HOPE: A New Ending with Dave

A follow up to the post “I Do Anxiety and I Do It Well”

So I went to bed after 1:30 am on Friday morning fully expecting Dave to be asleep or if he was not sleeping–to turn his back to me and shut me out. But as I lay in bed, he turned to me and said, “Are you still mad?  I was trying Kate, I was really trying to hear you. To give you what you’ve been asking for.”  I turned to him and I lay my head on his shoulder and embraced him and he didn’t  pull away. I said, “I know. You were really trying hard to hear me I could see that. I was mad because you weren’t there for me when I was really scared and anxious about work.” Dave said, “I just needed to hear you say it would be okay.” I said, “I’m sorry I know you needed me to say it was going to be okay. But at the time I just couldn’t say it.”

He embraced me tight. And he held my hand as we both comfortably lay in our sleep space. WOW. He turned to me. He put his experience into words and communicated them to me vs. ruminating on negative thoughts and villainizing me. Something’s shifting.

Friday evening we were talking and he said “you were experiencing your stuff and I was experiencing my stuff and we both couldn’t be there for each other cause we both were dealing with our own stuff.” WOW. That’s big for Dave to recognize–that we  were both deep into our own stressors to have the capacity to be there for the other person.

He’s less all good and all bad. He’s able to overcome his initial upset.

There’s hope here.

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5 thoughts on “HOPE: A New Ending with Dave

  1. Nia says:

    Hello Kate,

    Your story about tonight reminds me of some of the ones I have with my husband. Somedays, I feel like we’re making such great progress when he comes into my arms in bed after a rough few days. But then there are those nights where he places an extra pillow between us and I feel like it’s suffocating me. I am happy for you two in that you are going to therapy and trying to work things out.

    My husband and I have been married for about 1.5 years and I thought his days of cutting or overdosing would be over after he got married to me since he told me while we were dating that being with me was the one thing that made him stop. I was wrong, of course. How could I have been so foolish to think that my love for him would help him out of his darkness? I cannot shine the light forever. I have emotions, anxiety, and fears too and they can get in the way of my day – cause me to not be cheerful and attentive to his every whim.

    But during those days – the days that I’m in a funk – he uses it against me. If I’m down when he is – he thinks that no one understands him, no one is strong from him when he needs it. He says things like “I never should have thought that I can have this life.” When I cry, instead of comforting me, he’ll get upset that I am being weak and not being strong for him. He’ll say things like “I can never count on anyone. I can never lean on anyone. I have to take care of you on top of myself. Great.”

    His words made me feel worthless and insignificant. If I didn’t already feel invisible next to his great problems than those words certainly glued the cloak of invisibility on me. His problems are so great compared to mine – he has a rare degenerative nervous system disorder that causes him to not get proper sleep among other things, he has a huge exam coming up that can end his career before it even begins if he fails it, he has to take care of our living expenses too since I don’t have a job. What are my problems next to his? Applying to grad school and feeling anxious about getting in? Living with a husband who has all these problems and is suicidal to boot? I don’t work because I’m in school and his school loans currently support us. I feel helpless and insignificant. I feel like I’m cruising through this marriage – hanging on by a thread.

    And then when days get too tough, he’ll spiral out of control. His anger is uncontrollable – he’ll break things, yell, verbally abuse me, tell me to get out. The days that he is extra quiet though are the most frightful – those are the days that he’ll wait until I leave the house to run errands and he’ll do something awful like cut himself or overdose. If I don’t let my own personal problems get in the way, these things don’t happen but the minute I am too weak to comfort him or talk him out of his depressive, suicidal thoughts before they start to manifest – that is it.

    During days like today, I feel like walking out the door and never looking back. But then I remember the rare occasion where he comes to me in the middle of the night like a scared little boy and I stop in my tracks.

    • Nia,
      Thank you for sharing your story with me and with other readers who are living with a suicidal spouse. I too have felt alone. You are not alone.

      As I read your story tears came to my eyes as I associated to my own experience with Dave. And I wrote a new blog post inspired by your story. My heart goes out to you Nia. You are an excellent writer. And I was moved by your experience. Thanks for sharing it with me and other readers.

      Kate

  2. Hi Kate (Cool that your name is Kate : ) ,
    Thanks for reading my blog. I’m sorry about what you’re going through. It is hard to go through what you’re going through and feel so alone. There are so many feelings, including sadness, hopelessness, anger, and love that I have felt for Dave. Dave has a psychiatrist who manages and adjusts his meds. He changed antidepressant meds right after his first attempt and this one seems to work better for him. We also see a psychologist for couples and individual therapy. This combination seems to be working for Dave and I. Kate, I hope you’ll find the right thing to help you through this time.

    • Kate says:

      Thank you. My husband has filed for SSDI due to not even being able to get out of bed most days. He has a psychiatrist and stopped seeing our psychologist because he didnt feel it was working… Some days are better than others, but you never know what the day will hold. We don’t go out or do anything as a couple. I love my husband but it is hard because this isnt how I pictured my life. I still want to have fun and go out, be intimate… I wanted to have a child with him, but am constantly conflicted with that decision… Anyway, thanks for responding. Sad, but relieved, to know i am not alone.

  3. Kate says:

    Hi Kate! My name is actually Kate and I have a story similar to yours. While my husband has never actually made an attempt, he has been horribly depressed on and off for his whole life and continuously for the past year and speaks of suicide frequently. I read all of your posts today. Wow. I relate to your feelings and situations. My husband has been on meds for 2 years at this point. He takes them religiously but they don’t work… I feel so alone… He is out of work and cant really do much of anything… I feel sad and hopeless. Angry. Yet I love him and my family doesn’t understand. I dont even understand. Anyway thank you for your blog.

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