2 months latter, reflecting back

It’s been 2 months since I got a protective order against my ex-wife who was diagnosed as bipolar schizo-affective, and I have done a lot of reflecting on what life is like now vs what life was like before.

The first month was the most difficult. Finding child care for my 2 children, adjusting to working as well as doing all of the chores. Constantly remembering the better times I had with my ex-wife, luckily I have several videos of the not so great times to fall back on and remind me of why I got the protective order in the first place. Also had a lot of family help during this time which helped alot.

Since then things have gotten much better. I no longer listen to the constant emotional abuse thrown at my kids and myself, and I will tell you that really messes with your head. You try doing the right thing for the mentally ill person only to hear how terrible of a person you are, and not just cussing you out, but really deep and hurtful things. Hearing about how you are sabotaging them, that you are the one that needs help and not them, accusations of cheating, etc… And the looks that I would get were chilling, just pure anger and hatred. All of that is gone now, and I never realized how much it was affecting me until recently.

The kids are doing fantastic, I took them to therapy a few times, but the therapist said they are doing great and don’t need to have prolonged sessions with the therapist, just every now and then when something major happens we go back (for example they are going to see him again since they recently started school again). I think this was the biggest eye opener to me, they no longer have someone that they are constantly afraid of, who would tell my daughter that she isn’t cute or smart, and would rant to my son about imaginary slights against her. Now when I tuck my kids in bed, I tell them I love them and they respond that I’m the best daddy in the world. They don’t seem to miss their mother, my son has only asked about her once, and it was more of an off-hand question.

My ex-wife has not asked about the kids at all, even though she can contact them. She didn’t bother contacting my daughter to wish her happy birthday, she didn’t contact the kids to see how school is going, nothing. The only time I heard from her family is when they request me to send them documents, like car registration, insurance info, hospital records, etc… This from a family that denied her illness the entire time and never once offered to help me out when I was a caregiver. I feel like telling them not to contact me anymore and that any records they need they can get themselves, I have too much on my plate right now.

I understand that her behavior was due to her illness, but she had no interest in getting help, I tried to get her to go so many times. She enjoyed the freedom that she had here, me at work, kids at school, I would give her money for groceries and she would spend it all on booze. It was an unfortunate situation, and the only thing that was guarenteed was more court dates for her, or more stays at the hospital, and that was not something I could continue to deal with.

So, the last time she was hospitalized I got a protective order against her, and the last 2 months the kids and I have made great progress on our road to healing. Sometimes you need to let go so that you can move forward, unfortunately its often difficult to realize that when you are in the middle of it, and its not until you get away from the situation that you can see that clearly.

I`m happy for you, and I hope things continue to get better for your family,and that your wife will get help for herself.
Much loveOO

You deserve a great deal of credit for taking care of things the way you did. I know she’s too close to you now, but maybe some time in the future you can view her behavior as the result of her mental illness.

I’ve been accomidating her mental illness for the past 4 years. But when the person who you married lies, cheats, and abuses you for years and refuses treatment, can you really continue to differentiate between the mental illness and the person? There were times when she got better, usually after hospitalization, but she always went back to not taking her medication. I would put the pill in her mouth, ask her to swallow it, and then check her mouth after, and she would still go to the bathroom and regurgitate the pills into the toilet. There was nothing more I could do, yet I still forgave her for all of the horrible horrible things that she did, hoping that she would get better one day and that our family could become a caring loving family again.

I’ve read so many threads of people going through what I went through. And I’ve read many comments from people with Sz that are able to manage their symptoms. But I’ve come to the conclusion that not everybody can be helped, they don’t want help, they have lived with the voices/delusions for so long that it’s comforting to them and they would do anything they could to resist treatment. Maybe that is one of the reasons that people do better when treated earlier, they can still remember the times when they didn’t hear voices/thoughts in their head all the time.

I fully understand that she is ill, but she embraced her illness, not treatment. And that is something that I can not forgive.

You will-in time.
It`s so much more complicated than that.
But now, you are doing the best thing for everyone involved.