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M (name changed)
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/22/2009 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone....

I'm a 41 year old guy...happily married for 13 years now, and we have a beautiful 6-year old daughter who is the absolute jewel of my world.

I was born and raised down South...but have lived up North now for half my life...unfortunately, it had been 18 years since I had last been able to take a trip down to visit my family again...18 years since I last saw my father in person, or my stepmother, or big brother...I've kept in touch with them over the phone, of course..e-mails..letters, etc.

I guess I should start at the beginning, and I'll try to keep it relatively short.

I moved up North out of desperation...my life was (or at least felt like it was at the time) collapsing around me...my friends were turning against me for no apparent reason...my family was becoming increasinly difficult to deal with...the one true love of my life, a girl who to this day I've never been able to get over, was going off to college too far away for us to stay together...I lost my job, my car was a piece of immobile junk...and out of total desperation, I jumped off the path I was on and "escaped" by running up North on a Grayhound bus, where I stayed with my alcholic mother. My plans were to stay for about a year or two..get my thoughts in order...and move back. But I found myself "stuck"...in a tiny little nothing of a town, with no job, no car, no prospects...and she continued to get worse and worse and I stayed to take care of her until she passed away a few years ago. My wife and I had gotten married before she dies, though..and for a short time she stayed with us...she attempted suicide with an overdose of pain pills on the front porch of our house one day, but she survived it. She died a few years ago of several lung and liver-related problems.

Her suicide attempt, though, hit me hard...a year before I met my wife, I too had attempted suicide, trying to drink myself to death...thinking alcahol poisoning might be the "way to go", and there was never any shortage of vodka, Jack Daniels and Tequila around in our place. All it did, however, was make me very, very sick...two or three days straight of vommiting would convince me that I definately made a bad move...but also, it caused a problem that will be with me for the rest of my life...chronic costochondritis. Now and then and for no particular reason, I'll feel a sharp, horrible chest pain, like having a massive heart-attack. I could go months without a flair-up...and then when I least expect it, BANG...it hits me again. Stress can cause a flair-up too...and a flair-up can range from a dull ache to a mind-shattering "shotgun blast to the chest" kind of pain. Needless to say, it doesn't help with the depression much.

So, after 13 years of marriage, I find myself unable to deny that I'm depressed...I had been denying it for years..my wife says ever since she met me there has been some kind of "wall around my heart" that she's never been able to get through...and our best friend have been telling her for years now that "he's depressed, you should try to get him some help". By the way, I only recently told my wife about my suicide attempt a year before I met her.

I've begun to realize that I miss my hometown...I miss my family...after my mother died, I have no family here...after 18 years, I recently took a vacation to visit my family down South...and there I saw a neice and a nephew that have grown up and have kids of their own..and I've missed out on all of that...while watching my wife's neices and nephews grow up. I feel I've missed out on too much of my life..living a life that isnt' really mine, in a place I never really belonged....and on top of all that, that one true love of my life I mentioned earlier that went off to college...well, she's back...living back in the same town...and she has never gotten over me, either...and she wants me back.

So yeah, I've been deeply depressed...feeling out of place...feeling guilty for all of it...I had hoped that taking a trip down South might help me...instead, it made me want even more to move back...to return to a life I had run from...left before I was ready to...and finding my former love still there...still wanting me...that certainly adds to a desperate desire to return as well....and my wife has absolutely NO desire whatsoever to EVER live down South..she's a Northern girl all the way...and if she ever DID happen to be willing to move back to the South with me, I'd never truly feel happy knowing I'd brought her somewhere she doesn't really want to be. Not to make myself sound like a martyr or anything, but I have always had a habit of allowing myself to remain miserable, even if I know what to do to NOT be miserable, if knowing that would in turn make someone else miserable...make sense? I've always been more willing to stay unhappy if my happiness should make someone else unhappy....just a guilt complex, I suppose..but lately, it's becomming increasingly difficult to be that way....lately, I've started to feel desperate to be happy...even if it means being a bit selfish for once.

