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Sun May 1, 2016, 02:36 PM

Not sure who to ask, or how

My wife has recently come through menopause, which she did with no assistance, always putting more trust in homeopathic and home remedies much more than modern science/medicine. Of course that combination caused a few years worth of friction. Additionally, Bi-Polarism runs in her family and I've strongly suspected, for years, that my wife is mildly afflicted, judging by characteristics displayed. Obsessive hand washing. Fixating on imaginary filth while showing little concern for actual, visible "filth". What appears to be an almost constantly racing mind. Inability to stay focused on tasks at hand, wandering off to start yet another, leading to regular "mishaps" such as overflowing sinks, saucepans on high flame becoming ruined with the contents scorched beyond recognition, with great regularity. Extreme mood swings, going from normal sweet disposition to fits of blind rage over trivial things most people I know wouldn't give second thoughts to. These "conniption fits", as I call them, never seem to last more than several seconds, during which I'm told regardless of my level of involvement in whatever set her off, how hated I am. Get out of her sight. Never talk to her again. It's very ugly. A short moment later, it's over and she's back to her "normal self". No apology or expression of regret. In fact there isn't ever any acknowledgment that anything out of the ordinary has just occurred. Never.

This has all gone on over the span of nearly 30 years, but has become noticeably much worse and more frequent over the past 5-6 years since she started the "change" and since. Any show of displeasure or disappointment on my part, no matter how calmly voiced, is taken as a personal attack, which sets her off on a "conniption fit", directed purely at me, during which I'm accused of being some combination of a spiteful, hateful, mean, ugly-jackass/bastard/ S.O.B.

I'm not sure I have the patience to tolerate this for much longer, and I have many, many questions and don't know where to turn.

The question I'd like to begin with is: Is it likely that one of us, either of us is treat-ably mentally ill? Both of us? Lately, I have seriously begun questioning my own sanity, trying to understand what I'm dealing with, in order to determine how to deal with it. If it's me, even partly, I'd gladly seek whatever help that seems like it might work. The downside is, my wife would not only never submit to any level of treatment, certainly no medication, and would never acknowledge anything even might be out of the ordinary.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Not sure who to ask, or how (Original post)
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 OP
elleng May 2016 #1
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #2
MADem May 2016 #3
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #4
MADem May 2016 #5
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #7
polly7 May 2016 #6
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #8
polly7 May 2016 #9
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #10
polly7 May 2016 #11
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #12
polly7 May 2016 #13
mopinko May 2016 #14
Hayduke Bomgarte May 2016 #15

Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Original post)

Sun May 1, 2016, 02:51 PM

1. I'm not a pro,

and I expect you'll hear from others here, but DO seek solace for yourself via some counseling/therapy. Sounds like she has some sort of 'condition,' and yours is that of dutiful spouse.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:20 PM

2. Thanks

I'd love to seek some solace. My problem, right now, is other than here, I don't know where to look.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Original post)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:27 PM

3. I think you need to connect her to help. I'd start by reviewing this material.

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/friends-family-members/

Anticipate resistance, but persevere. Your life will change once your spouse gets the help she needs.

Best of luck.

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Response to MADem (Reply #3)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:35 PM

4. Thanks

I saved that website, after quickly skimming over it. I'll read it in much more depth, another time. When I'm home alone.

The problem with even the most mild suggestion that she MAY benefit from some professional advice is that it is certain to set her off on a fit of rage. I try to avoid those at all cost. They scare the living bejeezus out of me.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Reply #4)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:39 PM

5. If she's capable of harming you, or herself, you may find you have to take action.

That material will help you start to craft a plan of action.

Don't delay, though. It's not easy but won't get easier with time.

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Response to MADem (Reply #5)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:46 PM

7. She has never gotten physical, but

With the sudden outbursts and level of rage and apparent hatred directed my way, I just can't discount it. It's very scary.

Her face changes and becomes almost unrecognizable. Almost like those wild eyed photos of Michelle Bachman.

But I will definitely look at that site more closely, the next time I have a day off and she doesn't.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Reply #4)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:40 PM

6. Does she have a trusted friend you could ask to bring it up to her?

It's difficult admitting how hard things are to others, but you might be just too close. And I'm sorry for what you're going through.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #6)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:52 PM

8. No.

Just her at work pals, none of whom I know. Other than that, it'd be her Mom, who is herself a diagnosed Bi-polar and takes meds for it.

