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Mental Illness: I Want A Divorce March 7, 2011

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Mental Hospital, mental illness.
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A few days after I was released from the mental hospital, I sat at my computer, checking my email. Noticing a Word icon at the bottom of the screen, I clicked on it, curious about what it was.

“Legal Separation Between…”

Oh No!  My husband wanted a divorce!

Then it dawned on me. Of course he wanted a divorce.  In a four month period of time, I had wrecked our finances. I had blown through tens of thousands of dollars, landed in a mental hospital for three weeks, and then racked up a $60,000 medical bill for my hospital stay.  Due to my medication, I was unable to work, unable to peel a banana, or even wash my own hair. What was there to love about that?

I shouldn’t have been shocked by the divorce document, but I was. It blindsided me.  Just to be sure that I understood the situation correctly, I called over my shoulder, asking my husband  to join me. Detecting the fear in my voice, he came running, stopping abruptly when he saw the screen.

“What’s this?” I asked him.

“Oh,” he said, looking at the computer screen. “That’s a legal separation document. Remember in the hospital when you asked me for a divorce? I consulted a lawyer.”

Back in the hospital, in the throes of my psychosis, I decided I wanted a divorce. Believing that my husband was holding me hostage in the mental hospital, I believed that in order to get released from the hospital I would have to divorce him. So while I was in the hospital, I had called my attorney, directing him to start divorce proceedings. My husband’s trip to the lawyer was simply a self-protecting measure.

“When I talked to my lawyer, she told me I was screwed,” said my husband. “You don’t have a job, aren’t self-supporting, and just got out of a mental hospital. If we divorced, I’d still have to support you.”

A light bulb came on. Once I was better, he was going to divorce me. And who could blame him? He was biding his time, waiting for me to get well.

“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”.

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

“Let’s delete this,” he said, pushing the “delete” button. “There. All gone. Okay?” He bent down, kissing me on the cheek.

It’s been two and a half years since I left the mental hospital, and I am about as stable as I am going to get. Jobless and 35 lbs heavier, I have regained many of the skills I had before I got ill, such as driving, peeling a banana, and washing my own hair. But I will probably never be at the level of functioning I was at before I was ill. That said, however, I am now “divorceable”. So if he were going to leave, he would have done it by now. After two and a half years, it looks like we’re going to stay married.

 

Divorce and Mental Illness October 31, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Uncategorized.
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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.

“Oh”.

“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”.

“Why?”

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

“Oh”.

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.