Sunday, May 15, 2005

My Marriage

Some of you may know I lived with a mentally ill wife.

When I met her, she seemed quirky and cute, but certainly not mentally ill... or at least no more than anyone else these days. She was 5'2 and 160 pounds, a fair bit of that chest (back problems galore). She was a very beautiful, energetic, passionate woman and I loved her very much.

She was also mentally, verbally, and emotionally abused by her father and stepfather for her entire life. She was raped several times as a teenager, and had been betrayed in relationships several times. As a young teen she had become an alcoholic; but by the time I had met her she was sober for two years.

Over the course of our relationship, her mental health and stability deteriorated, and she started gaining weight.

After two years together we married; really not because I wanted to marry, but because she was so insecure that we needed to be married for her to continue in our relationship. I truly loved her, and I wanted to ease her mind; so hoping to improve our lives I married her.

It is without a doubt the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.

There was this funny thing: because all we had was a magistrates signature on a paper she refused to say we were married. She would say we were engaged, and sometimes she would act like she was "available" to people online. Actually that's where she lived most of her life, online. She had so many problems with reality, that she just lived in her online world, for 18 or 20 hours a day. She'd sleep for 20 hours, and get back online and retreat into her fantasy online world where she could be whoever she wanted.

This is how she saw herself:

Let me tell you, at one point she really was that beautiful, and somewhere in her head she still was; but on the other side all she could see was fat and ugly and that difference made her even more emotionally unstable.

She was an amazing artist. She used to do freelance work for comic books, role playing games, magazines... but she never once took a real payment for any of it. She always said she was trying to; but on the other hand she quite literally said "Every time I try and sell my art, or even think about selling it or getting paid for it I feel like a whore".

From the moment we were married my wifes downhill slide accelerated. She became EXTREMELY dependant, both emotionally and physically. She began having panic attacks, and demonstrating what I now know to be rapid cycling bi-polar disorder. Soon she developed agoraphobia, which became panophobic acute anxiety disorder (the intense and uncontrollable fear of everything).

This entire time I was trying to help her myself, trying to get her to get outside help, trying anything and everything I could. She kept withdrawing further and further from life, and gaining more weight.

When our relationship started her sex drive matched mine, VERY HIGH. But over time the weight gain, the hormonal problems, the emotional issues, the panic attacks, and several miscarriages made her sex drive non-existent. When she DID want sex, I wasnt able to get any pleasure out of it because of these problems... I can't explain it to you really; it had nothing to do with her weight gain (though that certainly made things physically more difficult), it was the emotional pain, and the distance...

I just didnt know what to do. I cheated on her, several times. I couldnt go without sex, and I was angry with her, and I didn't want to hurt her, but she hurt me so much sometimes I jsut didnt care...

Eventually she told me she wanted to move to California, and that would help make her happy; so I found a job at a California startup.

Instead of helping, it made things far worse. Within a few months she wouldnt leave the apartment without me. I bought her a new jeep, and she never drove it without me. When she did drive it she was prone to panic attacks; once having an attack while in the fast lane on the highway when she simply froze right in the middle of driving, nearly killing us.

The startup went out of business, and I had several opportunities, including one in San Francisco, one in Texas, and one in Ireland. I decided I had to make the decision best for me, and I told her I wanted to move to Ireland. She was initially very supportive of the idea, but she became more and more fearful; and had more and more panic attacks.

She would start to cry, and her eyes would glaze over, she would stop speaking, and just have these little gasps and shoulder spasms; she wouldnt respond to anything, nosies, speech, nothing; it was like she wasnt even in the same world as you. If you stepped in fron of her she'd walk right around you, but still like you werent there. If you physically stopped her all shed do would be try to move the way she was going, but she'd still never acknowledge you were there. Then shed get in the shower turn it on full blast lukewarm, and lay in the tub with the shower going and cry for hours....

And she just wouldn't get help. She refused to even acknowledge there was a problem.

The woman I met at 5'2" and 160lbs was over 300lbs by now. She couldnt find clothes that fit at all, and she would barely move from the bed to the shower to the computer; anything more would set her off into a panic attack.

I went to Ireland ahead of our moving over there to find us a place to live, and I asked her to pack up the apartment so we could get moving as soon as I came back.

I would call her every day, and she alwasy said that things were going great; that she was getting things packed up etc...

When I came back, I walked in the door, and I found my wife laying on the floor surrounded by delivery food containers, and filth... I jsut couldnt believe what I saw.. it was worse than when I left. The smell was... I cant even describe it.

I asked her what was wrong, what was going on, what happened, what did you do?????

She was sobbing, and she said that she hadnt moved in days; that the entire time I was gone she had done nothing but sit in the middle of the floor and cry all day.

At that moment I decided I couldn't take her to Ireland unless she got help. I got her cleaned up, and together we packed up the apartment (took about two days); put most everything but our personal stuff in storage, and loaded up the jeep to drive to her mothers in Kentucky.

While at her mothers house, I told her that I wanted her to get treatment; that I would go to Ireland, and arrange treatment for her there so I could bring her over, but that if she didnt get help that I couldn't live with her anymore.

I called her every day in Ireland, and she told me she was going to a therapist; but it wasn't true. I talked to ehr mother who was very concerned about her mental health. Finally after a month I told her that was it; she either got help or it was over...

She screamed out "I AM NOT CRAZY!!!!!!!!!" and just started wailing.

I just said "Im sorry, I can't do this anymore, I love you, goodbye".

I arranged for an anullment (there were some technicalities that made it easy, thank god) and that was it. I gave her everything from our marriage and all the money I had left that wasn't stuck into my new business in Ireland.

I havent seen my ex-wife since the day I left for Ireland.