First off, I would like to thank this forum. You guys have been a great support to me over the last 4 years. As much help as my family has been, they had never experienced the problems that I had. So it was great to get responses from people that have been in my situation, or from those who were diagnosed, but taking care of themselves and living a fulfilling life.
4 months ago, at the end of June, my ex-wife was hospitalized for the 4th time in 4 years. I had given her an ultimatum prior to her hospitalization, saying that if she went voluntarily to get help, then I would support her. But if she was forced into treatment, that this relationship would be over. She choose the latter. Afterwards I got a protective order against her so that she could not come back to the apartment or contact me.
For the first couple of months I did not hear much. She got kicked out of an uncle’s house, and she went to her home country for about a month and a half. Her family sent her back to America because they were afraid that she would hurt her mother.
Then about a month ago, she decided to try to call me again. The first call was an apology, followed by the question ‘Can I come home now?’. I replied ‘Absolutely not’. The second time she called was to tell me about all of the fun that she is having with random guys at beaches, playing pool, swimming, etc… Followed by some very vile statements about me. I hung up and she continued to send me around 80 texts over the next 4 hours.
About a week ago when she called she finally wanted to speak to our 2 children for the first time in over 3 months. During her call with the kids I realized that she was drunk at the time, I can tell by the way that she speaks really loud and the inflection in her voice, along with a couple phrases she likes to constantly repeat when she is drunk. I was furious. On top of that, she talked to each of them for about 10 minutes each, and the entire time she was telling them about her job as a cab driver. Neither child looked pleased to be speaking to their mother, and when I asked them about it they said they would rather not talk to her again. The only question she asked was to my son, How is school?
She called again last night, for more great stories about her adventurous life that I don’t care to hear about. After about 30 minutes I hung up on her when she started to go on her sexually explicit rants on what she perceives to be my fetishes. She continued to send another 50 or so texts until I finally just blocked her number.
That has been the worst part of the last 4 months. You may be looking at that and thinking “It’s not that bad”, and I would absolutely agree with you. It’s just to underscore how much life has turned around for my kids and myself.
I’ve quit smoking (though I still vape), my job has started to allow me to work from home full time so that I can take care of the kids, I’ve nearly dug myself out of the giant debt hole I’ve been stuck in for the past decade, the kids have been able to have friend’s over the house, they have also had sleep overs which I wouldn’t allow when my ex-wife lived with us (nighttime was always the worst and I didn’t want the kids friends experiencing it). Nobody is telling the kids that they are bad, not pretty, that their friend’s are going to be sniped by Navy Seals, or any other crazy/stupid thing. I haven’t been smacked in the back of my head for no reason, or accused of sleeping with people, or accused of rape, or murder, or whatever other delusions my ex-wife would have (except when she was texting me).
I do have a lot less free time though, and I can’t go and play poker every week like I used to. But I’d say the sacrifice is well worth it.
Thanks to everyone here for the support. To the spouses of those who are mentally ill and refusing treatment, I know the pain, and the chains that bind are strong, be they emotional, physical, or financial. But there is a better way out there for you, it took me 4 years to make my decision, 4 painful damaging years for my kids and myself, if I knew what life could be like, I would have left years ago and saved my kids from the emotional torture they endured. To those of you who have mental illness and are being treated. Keep up the great work, I can’t empathize as well with you guys because there are differences in the way that we see things, but from what I have read here, I know it is a difficult struggle that you endure. For your family and loved ones I implore you to stay the course with your treatment, we all want you to get better and live a happy fulfilling life, but that job becomes really difficult when you give in to your delusions and begin to believe that we are the enemy.