For those who have seen my intro post, am currently caring for my wife who has made several attempts to end her life. I don’t know what I am wanting from writing this post. Someone who knows what it feels like to talk to would be amazing, but hell maybe just putting this all down on paper (obviously metaphorically) might help release this huge well of emotion that I am carrying around with me.
So she has been diagnosed as suffering from Post Natal Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Why has this led to her wanting to end her life… because she is scared that she will turn into her mother and abuse our daughter and thinks we would all be better off if she wasn’t around.
Her mother was both emotionally and physically abusive to her while she was growing up, the incidents I have been told about are being pinned to the floor in their kitchen, while her mother pulled her hair and hit her with a hairbrush. Being spanked with slippers and belts. Being held down by her step father (who was no angel and thank god is no longer on the scene) while her mum hit her repeatedly in the lower back.
This understandably caused her behaviour to be negative, so was labelled a troublesome child. She rarely went to school as performed poorly. And when she did do, she was badly bullied. So was getting no respite.
Added to this her mother would run her down, ruin her confidence, ensure she never had positive friends, and turned those ones away. Making her isolated, so that she always thought that she needed her mum around. Something which has continued until the latest flare up, where as she is now getting intervention from the local mental health hospital, has seen that the relationship with her mother has and still is toxic, and that she needs to break free.
I fully believe what my wife has told me, especially as it has been backed up by family and the few good friends who stuck by her. However, part of the emotional abuse has been to make her doubt herself, refusing to admit it calling my wife a liar. Other things, like being horrible to friends and neighbours, so my wife isn’t happy where we live, so spends more time at her mums. Ruining special occasions, since we’ve been together, (8 years) the last one has been the first one where it has just been me, my wife and our children with her mother there. Yet every year she has caused an argument, over nothing which has ruined the day. Every year I say not again, but every year, because she is made to feel bad, I have to back down and let her mother come over.
Our wedding day, she had an argument with our photographer, because she wasn’t taking enough photos of her! In the lead up to, she showed everyone the wedding dress, would run down ideas which were special to us.
She would behave in a way to provoke a reaction, and then behave like the victim, so never at fault.
Moving onto our children, as any parent of more than one knows, the second child is more difficult than the first. You are more tired, as have to look after the older one when the younger one is quiet/asleep. They are more on the go because they have a role model that can run/jump/climb/shout and they seem like great activities. So we jokingly refer to our youngest as trouble, like “here’s trouble” this caused something to click in my wife’s head, that she was trouble and her mum treated her like that, so she was scared that she would do likewise. This only occurred after she disclosed to a friend that last February she had a thought about throwing herself and our youngest over a high ledge. At this point she had not been diagnosed with PND. She had had a tough pregnancy, morning sickness throughout, a bad car crash, meaning extra tests and regular blood tests due to her blood group, very large bump, so had to be booked in for an early C-section. Which then went wrong, as had difficulty getting our daughter out, due to size of her head, and when they did she was blue, and we didn’t see her for about 20 minutes. My wife lost a lot of blood, went a horrible colour and was on the verge of needing a transfusion. But we got home after a few days, and my boss at the time, put me in the position of that I needed to come into work, because they were short staffed, or lose my job. In hindsight I should have walked, but we were scared about money, so I went back, not giving her the time to heal, and form that special bond mother and child get in those first few days and weeks. My relationship with my work and own mental health deteriorate drastically, to the point I have to leave. Which shortly after led to the flare of her PND and first suicidal thoughts, in recent time. Having had them and made some attempts as a teenager.
So she had opened the floodgates to her mental health, and 2 days later while out with her mother, she had thoughts of jumping off a multistorey car park, which she didn’t say to her mum, only told me to get to the coffee shop she was at quick after I finished college down the road, before telling me what she had thought and how she was feeling. I got her seen that evening at the doctors, who put in referals to the local mental health unit. And so her care began (although still in the balancing meds stage, before tackling underlying issues). Over the coming weeks, supposed friends, even when told about some of her upbringing and need for separation from her mum, would be in contact with her mum and begging her to get in touch as it was Christmas. Others fell out over misunderstandings. Leaving her feeling very betrayed and alone, and affirming her view that she would be better off dead, as she couldn’t live with no friends. She tried to keep pushing me to do my teaching course, as her mum who has always hated me, wanted me to quit, to prove I’m a failure and a scrounger (despite benefit frauding herself for as long as I’ve known her) and my wife didn’t want to have the guilt of me leaving my course because of her, as it proved her mum right. Actually I have deferred, so will become a teacher, just when she’s better.
