To leave or not to leave

To leave or not to leave

I had a counseling appointment. She started off – as she normally does- asking how I am doing. And I replied – as I normally do – that I am ok. I’m not ok but it’s hard for me to tell her how I am really doing. Some just because this is how I often answer people. And secondly because I don’t know what I’m feeling. I guess I should tell her that. Instead I just say I’m ok.

I’m not ok though. I’m stuck in so many areas of my life, some that I can’t tell her about. Telling her would take the control away from me. This is one of the few areas I have control. And you know what… I don’t deserve that control. I should have left him a long time ago. If I tell her about these things and lose control it’s because I should have done something about things before. I should have walked away.

When I was a kid, I watched my mom be abused by my dad. I watched him yell at her. I watched him punch holes in the wall because he was so mad (at least he wasn’t punching her) I held my sister and comforted her, while absolutely scared myself. I promised myself that if my husband ever did that to me, I’d walk away. If he yelled at me, I’d leave. If he called me names, I’d leave. If he was mean to the kids, I’d leave. It would be easy to walk away. He would deserve it.

And, yet, here I am. Here I am wondering what I should do when my 8 year old self knows unequivocally what to do. Leave. But I’m afraid.

To leave would mean starting over. Going out on dates again. Taking chances on humanity. Living on my own. Alone.

To leave would mean telling the truth. It would mean telling on someone that I supposedly once loved.

To leave would mean that my whole marriage was a mistake. Sure, some people just outgrow others. That’s not the case here. I don’t think I ever loved him. And I always knew that. I wasn’t even in love with the idea of him. He told me he was diabetic and couldn’t live alone. What would happen if he was on his own and no one was there to catch his low blood sugar. Would he survive? If he didn’t would his death be on my hands for leaving him? Plus, I had this crazy idea of no sex until marriage. And since we didn’t wait (I wanted to), then shouldn’t I marry him (yes, I know that’s messed up thinking).

Now I’m in this marriage, afraid to get out. Getting out will mean telling the truth. It will mean voicing concerns about the kids in his care. It will mean going toe to toe with a guy I don’t win much against.

Grad school counselor

Grad school counselor

It was the last session with her. She gave me a good bye note. She told me things she would remember about me and wrote out a list of things to keep doing for the future.

At the end of every session she used to make me promise to stay alive. Several months before I had asked if she was going to make me promise to stay alive always. If I was going to have to promise that I would never go through it. She hadn’t decided at that time and she said she had spent a lot of time thinking about that question. Ultimately, she didn’t. She made me promise that if I killed myself that I would have tried everything I could to stay alive. That killing my self would be a last stop. That I wouldn’t take the decision to die lightly. I promised.

I asked her if we could keep in touch. She said not for a while. That after ten years I could email and she would decide then. I told her she wouldn’t remember me after ten years. She assured me that she would remember me for a long time. I asked her why (mainly because I couldn’t believe why anyone would want to remember me). She told me she would remember me because of how much I hurt.

I found out she retired from being a counselor a couple weeks ago. It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that I made the promise to stay alive as best as I could to her as a person and not her as a counselor. That just because she retired doesn’t mean that I can cheat on my promise to her. It hurts though. Having to be accountable to her. I still wonder what if I fail. Heck, would she even know?

She was so pivotal in my time there. Leaving her behind hurt so much.

Her office had two dining room table like chairs. I hated sitting in chairs or sofas or anything for that matter back then. First session I asked if I could sit on the floor. She said sure but she felt bad that I was sitting on the floor and she wasn’t. Next session and every one after she sat on the floor with me. If she had something to do that day that she had to be dressy for, she changed for my session. She was the third counselor that I had that I sat on the floor for. She was the only one that got down with me.

I had a hard time talking. She let me email. But it wasn’t just write down what you want to talk about next time. She answered throughout the week. If it appeared I was doing bad and she had a clear calendar, she would have me come in.

To this day, I still don’t understand how come she didn’t have me hospitalized. I walked a tight wire where it felt like I could fall at any minute. Most nights I had the bottles of pills, the liquor, and the knife all laid out for “use”. She knew. The rule was that as long as I was talking and could promise to stay alive she wouldn’t have me involuntarily committed.