I hesitate to speak to my father in law, as he has no tolerance for this 'nonsense' and I can assure you that whatever he'd tell me would be too offensive to repeat here.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Reply #8)

Sun May 1, 2016, 04:09 PM

9. You're in a terrible position.

I lived with this sort of thing for a long, long time, and it's soul-destroying. It really is ..... you need emotional support, whether she agrees to get some help or not. I found myself completely unable to see any options until I got support.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #9)

Sun May 1, 2016, 06:06 PM

10. Soul destroying... Yeah. Apt description.

I've just in the past couple of weeks found myself fed up to the point where I know I have to take some action. I've looked around the mental health forums, here, looking for threads from those in similar positions and never found any.

I'm at a total loss, not yet knowing where I can find such support.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Reply #10)

Sun May 1, 2016, 09:00 PM

11. I live in Canada and I'm not sure how different things are for you there wrt mental

health. I just found the regional number to call, got an appointment with a psychiatrist who prescribed me meds for the depression and lined up a therapist to talk to weekly. I was desperate, and like I say .... I couldn't even imagine a future or options.

Just wondering, would your wife consider joint counselling? Maybe a therapist in that context might be able to convince her that she's in need of treatment.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #11)

Sun May 1, 2016, 10:02 PM

12. Joint counseling? No. No way.

She thinks people who seek help for mental health issues are weak. It's a huge disappointment to her that her sister, her Mom an Aunt, are on meds. Their conditions are a big family secret that would somehow badly reflect on her, if known.

She'd not only not take the first step, by acknowledging there even MIGHT be a problem, but if she did, she'd seek help from a clerk in a health food store before considering consulting a Doctor. Before the "change" she went to the required yearly check-up needed to continue her birth control pills. Since, she won't visit a Doctor at all. She's not rational about it and doesn't realize and won't admit it and likely wouldn't discuss it without a major anger explosion.

I feel like I'm between the proverbial rock and hard place. I feel like some weights been lifted by being able to talk about this, just touch on it really, with some of you. At the same time I feel, by doing so, I've committed some major act of betrayal. I've never cheated on her, but I'm imagining the guilt I'm feeling might feel close to that of a cheater.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Reply #12)

Sun May 1, 2016, 10:13 PM

13. Well you are in between the proverbial rock and hard place, and you can't stay there, emotionally.

You're eventually going to suffer physically from the stress as well. I hope people who live in the U.S. and know your system can come up with some suggestions ... but you're certainly not betraying her by talking about it and have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

You both are suffering. If she won't accept that she needs help at least, please, try very hard to get it for yourself. I wish I could help ... keep sharing - others will have suggestions, I'm sure.

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Response to Hayduke Bomgarte (Original post)

Mon May 2, 2016, 10:42 AM

14. second that you get some help for your self.

find the nearest chapter of nami. they have support groups, and should be able to hook you up w a counselor.

i know it feels like you cant change anything, but i assume your house has a front door. is there anyone you could stay w for a while to sort this out? maybe some time alone will help her see what the problem is.
it can be really hard to tell who is the "crazy" one. people in tough spots like yours can get depressed, and it speeds the whole thing up. everything becomes a chicken/egg question.

i can only relate my own experience of finally making the break from a very similar situation. together for 32 years, i just couldnt take another "sorry". tho it took a while to settle the divorce, i have had nothing to cry about for over 2 years now.

and just ftr, the mental health support group is a better place to post this type of thing. i suspect most people who are subscribers are subscribing to both groups, but i dont know.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #14)

Mon May 2, 2016, 01:06 PM

15. find the nearest chapter of nami. they have support groups, and should be able to hook you up w a co

Thanks. I'll look into that.

i know it feels like you cant change anything, but i assume your house has a front door. is there anyone you could stay w for a while to sort this out? maybe some time alone will help her see what the problem is.

I let myself be badgered into moving from where I had some family and great friends to be near her family and where, other than co-workers, I really don't know anyone. At this point the only option to stay with someone else, would be my son, 2000 miles away, which would probably be a permanent move. I'm not sure I could make that leap. Besides that, our current living, income and debt situation has both of us co-dependent on the other. If I left, I'd screw her financially, as well as myself. It's a temporary situation that will last another 2-3 years.

and just ftr, the mental health support group is a better place to post this type of thing. i suspect most people who are subscribers are subscribing to both groups, but i don't know

Yeah I was told that by PM early on. If I start any subsequent new threads, I'll do it there.

*ETA*

Nami
There are no current or upcoming classes currently scheduled for__ In my area.

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