She has made multiple attempts since, luckily for me, just before each attempt her demeanor changes, giving me warning that something is about to happen, and intervene, or get help as required.
How has this left me… I’m scared that I will lose her, I may have multiple qualifications in childcare, but I am by no means the perfect parent. She is my soulmate, she makes me into a better person, her and the girls are the reason I live for. Her begging for me to let her finish it, is so difficult to listen to. As you know that you are doing the right thing, but at the same time seeing someone you love in so much pain, tears at you. When she has had to go to hospital, I feel like a little piece of me dies each time, having to be strong and supportive, while coming to terms with the fact that my world very nearly disintegrated. At times it feels like we are playing a game, which I have to win every time to get what I want, and she only needs to win once. They aren’t good odds. At present she is better, and when she’s up she is almost her normal self, but when she dips, then she is fixated on ending it.
So added to all these feelings generated from her, I then have to deal with her family. Her Dad is lovely (granted wasn’t a great dad when she was young, but acknowledges that and tries his best now. However, he doesn’t get how to deal with Mental Health, so when trying to help, often makes things worse. Then there is her nan, who has always been scared of her daughter (my wifes mum) who doesn’t want to be seen taking our side, as scared of the backlash. This seems to be changing at present, but won’t hold my breath. And there is her mum… She goes through cycles of being nice, then argumentative and then horrible. I have her blocked on text/calls/fb/messenger to both of us. I had left email open, as wanted her to once in her life admit that she had done something wrong. So that at least my wife would be able to go to her professionals in the knowledge that what she is telling them is true and not like she fears made up. However, this had been getting no where, so stopped emailing but hadn’t blocked. Started emailing again the other night asking to see the girls over half term. Something which was refused, as professionals advised my wife that she should cease all contact, at least for now. This obviously caused it to turn more argumentative, and getting very personal at me as a parent, trying to goad me into a reaction. She would always send them around midnight, and as much as I knew to expect them, when I got up with our youngest to get her a bottle or whatever (2am every night) I’d see it when I checked the time and rise to the bait, although always tried to hold something back. This morning while my oldest was at swimming, I was reading back the messages, and realised that I am better than this, and I don’t need to have an argument to make myself feel better. So told her so, to which she responded with that she is now going to come to the market (we live in a small market town) twice a week, despite the fact it goes to the village next to hers. She is trying to intimidate my wife into not being able to leave the house, or rather me of making sure that she doesn’t go out, as she loves to tell all her friends that I am controlling and have my wife under my thumb.
She makes me so angry, the fact she lies as easy as breathing. The way she has got her daughter (my wife) to believe that no-one wants to be around her, so for 8 years I regularly get asked whether I do love her or just feel that I should stay with her. The fact that she won’t admit to what she has done, or like the other night say that she hadn’t been a good mother but parenting was different back then. No it wasn’t I’m only 2 years and I was never assaulted by my parents. The fact that she has to be the victim, and never takes fault.The fact that she was looking into legally getting access to the kids, and at one point mentioned contacting social services on me (she wasn’t aware that we had already requested to be in a Family support process) although someone talked her down from this. The fact that she has someone, who is near my wife either physically or emotionally, who is passing on information.
Part of me wants to organise a meeting, and try to understand what is going on in her head. To scream and shout at her, to physically hurt her like she did to my wife. Dare I say it to remove the toxicity from my wifes environment (I must say that these thoughts of hurting/killing are not genuine as what would it achieve). I am watching Dexter in the evenings when my wifes had her sedative and gone to bed. Probably not the best when you have someone you hate with all your being. However, it made me join this forum, and hopefully get some help. There was an episode where Dexter’s wife had been murdered, cut in bath tub so she bled to death, and how the children and he struggled afterwards. This pushed me over the edge and into floods of tears. Firstly brought home how massive a deal for us as a family if my wife was to commit suicide, and how I wouldn’t be able to cope. But also, as she has had numerous failed attempts using pills, she is currently more fixated on cutting her wrists (which she told me the other day) and rather considerately putting her hands in plastic bags to mean I wouldn’t have to clean up the blood, as if that would be the thing I would be annoyed about.
Anyone think organising a meeting with her mum would be of benefit?
I’m sure this probably makes no sense, but this is the tip of the iceberg and I needed to get it down. I do feel better for writing, but always looking for anyone who can give me some pearls of wisdom or virtual shoulder to cry on.
If you have got this far you deserve a medal, or at least a nice cup of tea/coffee. Thank you for reading and caring enough to do so.