Sunday, September 16, 2007

This Blog Will Return

I want to apologize to my readers for being away for so long.

I am really tired at this point and wish this mess was over with. I regret how I reacted after my wife chose to end our marriage. Nothing she did excused the way I reacted. But I also know that nothing I did before she ended our marriage deserved the way I was treated either.

I would have given anything at any point to bring this situation to a peaceful close and probably would to this day, but I have accepted and realize that is not going to happen and is not possible.

I have opened another blog where I can discuss the situation more freely.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Depressed Spouse: Introduction (Part 1)

Depressed Spouse Series

Introduction (Part 1)

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had become severely depressed just before our wedding. I'm not referring to a depression where I was merely sad but near the end of it, i was literally crippled, often sitting in a chair staring at a wall or blank computer screen and frequently withdrawing to the bedroom and laying down when I would become sad.

I did not wait for my marriage to fall apart to reach out for help. This alone demonstrates that my illness and my desire to get help was not manufactured to blame Tara for the breakup. In fact I was asking for help BEFORE Tara and I were having serious marital problems. I had asked my doctor on several occasions to refer me to someone for my depression (and Tara was well aware of this because I was telling her about it). Unfortunately, we were not able to find anyone in the network.

During the final weeks of my marriage, Tara decided she was going to leave me. Trying to dull the pain and wanting to rest, I took 2 sleeping pills. Approximately an hour later, I had a reaction where my blood pressure sky rocketed and was dangerously high. This is something that happens to me a couple times per year typically and usually lands me in the emergency room. Tara mistook my disorientation for an overdose on sleeping pills and a suicide attempt and called an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, the top number for my blood pressure was well over 200 and I don't remember what the bottom number was.

Because I was so out of it at the hospital and unable to explain what was going on, they took Tara's explanation that I overdosed on sleeping pills and held me because they believed I might be suicidal. Later as my episode wore off, I told Tara again that I wanted to get help for my depression and asked her not to end the marriage and asked her to stand by me while I sought help for my severe depression. Tara made a commitment that day to stand by me and allow me to seek help and to give our marriage a chance while I worked through my depression.

Tara stayed by my side for much of the hospital stay. She would hold my hand and fall asleep sitting there next to me and I looked at her and cried and ran my fingers through her hair for hours at a time. Before she left the first night, Tara cried because she had to leave and pointed out that it was the first time since we had been married that we wouldn't be together overnight. At that point, I had finally once again felt loved and in fact more loved than I had ever felt before. It gave me hope.

When I was evaluated by the psychiatrist, he did not believe I was suicidal but did diagnose me as Moderate Depression. He released me from the hospital. Tara maintains to this day that it was a suicide attempt but the medical evidence simply does not support that claim. The symptoms of overdose of Ambien include sedation and suppressed cardiac function. My heart was racing at very dangerous levels (high, not low). They did drug and alcohol screens and tested me for other chemicals in my body and everything came up negative. In fact, the hospital did not treat me whatsoever when I arrived, they merely held me there.

When I left the hospital, I was referred to the John Tyler Moore Mental Health Center for follow up treatment for my depression. I called and setup an appointment for the soonest they could see me. Unfortunately, while I was waiting for my appointment, my depression continued. Just over a week later, Tara said that nothing had changed and demanded that I leave (even though I had made the appointment and was waiting for it to happen).

In a line of comments to an earlier post, there were some suggestions made that it was unreasonable of me to ask Tara to stand by me while I battle depression. It was suggested that depression is a selfish sickness. It was suggested that it was unreasonable for me to want to lean on Tara for support during my sickness.

I understand that my depression was probably very difficult on Tara. If it were negatively affecting her, I really wish that she had told me. I was so worried about Tara being unhappy and trying to be a good husband that I would have pressed for a faster solution to my problems or tried to get her some sort of support or help or something. Knowing it was bothering her would have been a huge motivator to me when little else did. But I simply did not know. Tara had stopped talking to me pretty much two months earlier. She talked with her ex husband on the phone daily for half an hour or more at a time but I couldn't even get her to sit on the sofa with me and watch a movie. I think this change in her attitude towards me and knowing that my marriage was falling apart was really pushing my depression to the severity that it had reached.

