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malign

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Okay, then.

After a long break that included a little foray into story-telling, I think it's time I come clean with you all.

Life sucks. Okay, probably only at the moment, but I'd be lying to you if I said it differently. My wife has been writing me e-mails, combining hints of wanting to finalize a divorce settlement, with abusive little asides about me and my family. This is the perfect combination to drive me crazy, which her unerring instincts can somehow understand, despite the difficulty she has otherwise, to even understand who I am.

On one hand, without a settlement, the divorce process will likely take over a year, most of which time is just to get a court date. With a settlement agreement, it might only take weeks. So there's significant incentive to agree. However, the financial situation is complex, with us co-owning a house that's probably not worth our investment, at the moment. Too, there's some doubt that we could agree, even if the situation were simple.

On the other hand, I've had more than enough of being insulted. I'd like to be able to be assertive, to at least tell her not to talk to me like that. The problem with that route, though, is that it seems to me that my only recourse, when she laughs in my face, will be to leave her alone. In fact, I haven't replied to her e-mails for several months now. That won't get us an agreement, though.

So it feels a lot like being caught between a hell and a hard place. My lawyer can't help much, because it's not legal stuff that's in dispute. No one else can help me, except to commiserate; only I can endure (or not endure) my wife's ... demeanor. I'm not subjecting anyone else I care about to that.

The result is a renewal of the emotional dynamic that I used to survive, when I was living with her. Obvious, useful steps are avoided, because they only seem to benefit her. Steps like paying bills, dealing with my taxes (I filed Federal taxes a month after the extension expired; I still have the state taxes.) On top of that, I spend weekends indoors, reading or in bed, or both. I keep myself from enjoying my time off, keep myself away from nature and sunlight and the outdoors, because it doesn't make sense to me to do good things for myself when I haven't done the "important things", the chores. I sleep late then run to work without showering, my bathroom is filthy, my kitchen only somewhat better.

Work is pretty much the same as it was. I'm mostly idle, which gives me plenty of time on the site, but zero job satisfaction. At least I get paid, though, right? And it all goes to pay the mortgage for the house she's living in, my rent, the cars, insurance for all of the above, and so on.

I've avoided writing all this out for a long time. It didn't feel like it would help. I know that my many (and valued) friends will speak up to support me. I wouldn't stop them; that's what we're really all here for, after all. The problem is that I can't really feel like that will help, at the moment. It's not that I don't value you all, it's that what I need is to reach a certain place inside myself, and you guys can't help me with that.

I need to reach a place where I believe in myself. Not just a little bit, not in a reasoned, intellectual way, but as an obvious 'given', that can't even be questioned. Somewhere, there is a Myself that has a right to exist, to make mistakes, to be loved anyway. The best I can do so far is something conditional, that's allowed to exist as long as it doesn't cause too much trouble. I can't live from there, not when I get attacked.

I know this sounds somber, and it probably is going to end up as a pivotal point in my life. But I'm not trying to worry people; I've been much worse. I've had months of detoxification now. I'm not having suicidal thoughts, like I was last fall, that brought me here. I think I can face my wife again, stronger now. But I also think it's going to take some help, long-term, for me to make the shift that I'm talking about.

It's just making me really happy I have this metal codpiece on my bunny suit, that's all. ;-)

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"The problem is that I can't really feel like that will help, at the moment. It's not that I don't value you all, it's that what I need is to reach a certain place inside myself, and you guys can't help me with that.

I need to reach a place where I believe in myself. Not just a little bit, not in a reasoned, intellectual way, but as an obvious 'given', that can't even be questioned. Somewhere, there is a Myself that has a right to exist, to make mistakes, to be loved anyway. The best I can do so far is something conditional, that's allowed to exist as long as it doesn't cause too much trouble. "

malign~

I understand what you are talking about. Trying to hold two opposing feelings or jumping between two feelings can make you feel unnerved. Remaining in neutral can lead to avoiding one feeling or the other. There doesn't have to be conflict over joy and pain; having both feelings is ok. Polish your codpiece, spit on the stamp and mail it in. You deserve to feel free where you are. Be well.

With gratitude.

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Malign, housework can wait. I seem to recall that you enjoy hiking, and birdwatching? Can you muster up any interest in that at all? Walking will lift the mood, won't solve any problems, but for the duration of the walk it might feel good. It is good to hear that you feel stronger than this time last year. Week-ends can be very difficult, too much time to think, no routine etc. Sounds like you want to do this all on your own - hopefully writing it down may have helped a little. Take care.

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Malign,

I know all too well what you are feeling. Divorce is hard and very painful.