It would have been involuntary. She asked me multiple times to be hospitalized. She told me she would drive me there and literally hold my hand through the process. I couldn’t. My parents would know. They would find out.

One day I was having a rough session and I asked if she would hold me. She said that touching is a touchy subject. Pun intended. So no go. She got me a pillow so I could pretend that someone was holding me. A couple of months later, I sat in her office unable to say anything. If I talked then I would cry. She sat with me. She talked and asked questions and was just there. About half way through the session she asked if I wanted her to hold me. No. I wish I could have said yes. It would have been too intense and I would have been in tears. I didn’t say anything for the entire hour. I couldn’t. I went to the bathroom afterwards and cried for quite a while. I watched her come in and held my breath. She couldn’t know that I was crying.

All these memories still hurt. It’s been 20 years and this still hurts.

Opting Out

Opting Out

My husband’s aunt sent us a YouTube of Andy Stanley talking about relationships. She told me to hear it. She did a Sunday School series of his.

I mentioned to her about how S had said that daddy yelled a lot. She repeated to hear the marriage sermon. That I had opted out of everything else. This burned. I’ve sat through numerous counseling sessions where the counselor has said I’ve done everything I can do. I’ve over analyzed and over thought this. I’ve had friend after friend that has said leave. I’ve stayed, and in the process opted out of quite a few things.

I desperately wanted to move to the country. I wanted a smaller, but decent sized house (2500 or so sq ft). I wanted the kids to have plenty of area to roam on. To be able to explore the outdoors. To be able to run and play. Instead, I got a big house in the city. I opted out of the peace and solitude that the country brings when I married him.

When looking for that house, I wanted a tornado shelter. A safe room. A basement. Somewhere that would be safe when storms hit. Now that we have kids, especially three of them, this is really important to me. We can’t all fit in a little half bath. I opted out of basic safety when I married him.

Countless nights I have made the dinner and cleaned up afterwards. Instead of being able to sit down and eat myself, I’ve made sure everyone has enough food to eat, enough to drink, clean up spills, etc. I don’t have the time or energy to eat myself. In doing so, I’ve opted out of health and taking care of myself.

I remember being curled up in my bedroom, in tears. Him yelling at me. I should be lucky that someone like him has chosen to stay with someone like me. He reminded me (again) that no one would want me if I left. I remember praying that one of the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops on his yelling. I opted out of self esteem. Over and over again.

I’m in tears again. The counseling session was hard. I don’t know where to start with this.

We were talking about the suicidal thoughts. At one point she asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I said no. As I’m laying here in bed I’m not so sure. In reality, I want to kill myself I just am not going to do it. I can’t work out how everything would work. Who would find my body? Would one of the kids? Would they have to walk in on me dead? How would that hurt? That image would be so hurtful. I can’t do that to them.

She asked me at one point how long I was going to keep stringing out the marriage. When am I going to walk away? Honestly I still can’t figure out if I am going to walk away or if I’m going to die. That’s where I am right now. Die or divorce. And more than anything die is what I want.

I’m scared of divorce. I’m scared to be alone without the kids for extended periods of time. I’m scared that I’ll go through with it. The kids won’t be there. If I miss the pickup, then he won’t think anything of it. Someone will eventually call the police to do a checking me. None of the kids will have to see me dead. Maybe this is actually what I need. Maybe this is the answer.

Erik was fussing again at dinner. I decided just not to eat. Samantha was like are you sure. Yup. I wonder how long it would take of not eating to just die. Then I’m just sick. I hadn’t killed myself, I just got really sick and died. I wouldn’t be a failure then. I would still be strong. I would still be a worthy child. I would still be a worthy mom.

I can’t believe I’m going through this right now. I can’t believe I’m actually trying to figure out how to make suicide work.

And yet here I am. Scared. Alone. I just want someone to hold me while I cry. I don’t want to be alone right now.

Suicidal

Suicidal

I have a counseling appointment tomorrow. I have no idea what to say to the counselor. How to express the hurt. How to vocalize what I can’t put into words. I’m struggling. why can’t anyone see that? Why can’t people see how much I’m hurting?

