When there’s nothing you can say.

Depression and anxiety can manifest themselves in so many ways it can be hard to keep track. But I was hit with one of those manifestations over the weekend, and knew it for what it was immediately.

What did it look like?

Let’s see if I can come up with enough negative adjectives to paint a picture of what I experienced in my husband in this situation: Cranky, cruel, critical, hateful, mean, selfish, unfeeling. How’s that?

Nothing earth-shattering was happening. My mom had come to visit overnight. The Husband had been working on his mother’s tax return all day (never a good omen). Our daughter and I prepared an excellent meal. The Husband came downstairs (late) for dinner.

Every word out of his mouth was unpleasant. A scowl was permanently attached to his face. He criticized just about every aspect of the meal. It was impossible to ignore, and made for a very uncomfortable dinner hour.

And there was absolutely nothing I could do.

I know from past experience that any mention of his negativity would have created an even uglier scene. I might have just gotten up from the table and made myself scarce, but couldn’t bring myself to abandon my mother and daughter.

I was hurt. And I don’t like feeling silenced and helpless.

So far I haven’t even been able to bring it up to him in retrospect. He’s still wrestling with the taxes and the resulting depression and anxiety. And while his demeanor has improved (having taken a break from the annual task yesterday), any mention of his behavior during that dinner will send him in to a tailspin. I know. From LONG experience.

I ask myself why I put up with this crap. A large part of the answer is that the ugliness my husband sometimes displays is not who he really is. When he’s not under attack from his diagnoses, he’s generous, kind, thoughtful, and loving.

But it’s extremely difficult to remember who he really is when depression and anxiety take over.

-Amy

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7 Responses

  1. Agreed. This is the reality. It’s important to be honest. And this is not who he really is, but the distortion of the illness. But it does not make it any easier. Caregivers need support. Thank you for the support you give us.

  2. You explained it very well. It was a tough position to be in and you are very kind, understanding and patient with your husband even when it hurts so deeply.

    • Thank you for that encouragement. I don’t generally feel kind…I feel like I want to hit him over the head with a blunt object.

  3. Thank you for sharing this experience. I’ve experienced similar things with the depressed ones in my own family circle. You are doing such a service and helping us all with your frank, honest willingness to share.

  4. I’ve experienced very similar things.
    Thank you for this post.
    Check out my blog when you get the chance

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