Monday, April 8, 2013

Can There Be Joy Behind the Pain?

A betrayed wife recently commented on this post that she wondered if she had recovered too "easily". She was six weeks out from D-Day and, though she had her rough days, nonetheless was feeling pretty positive. She asked if I thought she was maybe in denial.
Though, of course, I can't answer that, it's possible but it's also possible that she's just a really healthy, wholehearted person who recognizes that her husband's horrible choice doesn't define her in any way. And then I came across this on this site here, which perhaps explains it as well:

It has never failed that when I have been through the most heart-breaking passages of my life – betrayal, financial hardship, divorce, dreams dashed – the pain brought me to the floor of my being, and what was there to be found?: The simple joy of being alive. So cosmically basic it's mind-blowing: the joy to be here, connected, animated, breathing, blessed, resilient, to be broken, to be open, to have what was, what's left, what's coming. The joy just to be part ofreality

What do you think?

24 comments:

  1. I have to say that my kiddos have given me this kind of joy. My kids have shown me so much in their ability to live in the moment, to be resilient, and to love unconditionally. While I regret putting them through it, the way my oldest (at just 4 years old) responded to our separation, she made me ACT more joyful. She had the most simple, pure and loving responses to me - I didn't tell her anything - but she could tell I was sad, and yet, she always showed me the fun in everything- collecting bugs, dancing in the kitchen and ice cream for breakfast. I thank God everyday for those kiddos they kept me alive.

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  2. Elle: This is off topic. A reader on my blog commented about Chump Lady. I had never heard of her or read her blog before. Then, I found a link to her site with a post from last month about you. At least I think it was you. Anyway...I replied to the numerous she-wolves over there in your defense...I mean...your defense if it was you! They sure are a feisty, judgmental bunch!
    Here's the link if you wanna read it.
    http://chumplady.com/2013/03/dear-chump-lady-not-everyone-who-reconciles-is-pathetic/#comment-15992

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    1. Hey Shawn,
      Yup...that was me, pleading for compassion. Feel on deaf ears, I think, save for a few readers. I confess I didn't quite expect such vitriol (more evidence of my eternal optimism, I guess). I haven't read any more comments and don't think I will. Nothing to be gained from that.
      I've done a lot of thinking about it since. I get that, for some women, leaving is absolutely the smartest move. And I even get that, for some people, there's simply no room to consider that ANY marriage in which there has been infidelity is worth saving. What I DON'T get is how angry and cruel so many of them are. It's not enough, it seems, to have their own point of view. They need to ensure that everyone else is viewed as a total putz for reconciling. There's so much shaming and belittling of reconciliation that I find myself wondering just how happy these women actually are with their decisions. A case of "methinks she does protest too much", perhaps? Not all of them, of course. But enough that it certainly gives an overall tone to the site.
      In any case, I pulled her Web site from my blogroll simply because a few readers of this site wrote to say they were very badly triggered and hurt by reading her posts, which is exactly what NONE of us need. It was nothing personal. I think much of what Chump Lady says is bang on. But, of course, there's a fundamental disagreement around reconciliation.
      But thanks for taking on the haters for me! Nice to know you've got my back.

      Elle

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    2. Shawn,
      Me again. Couldn't resist and just read your comment on that other site. That's about the sweetest thing anyone's ever said about me. So thank-you! You're a helluva girl to have in my corner. Wish I'd known you in middle school. :)

      Elle

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    3. Back at cha, Sister!
      If I've learned anything from this life altering experience, it's that one size definitely does NOT fit all. Everyone has their own road to walk and I shouldn't tell them to take my route just because I think it's the best way back to Happy. I should offer to hold their hand on their path instead.
      It's pretty damn simple, but I don't think Chump Lady will be taking the compassionate path anytime soon.
      I truly admire you for trying to talk her down off her soap box.
      Hugs!

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  3. I don't think I am as happy as she was - but I have been so grateful to the point of near happiness. Grateful that I am living in truth instead of in someone elses lie...

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    1. Xena,
      I think there's much power in that sort of gratitude. Living life with eyes wide open, even if we don't like the view at the moment, is preferable to closing our eyes. The hope being that the view can change.