Grizzly pooh
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 6/22/2009 11:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi MVR, I've moved around with my family and I know what it feels like to miss people and things happening 'down south'. When we're depressed tho, we don't think very clearly. I tend to romanticise the past and think badly of my future. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, just to go carefully and not make any hasty big decisions.
The life you think is down south for you, with your old girlfriend, might not be that great in reality you know. It's just a way out of how you're feeling now. Your life is yours only and it makes you who you are today, so it's a shame to write off so many years of it by thinking you've been in the wrong place.
I suggest get some help for your depression if you haven't done that already. There's counselling and/or medication that will both really help you see things differently. Sounds like you have a wife who loves you and a great kid, so get yourself sorted out first then make decisions after that. I hope I'm not sounding too bossy! Just speaking from experience, good luck xx

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18753
   Posted 6/23/2009 2:04 AM (GMT -7)   
hi mvr, i am jamie, 37 and male. welcome to the forum.
 
time for some intervention. for you. you can't change the past but you can alter your future.  hoping things improve soon, change is a part of life, things change, and yes for the better to!! jamie. thx 4 your courage in posting. healings to you.

enWayen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 6/23/2009 2:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Heeja MVR,

Welcome aboard the HW Forums :-). I hope you enjoy your stay here, and that we can be of any assistance.

The first big step to get over depression is accepting that you are depressed. So it seems that you have taken that first step, and I want to congratulate with that!

But I think I can see your dilemma. Either trying to make yourself happy while hurting others, or hurting yourself to keep others happy. No matter how hard it might seem, please see the good sides of it as well. You are a compassionate man, and that is something that matters. At least, I believe so, it might be different for you.

Anyway, as with most things, it usually ain't either A or B. Or moving South versus staying North in your case. There can be other ways. Maybe a short stay, for a month, or a couple of months, can help you. You might be able to visit your old friends, hang around with them for a while, and feel refreshed. And when you return to the North, you might have a good connection with them, so that they will come visit you as well and bring some of that Southern lifestyle with them when they do.

On another level, it seems that you don't fully love your wife. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you are still longing for another woman. And though that is OK in itself, it does make the choice a harder one. If you want to try to love your current wife more, relationship therapy might help. Also, I think that a counsellor in itself can help you a lot. Have you been visiting one?

Whatever the outcome, I wish you all the best MVR!

Take care my friend,

Erik
Moderator on the Depression Forum

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.
Perfection is found in everything being as you want it to be. Have no expectations, and perfection will be inevitable.


M (name changed)
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/23/2009 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the welcome....took me a long time to get up the nerve to find a forum and spill my guts on it, so to speak. *lol*

I did try therapy, but only briefly...like, 3 sessions. I know I probably should have given it more time, but after the 3rd session, when the doctor listened to me and said, in just so many words, something like "Well, sounds to me like you're depressed."..that's when I decided therapy, or at least therapy with THIS doctor, isn't going to work. Not paying over $100 per session to hear such obvious understatments like that. *lol*

And to respond to your post, enWayen...yes, I DO love my wife...very much so....but as the years have passed, I've begun to feel that perhaps I didn't marry her for the right reasons...I feel that maybe I only "settled"...too afraid of staying alone...maybe even subconsiously finding a way to "escape" from yet another pithole position in my life I had found myself in. (I've described it as saying I moved from home to get out of a pit in my life, only to end up in a hole at the bottom of the pit.)

I do love my wife...and she's great...she loves me, and she'd do anything in the world for me....and yet, even after so many years together, there has always been a slight disconnection present...that "wall" my wife says has always been there, that she's never been able to put a dent in. She says that I've never truly "opened up" to her since we have been together..and it's not something I have deliberately done....not TRYING to shut myself off...it just seems to BE that way...it's like deep, deep down I'm avoiding letting myself completely let go and accept this position in life, as though something inside me knows it's not quite where I want to be.

As for that other girl down South....she was never just a "girlfriend"...we were totally in love...we felt that we were true soul-mates, and not just in a romantisized way...even our friends, and my family, were all certain that we were destined to be together.

I feel that had I not moved away, our plans would have continued..and we would have been together...it took years away for me to begin to allow myself to believe that it wouldn't happen after all, that it just wasn't meant to be...but still, I never got over her....I have prayed to God to get those feelings out...to relieve me of the love, and let me remember her only as a good friend, a fond part of my past...but it never happened...she has remained in my mind, in my heart..and it seems that every girl I had dated since her, including my wife, I had looked for her IN them...trying to find someone close to her.....and now, as we've gotten back in touch over the recent months, and after the visit down South last month, I find that she never got over me, either...she too tried to continue with her life...she got married...divorced after 8 years, believe that she had married him also for the wrong reasons...and even after not seeing or hearing from me in nearly 20 years, she still loves me...still feels the same with me...and wants me back.
Don't worry, though...my visit down there last month was mostly to visit family. Yes, she and I did spend some time together, but nothing happened..we went to a ball game, watched a rented movie and ate pizza...had a cookout at my dad's house...a very pleasant, innocent visit. But we did talk a bit before I came back...and we expressed to each other how we felt, and have always felt...

