We’ve made it. It’s a few days into the new year and I would have never thought in a million years that we would still be together. Though not the picture-perfect “strong” that I would have assumed when we first married, I would say we are a soft crack in a twig of what we once were, that is slowly mending itself as time passes.
We’re about to welcome our fourth child, Sawyer, our third just turned two a few months ago, and our oldest children – well they’re still breathing; so I suppose that’s a sign of the times to come.
Most would say that’s a pretty good time and an exciting bid of family, however, I can’t say that and feel good about it. Though this pregnancy has by far been the easier of the two before, it has driven my anxiety through the roof and made what glints of depression that I was working on rear its ugly little head stronger.
I know I’ve brought it up before, that I suffered postpartum with our toddler, but I was never able to get the help I needed for it. And it just stockpiled itself in my head like an armory of weapons, ready to blow at any time, although locked away, the key is always in tow.
I try to not let the insanity of my emotional and mental state bleed into our marriage, but as of late, it’s become really really hard to keep the two separate. When you wake up and begin the process of getting ready for your day and work, I lay in bed thinking how shitty the day is going to be.
Is the hellion going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Making the day so incredibly tiring and defensive. That by the time you come home, I just want to walk upstairs and lay down. Some days are so draining that I don’t even make it to when you come home before I’m laid up in bed. Asleep.
Even though I know you’re probably exhausted when you come home, I can’t muster the energy to do the basic things that need to be done. It’s gotten so bad, that even the attempt of making dinner makes me feel like I accomplished something big. But the reality, I barely accomplished anything.
And I know this. Yet, you’re still here being as supportive as you possibly can – while not trying to exacerbate the situation and my current state. And I can only imagine how difficult that may be for you. To watch the woman who you first married be nothing more than a dried husk of her original self.
Over the last eight years, I have had to deal with so much more than I was mentally and emotionally ready for. The worse part was it was all by myself. I had no friends or family to lean on. It was just me and the little one. We were in a state by ourselves, a house that was a huge part of your past that was crumbling in around us, a family that wanted nothing to do with us, and a child who never had anything explained to them – making him wanting nothing to do with us and doing everything they could to make everyone hate us.
That’s hard to recover from.
And even though strides are being made now by all the parties involved, it still sits in the back of my mind how we, how I, were treated so horribly for no reason. Called a liar, yet never lying. Experiencing discrimination and racism from people who never took the time to get to know us. That’s hard.
It’s hard to find time to forgive, as that’s not in my nature.
It’s hard to find time to care, as that’s not in my nature.
These people hurt us for no reason outside of their own personal gain. I still haven’t figured out exactly what that was, because there was no gain. I’m still here and we’re still married. Ten years later.
However, the damage is already done. I can’t say in good conscious that I would ever forgive them. Bringing our children around them makes me cringe. Because why should they get to experience these beautiful little two-legged loving creatures free of consequence? Why do I have to expose our children to the same ugly people who never once showed us any kindness in your absence?
Yet every time I go to vocalize my discontent, it starts an argument. Probably because I don’t know how to voice how I feel without throwing the entire kitchen at your eyeballs. And that’s my fault. I know this. And I don’t hold it against you when you get super angry about it. I would be mad too. So I stay quiet and try to remove myself from the situation without sinking even further, which never happens – I always sink further, into my not so stable emotional and mental state.
If I were you, I would have left a long time ago. Because I have never recovered. Even though I have made some sort of progress, I find myself fighting forgiveness. And a lot of that has to do with my horrible past.
I remember when I told you both my parents died, you said you were, “so sorry.” And you tried to be as comforting as you could be. But the reality is I could give two shits about either one of them. It hurt me more listening to my aunt cry over her brother’s death, then it did me getting the news.
This woman has been nothing but kind to me. Introduced me to sewing, sent me machines and fabric, called me when I was confused and will be there for the birth of our second daughter. A woman who has never seen me never met our kids — has shown more kindness than anyone else.
And even still, I’m guarded and unsure of her presence in our life. And there you are, doing everything in your power to reassure me that not all people in life are horrible. Yet due to my own trauma and anxiety, I find it so incredibly difficult to believe you.
Dear husband, your own transgressions have also affected more than I think you really understand. Or are willing to understand. I gave you the one thing that is supposed to be just for me, my self-esteem, and you trampled all over it. And I still haven’t recovered from it.
I’m paranoid that you’re doing the same thing.
I’m paranoid that you’re going to leave me over something that is temporary and not real.
Every time your phone goes off in the back of my mind I wonder…who or what group chat that is.
It’s tiring. It’s so emotionally draining, and yet I continue to let it happen. I continue to let my degraded state get the better of me. But to me, marriage is more than names on paper. It’s a relationship you’re supposed to work on constantly so that both parties continue to love, be happy, and want to be with each other.
But I’m not happy.
I haven’t been happy for a very long time. I’m pretty sure you feel the same way, and I can’t help you. I can barely help myself and I have to maintain some appearance of sanity in front of the kids.
Because if I completely give up, they’ll be the first to notice something is seriously wrong. And I can’t just bring myself to do that.
Yet, we’re still married.
We still say, “I love you.”
Yet, I don’t feel married.
I don’t feel loved.
I just feel like a glorified maid, teacher, counselor, and semi fuckable toy. The semi fuckable thing, well that’s been an issue for a while it feels like. So I’ve begged for counseling. Mainly because I would like you to make the effort as I have, but it always ends up in an argument or ignored feelings.
You probably feel similar if not the same.
So here we are, back at square one.
The only difference is I can barely find the motivation to brush my teeth in the morning. That’s how depressed I’ve become. Sure I could take meds, of course not at this current moment in time, but I don’t want to even risk getting addicted. Because I know who I am and the type of person I am.
So I would rather deal with my issues using therapy and medicinal marijuana. Something simple, non-addictive, and safe for the type of personality I am.
Yet every time I mention it, you shake your head. It just sits there, engrained in my head — that another method isn’t feasible.
And it hurts.
But that’s all I can say is that it hurts. That my anxiety drives my daily routine. That my depression determines my naps or emotional well-being for the day. That my trauma-induced insecurity makes me feel less than a person. That my ability as a human is disappearing at a rapid pace and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
At least not at this moment. Therapy isn’t easy with 2 kids and one on the way any day now.
Therapy isn’t easy by yourself when I resent you for so much.
Yet we’re still married.
We still say, “I love you.”
We still say, “I miss you.”
And yet they don’t feel empty.
So dear husband,
Thank you for choosing to love a broken woman like me.
A woman in her current state is not capable of getting a job.
A woman who in her current state is unable to feel anything good about herself.
A woman who in her current state sees nothing but her flaws and nothing of any beauty you speak of.
A woman with a battered a beaten past that influences so much that she didn’t even know what love was.
A woman with so many issues currently, that she would rather sleep her day away.
I still feel like we need counseling to fix some things, but that will come in time. When you’re ready to commit to it. But until that time…
Thank you for choosing to stick by my side through some of these darker times.