Who am I mourning?

I wake up everyday still with him on my mind. When I go to bed I find myself going through the motions of the last three years of our lives together in my head…. then the entirety of our marriage. 

Who am I mourning? My husband. Our life. My children’s father. The hope we had for recovery, for  better treatment of the brain, and mental illness. Yet I am stuck with the anger of his decisions of the last years of his life and the hurt he caused dying the way he did. I am wrestling with the guilt.

I’m aware his decisions were not necessarily his own, as his mind was being driven by illness. But the pain and anger is there none-the – less.  

By the the time he was diagnosed, his caring, compassionate, hard working and creative personality had been scrambled and warped into a cruel, condescending and confused man, who pushed boundaries and shattered his family… the ones he always promised to protect. 

Looking back the illness was always there. My heart ached with regret one evening after a night out with friends. I had turned to look for him and saw him standing in the middle of the road, tears streaming down his face. I walked up to him to ask what was wrong and all he said was that he needed to go home and promptly departed in a cab. He refused to answer my calls until the next day. I had no idea what I had done wrong. All he said was sometimes that happens to him and he was fine. What had I done? 

Then, as the years passed, there were many times he would suddenly turn cruel with no provocation or reason. One night we had made plans to go for wings with his best friend. I decided to call a coworker and friend to join us when he blatantly yelled “No!” And turned to walk away. 

I was left confused and hurt again. I didn’t know what I had done. He came back into the living room and apologized for his reaction noting he had no idea why he had just done that. There were many moments like this in our marriage, and the moments seemed to  blend into days sometimes, weeks. And eventually months. 

I recall times when I’d see him laying on the couch or working on a project and I would think to myself “There he is! There is the man I fell in love with”. And months would go by without a hitch. I assumed these ups and downs were the normal part of marriage. Turns out, most healthy relationships aren’t like this, at least the downs are not as low, and the ups are not as high. 

Who am I mourning? 

All of him. His presence, his laugh, his intelligent mind that once was able to look at something and see a solution and create it when no one else could. 

Who am I mourning? 

The man who was able to be there for us when he was well and stable. The man who loved the kids and I more than anything in the world. The man who was gentle and caring and put his family first. 

Who am I mourning? 

My children’s father, mentor and my best friend. 

Who am I mourning? 

The TV fanatic who loved the river, sushi, and card games. The man who took my son as his own and helped to create our daughter. 

Bipolar disorder affected his brain. It change my husband’s personality and the person it made him is not whom I’m mourning. 

I won’t mourn the man that brought the homeless and drug addicted street people into our home; who put the kids and I at risk.

I won’t mourn the violent man that was rare but still alive just under the surface. 

I won’t mourn the man that destroyed our home, that left our children, that became a homeless person who lied and manipulated. 

I won’t mourn the man that lied about and became paranoid towards me and became delusional. The one that lied about his drug use and self medicating. 

I won’t mourn the man who used his friends, and lied to get his way. I won’t mourn the sleepless, arrogant asshat who left us in order to have a better life. 

I won’t mourn the man that slept 16 hours a day and would get angry at anyone who woke him. 

I won’t mourn the man that tried to take his own life and the one that succeeded in the end. I don’t mourn him because he was not my husband. 

That man was drivin by an illness that twisted his thoughts, impulses, and actions into an unknown person. I did not love that man. I did not love bipolar. In fact, I hated it. 

So when I cry, I will cry for the good man. The well man. The man I called Peter, and the man I loved and married and chose to have children with. When I cry I will cry for the creative fun loving man that taught me not to take things so seriously and to laugh. When I cry, I will cry for the man who would gently put his hand on my shoulder and rub the nape of my neck with his thumb and tell me “everything is going to be ok”. 

God I miss that man. Every. Single. Damn. Day. And that is who I am mourning. 

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