Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cautionary Hope

It seems like there's been a change in my husband, and a fairly quick one, once it started. Since we went to the pumpkin patch there have been a lot of nights where he's told me that he enjoyed himself, something that he hadn't been doing for quite some time. He's also started making a lot of plans for the future, just little things like hanging Christmas lights, or planing to dress up along with our little guy next Halloween. Sure, these things are small, but in the grand scheme of everything that's gone on, they're monumental.

I love that I'm starting to get my husband back. I'm just cautious. I don't want to get ahead of myself, or push him ahead of himself. So I sit back, and I watch these changes happening, and I smile.

And I breath. I didn't realize that I'd been holding my breath all this time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I think I might be crazy.

All things considered, I think everything's been going well. I feel like I can't say that Bo's any better, like it would be jinxing something, but he's laughing more, and he's playing more with Oliver. It's so hard to know anything for sure though, especially when he admits that he "fakes it" at home to try and make our lives easier. Why is this man of mine so good.

There are still the difficult moments, the off hand comments about wanting to end things, and there's still constant exhaustion from trying so hard to do everything. It's not easy for me to keep the house clean and the laundry up to date, and dinner on the table, but for the most part I'm doing it and Oliver's no worse for ware, the most important thing.

Here's the crazy part, at least why I'm crazy. Before everything came to light we'd planned on starting trying for a second baby when I went back to work, or shortly after. The plan was that I'd be back to work for a year, then I'd be off for good, being a stay at home mom like I've dreamed of. But then Bo came out with his depression, and my head spun, and everything was put on hold indefinitely (truthfully, and selfishly, breaking my heart a little bit, every day at work kills me).

Bo's been on medication for about two months now, and the increased dosage for one of them, and we're starting to see some small changes in the right direction.

We've also decided to start trying for our second child after all. I'm so afraid that this is the wrong thing to do, and even more afraid that if it is, I'm not strong enough to stop us from doing it. Selfish. I'm so, so, so selfish :(

I'm 100% ready for another baby. I've got all the normal fears, that our first will be our favourite, that Oliver won't get along with them, or that he'd be better off an only child, or that we won't be able to give Oliver as much as we would if he were an only child. Despite all those fears, and a million more, I do think it's better for Oliver, and us, to have a second baby. I think the multitude of pros outweigh any potential cons. I just worry about the timing.

I tried to stop myself from getting hopeful once I found out Bo was depressed, and though I have brought it up a few times, just trying to decided if we should have a second; I didn't think now was the right time. I didn't want to add any more stress to Bo, I didn't want to make him feel overwhelmed. But then he said he didn't want to wait, that the drugs were there to make him better, and that he didn't want to put off having a second baby, and that we shouldn't put it off another month (I was worried about the birthday being too close to Oliver's), we should start trying this cycle.

Inside, I'm screaming with joy, I'm so happy and excited, but there's a little voice that I'm trying to mute that's telling me Bo may be lying to make me happy. That little voice makes me very scared of a day a few years down the road when Bo cracks and tells me he didn't want the baby. I pray to god that I'm just over-analyzing this :(

I don't know what to do, I only know what I want to do, but I don't want to hurt Bo in the process.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's hard

I haven't been able to bring myself to write another post. Every day I kind of go back and forth with the thought of putting anything into writing.

This is hard.

But not in the way that I thought it was going to be.

My husband is a rock. He always has been for me, but now when he shouldn't be, at least not with me at home, he's forcing himself. Since his breakdown he hasn't let himself cry in front of me again. He doesn't open up about how it's feeling, or what he's going through. He walks through the door most days with a smile on his face, like he always did, and he kisses me and grabs our boy for a hug and a quick wrestling match.

We eat dinner together and talk about our day, we watch tv and play with Oliver, and we go to bed. He wraps his arm around me and as hard as I try not to, I fall asleep before him, leaving him with his thoughts.

This is hard.

He feels like less of a man because he broke down, so now it's like he's built a wall of glass to help himself feel like everything's ok. I've been there before, and I understand why he's doing this, I just wish that he didn't feel like he had to. I also wish that I didn't worry every day that I would do something to shatter it.

I'm trying so hard to make life easier for him. I try to keep the house clean, to cook all our meals at home. I gather the garbage and put it out, I get breakfast ready for Oliver each morning before I leave for work. I try to do my hair nice on the weekends, and actually wear some makeup. I try to not always be in sweats or pajamas around the house. I try to be cute. But I'm so tired. I'm just so, so tired.

