nervous breakdown

Hi. Remember Me?

Ugh, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to write this post for several days, but no clever ideas have come to me so I suppose I may as well just dive in and vomit it out.  The last you heard from me, I was going to go curl up in the fetal position. Which wasn’t hyperbole. I was probably a couple of days out from complete nervous breakdown. As regular readers know, the last few years have not been kind to me and my family. It all culminated last summer with my husband leaving me with 5 kids which was a fairly stressful and traumatic experience. Around the start of the year, I felt like I was turning a corner. I went days at a time without crying and even felt happy for at least part of every day.  I knew that there would be bumps on the road, but for me February was more like running into the side of a mountain and then being hunted down by a pack of Chupacabra. I mean, under more normal circumstances, I could handle emergency gallbladder surgery and my mother almost dying within 10 days like a champ. I could maybe even weather not having my parents – particularly my mother – readily available to talk to when I needed to vent. But this time? Not so much.

I told my mom later that it felt like the only time I went skiing and crashed so hard that I never did find the rabbit fur ear muffs I had pressured my brother to let me borrow. I just crashed. It sucked to be me. But is that ever enough? No, of course not. Because I could see that the whole thing was part of a massive, cosmic set-up. You see, for several months, the ex had been making noises about moving back in. Seeing as he was still picking fights with me to argue that “humiliation is too a good parenting tool” and responding to my requests for a break from the kids that lasted more than 2 hours by accusing me of using the kids as an excuse not to create a real life for myself, this wasn’t a particularly tempting proposition. I did finally tell him that if he wanted to move into the basement I guess that would be OK, but I wasn’t prepared to raise so much as an eyebrow in order to help him move the boys out of their room so it could happen. Which meant that there was a close to 0% chance of it actually happening.

But I had also told him that I found his continuing crazypants talk frightening and perhaps he would want to get some counseling before I signed the kids up for lessons in self-defense. Which he finally did. So, right around the time that my mom was near death and I could feel myself coming completely unglued, he came and apologized. Apparently the counselor had given him an emotional intelligence test that he scored a zero on and it opened his eyes. Actually, I have no idea what he scored on the Emotional Intelligence tests, but just 3 sessions in he felt compelled to come and beg forgiveness and offered to help me recover from having to live with him the last couple of years. Which I may have rolled my eyes at if at that moment I wasn’t afraid that I was going to wind up like that Kony 2012 guy and run out into the street in my underwear to bang my head on the pavement.  Which would have been really bad because I’ve had 5 kids and look much worse in my undies than that guy did. Well, OK, I probably wouldn’t have ended up like that anyways – it takes too much energy to have a psychotic break. I’m more given to catatonic posturing; that only requires me work up enough energy to suck air. At any rate, I knew that I was close to losing it and needed help and lacking any other reasonable volunteers, he moved back in.

For the first few days I kept him up half the night with my sobbing. Because the idea that I was going to have to wake up to another day was that awful just then. He had promised that he was done complaining, criticizing and demanding – particularly when it came to my crappy house keeping. So I took him at his word and didn’t do shit for a couple of weeks. I got my anti-depressants and slept a lot. Obviously, I didn’t (couldn’t) write anything. And slowly, slowly, slowly after much time spent staring at walls, I started getting better. I stopped spending most of my time hiding in my room (or bathroom). I took the kids on walks and met people. The last few days I’ve felt almost normal. My house is cleaner than it’s been in ages. And I can actually think about writing again.

So, the qxh (quasi-ex-husband) has become the qh (quasi-husband). Quasi because I’m still not convinced that this is going to work. We had our first argument since he moved back last night (which isn’t too bad considering that it’s been almost a month and a half). But frankly, I’m just not at all confident that the man even likes who I am as a human being. Which is a real deal breaker donchano? And my tolerance for people whose views of me and my actions are delusional, negative and/or psychotic (a good description of his stance for the year before he left) has been reduced to just about nothing. I have family members I’m not speaking to for just that reason. There’s no way in hell that I’m actually going to live with someone who is likewise inclined to hyper-critical, reality-free thinking when it comes to me. I make NO claims to perfection, but frankly, I think I’m a fairly awesome person and have done a pretty admirable job with my life which is also completely imperfect, but pretty awesome nonetheless. Anyone who thinks otherwise can feel free to STFU. Or barring that, allow me to suggest a long walk off a short pier in the Everglades. I promise not to miss you when you’re gone!

I referred earlier to this whole thing as a “massive cosmic set-up” because reality is that it was going to take me being knocked flat on my ass before I would consider letting the qh move in or attempt any reconciliation. We were utterly done. Heck, we don’t even have our wedding rings anymore. The only reason he was the quasi-ex-husband and not just the ex-husband was that there was no money to file the papers I have all filled out and working out child support was going to be complicated by his already existing child support orders.  It could well be that with continued counseling for the qh and eventually for us together, we’ll be able to work things out. In which case, we’ll be able to look back and be happy that I had finally hit my wall. If not, I’m at least glad that he was able to step in when he did and get along well enough with me and the kids to give me time to recuperate.

So, yeah, that’s what’s been up with me. Anything interesting going on in your world?

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9 thoughts on “Hi. Remember Me?

  1. Wow….I am truly hoping that things are going to work out for you! It would be great if all this was something you could look back on as a “growing experience” (- especially for your qh….ahem…).

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    • Thanks, Mary. I’ve said for a while now that either we’re going to end up having one of the great love stories or we’ll fail spectacularly. No half-assing it for us! lol

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  2. of course we we remember you. I’m glad to hear that you are doing better. I’m not sure that you know how much people have been praying, worry or talking to rainbows(Whichever works for them), for your return. I hope things continue to improve of you, and I think that working on your mental health is always beneficial.

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    • SIL, the worst thing about being the oldest is you get to be the first one to have things go really wrong in life. And not having enough life experience, the yungins look upon me with horror rather than going, “yeah – life sucks like that sometimes. If anyone can get through it, you can.” I still haven’t gotten over being told that now that I was no longer being oppressed and held back by my horrible husband (you know, the person who has been my best friend for my entire adult life), I could FINALLY have a shot at life – within a week of him leaving, no less! (When I protested, I was told that it must just look very different from the inside. From the outside, I looked like an abused, downtrodden mess, I guess.) Fortunately, I tell other people these stories and they inevitably laugh – which is very helpful to me.

      Love the family, but we’re pretty out-of-synch. I’ll just wait ten years and I’m sure I’ll be inundated with calls apologizing for not getting it – just like happened with Noah. In the meantime, when life inevitably takes a rough turn, I hope everyone knows that I’m here with experience, wisdom and perspective to share.

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