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.

12 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.

    • So, I just read this article and comments. First, I would like to say to Elizabeth that I truly hope things are getting better for you. Second, to Ellen, who the fuck do you think you are? Why would you write something so ignorant and judgemental to somebody who obviously is going thru a lot?
      We all have times in our lives that we have to ask others for help. And that doesn’t make any less of a person than anybody else. Obviously, Ellen, empathy is something you lack. I hope that you will, one day, learn how to keep your ignorant ass opinions to yourself. Especially when it’s about a person who has enough to deal with already.

  4. Well atleast you and I are not alone. In not evicted yet but water is due to shut off on monday, my fiance/kids father is in the hospital for the second round due to hallucinations from psychosis. I suffer from anxiety and depression and I hope it doesn’t lead to ptsd unless it already has. I’m not sure how to cope, if I should go home where in have family and help. I haven’t had the luxury of a babysitter but once in the past month and a total of four times in her short but stressful but beautiful 19 months . she also has 10 therapy sessions a.month here, so I don’t want to take her out of that. Not serious.she’s just a little behind but to me she’s normal. I don’t see my oldest girl not bc I don’t.want to but bc her paternal grandparents [different father] have her calling them mom and dad instead of gma and gpa. I do have an interview Monday that I managed to find a babysitter for however my house.is still a wreck, its.clean but I’ve been reorganizing stuff since our closet organizer decided to collapse just days before my fiances delusions started. So u are not alone and neither am I however I still fell lonely and I’m still crying and I’m still tired and still awake at 2:30

    • Wow, your situation does sound a lot like mine. You’re right–we’re not alone. But that doesn’t change the feeling of loneliness, does it? I’m so sorry we’re both going through this. It’s ridiculously hard on everyone and totally unfair for everyone involved. If the insight helps, we did move out east with my in-laws. It’s tough; I get waves of deep depression at having lost the best childcare in the world, being so far from my son who I miss more than I can say, and losing my total independence–I’ve been living away from my parents since I was a teenager, so living now with my husband’s parents is suffocating. We’re just waiting on their new place so we can rent this one like they promised. There’s a suffocating sense of anxiety when I think about the possibility that they could renege the offer. They’ve been known to do that–offer something enormously kind and helpful and then just not do it, often without even a word, as though we’re supposed to forget that the offer was ever made. If that happens now, this situation will go downhill in big way. But I’m not trying to shit on the people who are helping us. We’ve had our problems in the past and I have a basis for that anxiety, but they haven’t said anything about going back on the offer…anyway, I’m trailing.

      So, like I said, the sudden lack of independence is jarring and stressful, but my husband seems to be doing a little better, and we’re no longer facing the crushing anxiety of financial doom. We’re getting a little bit of a break from the rat race, though there are always expenses. I have to work around my husband’s and in-law’s schedules now because we don’t have daycare. We got to go see a movie for the first time in about a year, but our relationship is severely strained by everything that’s happened in the past. We get to rest and I am under a lot less stress, but I no longer have my son, my friends, or my family nearby (not that my family was really much help to me anyway). I live in an area where the politics and mentality are in direct opposition to mine. So there are definitely drawbacks, and I’m trying to be gentle with myself even when I’m lazy or do less than I wanted in a day; I know I’m doing what I need to not fall into a really dark depression, and I’m building myself up to be more productive. But overall, I’m glad we came, if just for the rest, and so that my daughters can be surrounded by loving family while my husband and I try to get healthy. I don’t know if that helps, but that’s how moving has turned out so far for us.

  5. Speaking from the perspective of a child who was raised by a personality disordered mother who was also emotionally challenged (and was under trauma as a kid), please take care of your kids. I ended up with anxiety and depression because of the stressful atmosphere in the house. My mom was fighting with dad daily and that left scars on me and my brothers. I know it is not your fault for what happened to you (the abuse) and PTSD is just a terrible disease. But you deserve not to let this disease take control of your life. If you’re unhappy with your marriage, no one keeps you in it. It is not your duty to take care of your partner, you are not a therapist or nurse. Remember that your kids will absorb all the negative emotions in the house. And for sure, you can’t raise happy kids if you are not happy yourself.
    Another thing-do you have friends or relatives to help you with rent? I know that if I was in urgent need, the two friends I have would jump in to help me. Surround yourself with good people, you deserve a great life.
    I hope this helps. Oh, and do you have a donation button on this blog?
    Marlena

    • The people (in-laws) who promised to help give me and my husband and kids a home and chance completely betrayed me. Completely. Like so much so that I am beginning to doubt reality and think maybe this is hell. My ex killed me and I need to kill myself to get out. I’m injured, I was robbed and run over by a car but my “family” just ignored me. I give those girls everything but needing a short break (3 day) after caring for my husband’s intense mental illness, my two kids, and my own extreme trauma apparently makes me a monster. I’m in a motel in a really bad neighborhood I’m afraid to go outside because last time I did I was robbed and run over and the police accused me of being a prostitute instead of helping find who did it but I need to get an ID, and fill my antibiotics and pain meds script. I miss my kids more than I can express. I’ve never been in this much pain in my life and I am completely alone. I came to Florida to help my husband and was completely betrayed by him and everyone else. I want to take my babies and go home. I want to get away from these monsters. I want to get away from this evil life. this evil state. this evil world.

      The fundraiser for my blog doesn’t work but this one does: https://www.youcaring.com/elizabethandricardobrico-1102148

      I already spent the money we received to help my husband and buy my daughters new things. There’s nothing and no one left to help me.

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