Last Friday I felt myself start to break a little bit, and I know it's just because I'm putting too much pressure on myself. I know that there's not a lot that I can do to help him. I know that's what the medicine is for, and that as long as I don't make his life any harder right now we'll be ok. I'm just not like that though. I HAVE to do better and more at home, I HAVE to cook better dinners that he loves, and snacks that he likes. I HAVE to plan outings on the weekend so he can enjoy time with Oliver and get out. I HAVE to look cute and act cute and say cute things at night to remind him how cute I am. I HAVE to laugh extra loud and play extra long with Oliver each night to show him what a great family he has, because of how great he is. I just don't know another way to get through this.

I am cracking though. I suffered from sever anxiety at the same time I was struggling with depression four years ago. The anxiety would quickly turn into a full fledged panic attack, and for the first time in two years I had a mild one last Friday. A few times over the weekend I got a little more anxious then usual. I know the cause though, I'm just run down. I'm tired.

And I'm just so, so upset knowing that my husband is hurting and that there's nothing either of us can physically do right now to fix that. It sucks. It just really, really sucks.

I try to ignore his comments about stopping the medicine because it's not working. I laugh it off and tell him that it's a slow process and that we need to give it time. I think maybe we're both cracking with the pressure.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Happy Face

This is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done, but I know that I can do it. I know that I can be exactly what he needs me to be when we're together. When I'm alone, well, that's when I'll lose it.

Bo was adamant that he wanted to go to a movie Saturday night so I got my grandparents to watch Oliver for us for a few hours and we lost ourselves in the mindless entertainment of the The Expendables. Being in the car though on the way, well, it is just so different. My husband was always the joker, often at my expense, but never maliciously. On the way to the cottage to drop Oliver off Bo wanted to talk some more, more like re-hash how he was feeling. From what I could find online (and I don't know if it's actually what I should be doing), I've been doing my best to listen when he needs me too, and accept how he's feeling and not try to diminish his emotions at all. I rub his hand and smile, promising him that it will get better, and it won't happen over night but that we're in it together. He seems to have this fear that I'll leave because it'll be to hard to live with. He's also forgotten how strong I am it seems.

It's the comments that I don't expect that sting the worst. Like when we're talking about other movies and suddenly he's saying how much better he would feel if he just ended it. Or how the doctor asked if he would be happier if I weighed 80 pounds. Or how the only reason he's still here is because he doesn't want our son to call another man Daddy. These are the comments that sting, but he'll never know. He'll never know that I'll now carry all these comments around with me, wondering how much truth is behind them despite the depression. He won't know that I've stopped eating lunch and started walking the hour away, and starting weighing myself daily, promising to lose some weight to see if it will help.

He'll never know how absolutely terrified I am to leave him alone for even a moment right now. He says that since he's admitted that he has a problem, he can't pretend any more. Our nights together are spent with Bo sitting on the couch and silently staring at our son, fighting back tears until he can't any more. He walks around like the ghost of a man, with no emotion, no desire to be there or do anything. I try my best to play with our son in front of him, and egg him into joining us. I do my best to fill the house up with Oliver and my laughter in his presence, to remind him on some subconscious level that we do have the perfect happy family, happy life, and that he is an integral part of it.

We're supposed to go to my moms cottage in two weeks for the long weekend, but he's trying to talk me into taking Oliver on my own. I refuse to do that, and told him that if he's not comfortable being around anyone yet that's ok, I'll cancel and say that he has to work. He's voicing the same concerns about going to his family's this coming weekend to celebrate birthdays. I don't want to let him sit home and wallow. I want to get him out of the house and keep him as busy and as distracted as possible. I don't know if this is the right thing to do for him though.

Last night in bed he broke down again, crying in my arms for almost an hour after I had to wake him up when he fell asleep in the bath; he's just so exhausted from not sleeping at night. I'm so scared right now. I feel that Bo is scared that he might do something terrible one of these days, and that scares me even more. Right now the only thing keeping him tied to any form of reality is our perfect little boy. Oliver will never know the the incredible gift he's given our family by having evoked so much love from his father. Thank goodness that I have that to comfort me. I really wish it wasn't to this point though.

The begining

The last 5 days have been a blur. Life has gone from me being a nagging wife, feeling dejected, rejected and ignored, to a grieving wife. Grieving the loss of my husband to depression, grieving the loss of my life to an illness that neither of us can control, and struggling to keep some form of normalcy for our infant son.