And if this were truly the reason Tara wanted me to leave, there were other possible solutions rather than ending the marriage. She could have insisted that I get inpatient treatment (though the psychiatrist didn't feel that was necessary). She could have told me that she couldn't handle the stress and that she needed a break from it but that she would give me a chance to get help and we would work on our marriage once my depression were treated.

At first I rejected the explanations made by those comments. My friend said she knew Tara and she knew Tara could never do something so selfish and self-centered as to dump her husband because he was suffering from depression. I have since discovered the identities behind some of the anonymous and named commenters here in that and a few other threads. I was shocked by what I discovered. Given who wrote those posts, I now believe that they do accurately represent Tara's reasons for dumping me. This is also consistent with comments that Tara made in those final weeks and as she was dumping me.

And so I started reading some articles and sites on depression to discover the following:

  1. Is depression actually an illness or sickness and is it selfish?

  2. Was it unreasonable for me to ask Tara to commit to giving me a chance to seek help for my depression?

  3. Was it unreasonable for me to lean on Tara while I was depressed?

  4. Can depression be treated and how successful and how difficult is that treatment?

In the next post in this series, we'll discuss depression itself, its symptoms and treatments that are available for it.

Depressed Spouse: About Depression (Part 2)

I Am A Fool

Despite all Tara has done to me and how much she has hurt me, there are days where I wish I could see her smile or hear her voice or just know that she even remembers who I am or what day it is today. My wish today will go unfilled and so it'll be just another empty day for me. Everyone else wants to make a big fuss today, but I can't be happy and wish they would just forget. It's all just a reminder that the one person I wished would remember won't even be kind enough to send me a card or a text message or an e-mail and just say Happy Birthday.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Questions Of A Child

Today, my oldest son Scott approached me and asked me if he would ever get to talk to his older step brother again. It was very hard for me, but I decided to answer him today. I cannot continue avoiding the question or defending Tara in this matter.

I explained to him that sometimes adults make promises and say things that they don't intend to keep. I told him that sometimes adults get mad at each other and when they allow such anger and bitterness to build up in their hearts and stay there, they take it out on other people and hurt other people that had nothing to do with it.

I told him that even though Tara told us that he could call and talk to his step brothers and even though Tara told us that they could play games together over the computer, that she had no intention of keeping her word to anyone. I told him that Tara was very angry at Dad. I told him that Dad had backed off and stopped writing to Tara and stopped contacting her and was hoping that time would allow her to forgive Dad, but that even after time passed, Tara chooses to harbor anger in her heart towards Dad and that she was taking it out on her own children and on him and his brothers. I told him that it wasn't his fault but that I did not believe Tara would ever allow him to talk to his step-brothers again.

His answer to me was "I thought so." Then he went sit in the corner and didn't say a word for about 30 minutes. I tried to get him to talk to me some more but he wouldn't. This looked all to familiar because Tara's oldest son, Chad used to withdraw in the same way. It broke my heart to see him hurting so much.

I told him to never forget his brother and to pray to God that maybe one day he would get to see him again.

I find myself tonight wishing that I had never met Tara. I could never have imagined how mean and hateful she would eventually become. Despite the pain that I carry in me of this divorce, I had carried and clung to a lot of memories of great times we had together. Tonight I realize that any good memories I had were illusions that I built because I was lonely and wanted to be loved. I pray that God will wipe those memories from my mind because I don't want to keep being reminded how wrong I was about Tara.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Little Hint of Sunshine

It looks like my emotions are slowly swinging back to the better end.

I got on the scale yesterday and was very surprised at the results. I am now 19 pounds away from sky diving. The pounds are literally falling off of me. It's actually looking like I will meet the weight target sooner than I anticipated and so I will end up having to wait for the weather to warm up before I can actually go sky diving.

I met with my attorney yesterday and talked with another attorney I use sometimes and got what I believe is really good news. I don't want to discuss it here because I don't want to chance Tara finding out and reacting to it because she is likely to misinterpret my intentions again.