I feel so lost...so confused....

And please understand....my problem is NOT simply over "my wife or my lost love..which is my true soul-mate" .... it's about ALOT of things..my family...my place in life...my goals, past and present and future...the fact that for so many years I feel like I've been pretending to be someone I'm not, trying to live a life that isn't really meant for me. I say an episode of the old "Twilight Zone" show not too long ago....and in it, a man suddenly finds that his entire life has been a television show...his wife was an actress..his name wasn't his...his home wasn't his home, but only a set...he was someone else, and had no idea who he really was..he thought he WAS the character he had been playing. THAT is how I feel sometimes...I look at my life and think "this isn't right...this really isn't ME"...and I have no idea what to do. Am I just in too deep?

Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 6/23/2009 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi MVR,

Please let me welcome you, as well! I found your post to be really thoughtful and interesting, and I hope I can offer you some support with my comments, too.

I can relate to a lot of what you said right off the bat. There something about the late-thirties/early-forties that makes us re-evaluate things and try to find out if we need to make a change in our lives. I won’t go into the whole “mid-life crisis” jazz, because I think that term trivializes the importance of this kind of soul-searching. I am very close to your age, and the past few years have been full of life changes, and a ‘re-learning’ of how to deal with personal problems, and a renewed sense of self in many ways. It’s been a difficult time, but also a time of important discoveries. I’m still working on it, too.

I think Grizzly has a good point about romanticizing the past, and the shame it would be to write off the years you’ve had up until now, living in the North. Please don’t focus on these years as wasted time…..you obviously have a great deal of love for your wife and child, and I feel certain that you have had a host of wonderful experiences, even amidst the sadness. I really believe that everything we go through is an important part of the journey, and your time up North would be no exception.

Jamie also makes a good point that we can’t change the past, and you might be sending yourself down a sad and unnecessary road if you spend too much time thinking about ‘what might have been’. The important time is ‘now’, and how you are going to deal with the feelings you have at this moment.

You gave some details about why you left the South in the first place, and I can’t help but wonder if you are at a similar point of ‘crossroads’, just with different circumstances. I hope you will give yourself as much time as you need to think things through, because it sounds like you have some heavy decisions to make.

I like Erik’s idea of making more visits to the South, maybe for a few weeks at a time, in order to fulfill the longing you have to be there, and to allow yourself some time to really evaluate what is true for you, and what is (or might be) a false sense of comfort about ‘back home’ after so many years away. Please understand, I do not mean to say that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or that you are merely fantasizing about things…..I guess I’ve just had too many experiences myself where I have idealized people and places after much separation, sometimes to find out later that these people and places weren’t exactly how I remembered them to be. There is a certain ‘honeymoon period’ that goes along with reacquainting yourself with familiar things, and I just don’t want to see you crash, or feel regret down the road. I sense that you have enough of those feelings already, and I am truly sorry for that.

I do understand why you would feel sad about sacrificing your happiness for another person, over the long term. I have done that in relationships too many times, not even realizing it at first, and it has taken a lot of time and therapy for me to get over that…..and it’s still an ongoing process. That being said, weigh your options carefully over the next while, and (if you don’t mind me suggesting it) perhaps re-consider counseling if you feel up to it. It can be extremely helpful with the right person.

I hope you will feel comfortable to keep posting with us. Your story has undoubtedly touched a lot of people, including the many who come here to read but not post. I wish you the best, and look forward to you writing again.


 
 
Moderator, Depression Forum
 
“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

 

 

Post Edited (Raniah) : 6/23/2009 2:18:20 PM (GMT-6)


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40579
   Posted 6/23/2009 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
HI there,

I also wanted to welcome you to the depression forum. I agree about seriously thinking things over before you make a decision. If you love your wife like you say you do, make sure you really want to go back home before you leave her. Like Erik said, maybe spend some time down there to make absolutely sure that is what you want to do.

Make sure that you are going to want to leave your family. And I don't think you wasted any years. You just lived them differently than you anticipated. You did what you could at the time to survive. So don't feel badly about your past. It is a part of you and made you who you are today.