One week ago I was complaining to my husband that I felt ignored. That he wasn't giving me enough attention; I needed more hugs and kisses, that was all. I had been saying this to him in one form or another for months, but finally felt like I had hit my breaking point. Something just had to change. I finally brought it up in bed on a Monday night, and was not met with the reaction I expected. I was basically told that maybe we should go to couples counseling, and that I spend to much money and the stress made him angry and that's why he didn't do those things. I was lost, completely surprised. I assumed that it would be a simple "I'm sorry hun, I've been stressed with work / life / fatherhood and hadn't noticed, but that's an easy fix, so no problem". I racked my brain trying to understand the next day. Counseling? Where did that come from over a few extra hugs and kisses, and an arm around me while we watched a movie on the couch. I didn't get it. I didn't realize that he was just looking for a way to open up.

Tuesday night found us back in bed, and talking again although briefly. The counseling wasn't really brought up again, though the money was (and I admit, I do spend too much and will change). Just before we fell asleep though, he asked for me to email him our doctors number when I got to work so he could make an appointment. I asked why, was he going to finally get a refill on his migraine prescription. He said he just wanted to talk to him. I asked why again, but was blown off. I should have pushed for an answer, but I was upset still from the last few days and just wrote it off to him being difficult because he was upset too.

Then Wednesday came around. Bo installed skype at work and we talked all morning, at least 4 hours in between any urgent work demands. We started off by opening up to each other about everything. Any regrets that we had within our ten year relationship (turns out they were all the same between us but had been holding it in to not upset the other one). We talked about where we wanted to be, and what we could do to get there. We even decided to go away for a weekend alone in a month to reconnect. Then, towards the end, he told me he thought he was depressed. That he didn't think severely, but that he had felt like he was for years, and that's why he was going to see the doctor. I had scared him enough by getting upset over the lack of affection to finally see a doctor about it.

How didn't I see this.

From last Wednesday the guilt has been building inside of me. I have so many questions for myself that I just can't answer. How did I not see, for years, that my husband was hurting. I am the one that should know him better then anyone. How did I not think that first when he started changing? I've been in his shoes, I've suffered and been on medication and through counseling and gotten better. Mine was caused by choices and environment though, easier to fix with a few life changes. Bo's isn't, there's no root cause at home or the office, it's purely chemical. It's so much harder.

Wednesday and Thursday night I was a terrible person. I still didn't grasp the severity of the situation. I think part of me didn't fully believe that this was happening. I wasn't a good wife these days. I wasn't even a good person. I was short and snappy, I didn't hold him when he clearly needed to be held, and I didn't sooth him to sleep while he laid in our bed. I still didn't see the problem. I didn't want to.

Friday he went to the doctor and walked out with a prescription, too upset after talking and answering all the questions to get the blood work completed, so he needs to go this week. We spent the night as usual, playing with our boy and eating dinner. Then, with the little guy asleep, we starting talking. I started acting like a bitch. We talked about what they had talked about, and I didn't push. I didn't want to force him to talk before he was ready to, but him getting upset had me snapping at him, for absolutly no reason. I think I just didn't want to accept it, I think I was lying to myself and acting like it wasn't a big deal. Finally, I said that maybe we needed more time apart. It was the wrong thing to say, and I didn't mean it how he initially took it, but he was ready to pack up and go. I explained that all I meant was that I could spend more time in another room reading a book or something if he needed time to himself so that we wouldn't constantly be bickering and adding more stress to his life. I still hadn't grasped that his lack of affection was solely caused by the depression. I didn't know how severe it was.

I was soon to find out.

This was Bo's breaking point though. He couldn't hold anything in any longer and spilled it all out. He'd been depressed for years, there was no route cause. He and the doctor didn't think it was anything from his home life, based on his evaluation it's a purely chemical problem. It's not going to be a quick fix, the doctor thinks it'll take a year but he'll see him again in 3 weeks to see how the medicine is working or not working.

He's suicidal.

He feels like my life and our sons life would be better off without him.

He's too sick to see how wrong he is.

It went on for an hour, with me holding my limp husband in my arms while he shook uncontrollably with sobs. Intermittently telling me something else that he's been feeling, always something so ridiculous that I was convinced my brilliant top of the class husband must know is complete bullshit. But he doesn't, he believes every word and nothing that I say can convince him otherwise.

I finally got him to come to bed, and we laid there holding each other, him still crying, me laying bewildered and in shock. I didn't recognize this shell of a man. What had happened, where had everything started to go wrong. Where would life go from here. How would our boy handle everything. How would we handle everything.

The last thing my husband told me the night our world crashed down was that he had stopped hugging and kissing me so that I wouldn't miss him when he was gone.