So here we are, every day an exercise in denial; in make believe, in wishful thinking… The realization of what is happening bears down on me, on us all, and oddly I am overwhelmed with moments of normality.
I know they won’t last, that they are illusions I’ve created from sheer desperation for life too quickly past, too easily taken for granted and now departed.
My first impulse is to say it all started a year ago. After 9 years, we had split up for a painfully long spam of 8 months, and were just rediscovering each other; corners of self never explored, new talents and interests born of necessity and personal growth… though one would argue personal growth is a necessity. This we had ignored in the past, too busy raising kids so early had, building a home and a family before we had finished growing in our own right.
But here we were together again, and all was roses and sunshine, light and joy.We were sitting one afternoon in a little café and he told me a story about his work. They were out to push him to do bigger and better things. They wanted him to move in a direction he was interested in. He had made it clear to them repeatedly, but he didn’t think they were getting the picture. So far, so good. Nothing amiss with that. Only the next thing he said was that his coworkers were recruiting some of the customers to help them with their plan, that client meetings were being orchestrated to appear as something other than what it was. He said they would purposely set up a scenario just to test his reactions to them…
I have to say that I have read of the fabled “shivers that run down your spine” and though it a great descriptor in literary works, but nothing that could be experienced first hand. I was mistaken. I was then hit by 2 realizations:
1) Something wicked, this way comes.
2) Shivers can run up and down your spine, and it’s not pleasant.
I wish I had paid more attention to those first visceral instincts. People, take your shivers seriously! But the night wore on, the days turned into weeks, etc, etc.. all was well and happy again, this little glimpse into the dark abyss long gone and forgotten.We moved back in together, kids were happy; we were happy, family happy….
And then the shivers returned. He began work in a new place with new people, who all inevitably turned out to be part of that first “conspiracy”. Wherever he went, there they were. New faces, seemingly normal, but they would all be in on the “bigger plan”. He left jobs, got new ones and then left those, until finally, he gave up. The interviewers at new places were actors, hired by “Them” to study him and his reactions, as if the whole world was Lab and he the mouse.
There was a time when my family and I were not part of this, when he couldn’t believe that we ever would be… but inevitably, like a reverse ripple effect, we’ve all been consumed, we are all of us part of it.To what end? I’ve never been able to get form him a proper explanation.
There was a few times, while ago now, when I sat with him and wrote out all of his paranoid thoughts. He re-read them hours later and couldn’t justify them, couldn’t rationalize them in the least. He knew something was going wrong. He sought help, and help he did not find. A talk therapist would insist that he recount every story, so often that he too was eventually folded into the “bigger plan”.
All of us hand in hand in the plan…
And now he feels that I am the Keeper of the Keys, that I hold the truth and if I would just tell him what’s going on we could get on with our lives and be happy.
How did this all end up my fault?
We made it to a doctor. He went, he says, only because I wanted him to go. The doctor spoke with him and we walked out of there with a referral for a Psychiatric assessment. We went to see the Psychiatrist the following week… what a disaster! She wouldn’t listen to him… it’s so important for him to express these feelings that he feels that unless you sit silently next to him while he rants away, you could not have possibly understood what he is saying. He cannot tolerate any interruption, as he feels this is an attack on his dignity and rights. She let him speak a bit and then would cut him off and ask more questions. I think he was as patient as a paranoid person could be in the circumstances, but by the time she asked me to join them, and brought up the fact that she thought he was having a psychotic episode… well, he had had enough. She needed him to go to the Psychologist in order to complete the assessment, and he bellowed that she should be examining the people who are doing this to him, that they need the help, not he! He stormed out without making an appointment.
I was left sitting with the doctor, shocked, exhausted and pretty damn hopeless.
“There is nothing we can do. He must want to seek treatment on his own, no one can force him. He can forced only if he becomes violent or suicidal.”
“But this is against the very nature of his character-“
“He might change, drastically, but I can’t tell you when…”
“So if he continues to fall deeper into paranoia, there is nothing I can do until he hurts someone or himself?”
“I’m sorry. We’re stuck here till he wants to move forward.”
So this is where we are. I am off of work for one week. One week in order to pester him to go, to scream and beg and bully and plead… whatever will work. How do you do it?How can you convince someone who believes they are 100% right, that every fiber of their being is positive that something is going on… someone who feels he has proof to that effect in the way people behave around him… how do you convince them that their mind is lying to them, that their senses are misfiring, that seeing is NOT believing?