      Elle

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  4. Elle
    After another one of my melt downs triggered by a date (WTF?) my husband calmly sat me down and explained I was only hurting myself my dwelling on past dates times scenarios etc- his wise words 'you are trying to fix something that has already happened and you can't undo the past - I was a selfish lying asshole with a sense of entitlement I didn't deserve and a wife I didn't deserve' - I have to admit it kinda floored me? All this time and I just realised that's what I was trying to do 'fix' the past 'rewrite it'?
    My husband has been great in all this fully supportive and the man he used to be (yes I know the fact he was a complete and utter arse and a selfish fool is the reason I'm here..) but life goes on
    Accepting I can't fix the past has been a weight off my shoulders - silly that
    Understanding I can concentrate on the future has given me a sense of purpose of peace even - this morning I felt happy. Happy to wake up and find him beside me and happy to start a new day - is that the joy starting to come back?
    I wanted to share because for the first time in 10 months I see a light at the end of the tunnel - god I hope it lasts
    Bee

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    1. Bee,
      Once you've had that sliver of joy, you know it's possible. In my experience, you're about to walk into a more balanced life with both joy and sorrow, just like everybody else.
      If you haven't already, please tell your husband how much it meant to you that he's able to just own his shit. It makes a HUGE difference when our husbands can just call it what it is, and stop the denial/deflection dance. Perhaps he'll need to remind you a few more times before it sticks...but it sure sounds like you're on the upswing.
      Yay!

      Elle

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    2. I know that I am responding to a post that is almost a year old but at 15months out I learner something from you Bee! I have seen that sliver of light and it is mostly because my husband … the arse… has shown much remorse and shame. When I melt down...and I still do...he is right there. Never leaves my squirming side! I even took my pillow to sleep on the couch and so he brought his pillow and slept there too. We all know we can NOT go back...change what has been done ... wish it all away...etc!!! But even though I still have times of utter despair I know I am in a better place. My husband is 100% PRESENT...he no longer lives a life of deceit. I know this is a long road NO ONE wanted to be on even my husband but for the grace of God..we are here...working on a life based on truth and HONEST love.
      Thanks again to everyone who with your words and support have given me and others hope and strength to get to the other side of this with our heads held high!
      L

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  5. Elle, I have been reading your blog for 2 weeks now obsessively , I think I have ready every post and every response from these wonderful ladies 3 times already.
    Me almost 1 year out from D day (may 5 2012) find myself finally ready to deal with the shocking news of what I found out that day!
    My husband of 8 years has been having sex with multiple people since the day we met. I know him for 12.
    My mouth dropped as I was reading so many of your posts as I feel my husband is a lot like yours, he came from a family much like your husbands and has himself used the word perfect to describe them.
    The day I found a fake email he had with over 900 emails to woman and men from dating websites, mostly craigslist and even ones from girls that he had met out or at work. He had an account on craigslist with ads asking for sex with transvestites and conversations with cross dressers and men who give blow jobs and woman who have sex in the car. There where confined meetings and so much more. That day was a nightmare. This is not my life. He is living a completely secretive life I had no idea about? The man thing baffled me. It was such a whirlwind in the beginning and I didn't know which end was up. I left no stone unturned this past year and as i went lver all of his behavior from the family he grew up with to how he has intimacy issues and how sex has always been objective to him and looked over the dates of when this spiralled out of control and he hit rock bottom(sleeping with a man) more risque behavior, it was when his father died. he was so depressed at this time. no excuse. but our lives in general life together in general has been full of stress.... lose of business, house, car. financially we struggle. this being because he thinks with his other head and it is more powerfull than just , i messed up. im sorry. ill do whatever you want. this is a serious problem within himself. he has slways been insecure and not felt like he was good enough and had to stroke his ego with woman, but this is more than that now. he has an addictive personality (has had a problem with pot since the day we met) he trades off in his addivtions too. at this point, i not only do not trust him, i dont feel safe and am so nervous for me and my kids because he is a weak link and i do feel he cannot get better without really seeing the main issue. like so many of you I was of the " if he cheats he's out" I have two small children, my son was only 4 months old when I discovered this. There is so much roller clattering that went on this year but I feel you lived it so I don't need to explain in detail. What I do say now is that I have finally come to a place where I realized all I want is for him to take responsibility that he is a sex addict and needs help. He has admitted that he was a shit and reassured me as much as he can that he is a changed man. He has been present and helping, changed his job ect. I have touched on the fact that he is an addict and he refuses to listen. When I mention counseling he says yes but than there are 100 reasons after that it won't work. I am guilty to for not just making the appointment. I just feel I am at a place were I am excepting what has happened and although it kills me everyday I am a woman and a mother and need to face it! He is still this lil boy running away from mom and dad hoping it will all just be over with soon. I read about sex addiction and it is incredible who much it describes him. I still can't believe it. But it is real. I hope this finds you well and I get a response from some of you ladies as well. The big discussion of wether he wants to face this addiction or not is where I'm at cause it took me a year to get through the initial shock that indeed this did happen. I am now finally ready to start mending things and get to the route.

