My Life Is Falling Apart And It’s Not My Fault

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Part of living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)–at least for me–is kind of thinking everything is completely my fault, even when I insist outwardly that it’s not. Some of that comes from stigma. I may know I’m in the right, but when people who know I have PTSD treat me like I’m wrong just because I have PTSD, it’s hard not to internalize that.

But this time, it’s actually, undeniably not my fault.

My marriage has been on the rocks for a while. I don’t know, maybe even since before we got married. But aren’t all relationships like that? Good times, bad times…all that. It’s just felt, for so long now, that there are more bad times than there are good times, and that the good times are like brief giggles at something funny while the bad times are constant feelings of anger and resentment. Not a good balance. But for the past…oh, long enough for time to have blurred…my husband has been in a state of psychosis. At first I thought it was PTSD psychosis, which is a thing. Now it’s starting to look like he may actually have a thought-disorder like schizophrenia or schizoid personality disorder. Or maybe not. I can’t really say. What I do know is that he overheard a neighbor telling a really awful lie about him, and it triggered this reaction. He’s been hospitalized repeatedly since Christmas–twice long term, and he’s back facing another long visit now.

It’s affected everything. It’s affected our home–which is always shabby due to being part of a roach infested slumpalace–but is especially gross now because all of our energies have gone into my husband. My daughters, who unfortunately witnessed everything over the Christmas season when I was left on my own with it all, have been with my in-laws, who stuck around this time. So I have been seeing less of them, and less of my son due to total exhaustion. My money is, let’s just say…nonexistent, because I’ve been too exhausted and stressed to take on much work. I spent the last of it, about a week ago, on a sandwich + a drink; that much I am guilty of.

I’ve done some work, so I can’t say I’ve been lazy. But it’s an extreme circumstance and shit, I haven’t  been capable of being as productive as usual. Could you watch your partner/children’s parent fight invisible assailants all day and night and then go pump out 10 well-researched cogent articles? If you could, we should switch lives. Please.

Well obviously Rick hasn’t been working. He tried, after the first hospitalization, and ended up right back. The second hospital gave him an illegal script for methadone–which cannot be filled for addiction in the United States–making him also unable to dose at his clinic upon release. So they took a man in psychosis, and put him into withdrawal. That’s very fine doctoring.

We got a 10 day pay rent or vacate notice in the mail…I dunno? 10 days ago? I’m really not sure. But I don’t have the money to pay it. I started this fundraiser though…this one right here…which a few people have donated too and bless them for it. But I’m nowhere near the $1200 needed to keep from being evicted, and it’s not surprising because I’ve done fundraisers to stay housed before. How many times can you just go asking for money and expect people to give it to you? I get that; I really do. And I’ve felt guilty and ashamed every time I’ve done one, but I’m realizing in a really visceral way that every time I’ve done one, it’s been couched in the fact that we are two mentally ill people trying to raise healthy kids without anyone around to help us…and one of us has had a really serious untreated mental illness. I always thought it was me–that I wasn’t trying enough. I wasn’t therapying enough. I wasn’t working enough–even though I am exhausted all the time the way they say you’re supposed to be when you’ve worked enough. Turns out, I was wrong. It wasn’t my untreated mental illness dragging us down the whole time. But Rick won’t put together these fundraisers, so I have to. He’s sick,I get it…and I’m also sorry I have to be a beggar. I have a mental illness because a man abused me when I was a girl. I have terrible credit because the next guy–who I thought I deserved because of the way the last guy treated me–stole my bank cards and overdrafted my accounts and did a bunch of other shitty things + my drug addiction. And now, I’m probably going to get an eviction on my rental record because the man I married is showing symptoms of a serious mental illness and neither of us were prepared for that.

I’m fucked. That’s what being poor with bad credit and an eviction on your record means: I’m fucked. And I’m beginning to really and truly realize, I’m not to blame for that.

But I don’t know what to do with that information. I’m fucked, but it’s not my fault. I’m still fucked, though.

Anyway, the good news is we’re going to Florida. I don’t really like Florida, but it’s good news because it will be better than right here, right now. I’m leaving behind a lease, and a house full of things–some of which I actually liked–to go stay with people who are offering me their home but have treated me poorly in the past. I don’t know where that will take me or what will happen.

I’m looking forward to taking a swim.

6 thoughts on “My Life Is Falling Apart And It’s Not My Fault

  1. My heart is breaking for you, but I want to say you’re so so resilient. I wish you the best in your next home and I hope things look up for you.

  2. I don’t know what to say. I’ve been having a rocky few weeks as well but nothing compared to this. I know it’s not a competition, but I do know how it feels when nothing seems to go right. I hope things get better.

  3. Until you take accountability for your actions, behaviors and choices – your life will not get better. You clearly are incapable of caring for a child. One of the only glimmers into self awareness you’ve exhibited is letting go of your children. The level of entitlement you exhibit is tragic – get over yourself and get your shit together for the sake if your children.

    • Well Ellen, this comment is ridiculous and I considered trashing it but decided to approve and reply instead because there are too many abuse survivors who take this kind of ludicrous ignorance to heart, and they deserve to understand–just as I am finally doing–that despite what ignorant people say, they aren’t at fault.
      So what actions, behaviors, and choices are you suggesting I take accountability for, exactly? Being groomed and abused from the age of 14? Really? So minors who are abused by adults are accountable for their actions…because that is refuted by both science and the law. So I’m confused by your reasoning here.
      Since that doesn’t make sense, are you then suggesting I take accountability for my husband’s mental health crisis? Again, I’m unclear as to how or why I am responsible for another person’s genetic makeup. That’s going to need some explaining.
      It’s great that you’re sitting in your NYC home looking down on anyone who defines success differently than you or is at a different place in life, but actually that doesn’t make me incapable of caring for a child. Yes, when I was 20 years old and newly diagnosed with PTSD for which I had little to no support, I realized that I was not able to care for a child who I loved but also was, notably, forced to conceive and birth–I was not ready for him. Placing him in the care of people who were better able to support him was a good choice–that much is true. But I’m confused as to why you think I’m incapable of caring for a child when I have two young children who are thriving under my care. Your opinion seems to be, once again, invalidated by actual evidence.
      I am entitled to respect. I deserve an opportunity to thrive, and to pursue a better life. I am entitled to the opportunity to heal from trauma that was forced upon me. I deserve help with overwhelming situations that I did not create or contribute to. It took me a long time and a great deal of healing to stop believing everything was my fault and that I deserved nothing good or decent for myself. I’m certainly not going to backtrack on your account–that would be tragic.

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