samuelh

All on the table
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2001-03-22 03:40:28 (UTC)

Talking with my counselor..

Talking with my counselor today, I just saw how close I
have come to a lifetime sentence of depression.

I'm visiting Richard, the marriage counselor, again,
alone, because my wife won't attend and won't admit to
any problems, except my "moods."

In talking about my wife, I told Richard how much like
her father Ann has become. The two of them both are
very pleasant and congenial people, to a point. They
both are very set in their ways, don't want to deal with
other people, but if they are, need to be the center of
attention. They both attack change, criticize others, are
highly intolerant of people who think differently, push
for absolute control, stick labels all over everthing, and
must have their way or there'll be hell to pay. I've
thought about that a lot.

I've also thought that I was becoming more like my
father - kind hearted, giving, tolerant, gentle.

Richard thinks otherwise, and he is a very smart man.
So, he asked me - how much are you like your
mother-in-law?

No way, I started to respond. She sits in a chair all day
and stairs out across the room. She's in and out of
depression fits. And as we talked, I recounted what Ann
said about her mother in younger years - full of energy,
drive, creativity, passion - and her husband, Ann's
father, worked 14 hour days, played golf on Saturdays,
and pretty well left the house to the wife and two
daughters. When the daughters left home, her mother
started spending more time with her father - and her
mother's energy started draining, her health started
failing, her creativity stopped, her competitive nature
died, and what is left today is an old lady that sits,
caught in depression, staring at the walls.

I have an underactive thyroid. I don't know for how
many years I have felt generally lousy most of the time,
weak, and depressed. For the last two years, every
three months I would have a week where I could do
nothing but stay home sick and just sit in a chair - too
incoherent to write sensible emails, too out of focus to
watch television shows or read magazines - just sit,
bundled up, and stare at the walls. Last year, the
doctor diagnosed the problem, which I thought was a
chronic flu, and got me on a treatment plan. We've been
tinkering with it ever since, and I feel better now than I
can remember. My energy is back, I feel decades
younger, and my depression is gone.

And I can look back, and see where I was way down the
path of becoming Ann's 70-year-old mother, sitting
passively and accepting everything that Ann controlled,
because it wasn't worth the effort to resist.

No way.

Ann would love that - she sees no problem with it, any
more than her father sees a problem in his marriage.
Both Ann and her father are completely convinced that
they can control the situation enough to get me and
Ann's mother enough trinkets and stimulation and
medical help to keep us from slipping completely away.

Ann, you messed up. I got healthy again. And I see
how you've tightened the shackles around my wrists and
ankles, so I could serve your lifestyle as your obedient
and helpful, if depressed and lethargic, spouse...

...and I am never living like that again.

Richard and I start pre-divorce counseling next week.
He'll help me break those shackles.

You know, that will free you, too, in some important
ways that you don't see, but that one day you will
understand.

But it's way too damn late for me to care.

Samuel
[email protected]


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