Monthly Archives: May 2019

FAQ: How are the boys handling it?

Thing One, off in college in another city, is staying carefully neutral. He says if Mr. Husband was unhappy in the marriage he had a right to leave it. I feel that this assessment is ignoring some of the salient details (the cheating, the lying, the giving up on us without even trying to talk through our problems or seek help), but I don’t want to make the kid take sides.

Thing Two has always had a difficult relationship with his father, and this has not improved things between them. He’s being very helpful with hugs and reassuring words, but then also shirking chores and doing badly at school, but that’s not a reaction to this mess; he’s been doing that for years.

Truth is, I have told them that they can talk to me any time, but they won’t. They’re both so worried about me that they won’t do anything to make me worry about them. I kinda wish they would; I could use the distraction.

Song du jour of the day: Robert Cray, Sadder Days.


Chutes & ladders

The descents are dizzyingly fast, swoopy and sick-making; the climbs are slow and agonizing, my progress barely perceptible until I notice I can see a little further. Then I take a couple tentative steps, and. Here follows a description of my most recent WHOOSH.

This past weekend I took the train up to Utrecht to watch Eurovision with friends (pricey ticket, bought at the last minute because I decided that driving might provide too many opportunities for unfortunate impulses (too many = one, if it arrives at the right moment). Saturday was fine, there were friends and distractions, and the Netherlands won the contest so that’s a fun thing to experience while actually in the Netherlands.

Sunday was… not fine. I decided that I had to at least try to save my marriage. I would probably fail, I reasoned, but, at least I would know that I’d tried. So I sent him a WhatsApp saying that since finding an apartment was proving to be harder than I’d thought (true) could we find a place together and go see a couples therapist to try to iron out our communication problems. There were train delays, very stressful, so when he hadn’t answered by 7.30pm the tears started, and they didn’t really stop until I got home around 10.30. Yes, I was walking through downtown Heidelberg, openly sobbing. Classy.

Monday was even less fine. That’s when he decided to answer me, and the answer was no, which I had started out expecting but I’d allowed myself to hope. The force of Delusion is very strong in me. It was a long, drawn-out no, in a WhatsApp chat that went on intermittently over about five hours, so that was a lot more crying. [Side-note: I have been using a Cefaly to fix my migraines, and it has worked, but it turns out you can still trigger a migraine if you cry enough. Still have the migraine, yay.]

So yeah. One step forward, twenty kajillion steps back, I guess. I saw my new therapist two days in a row, because I was such a watery mess yesterday she said “I have a cancellation, you should come back tomorrow”, and I went out to dinner with my feminist moms group and received much sympathy and support, and had coffee with a friend this morning and taught/tutored for six hours, and at some point the sun came out so right now at this very second I am feeling slightly better. It would be nice if I could find a way to make this slight betterness last.

Song du jour of the day: Nothing Compares 2 U.


Where I am now

I seem to have fallen into a pattern wherein I wake at 6 with this terrible heartache and spend the next three hours trying to go back to sleep to escape the pain. Eventually I crawl out of bed because I have to be somewhere, like an appointment or my first day on the new job, and then, imperceptibly gradually and with lots of tears, I manage to distract myself to the point that I feel almost not horrible. By evening I can tell myself I may actually survive this, and then I go to bed and try very hard not to think about the this that I’m surviving.

And then the next morning the heartache is back and I can’t drag myself out of bed for exercise or laundry or food or coffee, but I can drag myself up if someone’s waiting for me. So I just have to make a lot of appointments. But I’m a lot more tearful in the morning, which does make the appointments maybe an uncomfortable experience for the person I’m meeting. My therapist and psychiatrist get paid to handle it, but I feel rather bad for my colleagues and friends. You know, when I can spare a moment from my raging self-pity.

Song du jour of the day: Arcade, by Duncan Laurence, the Dutch contribution to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Yeah, that’s still happening.


The in-between

On Tuesday I felt… almost not horrible for several hours, and I thought egad, how shallow am I that I can get over such a shattering event in less than a month? On Wednesday I woke up and realized I was Definitely Not Over It. Not by miles. Not by years, probably.

This is the bit where I can’t think of anything new to say about how sad I feel but I will still feel sad for an unspecified period of time, right? But I won’t want to talk about it because I’ll be afraid of being boring.