I

need to reach a place where I believe in myself. Not just a little bit, not in a reasoned, intellectual way, but as an obvious 'given', that can't even be questioned. Somewhere, there is a Myself that has a right to exist, to make mistakes, to be loved anyway
.

I hope and pray that you will see yourself the way I and those on these boards see you. You are a gift to us and I can say, personally, that because you stayed with me in a very dark moment, I reconsidered ending my life and I thank you for that. So.....until you can believe in yourself in that given, unquestionable way, know that I believe in you that way and you are welcome to hold on to that as long as you need.

Julie

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hi malign, so sorry to hear things suck so bad right now. I don't know why people have to be so hurtful to others. Makes no sense to me. I hope things get better soon.

Oh, and you should post something quick, you're at 666, scary!!

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Have you thought about using a mediator to help with the divorce? If not, it might be something you (and your wife) would be interested in doing. If she knew plans were in place to work something out she might ease up on the e-mails.

Please get out of your house this weekend! Maybe if you do something for yourself, for a change, you'd be inspired to get some of your "chores" done. Perhaps it's time to rediscover your hobbies or create some new ones! You deserve to have some fun and live your life!

I'm sorry you're going through a difficult time, but please, don't suffer in silence! Keep reaching out. I know you'll get through this. My hope is that you continue to let others support you some. Believe me when I say I think you're an amazing person (as do many others on this board)! All the posts you send full of wisdom, courage, and advice don't go unnoticed. We appreciate you.

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OK, MARK

I HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE WORDS I'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR, FOR THE PAST 6 HOURS, EXCUSE THE TYPOS, I HAVE TO WAKE UP FOR MEDS NOW, GOSH IM TIRED, HEY HUM !!!

TO QUOTE, SOMETHING A WISE OLD MAN ONCE TOLD ME

" I believe, like i said, that we all have some place inside us, a bit like that path. There no one can get you, no one has gotten you ever. That place is as pure and as quiet and peaceful, as the day you were born, no matter what has happened to the rest of you. Thats why you need to get there, you seem to think that all of this evil thats been done to you, has rubbed off, somehow. And what i am saying is, there's no way. That path inside you, is just as sweet and peaceful and bright as ever. Nothing evil can come there. Nothing evil has been there.

that place is you "

WELL MARK I HOPE YOU CAN GET TO YOUR "PLACE" AND FIND YOUR PEACE AND TRANQUILITY.

I KNOW ITS HARD TO FIND, SOMETIMES. I HOPE THAT YOU CAN FIND IT SOON. AND BE ABLE TO BE YOU, A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE LOVED AND ACCEPTED FOR BEING YOU.... OH YEAH, THAT PLACE IS HERE !!!

WE ALL LOVE YOU MARK, AND WE ALL RESPECT YOU, FOR BEING YOU

TAKE CARE

Jj

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Malign I really think Goose is on the right track here. Is there anything you've stopped doing possibly in relation to this mess that you really used to enjoy? Something you were particularly good at perhaps? I've found personally, there's no better therapy than doing something you truly enjoy. Especially after you do it and forgotten how much you really like it. It helps to have something to focus on to take the edge off just for a little while all those nagging problems. Good luck with everything.

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Hi Mark,

I am so sorry things suck badly for you right now .

Many of us here in this community know that you are a wonderful man, who is very smart, and has helped so many people in this fourm.

kind of want to kick your wife's butt right now, just makes me mad to know how much your hurting inside, and to know how badly she is treating you. :)

You do not deserve that!

My thoughts are with you,

truely,

cathy

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Good morning Mark,

I'm so very sorry for your pain and predicament. I have to say it brings back memories of my own divorce. When we were divorcing, my then wife became severely ill and bounced from mania to depression and she reached a point in he Bipolar disorder where she was psychotic and began to try to commit suicide repeatedly by trying to run off a cliff, drown herself or OD on drugs. Our marriage was over, but she was sick, so I remained in it 18+ months so as not to abandon her.

In the meantime, in the midst of her illness, she began to spread rumors to my friends and colleagues that I was a regional drug dealer for the Cartel (keep in mind I had not done drugs in nearly 15 years when this was happening). She followed by calling my friends and telling them that I was a lying two-timer and that they'd better stay away if they knew what was good for them. So she threatened my female friends, spread rumors and then became so ill that she dropped from 112 lbs to around 88lbs in a matter of weks. She lost about 1/3 of her hair and eventually I forced her to get on Lithium first and then switch to Depakote for rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder. Every day was an adventure. In the meantime, I made separate plans for my life, socking what little money i could away so that when I left, I wouldn't be homeless.

