When I got away from my mother I thought my anxiety and frequent crying spells would subside or stop. I wasn’t aware of the trauma she cause me. So I was always anxious, cried a lot, and started having panic attacks again. I thought the same of leaving that church. But that only lessened my anxiety a little. I was having anxiety attacks at work and I didn’t know why.
As I’ve had time to step back, a few observations can be made:
Fast forward to years 4-5 1/2 of my marriage. I’d taken time off school to be sure about my major–it was 2 1/2 years and I was making progressing the work force. I would change jobs or get a promotion and I got more money per hour each time. My spouse was very convinced that we needed to reach middle class status. I thought the money I was bringing in would make him happy, but I frequently heard, “You keep changing your mind!”
When I decided I was going to go back to college, he was very irritated and worried about me talking about going part time at work–even though that is how he completed his bachelor’s degree. So I took a job with high pay and a flexible schedule and was accepted to a four year university. I did part time school and full time work. But these weren’t my only stressors.
An injury from when I was a teenager resurfaced so I had many doctors appointments and physical therapy. Some will disagree with me, but the faith I left was very sexist. Much was left to the women or the wife as the men did not much more than hold a job and sit high in their status at church. Every relationship is different, but leaving that church didn’t change this for my husband.
He wouldn’t clean, very rarely cooked, refused to clean the litter box, wined and wouldn’t follow simple steps to get the printer working again, refused to do dishes, refused to clean the bathrooms, refused to do laundry, and all car maintenance and appointments for both cars were things for my day off, not his.
I fell behind on domestic tasks often. This irritated him greatly. Once I told him if he was truly a feminist he would help with the housework. And boy did that make him angry! Yet his behavior never changed.
One way I have described my ex to friends and family is as a “facebook activist”. My ex “believes” and stands up on many social issues, but doesn’t lift a finger in his personal life. I remember there was once he donated to a suicide prevention line, but never did we designate any of our funds to these causes he boasted so insistently about over social media. Never attended rallies, and I not certain he voted except for Trump vs. Hillary, but that is getting ahead of ourselves in the story.
More changes came. He said he was gender non-conforming and felt neither male or female. By this point I was hoping we were finished for a few years. Maybe that is why my spouse was always changing? Having a hard time finding themselves?
Not too long after, I had my first suicidal ideation and plan, followed by my first hospitalization. As I was on disability at work, trying to recover with group therapy and individual therapy–and still going to college part time–my spouse came out as transgender. I will now refer to my ex as she/her from here on out.
So as I went to therapy I was shopping for an all new wardrobe, make -up, etc. at her every whim because she wasn’t confident to go with me and I had “free time”. Even with my bout of mental illness and wanting to leave this world, she still wouldn’t help around the house either. I mean, neither of us planned to have a crisis at the same time. But she wouldn’t work with me. That remained the same.
As I completed the group therapy we had a meeting with my therapist. my wife refused to hear or understand how my very high paying, demanding job was not what I needed, that something low key and maybe part time would be best so I could do self care–a concept completely foreign to me. I had always taken care of others. My mother, my siblings, and my wife. I was having to learn how to put myself and my health first.
My wife said that I couldn’t do part time work or leave my job because we needed to save for her sexual reassignment surgery–Immediately she was sure this was what she needed and wanted and I had to help her, she had been out for a mere month or two, which is very uncommon. And, it was all about her. It always was. Something I didn’t realize for over another year.
So I went back to work and lasted four months before becoming suicidal again. I finally advocated for myself. I told my supervisor I was going out on disability again and HR would fill her in. I called and made an intake appointment then that night I told my wife I was checking myself in for suicidal ideation the next day, and I would love to have her support. Not even a whole year had passed by since the last time I was hospitalized.
To be continued . . .