I would have described my day as going great except to say that when I went to the pharmacy later in the day and saw all of the valentines stuff out, I broke down in the middle of the store. No matter how hard I try and how much I get mad at her for what she has done to me and my children, I simply cannot turn off my feelings for her. I have no doubt that she has simply turned off her feelings for me, if she ever had any, but I don't find it so easy for me to do that.

And that comes in part from her anger and hostilities towards me because she chooses to misinterpret much of what I do. I think it is beyond her comprehension at current to realize that I do actually care and that I can be reasonable. I think she doesn't believe that it does really matter to me if things I am doing bother her but that she's too bitter and angry to express her concerns to me or give me a chance to show that I'm sincere.

So I continue to pray and I hope and believe that tomorrow will bring an even better day. My friends are taking me out to shoot pool Friday night. I've told them that I would enjoy going but will refrain from drinking. My birthday is this weekend. It will be a very sad day for me because my wife won't be there to share it with me. I would have hoped that my wife would have reached the point where she could have sent me a text message or an e-mail or a card that just said Happy Birthday, but I would suggest that there is practically 0% chance of that happening.

Tara didn't even have the decency to send my children a Christmas card or let her children call them and say Merry Christmas, so why would I even think there's a chance she would mention my birthday to me. I really have a hard time understand why she has insisted on dragging our children through the hostilities that she has towards me. But as someone mentioned and I've realized, I could go insane trying to figure her out, so I'm trying to not think about those things. It just hurts me to see what my kids are going through and I really miss my step-kids.

At least for my birthday, my dear friend at work was talking about doing something to make it a special day for me. It's good that I have some friends around me. I don't think I could make it though this if I didn't. I just wish I had a friend that I could talk with the way that I used to talk with my wife. I'm sure it'll come in time.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Emotional Roller Coaster

As anyone following the comments can tell, today was a very difficult day for me. As I described early in my blog, my emotions have had a tendency to vascillate. They go back and forth. For the last week or two, I was on top of the world, even celebrating being served divorce papers. For the last couple of days, I'm missing my step children and wishing I could find peace with my wife and feeling absolutely hopeless.

There have been a lot of critical comments as of late and I really appreciate that. It has given me a lot to reflect on and think about. The only problem is I find myself literally going insane trying to figure out if anyone has correctly guessed my wife's feelings or whether they are simply off the mark. I really wish I knew because if I was hurting my wife, that would matter to me. Of course I would expect it to matter to her that she is hurting me and my children as well. But I won't and can't know that and its time I stop trying to guess it.

I'm going to spend some time working on my other blogs. I'm not sure when my next post will come (could be hours or days or as long as is needed). Again, thank you to everyone who has posted comments and e-mailed me encouragement and even to those who have been critical. I really appreciate your concern with my situation.


I want to apologize to everyone for the amount of emotion that I've shown in the last few replies that I made in an earlier message which has been an area of hot debate. I thought I was doing a lot better in not being reactive, and I certainly restrained myself a lot longer and better than I had previously, but I've also learned that I have more to work on.

I do plan some in depth responses at a later time when I am not so emotional about it. I do want to offer some responses in brief to some key points here. Some of this is harsh, but if I continue to hold in, I am likely to self destruct and that will cause more harm than expressing myself here. This is likely to be long because there were so many topics broached in that discussion:

  1. Anonymous suggested that it was not fair for me to expect Tara to make a promise to stand by me while I was sick.

    Response: This is a rediculously selfish assertion. Marriage is supposed to be through sickness and in health. Tara already made that promise BEFORE our problems began.

    Additionally, I stood by Tara as she grieved the birthday and death date of a child she lost a few years earlier. It was very difficult for me to watch Tara hurt so much, but I NEVER would have thought of leaving her for the "exhaustion" I was feeling at that point. I stood by Tara as her ex-husband threatened her and left her in tears regularly. That was more of a strain on me than I could ever express. I stood by Tara when her ex-husband, Chad William Stelly (Sr) was arrested for soliciting sex from a minor online and she was so angry and mad at him. I stood by Tara when her ex-husband became ill and regularly took her to the emergency room where I sat in a waiting room for hours with her, day after day while she worried that he would not be there for her children in the future. I walked into a waiting room once to see her cradling his head to my chest and despite how much it hurt to see her giving him affection that she would deny to me, I stood by her side. The thought of leaving her because of the stress and exhuastion I was feeling over these things NEVER entered my mind.