I know the first thing she is going to ask me is how I’m doing. I’m not doing well at all. How do I say that? How do I tell her I want to kill myself without scaring her? Because I’m scaring me. I wish more than anything that I had the courage. I wish that I could go through with it. I wish this was the end for me. I don’t even know how to articulate this to her so she can help me. I don’t know if I want to be helped. If I’m “helped” I live. I don’t want to live. I don’t want to keep postponing the inevitable. I just want this to be over.

I’ve started crying. It’s so hard to see through the tears. Everyone else is asleep so the tears fall quickly. No one will know how weak I am. No one will know how much of a failure I am.

I just want to do this. I want to go through with it. I want someone to hold my hand as I pass on to whatever is next. I can’t do that to anyone. I can’t go through with killing myself with someone else there. That person will get in trouble for being there with me. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of wondering how I’m going to make it through the day. I’m scared.

Suicide

Suicide

A few years back, my uncle killed himself.

I remember my mom calling us and telling us that my uncle had died of a self inflicted gun shot wound. I could make the argument that he killed himself because of just being diagnosed with cancer. He took care of my grandparents who died a pretty miserable death from cancer. I could make the argument it was because my parents were buying a house three hours away from him. That his support system was leaving and as much of a hermit as he already was that this would isolate him even more. That he didn’t want to live life without them. I could make the case that it was the combination of the two. We will never know.

At first I blamed myself. Considering how long I’ve fought my own battle with suicidal thoughts, I should have noticed the signs. For the most part I’ve gotten over that. Or at least it’s so numb to me right now that I can’t feel guilt. What I do feel? Anger. Jealousy. I wanted to die. I’ve wanted to kill myself for so long. He did it. He succeeded. That should have been me that died. He had the courage to do something I didn’t. I was mad at myself. Why did he have the courage that I couldn’t? How come he was strong enough and I wasn’t? He’s already killed himself. It’s not like I can put my mom through that pain again by killing myself. And then the guilt of being mad at someone who was hurting enough to end their life.

At the same time living is hard. And honestly I don’t even know where to start to explain this. Most days I’m ok but there’s still quite a few that I’m not. There’s still nights that I cry trying to figure out what my purpose is. It is easier to see my purpose as a mom when the kids are little but what happens when Jacob gets older and I feel like I’m not needed anymore?

A lot of times I feel like I’m not good enough to live. Like it’s my fault that Erik yells. That if I was a better mother I would be able to protect the kids from him yelling. If I was a better wife Erik wouldn’t yell. If I was a stronger mom I would have left already.

I deserve to die. Or at least I don’t deserve to live. I’ve always felt that way. I was never a good enough student. I am never a good enough daughter. I am not pretty enough. Or skinny enough. Not strong enough. Not enough.

I feel like such a loser because I can’t even be happy right. There are a lot more people with much bigger issues than me and I don’t have a right to feel this bad.

I get that the probability that I will go through with killing myself is zero, but the pain of wanting to die is still real and intense. I’m not silently suffering for attention. This hurts and I feel so alone.

The aftermath

The aftermath

So my husband is acting like everything is normal.

And, in a way, this is our normal.

He yells. He had a meltdown. He withdraws. And I take care of the kids.

Why stay with him?

Because I’m afraid of him getting custody of the kids. I’m afraid of him getting mad at them and him leaving them at the house alone. I’m afraid that the kids will have issues with him. I’m afraid of him telling lies about me and I never see my kids again.

What the heck do I do?

my soul is tired.

I have no hope that things will get better. I’m tired of walking on eggshells with him. He needs help. .

But I promised to love him forever. I promised that I would be with him in sickness and in health. And wouldn’t it be me who abandoned him? When he needs me the most to help him get help wouldn’t it be me who left him?

I’m torn. I’m alone. And I want to cry. I want someone to hold me while I cry. I don’t want to be alone in the dark.

The Tupperware

The Tupperware

Last week my husband left.

*******

He was trying to communicate with me the Tupperware container he wanted to use as a bird feed holder. I didn’t understand and gave him the wrong container. He melted down. I wasn’t listening. If I had been listening I would have given him the correct container. He melted down like a three year old. He yelled at me. When I told him I would be happy to help him find the container when he calmed down and stopped yelling, he got even madder. I ignored the yelling. I’m not going to talk to someone who can’t stop and breathe. I was getting our second grader started with schooling when he came over and pulled her away from where she was working. She needed to work with him instead. By the end of the argument she was hiding behind me, and eventually in tears in her bedroom.

