Originally Posted by violet_
And this may sound really stupid, but I'm seriously dreading telling people. It must make me seem crazy to have a divorce so fast like that.
Not crazy at all. More people than you know have been through the same thing. Every time I tell people about my xh I get similar stories about someone else's ex-spouse. I think you're more likely to get a "You dodged a big bullet, good for you" reaction from those who know, and a "Why did you marry a mentally ill guy?" reaction from those who don't know how deceptive these conditions can be.
This is quickly moving into the realm of NMB, and possibly not yours either, but you may want to talk to the therapist about his kids and about talking to the ex-wife. The ex may not know the diagnosis, but she and the kids are likely aware of some of the behavior. The general psych consensus is that it's good for the kids to understand what's happening, and that it isn't their fault -- this has been our experience here, too. Also, because BP is so highly heritable, if the ex can handle the news without flipping out herself, it's a good piece of medical info to know.
Finally, the kids will need to know why you're leaving them, if that's how it sorts out. It will help if there's a real reason and they understand you care for them.
The first time my xh was hospitalized, when my daughter was nearly two, I began explaining to her that her daddy had a booboo inside his head that made him feel very sad sometimes, and that this was why he had to go to the hospital. And that doctors were helping him. Since then, there've been many questions about the booboo, and while she is herself very sad about it, she understands that the booboo is why we don't all live together, and why he and I aren't married. She understands it never really goes away; she understands he has to take care of it, and that sometimes it's better and sometimes worse. That it isn't her fault, and that it's not her problem to fix; the doctors are helping. (Though she did tell him, at two, that she wanted to be a doctor so she could put something soft in his head and help the booboo.) It's something she'll be dealing with throughout her life, but she has something of a handle on it, some names for it, a recognition that it exists, and the understanding that she can talk about it -- with me and with her play therapist, and maybe with her dad. That's a good start.
If I may say, violet, I notice this is not the first batch of craziness in your life. It may be worth figuring out why. My xh wasn't my first crazy, either, and one day I realized that I'd been terminally naive about people and had failed to see the value of what I've got. If people were cutting across my lawn, so to speak, I just let 'em -- not the nicest thing, but no harm in walking on the grass, right? But next thing I knew they were on my porch having a party and carrying off my TV. I'm a lot more careful now, and I brook a lot less craziness and responsibility-shifting.
|I'm getting these waves of sadness at least daily and it is crushing. Last night I managed some anger too, but today I'm back to total sadness. The vast majority of the sadness is about DH and losing my wonderful love. There's also that little voice reminding me I'll never get to be a mom now.
Don't jump to conclusions! You may or may not grow your own; you may or may not adopt; you may or may not be married when you become a mom; you may or may not mother the same child the whole time.
You know, it can be very valuable for children with mentally ill parents to have sane nonfamily people in their lives who love them and who can provide constant support as they grow up, and maybe some of the parenting they can't expect from the ill parent. I really wish that my daughter had a good auntie like that -- she needs one. If the exwife is supportive, and if your husband is on his good days, you may still be very important in these children's lives. It needn't be an everyday thing. My best friend's aunt was 3000 miles away, and helped her greatly throughout her teen years.
I am so sorry for your loss. It can be so disorienting, too.
I'm not generally a fan of NAMI -- it seems to me they're very happy to take advantage of family to the point of abuse in their efforts to promote the rights of the mentally ill -- but they do have a support group called Family to Family where you may find real understanding. If their focus in your area is too heavily on helping your husband, rather than helping yourself, there is a group called the Well Spouse Association that can be extremely supportive. It doesn't seem to matter what the chronic illness is -- a spouse often finds that the person she married and loved is gone, and this difficult person is left in his place. Some stay married, some divorce, but the focus is strongly on the caregiving spouse -- which is what you have been, in many respects.
Anyway, enough. Please give yourself nice things now.