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    1. A,
      I'm so glad you found us and that my posts have offered some measure of comfort and reassurance that you're not alone.
      If you haven't already, get yourself a copy of Mending a Shattered Heart. It's written specifically for partners of sex addicts and there's a TON of useful info in there.
      One thing you absolutely must recognize is that this is HIS problem to manage, not yours. He absolutely must recognize that this is an addiction (along with his regular pot-smoking) and that it is negatively impacting his life and his family (to say the least!!!) and that it's time for treatment.
      I can't stress enough that he needs to be in treatment for sex addiction or he simply won't be able to stay clean. He can white-knuckle it for a while but this has been his way of managing his stress, anxiety, loneliness, fear, whatever for such a long time. He needs to learn new ways to manage those uncomfortable feelings and he needs to have strategies in place for when he's tempted. And he will be tempted. There are lots of 12-step programs for sex addiction where he'll meet people just like himself. If you can manage it, he should also get counselling from someone who's a specialist in sex addiction. At the very least, he should be reading every thing he can.
      But you absolutely need to separate yourself from his addiction and treatment. What you can and I believe must do is insist on treatment. And the only way to do that is to understand that you simply can NOT have a successful or healthy marriage with him at this point. You need to protect yourself financially and emotionally, and protect your children. I don't mean to sound as if I think he's harmful to them physically...but the behaviour he's modelling, even if he's kept much of it secret, is harmful to them. You also need to model healthy boundaries to your kids. If he cannot stay in the marriage until he seeks treatment and gives you some evidence that he's willing to the do the hard work of understanding WHY he risked your health and happiness in order to ensure he doesn't do it again. He's no doubt experiencing almost debilitating shame around his behaviour. But, again, that's HIS stuff, not yours.
      You don't make the appointment for him, but give him a deadline to do it himself. This isn't your recovery, it's his. You need to focus on you, get counselling for the trauma you're experiencing, and ensure that you can be the best mom for your kids.
      Please don't hesitate to post any other questions. Survivinginfidelity.com is another great site, which has a "sex addiction" thread. Lots of great women and info on that.
      I'm so sorry for what you've gone through this past year. You're a strong woman. I hope you're able to enjoy your little baby and other child in the midst of all this turmoil. And I hope your husband smartens up before he loses all of you.

      Elle

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  6. Elle thank you for getting back to me so quickly and with such a well thought out meaningful response. You are right and your words ring true.
    This is something he needs to face and only him alone can do this! I do feel that he will give into temptation again. He is like a book and he does well for awhile but old habits die hard with him and finding this out has brought that to a whole new level! I am and will take your advice on insisting he get treatment. I feel that without it, this won't work! Your right.
    Did your husband come to grips with his addiction? Did he admit it right away? Mine tap dances around all of it!! It was child eat foolish behavior, I was bored. I just was looking. All this after he knows I've read every email and have seen his craigslist account with the disgusting sex requests he made to men. Oh and also know that he called escort services and had massages!! Hello you have a problem. Admit it, fix it . Not only that, you have a wife standing here who knows all this and is still willing to go through therapy with you!!!!
    I am open to any reading material you might suggest as well. Thanks Elle

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    1. I was "lucky" (if you can call it that) that my husband has sought treatment for sex addiction even before telling me -- about six months before. He recognized that he was completely out of control and simply didn't want to live like that anymore. He loathed himself and what he was doing. So...he found a counsellor who specialized in sex addiction (counselling took place over the phone because the counsellor lived in another city) and began attending SAA meetings. If he hadn't already undertaken those steps, I don't know what I would have done. I now recognize just how impossible it is to stay in a marriage with someone who simply is incapable of emotional intimacy.
      My husband finally admitted to me what had been going on. Up to that point, I thought we were dealing with one affair. But once he told me, it was like finding the final piece of a puzzle. In a way, it was a relief because I'd never been able to understand why he'd risked everything for the women he was involved with.
      Your husband is clearly not fooling you...but continues to try and fool himself. His excuses are from some sort of "script" that addicts all seem to have.
      Stay strong and firm. You're not doing him or yourself any favors by allowing him to live in this denial.

