I had my weekly therapy appointment yesterday afternoon. In spite of my reservations, individual therapy is still very helpful for me, and I always leave with the feeling that I’ve gotten some good advice from my therapist. My therapist and I were talking yesterday about how my hospitalization last April and May affected my husband and our marriage.
I realize that overall, my illness has put a big strain on our marriage and that my hospitalization was especially difficult for my husband to handle emotionally. I think part of it was the fact that I kept telling him we should get divorced so I could move back in with my parents in Colorado. This was never something I actually wanted to do. The only reason I ever said this to him was because I thought that if I didn’t leave my husband, the mafia voices would kill him. I knew that even if we had to separate, at least he would still be alive. I’m sure that hearing this from me must have been extremely difficult for my husband. After all, he didn’t want to get divorced or leave me. On some level he knew this wasn’t really what I wanted, that it was the illness, the voices talking that made me say those things. All the same, we are still working on strengthening our marriage and re-connecting on an emotional level.
I also told my therapist that during much of last year, I was spending quite a bit of my time and energy listening to the voices. I would converse, negotiate and argue with them, insult them and get extremely angry with them, often I would attempt to ignore them, and frequently I was very afraid of what they might do to me, my husband or my family. I explained to my therapist that I was often living (actually thinking) in two worlds: the world with my husband and the people I knew and could see right in front of me, and the voice world which consisted of the thoughts in my head and the voices who talked to me. Often, I would be trying to function in both worlds simultaneously, my husband would come home from work while I was preparing dinner for us. We would eat and talk while listening to the tv in the background.
My husband would get up to change out of his work clothes or to take a shower, and I would pick up whatever conversation or argument I had been having with the voices before he came home from work. I lived like this for some time, switching back and forth continuously between the real world, and the voices in my head. It wasn’t always so easy to block them out. Of course now I am doing much better. I’ve made a world of progress since last year, and I have no doubt that things will continue to get better.
The key for me has been to Never Give Up.
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