It’s been bothering me for some time now. Yet, I finally figured out what to say to you.
See…I don’t know how to let go of you. You’re a part of me. You have been since you kissed me in Hastings, played around in the hats, danced around your trailer with that broom, danced around your bedroom getting ready, agreed to go with me on road trips, and showed me it was okay to laugh again. I didn’t know how much I wanted to know you when we kissed at Hastings…but when I found myself looking for you in town…I knew something was up. I fought it. 9 months we went without even a word. Yet…some how…almost 6 years later…here we are married.
Do you even recognize how incredible that is?
So I have been trying to figure out what to say, right? This is what I figured out. I’ve never sugarcoated things for you before…and that…though you know you will argue…is in fact why you love me. So I am not going to start now.
You know you are sick. You have known since before I met you that your brain and emotions don’t work like they should. It makes you embarrassed to be different. It makes you scared and it makes you feel worthless. Though you are far from worthless. You my dear are worth more than gold to me.
Because you feel these things, you run from people that make you feel wanted, because you are afraid they will eventually leave you. Rightfully so…because that is what you have experienced in your past. I started out just like all of the rest…except…you pushed me and I wouldn’t go. In the beginning, I was immune to the fits of rage and the cruel intentions which were partly symptoms of your illness and partly you pushing me away to protect yourself. You told yourself daily that it was only a matter of time before things ended with me just like they had with every other woman you had ever tried to love…or had ever tried to love you. You knew in your mind…there was no chance for us. You tried several times to lie to yourself and forget what was inevitably coming…the end…but when you got comfortable those voices and those sinking feelings crept back in.
Those voices and feelings are your illness. That fear that consumes you…that hatred that overwhelms you…that is not the peace I have ever envisioned for you. Yes, I have helped you find peace for a moment…and then the illness drowns me out. You no longer hear me…you hear everything bad that has ever happened and you are once again convinced that you cannot have happiness. Not with me…and not alone.
The things you have experienced in your life…the experiences that have caused you to be ill…they are horrific. There is no wonder you struggle the way you do.
At first as I said, I was immune. But as I began to fall deeper in love with you…as you became so incredibly important to me…that immunity began to fade. My own insecurities began to resurface…things I had previously dealt with and laid to rest. Abandonment and fear…those things once controlled me also. I had worked through them…but now I was being triggered by your experiences and your reactions/behaviors. I am not blaming you…as someone as sick as you are is expected to have these struggles. I am explaining why and how I changed.
Every time you threatened to leave…it triggered my abandonment issues. Not in the beginning…because my stake in you wasn’t as high. But as I began to love you more and more…the consequences of you following through became higher and higher. I didn’t want to loose someone I had grown so close to. And you…well…you use threats to control people and get your way. It is what someone that has your illness does. I should have recognized it…but I didn’t. Instead…I needed to immediately convince you how much I love you and how horrific it would be if you followed through with your threat. Which in turn played right into your desire to control and enabled you to repeat the process the next time you were having an episode or you didn’t get your way. Again…explaining…not blaming.
In fact…I don’t really blame you for anything other than giving up. And frankly…that is your absolute right.
I screwed up. I told you I was leaving. I got swept up in the frustration of dealing with your illness…and I said something I never meant. I also got swept up in the assumptions and accusations of your illness and I reacted physically when I should have just walked away and neutralized the situation. It was an error in judgement.
As much as I love you…I spent years trying to prove I would never harm you…and in one brief regretful moment…I gave you exactly what you had been looking for all along. A reason to hate me and justify your belief that we could never work.
What I realize now is…your illness does not define you. You are ill…but it is your choice if you stay that way. It is your decision to walk away from me and give up on working through our issues and finding healing. Your illness tells you that you must do so to protect yourself from me walking out on you. Yet I believe you know after all we have been through…I would walk to the ends of the Earth with you and for you.
You have free will. You get to decide what you want your life to be. At one of the sanest moments in your life…you chose me. You knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you wanted me. You also chose it for a lifetime, because we said no divorce. Yet…if in the least rational moment of your life you want to throw that away…it is your life and your choice.
You know the truth about who I am, and what our love truly is. I can’t speak to you mind…because it can’t hear me…but your heart can. In your heart…you know the truth. And though you are afraid to want it and feel it…you know the opportunities we have at our feet.
Is it easy? No. Enduring, consistent treatment for your mental health is challenging and the most difficult thing you will likely ever do. Yet, I know, you know, the reward and pay off will make it well worth it. I know this, because all the bullshit and lies and assumptions and nasty thoughts andvoices and excuses aside you have been truly happy since being with me.
I need you to know this is not just your struggle. I am struggling too. It is not easy to live this with you. I am scared of loosing you. I am scared of the fits of rage. I hate being accused of things I would never do. I also hate having to defend myself against irrational thoughts and beliefs. It is overwhelming and draining and scary. Some days I feel so unloved and I wonder why I am here. Some days I want to leave…and then I calm down and remember that underneath all of the irrationality…there is a man that loves me tremendously. So much so that he married me and gave me his name. So much so that he spends hours building me wondeful things and makes me surprise gifts. He loves me so much that he would do some pretty embarrassing things just to help me…or go out of his way to make me feel better when I am sad or sick. I lose my patience sometimes and I recognize I cannot do that with you. We can’t both be irrational at the same time.
I know you have many negative ideas and assumptions in your mind. I know you are angry with me…for some real and some percieved reasons. I have heard every word you have said to me.
I hope you have heard mine. I hope you let them sink in. I hope you refill your meds, and take them consistently and let my words marinate in your heart. You may feel you don’t need the meds…and taking them…feeling better is your choice. I’d like to remind you of a recent event. You were so angry…but before you left I asked you to take your Celexa. We had been fighting for days. You were so angry and you stormed off in your truck…flipping me off on the way out of the driveway. Within an hour…as your meds began to take effect…you left me a voicemail telling me things had gotten out of hand and you were sorry. I listen to that voicemail often. It was so sincere. It was my husband…not his mental illness.
Last summer…this same thing happened. You got angry with me and we didn’t talk through these things you percieved and it snowballed out of control. Once we talked and you went back on your meds…it all got worked out.
I respect your free will and your right to make choices.
Just know…I am fearful of your current mental state and your rage, so I am hesitant.
Though, I miss you. I love you, tremendously, and I am here to help you through this.