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Divorce and Mental Illness October 31, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

As I sat at my computer checking my email right after my release from the mental hospital, I noticed a Word icon at the bottom of the screen. Curious, I clicked on the icon.  “Legal Separation Between…”. It took a second for that to sink in. Legal Separation? The first step in a divorce proceeding?  Divorce?  Did my husband want a divorce?

Then it dawned on me. Of course he did. I wrecked our finances. I blew through tens of thousands of dollars before landing in the mental hospital, and then $60,000 more on the 3 week mental hospital stay.  What’s to love in that deal?

As things stood at that moment, I was unstable and unable to work.  Due to the side effects of my new anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers, I couldn’t peel a banana, wash my hair, or make the bed. Why in the world would any sane person want to hang around? So I shouldn’t have been shocked by the document, but I was. It blindsided me.  Just to be sure that I understood the situation correctly, I called over my shoulder, asking him to join me.

Detecting the fear in my voice, he came running, stopping abruptly when he saw the screen.


“What’s this?”

“It’s a legal separation document. My lawyer drew this up”.

“Your lawyer?”

“Yeah, I consulted a lawyer. Remember in the hospital?  When you kept asking me for a divorce?”

“Oh yeah”.

Back in the hospital, in the throes of my psychosis, I decided I wanted a divorce. Calling my attorney, I directed him to start the divorce proceedings and then told my husband about it when he came to visit me in the hospital. I even handed him a list of the assets I wanted in the divorce proceedings. Taking the list from my hands, he mumbled that  I could have whatever I wanted as he shuffled out of my room in shock.  I had forgotten all of this. Until then.

“When I talked to my lawyer, she told me I was screwed”.


“You don’t have a job, aren’t self-supporting, and just got out of a mental hospital. I’d have to support you”.


I began to understand. I had to get better so that he could divorce me. I had to get my meds adjusted so I could return to work. That was what he was waiting for. It was obvious once I thought about it.

“So I need to get better so you can leave me”.

“No, that’s not it at all.  Kathy, I love you. The only reason I saw the lawyer was that you saw your attorney. I don’t want a divorce. Never have”.

I didn’t believe him. That’s exactly what someone in his position would say.

“Let’s delete this”.  He slid his hands in front of me and deleted the document. “There. All gone. Okay?” He bent down to give me a kiss.

I’ve waited on pins and needles to learn what his real intentions were. But it’s been a year and a half now since I got out of the mental hospital, and the fact remains that he hasn’t pressured me at all to find a job. Despite the fact that I’ve gained 35 lbs  and still can’t return to work,  he hasn’t left me. He hasn’t filed for divorce. He’s been there through thick and thin.  And I don’t deserve him. I really don’t.



1. Jean - November 1, 2009

Through sickness and in health.
He seems like a really good man.
Not to mention, you’re a pretty amazing person yourself–he knows you’re worth it.

Crazy Mermaid - November 1, 2009

What a lovely thing to say, sweetie. 🙂

2. Serial Insomniac - November 2, 2009

He sounds like he has been amazing – you are lucky, and I can only hope that A remains so supportive of me. But – your husband is lucky too. No, you can’t return to work and you my have gained weight, but the psychotic breakdown was never your fault and you are still an incredibly intelligent and compassionate woman, however much you feel you have changed.

Sounds like a fair match to me 🙂 As long as you love each other that’s all that matters.

3. kayakchick - November 6, 2009

Wow, this really put tears in my eyes. Once again, very compelling and heart-felt.


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