      Elle

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  7. I have to say that I read both this blog, and ChumpLady since I think they are the two most reaoned poles of discussion, if you will on point of view. But my own sense of integrity, personal therapy, and all around sense of what makes up a decent human being has led me, with enormous pain, to realize that I simply cannon continue on with the man who was once my husband. Yes, legally we are still married. But, he abandoned me emotionally years ago--abandoned our daughter He didn't have serial affairs, of frequent massage parlors, or do any sex addict stuff--who knows, maybe thats easier to deal with than purposeful cowardly cruety. He simply decied that it was easier for him to fantasize about not only *being* with other women, but constructing whole lives with them, in his imagination. Until of course, he really did it..... Meanwhile, I was the one frantically trying to create the actual 3-D life we had, and never able to understand why the dots didn't connect. You see, he simply would not tell me. He lied--straight to my direct questions, lied in couples therapy, and gaslight me for years, Told me he loved me, that he adored me, when his real fantasy was to get rid of me and start again How painful is that? Excruciating.

    Not just me, but his myriad own therapists as well. But again, for me, the worst was to emotionally abandon his adolescent daughter What can you say to a man like that? In so many ways he's a really nice guy but, I think, fundamentally lacking a real person hood inside. It's very sad, and I'm sorry it took me 25 years to figure it out. I am surly sad now, and do not know where I will go from here or how I will rebuild. rebuild my inner life. It's been detonated. I promise you, 54 is WAY different that 42. in so many ways.I'm sad, and I really cannot understand how someone who once loved another person dearly could turn his back that way, and --not walk away--that would have had some integrity, if pain--but lie and cheat and hurt, and hurt and humiliate and degrade his one beloved partner, to their friends, community, everywhere. Who does that? How? Why? it's so pointless, cruel and sad.

    I wish happiness to those who can find it. the Chumplady message, while admittedly often extreme, and *vociferous!* does represent a valid POV in my opinion. In mean, cheaters ARE abusers. If they hit you, or kicked you with steel toes boots, would you stay? What's the difference? I used to work in a battered women;s shelter, and the intimate violence scars those women had...oh, my. But it's true, cheating is abuse, because of the power play, becasue of the daner of illness, because of the manipulation, and because of the willful causing of pain by someone you have made yourself vulnerable to, in order to create love. That is the ver definition of abuse.

    and, I would hate to go back and look at the recidivism rates for domestic batterers. Last time I looked, something like 5% were able to heal and stop being abusive. Ugh. Sorry to be debbie downer.

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    1. Seventhsisterhood,

      It sounds like you've put in plenty of time reaching the conclusion that your next right thing is to get out of the marriage. I'm so sorry for all the heartache you've gone through. Like you, I'll never understand how people who promise to love, honor and cherish can do exactly the opposite.
      I agree that ChumpLady's point of view is absolutely valid for a lot of spouses. There are people, whether cheaters or not, who are toxic and whom we need to cut out of our lives. Your to-be-ex sounds like one of them,poisoning you as long as you'd let him.
      Fifty-four might not be forty-two...but it's not sixty-four either. The best time to do what you need to do is now. I wish you all the best...and thank you for your kind words re. this site. I hope you'll continue to post and let us know how you're doing.

      Elle

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  8. Elle, we had the conversation the other night, I went over his behavior and the years of this addiction. I went over why I think that we can intact label this as sex addiction. He in the beginning was still shaking his head and using excuses. I got angry as I often do and came back calm and stated my point of I will not except you and will not work on our marriage until you go seek treatment. I gave him a deadline of Monday , he needs to have a plan of action in place. I stayed firm. He knows what I want. After he said he would do this of course in his typical behavior of pointing the finger, he says, you need to work on your anger, you have issues that you need to deal with... You'll see the therapist will tell you. I still stood firm and said this is your recovery not mine. I will and have been this whole year, been working on me. I don't think I told you but I work at a drug and rehab facility, I got this job in November mostly to relate and understand and work through what was going on in my life. It has helped my healing emensly. I am around addiction and addicts everyday. It is frustrating that at this point not only does he not admit he is one but doesn't even give me credit for knowing what I am talking about..... Drugs sex addiction is all the same. Same way a drug addict goes from popping pills to shooting herion in there arm because they need a more intense high is the same way a sex addict dabbles with porn, then sleeps with someone, than continues having sex with strangers and moves on to men and the risker behavior and so on. So needless to say, I left the conversation feeling one step closer but 3 steps back because my message was not fully received. I in my heart of hearts feel he will not do this for himself, he is in such deep denial at this point. I actually get it. It is the first step. Like a drug addict this his first time really hearing it. He is wrapping his head around it for the first time. I don't know what to do at this point, only to wait and see the progress he makes on getting help. After that I will adjust the circumstances. Do you have any advice for where I am at this point.? I am so sad and can't believe I am here and actually writing to you about a sex addicted husband and reading up on all the many books about dealing with all of this and at the same time trying to manage my feelings and take care of my children and worry about a husband who has done these awful things to our family. It is hard. If I have learned 1 thing it is that I am strong and confident and capable... I do see the reality in all of this and I think I am doing an amazing job in my own self discovery!!!! I am getting well again.

