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 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.