a hard place to stand. Watching everything fall around you, hopeless to to stop the explosion. Wanting to do something but needing to protect yourself from the shrapnel. You have a distinct feeling you must be safe before you can help me. Frustration hangs between us as I try to pull you close and push you away simultaneously. I’m drowning. Drowning in a pool of fear and anger and horror. I want you to rescue me and I don’t want you to rescue me. So we stand there worlds apart. Desperately trying to understand what happened and what we need to do next.
I don’t think people understand you. They don’t know how hard it is to be the one who survives these episodes. They don’t know the amazing deep strength you have to love someone who disappears leaving behind an unrecognizable shell of who she is. They don’t know the way your heart expands, despite the warning, and then aches as the ugliness slams into the deep part of your heart. They don’t know the agony of deciding between leaving me alone, to save your heart from the pain, and the fear that leaving me alone will bring a pain you will never recover from.
They don’t see this about you, but I do.
It cannot be easy being married to someone like me. I know the episodes are getting less and less. The recovery is shorter, healing more pronounced. Yet I know they are difficult and I’m afraid one day it might just be my last.
I wish you had the support that keeps me moving forward. The people who tell me it will be OK. Who reach out to me on a text, sing to me, pray with me or even crawl into bed with me and make me laugh. The ones who never leave me alone and tell me that night endures but in the morning the sun shines. The ones who will not judge me even when I’m falling apart.
You are not the first or the last husband to stand in a bedroom trying to decide if he takes his wife to the hospital or not. Stands in disbelief that he is in the same spot again. Desperately wanting his wife back … the one who was there 24 hours ago. Wondering if this is the day his life will change forever. Torn between a job and a person who is a danger to herself. Wanting to push her away to run from the pain but knowing that pulling her close will save her life…and his. You are not alone.
I see this. And it hurts. It hurts that I can hurt you. I try so hard to control the darkness. Avoid it. But sometimes I’m just not strong enough to silence the demons. So I just try harder and keep pursuing healing. Until I can’t hurt you anymore.
The husband and I are like two magnets. When we are aligned we pull together with a force that is hard to reckon with. But when I enter into these depressive episodes we cannot pull together no matter how hard we try. I wrote this a few weeks ago. I couldn’t share it with the husband at first. The pain was too raw and my shame too big. But time heals and I shared this with him. He was quiet. Then he smiled and kissed my head. And sometimes that’s all he needs to say.
Behind my stories is a man who is quiet and private and loves this girl who can hurt him so easily. He is patient and he is kind and he loves me deeply beyond anything I could ever imagine. He tells me that I’m strong and brave and he is proud of me. But I’m strong and brave…because he loves me and he keeps me strong and brave.
And I love him.