My heart was torn... I felt a physical sensation of tearing in my chest and for the 1st time in my life I felt pain I never knew existed. You know my childhood Mark--- my divorce did things to my heart that no adult soldier who molested me or killed my family, could do. This was so painful I felt like I was dying or that I would have a heart attack from the tearing sensation.

From a logistical standpoint, I put together a separation agreement and sent to her to sign. I also did what few will do but which I knew was best for her, my children and my own sanity-- I simply walked away from everything: the house, books, and my tools, and started from scratch. This expensive move alone saved my life. I don't suggest this to anyone of course, but the complete severing meant the battles were essentially over since there was no further need to discuss fiscal issues. I saw my children weekly or daily, but did not step into her space. She couldn't keep them from me legally as the courts would frown on this when it came to custody and would see her as damaging them. I changed my e-mail and sent out the new address to all of my friends and family.

I made a 3-point, 3 month plan at this point and the hell with how I felt-- I needed to survive to avoid homelessness (I'd already been there) since I knew that road would only sink me wholey.

Following the plan, I began to rebuild myself as a single parent-- gone was the identity as a partner in a marriage or complete family man. It was amazing how little I had to work with since I had been married nearly 1/2 of my entire life. I had no idea who David really was, my definition had been wrapped in my role as husband and parent.

One part of my 3-point plan surrounded activity-- no matter how I felt or where I was, I was going to get out for 30 minutes days 1-5, 1 hour days 6-10, 2 hours day 11-20 an so on. I was going to meet people, talk to others, walk the park, cycle--- anything but stay home since the pain would roost there and create a tunnel that soon would close off at one end to become a cave-- a man's last secure refuge. This was a defense too expensive to have to support and sustain and I knew somehow that my defenses would replace life over time.

Soon I moved and created enough distance to stop the contact. I began reading the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers for solace and also returned to my home (no longer under a dictatorship) for rejuvenation. My people helped me heal as I relearned life lessons passed down for centuries, I relearned stories and wisdom sayings.

I honestly never dreamed I would get past the initial pain, anxiety, utter demoralization, heartbreak, damage to my soul, and loneliness. It seemed impossible, but the one thing that saved my life was my 3-point plan- it gave me clear direction, a purpose and tasks that required doing no matter what. I had a ftiend help me write it since my head wasn't on straight.

Mark, one thing I did as my 3 point plan was get my financial matters in order. Daily I would plug away at several things: 1) get all my financial documents together and copy everything; 2) sought out competent, expert advice on fiscal matters; 3) contacted all 3 credit agencies and placed a stop on any new credit and got a copy of my credit report; 4) began preparing my tax returns so that they would benefit me as a single person; and, 6) started saving money like a madman.

Adjacent to this, I began looking carefully at my internal battles. The battles of excess or of too little. Excess battles were those of trying to control things (for others it might be alcohol or drugs or even efforts to control the situation, overeating or undereating, excessive shopping, etc.) and too little battles were those of not sleeping enough, starting a self abuse cycle of woe is me, etc..

And then I had the war with myself-- loss of focus and productivity, mood swings, letting myself go and rot way in my cave. I began to ask myself hourly and daily-- are you at war with yourself too, and if so, what type of war (or wars) are you fighting?. If I had a tendency toward some destructive behavior it soon became even more destructive or I would compound the destruction by adding a new problem to the pile of "just can't help myself!" behaviors.

Mark, it seems I could write a dissertation on this, as could just about anyone whose been thru a divorce. I can safely tell you that for me there were 2 problems: the original set of pains (she had a long term affair to add to this-- but I also accept mt role in that) and ongoing ones, and the need to sustain my defenses in a way that really didn't protect me, but actually further isolated me from myself and others.

Mark, my friend, I hope you develop strength quickly. My story is my story, very little difference between it and millions of others out there. One thing I do know is that once you cross the river, life can be so much sweeter than you ever dreamed.

A quick read: The Simurgh....aaaah, but I can' find the Persian tale on the net by Iranian Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Atta. There are several variations of the folktale, but my favorite one is from the Sufi poet Farid id-Din Atta, it's the more positive and edifying tale about the 30 birds in search of their leader.

Good luck Mark... my heart is with you. My apologies for the long dissertation.

David

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Thank you, David.

Quite the contrary of needing to apologize for it; it helps immensely to have the honest input of someone else who has been through it.

It doesn't help that I suck at planning. ;-)

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm standing in my own way, either. I plan to have more to say about that in another blog entry, today. I have it on good authority ('finding' told me) that I'm still guarding some things, still not "unblending", as she puts it. She's right, but I'm scared, and that's what the blog will be about.

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