  2. Anonymous asserts that depression tends to hurt the ones that you love most.

    Response: No doubt the ones closest to us will see our depression most and be affected by it but EVERY article I have found so far has stressed how important it is for those people to be supportive, exactly the opposite of what Anonymous asserts here. This is the time when I needed her most.

  3. Anonymous asserts that Tara had become overwhelmed by my depression.

    Response: No doubt this is true and I'm sure at that time Tara did not know how to respond. We cannot undo what has been done. I forgive her for that though just the same as I have asked her to forgive me for what I have put her through. However, today is here and now. I am not asking Tara to carry my burdens. I think the reason I am so outspoken about everything and so open is because I was so abruptly cut off. I have been given no window in and so all I can do is look out of a window, and this is my window.

  4. Anonymous asks who was left for Tara to lean on.

    Response: I think if Tara had just tried leaning on me she would have found my problems set aside to deal with hers. Even in the midst of my depression, I stayed so worried about her well being. Much of my time feeling helpless and hopeless is because I saw how she was struggling and felt like I was the cause and she wouldn't let me close enough to her to understand it. We were also seeing a counselor. There were all sorts of avenues for her to turn to other than her ex-husband where she ultimately turned.

  5. Anonymous suggested that perhaps Tara is unable to communicate with me because she is drained.

    Response: That may have been true at the start, but I think time has helped. I think the stresses of the hostilities and resentment, etc. do far more harm than looking for peace. I think that affects the kids to whether she will admit it or not. If my current actions are bothering her, she has not let me know that and I cannot show her how much I care and how much it matters to me that she not be stressed and exhausted as long as she chooses to shut me out. But I won't be manipulated or pushed around either. She's trying the path of force right now and I think she'll find that's far more exhausting than the path of peace. She has a right to choose that though and I have to be drug along for the ride.

  6. Anonymous suggests that Tara needs to free herself from guilt.

    Response: I would assert that Tara hasn't allowed herself to feel guilt and she should. Not dwell in it or let her rule it. But there is no excuse for turning her back on her husband while he was sick. There's no excuse for dumping her step-children. Guilt properly experienced is simply our concious. Without it, we can kill and steal and be cold heartless people. We expect someone who has committed a crime to be remorseful and feel guilt about what they have done. I feel guilt daily about how I've hurt Tara. It's time for Tara to stop denying her guilt and face it and then do something about it. Guilt should not be a lasting thing. We should be forgiven and free from it. But denying it will not make it go away. It only hardens us and makes us more likely to do worse and worse things.

  7. Anonymous suggests that she offers this advice to free me.

    Response: If you are suggesting that I should forget about children I love as my own, I'm sorry but you are barking up the wrong tree. That is the largest source of pain right now. And there is NOTHING that excuses Tara dumping her step-children. But Tara's motives can't be seen to protect her kids. When Tara's ex-husband and his fiance broke up, Tara offered her access to the kids. Her denying me access to the kids is nothing short of hate and anger and hostility that she harbors towards me. There are a lot of things I could talk about in detail here to try to hurt her or tear her down that I try to stay away from. If my words here hurt her, its perhaps because the truth hurts sometimes and not because I'm out to hurt her.

  8. Ava suggests that if I care about the kids as much as I do I would not post the things I am posting.

    Response: I am taking that under consideration because I am reasonable. So far, I checked the FBI recommendations on children and online as well as several articles and find no such suggestions or warnings. I have found a few others that are recommending against. The advice is conflicting and I'm looking at it right now. I will update you if my position changes.

    But this goes to show that I'm not so unreasonable. Tara asked for me to remove details of her ex-husbands arrest as a child predator from the web and I did. Joni asked for me to remove information about her from the web and I did. To date, Tara hasn't asked any more from me. I can't assume what her wishes are. In fact, I don't believe that she's even reading this blog. I told her from the beginning when she was threatening me and demanding things that she would be amazed how reasonable I would be if she would treat me with a basic level of dignity and respect. She asked me to return some stuff and I did.

