Robert told me, “The first thirteen years of our marriage were great, then all went spiraling down when you got sick.” The sickness he referred of mental instability.
The post-partum depression lasted two years, then I bounced back to my normal happy self. Then two years later we had another child. The depression lasted longer. We made an interstate move to Oklahoma. I began seeing a counselor for depression. She advised me to stop seeing a dear friend of mine because I was co-dependent on her or rather she upon me- either way the relationship wasn’t healthy. As painful as it was I obeyed the counselor’s advice and told Albina that I could no longer see her again. She immediately went into a nursing home and died four months later. I felt so guilty and her death hurt me, Kassidey and I went to her Catholic funeral. Her brother-in-law and sister and my daughter and I were the only attendees.
I continued the counseling sessions until I enrolled at Bethany Nazarene College aka Southern Nazarene University in 1987. Shortly, thereafter I began using their counseling services. A class I was taking had me writing about my childhood with very intense line-by-line questions. That was a bad decision for the university’s expectations for the class. They descended the assignment, but by that time I had spun done into misery.
They say, “Once you open a can of worms, watch out or they will wriggle out everywhere.” Well, that is what happened to me- my negative thoughts wriggled out everywhere. I was 26 years old with a devoted husband, two beautiful daughters, and a dog, going to college/a life’s dream, and yet I was very sad. The more leadership activities that I did the more unhappy I became.
Spiraling into a “burn-out” I gave up Bethany Assembly of God Daisy Leader and Sunday School Teacher and finally stopped attending church services. I stopped volunteering for a while at Roses’ school until Kassidey began Kindergarten. Then, I went with gusto in daily volunteering for her teacher and Roses’ teacher while continuing my university studies. I also volunteered at my husband’s job for different social projects.
In just six years, I went from Major Depressive Disorder to Bipolar Disorder to Schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In 1993, my daughter Rose was 15 years old and Kassidey was 11 years old when my father-in-law died a painful cancerous death. Then, Disassociative Indienty Disorder also known as Multiple Personalities. was diagnosed. Two years later a poor suicide attempt was made by taking lethal doses of prescription medications. I had split into many sub-people and my husband and children were left holding the can of worms that had wriggled out.
I went in and out of three psychiatric hospitals and continued counseling. At one hospital, Electro-Convlosive Therapy was administered without Robert’s and my consent. That was when I began having seizures and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In 1994, the severe to-the-ground events were called tremors, then Pseudo-seizures, then twenty-five years later in 2020, Eplisey with Psuedo-Seizures events were diagnosed. Aura’s intense smell, hearing, and seeing small star-like imaging accompanied by migraines developed in 2022.
I am 61 years old now; my husband has been loyal and loving even though he has had to deal with a mentally ill wife for 32 years of our 45 years of marriage. Our daughters’ have had to live the secret and unearned shamefulness of a mentally ill mother for far too many years. It is only recently, the public has started accepting that mental disable people are sick and are in need of medical treatment and their family’s compassion. They compare mental illness with cancer- an illness that can be treated and hopefully, one day cured. In the meantime, we can only hope for the remission of the symptoms through medications and prayer.