He stuck around for an hour, I’m guessing now to pack. He left while S was in school. He yelled at me that he wanted a divorce and was leaving me while S was on her virtual class. I was the one that after he went through that had to console her. I was the one that had to hold her while she cried because he left. But you know, I’m getting used to.

He texted me at 7 that night to let me know he wouldn’t be home. I don’t know where he went. I don’t know what he was doing. All I know is that I had to keep it together for the kids while he recovered from the meltdown. But you know it was so much easier than I thought it would be. The kids were happy and helpful. They didn’t yell or scream or break down like normal. It was a peaceful night.

I started imagining life without him. We could have a nice small simple house on some land. The kids could jump and run and yell and scream and have fun. We could get a cat and another dog. We could go to church. I started liking this life.
He came home the next day after work. He went into the spare bedroom and locked the door. He was continuing to stonewall us. He wandered into the bedroom a couple of hours later, sweating profusely looking bewildered. His blood sugar had bottomed! I was able to get some juice down him before he passed out. I got him a second glass of fruit juice and some crackers.

And then everything was fine.

Back here again

Back here again

I remember walking down to the creek that morning. I remember the pocket knife in my pocket. I remember crying and walking until I found a stone to sit on. And I cried. I remember being worried about someone hearing me so I tried to be as quiet as I could with crying. I didn’t want anyone to find me and stop me. But I hurt so much. I wasn’t enough and I still am not. I don’t do enough for Erik. I don’t do enough for the kids. Every one is happier without me around. It’s true. I held the knife to my wrist and just sat there. I started to hurt but I just couldn’t go through with it. I’m a coward. One friend had texted me several days prior to this and told me that they would be unhappy if I died. That they would blame themselves. I lived for that person that day. But when you are living for someone and not yourself, things always get dicey when that person you are living for is no longer there. But that is the story of my life, right? No friend wants me. I exhaust them all. So I don’t let people in. It’s safer this way. I will be alone, but even if I let someone in I will still be alone eventually. I don’t want to hurt anyone.
Even things are shitty at work. Which makes me think everything is my fault. I’m a failure at work and a failure at home.
I took off Tuesday sick with the kids. I told my boss on Monday afternoon. Had it set on my jabber. And he texts me at 930 Tuesday asking if we could do my second interim that day at 10. I of course said yes. So I had my interim with my sick teething child screaming in the background.
September 8th is coming again. And I want this to end.
i had been living because I didn’t think Erik could be calm enough for the kids. But he has calmed down considerably. He can take care of the kids and everyone will be better off without me here.
He still doesn’t want me around. He would rather have my sister. He would rather have anyone but me. Because I’m me. No one wants me. No one wants me around. And I don’t want to be a burden.
I’ve been wanting to do this for decades. I want this to be over. I just need to let this go.

Counseling appointment

Counseling appointment

“How are you today”

What came out of my mouth wasn’t what I wanted to say.

“I’m ok”

Translation: I’m not ok. I need help.

Why is that so hard for me to say? Why am I ashamed to say that I’m struggling? Why am I ashamed to tell the one person that I know cares, one of the few people I trust? Why is the question so anxiety producing for me? Why the heck can’t I tell my counselor how much I’m hurting?

if your friend asked you how you were doing, what would you say? Would you tell them the fun stuff or would you tell them the pain you are feeling?

If I had said how I felt I didn’t know how to explain it. I had no idea where to go. Where to start. How to convey the intensity. How to convey the emptiness. How to convey the hopelessness. I still don’t.

it’s been almost two years since I sat at the creek wanting to kill myself. I still regret not going through with it. I regret living. Given everything going on this past few months I don’t know how I’m going to get past the anniversary this year. I don’t know how I’m going to process everything.

Don’t worry. I won’t kill myself. But I do want to die. I’m trapped. I can’t leave my husband with three small kids.

Here’s an analogy for you. Most people consider depression like a tunnel and you are searching for the light at the end of it. My tunnel is a big circle, with no hopes of having a light.