If you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...
I can't blog about this on my own blog. I really can't share this with my friends or my family because regardless of how open-minded they are, this is the kind of thing that lingers in your head and makes you start to judge or question someone and their motives.
See, my husband, my wonderful sweet, loving husband who is also an amazing father, is a little bit crazy. You wouldn’t know it when you met him. I didn’t. You would meet him and think “What a nice guy, and they make such a nice couple!” He is a nice guy, and we are a very nice couple and great parents. (And I admit my ego WILL NOT allow that image to shatter, not yet anyway.) But every once in a while we go through a little bit of crazy. Last week was one of those times.
My husband dated a girl years before I met him who seemed like Miss Wonderful. He fell hard, and soon her friends were his friends and her life was his life. They were both young and thought they would marry. Then he moved several states away for his job and the long-distance took its toll. He found out she was cheating on him, badly, and it ended, badly. Much bad mouthing was done on both sides and he lost (her) friends over it. He was at a geographical disadvantage and she was able to convince some of their friends to assist her in harassing him. Or stalking him. Well, as much as you can stalk someone from a distance. The end result was that he ended up having a mini-breakdown and spending a week in the hospital.
Flash forward many years and we meet. I fell in love immediately and we knew right away that we were both THE ONE for each other. A few months in I noticed some “quirks” – he used a PO Box instead of having mail delivered to his house, he would get quiet when he got hang-up calls on his phone. He finally shared with me his background and admitted he suffered from some post-traumatic issues from being harassed. He had trouble trusting people and was wary of sharing too much about himself. He had a psychiatrist and was on a very mild dose of anti-anxiety medicine. He told me all of this because he felt like he could finally trust someone (me) and wanted me to know everything.
When we got engaged, he had me meet his psychiatrist who answered all of my questions and told me how well he was doing. We got married and all was well until I started noticing all of the little notes he kept about strange cars and things he saw on the road. He was extremely privacy conscious, not with me, but with anyone who was NOT me. If we met someone at a party and they asked too many questions about him, I could see him visibly get anxious. One time the Fed Ex guy came to our door and asked if I was _____, same first name as his ex girlfriend. It was just a wrong address but he obsessed about it for days, afraid she was trying to start something again. He was very wary of patterns and inconsistencies, like if we saw three different people wearing LA Lakers shirts in one day (we are on the East Coast and Laker fans are few) he would obsess about the fact that the ex had a brother who lived in LA and what did it mean. He worried about why the guy next store stopped saying Hello to him. Stupid stuff that I didn’t even notice. Paranoid? Yeah.
So now what? These periods of paranoia come and go in about a week. They happen about once a year, generally during a period of great unrelated stress - 9/11, a job loss, etc.. Sometimes we get a mini one in between, like we did last week. I admit, and so does he, that the more he talks to me about it, the better he handles it and the quicker he gets through it. But I don’t always like having to listen to him be crazy, and I admit that sometimes, in the middle of it, I want to leave him and run as far away from this problem as I can. Because I can't understand why someone as smart and wonderful as he is can really think these things are happening to him. Because I can't understand why someone as analytical as he is can not logically understand that this is NOT happening to him. And that is really low, because he is a great husband the whole other 95% of the time, and a great father 100% of the time. I am also disgusted with myself for not wanting to deal with it because I pride myself on being a "dealer" and a "survivor". Funny thing, how just when you pride yourself on something life will send you a massive curve ball to test yourself.
For what it's worth, it is not entirely in his head, or wasn't. I do believe he was harassed way back, and his family has confirmed it, but this is YEARS later and I don’t think it is happening anymore except in his head. I have talked to his doctor and he said I should just ignore it. So helpful, that $100 per visit doctor.
So that’s it, our dirty little secret. Everyone thinks we are such a great and fun couple. We generally are. But sometimes my husband thinks we are being followed, or that someone is tapping our phones. But, since the rest of the time, 99%, he is such a great, easy going and loving guy, I deal. I just wonder if other people deal with stuff like this. And when I really feel sorry for myself, I think about all of the other really bad crap people have to deal with and realize an occasional bout of crazy is not so bad.