Horrible insults have come in the last few weeks. There will be more, I know, I’ve already been told I’m a habitual liar and mean, that I’m very ‘clever’ (meaning devious), and a few days ago, that I’m not very bright (because I apparently haven’t covered my tracks well). Annoying and upsetting; insults that continue to pull you down if you hear them incessantly. But these are superficial these days. Pebbles chucked alongside mighty stones.
The final insults – the ones that unwittingly at the time, lead me to make what I call the worst ‘right’ decision I’ve ever made – had me crying for a couple of days fairly well non-stop, even after the decision was made. If I got a grip, the tears would come back at the drop of the hat; I stayed in my bedroom on a long Saturday morning, crying, feeling God-awful sad, lost; hiding, like there were no safe places for me. And that was hand-delivered by MrP.
MrP is convinced I’m having affairs (for those who haven’t read any previous blogs). Actually, that’s changed, he now says they are liaisons. He has told a friend of mine he has proof at every level (he can’t, because I’m not doing anything). He has expanded the most innocent actions into his belief of my badness. He has seen me do things I have not done. Most of these I cannot prove, they were just he and I together somewhere. His word against mine. Helpfully and sadly, one of the things I’ve apparently done was to a neighbour, and the neighbour knows it didn’t happen. I repeatedly say these things are not true, but the answers or explanations aren’t enough for MrP.
MrP, in his conviction of my awfulness, has told people around our home community. For weeks, I haven’t known who knows what, who believes him, who doesn’t, who cares, who doesn’t. It hurts so much, I can’t explain it. To walk into a room and to know that I once felt a trusted person, yet now am probably no longer, is awful to me. It’s a direct hit on values of mine that I hold very dear.
I can’t go around telling everyone that MrP is wrong, that it’s the medication and the Parkinson’s; that his experiences are getting muddled up in his head. Because that will make people doubt him, and possibly pull away from him, and that smacks of being so mean and unkind when he very much needs support and kindness. I have to rise above it, although I would dearly love to wear my honour on my sleeve. I’ve had to learn to not listen to my ego. Some people, the doubters, will have to stay as that. I’ve talked to people I’ve trusted, for sanity, so that some understand the situation; understand that as much as I’m hurting, MrP still needs support.
But this still isn’t the final insult.
If I was hearing MrPs story, it would be hard not to feel for him, to sympathise with him – when you hear that his wife could be doing these terrible things when he’s in his hour of need. He needs love, and she’s buggered off mentally, having fun ‘because this is payback time’.
But it simply isn’t true. What I do is look after family, I work, I have time with friends every once in awhile. I like all of those things, I’m lucky. More recently, I’ve done family, I’ve worked, I’ve gone to friends in distress. I’ve functioned, not always very well.
I’ve always been fairly strong as a person, but strength has wained in this time, sadness is everywhere, it is very, very, very dark.
Yet, even with a husband who distrusts me deeply and is making supporting him nearly impossible, intense sadness, the worry of the affect on our kids, and a community who doubt me, I still hadn’t reached the final insult.
The stones, amongst the pebbles, the final I-can’t-do-this-any-longer insults, came when I knew that MrP was out to convince all of ‘my’ people too. My only family, best friends, old boyfriend (we’ve remained friends). The people who I would go to feel safe and trusted.
These people have been targeted too, so even they had a niggling doubt before I talked to them and explained. He is, I hear, very convincing.
But the point is, MrP fully believes and cannot be talked out of his beliefs. I am horrible in his eyes. He feels I have let him down, very badly.
And how must that feel to him?
I imagine he can’t help it, but I think he has convinced medical support that he’s fine. The medication stays. And I understand that to a certain extent: the drugs, although are having a terrible affect on me, do make it possible for him to work and carry on with his life in positive ways. And he’d be lost without that. The medical people are supporting him, not me, and that is their job.
I think, even before the diagnosis, he thought our marriage wasn’t good. If he felt it was worth saving, why on earth spend so many years emotionally gone, with our neighbour?
He seems hellbent on destroying my reputation, but it’s not that. I must try and remember. He’s hellbent, really, on convincing people he’s fine, that he’s all good. But the trouble is, it’s at my expense. And I can’t tell you how much it hurts.
But on re-reading that paragraph, I’ve come to recognise that my reputation is not me. I know who I am. True friends know who I am. And I have always known who they are and this, thank God, hasn’t changed our relationships (maybe, it’s made them even stronger). I mustn’t let this situation – or MrP’s negative thoughts – change me.