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    1. I think it's wonderful that you're feeling strong and confident. That will serve you well.
      And you clearly have a birds-eye view of addictions of all kinds.
      What you must remember though is that your setting these boundaries around what you will and won't tolerate from him NOT to manipulate him into seeking treatment, but to ensure your own emotional safety. Which means the boundaries can't shift. You can't, for example if he refuses to do nothing on Monday, say to him, "well, then, by Thursday". If you've said Monday, then Monday it is. If you said that without really considering that you're not in a position to move out, change the locks, whatever by Monday, then restate your position very clearly based on ABSOLUTELY WHAT YOU WILL DO IF HE DOESN'T SEEK TREATMENT. Determine what you need to do to remove yourself from his madness, and then do it. He will know when you are resolute in your conviction and when you're not. If he chooses to NOT seeking treatment, that is his choice. Your choice is to remove yourself and your kids from his brand of crazy. Once you really get this, it becomes so much easier to remain focussed on you.
      Sounds like you did a great job of not falling for his baiting ("well, you need to get treatment for your anger") and by pointing out that you ARE taking responsibility for your own emotional health. Our spouses, even "healthy" ones, can be masters at pushing our buttons. Stay strong in your position that this is about what YOU need to begin to feel safe in the marriage. But, again, understanding that it's ultimately HIS choice of whether or not to seek treatment.
      Hang in there. I think you're doing an incredible job under very challenging circumstances. Whatever way this turns out (he seeks treatment or not), I think you and your kids are going to be just fine.

      Elle

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  9. Thanks again Elle, for the support and quick response!
    We spent most of the day yesterday apart, I took the kids to visit my aunt and asked him to take the day for self reflection, take a long hard look in the mirror. Read the material, I have been reading. Get some time alone in your head and see if what I'm asking you to do, you will do and understand the consequences if you don't ect.
    When I returned... He was so happy to see us and kissed the kids and put them to bed and than came to me with tears in his eyes and said: I did a lot of sole searching today, and I have a problem, I am an addict and not just sex but pot too, he proceeded to tell me he smokes way more than I even knew and I knew it was a lot. He said he accepts that and needs help quitting. He than proceeded to say, he found a local SAA meeting that is tomorrow night and will be attending it. He realizes he has a problem.
    Ok now, this is what I wanted right? I don't know why but I was more infuriated last night than ever. I proceeded to berate him and tell him he was worthless and I can't believe that I was dealing with this in my life. I said a slew of things and we were fighting. We calmed down, and now it's Monday.... But I still can't help feeling like its not enough. God I am so mad. I know, that if I have said I'm willing to support this and work on our marriage I can't through in his face every chance I get what a low life weak man he is.... Elle I can't help it. I was feeling strong the other day, not sure what this triggered!! My thoughts are that it is real... I'm married to an addict?! A sex addict?! What? I didn't even know this existed. Now because he's addicted to sex we have to go to counseling, he goes to 12 step meetings, were open about this? What's next. I'm feeling threatened but I am dealing relieved at the same time. I just can't take this emotional roller coaster. Will this work? What is it going to be like? What is my role in this? So many questions
    How often should he go to meetings every week?
    Thanks Elle,
    NM