  9. Karen suggests that cancer or diabetes is different then depression

    Response: Of course it is. According to the information I've been reading, depression has a very high success rate in treatment which cannot be said for the above. According to the things I've been reading, depression is an illness, not a choice. But one thing is certain, dumping a marriage because of the stress caused by dealing with a spouse in sickness is the same no matter what the sickness is.

  10. Karen suggests that Tara was doing me a big favor.

    Response: You only need to read this blog to understand my pain.

  11. Karen suggests that Tara is not a horrible step-mom for talking to the kids at church

    Response: I never said that Tara hated them. I said that Tara dumped them and doesn't care about them and this changed my view of her as a person. Tara went 6 weeks without asking how they were doing. When we did get to church, Tara did not take the time to say hi to them. Instead she sat and my kids had to ask me if it was okay to go tell her hi. Tara was cordial to them. And I express my appreciation to her for that in a letter and also here on this blog. Tara has not once since then asked me how they are doing (I asked her almost daily her how her children were doing and when I stopped contacting her, I've been posting here how frequently I wonder how they are doing and miss them).

    But Tara also offered my kids the opportunity to talk to hers and to play star wars with them. Tara has since refused to allow that to happen. My children called and left a message and Tara has refused to return that call.

  12. Karen suggested that Tara should be cautious about reconciling.

    Response: I absolutely agree. In fact I don't recommend Tara to reconcile at this time. If she called me and asked to reconcile, I hope that I'd have the strength to tell her that maybe sometime in the future but not today, not without extensive counseling and time to get to know each other again and until I'm sure I'm over my depression and until I'm sure she has a real commitment and isn't marrying me just to pay her bills.

    I do however want to start EARNING her friendship. I don't expect her to give it freely. I don't expect her to wake up tomorrow and want to go to lunch with me. I do think it is reasonable for me to simply be able to call and ask if she found a job or how her kids are doing or if she needs anything.

  13. Anonymous suggests that silence speaks volumes.

    Response: I have to agree. Tara dumped her step-children and is completely silent about it. I think that speaks volumes about her. But I still have hopes that its just a mistake she is making and that Tara can redeem herself and show she isn't the person that her silence speaks about her.

  14. Anonymous suggests that children mimick their parents.

    Response: You are absolutely right. They will learn to take the easy way out. They will learn to give up. They will learn to shut out the people who care for them. They will learn to not value their family and friends. They will learn to not trust others for fear of the rejection they are no doubt feeling right now. They will learn that marriage commitments mean nothing. They will learn to turn their backs on those who are sick, especially if its a spouse and will cause them any hardships. They will learn that marriages can be thrown out like bathwater. They will learn that harboring hostility and anger should win out reason, intellect and peace. I could probably write 3 more pages about what they will learn by the only example they have now. And I don't say that to be mean, its just the cold hard truth.

I apologize to anyone if this post seems too strong, but its time for me to move on from that discussion. I have said my piece about it. You may attack me as you want in the comments.

I do however ask this. Please realize that I am not here to attack Tara. This blog was to focus on my emotions and the physical events surrounding my divorce. I still think Tara is a better person than she is showing herself to be. I still think there is hope for her. I would love nothing more than to be able to come here and tell you how great she is and how her actions prove that.

But today, her actions and silences speak far louder than words ever could.

I told Tara before I got married that I believe people can and do change. I hold out hope (and prayer) that Tara will. Not that she will change into what I want her to be. But that she will realize how much she is hurting my children and me and will seek a course and journey that finds some middle ground and establishes peace for all involved. I never asked her to take me back and I don't intend to at this point.

And Tara, if by any chance you are reading this, my request is simple. I don't ask you to forget what I've done. I don't ask you to pretend I didn't do it. I don't ask you to commit to anything to me at this point. I just ask you to give me a chance to show you that I'm sincere. Let's take it one day at a time. And the first step is to stop fighting and start working towards peace. The only step I can take is prayer for your healing (and mine) and for peace. Because you have been so outspoken that you don't want to talk to me, I choose to respect that and I will wait until you are ready to contact me. Understand that what I say here is part of my healing and not meant to hurt you or do any harm. When I have somewhere else to say it, I'll go there. Until then, this is the outlet I have.