Keep posting as we would like to try to help you through this. I also agree on the counseling. There are some good therapists out there that can truly help you to weigh out your decisions. And these are some serious decisions.

Take care.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


enWayen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 6/24/2009 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Heeja MVR,

Just dropping in to see how things are going. Sorry for not being able to give you a proper reply, as you deserve, but I am just too tired atm. Had a long day at work.

Take care my friend. And for what help it might bring, depression can be positive as well. It can help you to see that you don't live the life you would want, and if you put the energy into it, it can show you how it could be. And that is something worth exploring, to give the rest of your life a higher quality than you could without depression.

Erik
Moderator on the Depression Forum

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.
Perfection is found in everything being as you want it to be. Have no expectations, and perfection will be inevitable.


M (name changed)
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/24/2009 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone for the replies...it's great to finally have a place where I can talk about all of this. Hard to do when everyone I know is going to just be biased one way or another.

First of all, I hope I haven't given anyone the impression that I don't love my wife..or that this whole thing is oner "the other woman"...it's really not that simple...this is something that has been ongoing for almost as long as I've known my wife...and it's just been getting gradually worse and worse. Coming back into contact with the other woman has elevated it, of course, but it was well on it's way to happening anyway...

See, I always felt I was on a very specific path...I knew where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, where I was going...I wasn't always sure HOW I would get there, but I knew I would...and that was before the other woman and I even met. Once we did, and we fell deeply in love, we knew that our lives were going to be connected...we knew we belonged together...soul-mates, for lack of a better term...even when she left for college and we "broke up" we knew that when she came back and we were both done with school we'd be together again. We never had any question of it...we KNEW we were meant for each other.
Problem is, I started to panic when my life started to get shakey...the problems I was having with family, with friends, with everything....just was too much for me to handle, and I ran...I dropped out of college and took off up North, thinking I could spend about a year or so and get my thoughts in order...and then I'd go back...I just didn't know I'd end up as "trapped" as I became...1 year turned into 18 years.
Now, after all this time, and a visit down South, I find that the other woman STILL loves me...STILL believes we're meant to be...and she is STILL the same as I remember her..still the one I fell in love with, and never really got over...I have been told several times from people that maybe it's an "idealized version" of her, of a life we could have had together....but everything in me tells me that it's still the path I am supposed to be on...and on top of all the emotions involved with her, there is the issue of just missing my own family....relatives that I had once been very close to hardly remember me...seeing my neice and nephew grown up and with kids of their own...knowing that I don't even know my own sister's kids...it's disturbing to me....it hurts to know I missed so much.

I had always held on to bit of comfort....and that was that I felt I wasn't missing much...that my hometown had pretty much deteriated into a big slum...that is what I had heard, from several people. But when I was there this past May, it was beautiful! The town is bigger, nicer than it ever was...the Community College in town that had once been two little trailers is now a full-blown campus...a HUGE place.....I couldn't believe how nice my home had become while I've been away...and I've missed out on it all.....even the nearby town where the other woman lives was a very small little one-store village back then...and now it's grown into a nice little city.

I know I'm rambling on and on again...I wish I knew how to fully express just how miserable I'm feeling...how lost...I've been on Zoloft, and now I'm on Effexor, as the Zoloft was doing nothing for me. I doubt the Effexor will either...my problem is not a physical one..nothing wrong with my brain or my chemicals...it's emotional....I'm just unhappy....and I need to BE happy again. I get no enjoyment out of life...I have no energy...I hardly sleep, and when I do sleep I'm nearly impossible to wake up...my wife says I have no motivation to do much of anything...and I'm very distant from her, though I dont mean to be...just seems to be how I feel...

I'm going to wrap this one up...I feel like if I keep going, this is going to be way longer than it should. *lol* But I hope I'm understood...that I'm not a selfish person...I do love my wife...it's not just about being in love with another woman, though I always have been, and I have had doubts if I married my wife for the most sincere, honest reasons...there is SO much more to it...and it's been going on for so very long now...gradually getting worse...

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18753
   Posted 6/24/2009 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
M, i appreciate your honesty and sincerity. keep with us, and keep as well as you can, effexor is a very good ad. esp with easing of anxiety with it's sedating effects. i was on it for 4 and a half years. now pristiq. i wish you well, am always around, so keep posting my friend. jamie.
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