When Mr. D hits bottom, he has a tendency to, much like a whirlpool, draw everything toward him and take it down with him – including (especially) me. He holds things in, lets them fester, and his anger and resentment simply grow into raging storms. And then the dam breaks and he lets loose the damage. I’m the closest and most likely casualty in these moments. He does a better job of protecting our child from it.
After a few days, he usually stops being mean about things, thinks deeply about what he’s doing, and apologizes. Not for being angry or hurt, but for blaming, accusing, and being basically a jerk around the house.
Last night, he said he didn’t want to talk, but that he wanted to apologize for keeping me up so late talking (arguing) a few times over the past weeks. He also said that he shares half the guilt because he’s half of this relationship. He knows there are things he does that create or exacerbate tension and that there are things he does that make me crazy, too.
It doesn’t fix things between us. But, it was something like throwing me a life preserver. He held out his hand to me on the couch. I took it. He told me he loved me. I said, I loved him, too.
And we left it at that.
Depression is not the cause of our problems, but it certainly doesn’t help us deal with them or fix them. Both of us struggle with it, and even still it can be hard to show patience for each other. We are also so connected that when one of us has a change in emotional or mental state, it affects the other. When he’s down, it’s only a matter of time before I’m down there with him. Even if I fight it. Even if I medicate. Yoga, counseling, acupuncture, meditation….none of it has as much power over me as he does. Love is both a blessing and curse in this way for me.
And there are different ways to look at it. One, I’m a puppet. Two, I’m highly empathic. Three, one or both of us is codependent. Or…we’re deeply and tragically in love. Maybe it’s not even an issue of “or.” Maybe it’s all of these things and then some.
I read a passage recently in a book called White Hot Truth (Danielle Laporte) that comes to mind here, and really struck me:
What I know is that for most of us, our greatest growth comes from the black mucky fertile mess of relationships, when you do the hard work of loving someone the way they deserve to be loved.