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    1. NM,
      His meetings will answer a lot of those questions for you re. how often. In terms of how long? Most addicts will say it's a lifetime of consciously choosing being clean.
      But that's HIS stuff. You're going to have to stay focussed on yourself. So many of those other questions will be answered in time. You'll figure out whether you can accept this in your life or whether his addictions (and your focus on them) has simply masked many other problems in the marriage. You mention feeling threatened. By him seeking help? Or something else. I ask because my mother was an alcoholic. And when she FINALLY got sober thanks to AA, I was so incredibly angry. My role had been to keep everything running smoothly while she screwed up. Now that she was actually capable again, I felt like I'd lost my "job" or my identify. I didn't know how else to live. So I took all that confusion out on her.
      See if you can get clear on how you're feeling and do your best not to say anything or do anything until you are clear. Write it down, go for a walk and talk it over in your head, scream in your car...anything to release the anger until you can figure out what it's masking. I hope you're ensuring not to yell in front of the kids. It's so confusing for them to see the people they love being horrible to each other. Even if he deserves to be yelled at, try and refrain. That's YOUR stuff.
      Hang in there. And try not to solve a year's worth of problems in one day. Or even two.

      Elle

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  10. I too had felt even 1 month post d-day that I was healing too quickly compared to what seemed to be "normal". But as I said in my support group last night, any walls or other ubhealthy behavior I indulge in only causes me mor pain, more work, and more set backs on my road to emotional, mental, and spiritual health... and in a way, even though its my choice to do that, it would be one more thing that the O.W. and my husband have done to have power over me. The faster I get healthy, the faster I am a better stronger person and better prepared to handle any of lifes challenges.
    kate

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    1. Kate,

      What a great attitude...and smart.

      Elle

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  11. I can't find any joy. My whole family is so f'd up. Not just due to the abuse from my CS but due to my reaction from it. My older children (thier words) have no respect for me. I have never confirmed their suspicions regarding their fathers cheating. But they know -they are teenagers and smart. Not only is CS a lier and cheater but an alcoholic as well. The kids -all if them have and are suffering from having not just 1but 2 terrible parents. I used to be a good mother and now I don't know why I am literally unable to be. I can't fix or help anything or anyone. CS wants so badly for everything to work out. He goes to all of his meetings. He tries to help me in every way. He is trying to set up IC, family counseling. He is living very transparent. But the moment I mention when I am struggling with something re: the affair -he clams up and tells me all the progress we made us gone and we are right back where we started. The 6 month anniversary of DD and the 8 months anniversary to the first time they had sex (in my bed no less) just occurred. I told him I was having trouble and struggling. In the same breath I told him I loved him. But he accused me on focusing on the past instead if the future. I know he just doesn't know what to say but goodness -does he truly think I WANT to think about any of this?! His reaction sets me back some. Feeling alone with my despair and pain, holding everything in, everything feeling forced and fake. I have no joy none. Only pain, pain, and more pain. Life is really horrible. I really just am waiting to die. I won't ever hurt myself because my children are screwed up enough. But living and being in this much pain all the while forcing a happy face on is too exhausting. My guilt over being a bad mother coupled with the pain of what my husband has done and still doesn't quite get "it" -well it is just to much to deal with.

    Faith

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    1. Faith,

      You are in so much pain. You're depressed. Please get to a doctor and get yourself on some anti-depressants. Like you, I honestly felt like I was simply waiting to die. Like you, I didn't want to put my kids through the pain (my mother attempted suicide more than once and it messes with kids' heads). I hated the idea of being on anti-depressants, beat myself for not being "strong" enough to handle what I was going through. But the trauma of betrayal can literally change the brain, which can lead to not enough of the "feel good" chemicals and too much of the "when is the other shoe going to drop" chemicals. (Sorry, I'm no doctor...)
      You absolutely MUST take care of yourself in order to be a good mother to your kids. And in order to be any good to yourself.
      Please, please, PLEASE make yourself a priority. Get counselling, get drugs and get yourself back on track, no matter what your husband can and can't do for you.
      I understand how frustrating it is that your husband can't talk this over with you. And I know how invisible and shut out it makes you feel when he won't allow you to share your pain. He should do those things...but he can't right now. I hope, with time and his meetings, he will get to that place. But he's not there yet. But you can't let that stop you from getting the help you need to heal.
      I've been there,Faith. And the only thing that brought me out of it was anti-depressants. I stayed on them only as along as I had to, according to my doctor (18 months. Any less and apparently your brain can spiral back down even deeper). And they didn't make me "happy"...but they lifted the incredible darkness that made me think that life was pointless.
      Please. We want you well. Your kids want you well. Even if they can't articulate their pain and it's coming out as anger, they want and need you well.

      Elle

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