- my wife ‘rejected’ my phone calls, requesting that I write sms’s rather, felt like an emotional withdrawal
- worsening early morning insomnia, which was unfortunately affecting me too (shared bed)
- my wife cancelling couple-therapy session, which she has always resisted because of the inevitable tension it always seems to trigger
On a positive note, she answered a call from her psychiatrist and agreed to scheduling an appointment for today, which was long overdue. I decided to respond with writing her the email below. Her reply (not included here, till she’s ready for public blogging), was positive and further calmed the situation. Then we spent my morning off yesterday, talking, crying, reading, walking, watching videos about bipolar disorder and experimented with some mindfulness meditations. Sigh! much, much better than the couple days before, AND to top it off, she had made a home-cooked dinner (rice stirfry), which has been understandably rare the last few months. Reminder: celebrate and feel gratitude for the positives.
It’s a confusing time for us both, but more for her. I continue to reassure her of my commitment and confidence for getting through this, together. I try to encourage her to stick with her regular routine of prayer, exercise, learning, housework etc. I’m still pushing her to reach out to fellow depression sufferers for support. She resists sharing anything with others because of worry about confidentiality – but I try reinforce that the potential help and support we could receive should outweigh the low risk of leaked personal information from a trusted friend. Until the paranoia settles further, there’s not much more I can do…
Dear Sweety, 12/10/15
The other day, I suggested that you write to me, but instead you wrote in your journal. I feel you distancing me in the last couple days – you presented it as a need for ‘quiet’ and preference to write sms rather than speak on phone. I respected that.
Maybe we’ve reach the point where writing is necessary. Until today, I felt shared connection with your pain and suffering and I thought we had a mutual understanding that we’ll work through this together. I have done nothing against your will – I support your process. But I feel a real distancing between us and it worries me.
I love you. I know I keep reminding you that I’m in a completely different ‘place’ from last year. I am still confident that we can growth together through this challenge, as long as we keep our trust and connection strong. If you push me away, even if you don’t mean to and it’s part of the condition, I don’t feel I can fight it. The tension that it causes is not good for either of us or our kids, and I don’t see any other options other that step away. I’m not perfect – I am constantly trying to work on myself. But if our relationship takes strain, I don’t how the damage and distance will affect our future.
I hope this makes sense – please clarify anything that isn’t clear. I want desparately for us to continue to work together on accepting and treating this condition with the attention it requires. Do not fear about being ‘dragged’ into appointments, as you describe it. But consider seriously the effect of straining the trust we’ve worked so hard to rebuild recently.