I’m going to accept the freelance job. I am also interviewing for another job on Tuesday. I looked at the flat and I like it so I’m going to try to get it. He is helping me, and promising to make sure the rent is paid no matter what and being so generous and I should be grateful – I am. Very grateful. But him being so nice also burns my heart a little more because it underscores just what I’ve lost. I can’t believe how much I miss him.

You know, with my insecurity and poor self-image and horrible childhood I have always been a scaredy-cat – Queen of the Worst-Case Scenario, that’s me, so of course I have worried that I might lose him. Seriously, I’ve lived in fear of this for half my life. You’d think I’d be better prepared.


Today was eventful

They let me out of the clinic today. I, uh. I was pretty dejected in the morning, but I guess I looked better enough that they trusted me to go home after one last blood draw and EKG. I’ve found a therapist; I still have to find a psychiatrist. And I have to see my GP for a prescription for more of the drugs they gave me at the clinic – that would be the Zoloft in the mornings (one per day, not optional) and the Seroquel at night (as needed for sleep). I called and made an appointment for 8.45 tomorrow.

Another thing that I didn’t expect to come through so soon – well, at all, actually – is an English Teacher Wanted ad on Facebook that I clicked on a few days ago and there was this “Apply Now” button and I thought “psht, who applies for a job through Facebook?” But I clicked it on a whim, and they messaged me requesting my CV, so I sent that in on Saturday when I was home, and today they called me in for an interview at 3pm. So, yeah. They seem to want me to work for them – it’s a freelance thing, so they’re not taking a big risk here – and I told them I’d let them know by the end of the week. Some tutoring kids, some private lessons, maybe an actual evening class at some later date.

Oh also, I emailed about a vacant flat at the end of April, and I got an email today offering a viewing on Thursday.

All of this is very handy for my usual approach to depression, which is to try to skitter across the surface of my life and never slow down for long enough to sink. Which, to be fair, has generally kind of worked, most of the time. You know, until it doesn’t. And I land in a psych ward.

Song du jour of the day: Twist, by The Fat Lady Sings.


Home for a night

This is what they call a “Belastungserprobung”, which is probably best translated as stress test, where you go into a difficult situation (i.e. home, which usually features at least some of the components that led to your breakdown) and see how you handle it, with the clinic’s number on speed dial just in case things go badly.

They… went fairly badly. He was home when I got here, and and I learned some very painful truths and spent a lot of time crying, but I got through it. My grief is still bottomless; I still feel like I’m falling and falling, but there is also work to be done and no point in putting it off. Weaving a basket at the clinic is not going to move me any closer to finding an apartment that will let me bring my cat.

I have to go back to the clinic tonight. Tomorrow in the fishbowl (you have a chat with the senior doctor while all your nurses and therapists sit around and watch you without commenting – it’s unnerving, to say the least) I will say that I’m ready to go home, and hopefully they will set a date before Thursday (the date my therapist suggested when I talked to her last Thursday, which…? Why would I want to stay a whole week longer in an environment that has not been therapeutic for me?). This will happen between Movement Therapy and Ergotherapy (the basket-weaving thing), and then I will have some time to go for a walk. I go for a lot of walks.


Home for a day

So I’m home for the clinic just for today, because it’s a holiday and all the usual activities are cancelled, just to see what it would be like to be home for a day.

The cat’s happy to see me.

And it’s so blessedly quiet and empty. Thing Two is around somewhere, doing whatever, and I’m not surrounded by people and it is bliss, except for the occasional stabbing pain in my heart.

I don’t think the clinic is a good place for me. Monday was back-to-back activities from the minute I got up until like 9pm, and then I had to avoid my room because my roommate was trying to get her toddler to sleep. Tuesday was the same until about 2pm, and then I just… declined to go to the next two activities and took a nap because my brain was fried. There is literally no place I can go to be alone, and I’ve been really down the last few days and everybody noticed and the nurses were asking me if I was planning to do “anything rash” but whenever I cried everybody would swoop around me and hug me and pat my shoulder and be all concerned until I had to stop crying so as not to distress them.

So yeah. I think I need to come home. It’s a hard place to be, with all the memories around and the gargantuan task ahead of me, but I think it’s better than the clinic where I have to Perform Okay at all times.

Question is, what do I do once I’m here? Start packing for a move that will probably happen in August, I guess, but dang it’s hard to know where to start.

And I am still unbearably sad. The future I thought I had is just gone, and I don’t know what to replace it with.

Song du jour of the day: Bonnie Raitt, I Can’t Make You Love Me.