Monday, July 13, 2009

Personality Plus

Today has been a very difficult day for me. In therapy today, the counselor had me take a quiz and quickly deemed me "severely depressed" It fell right under clinically depressed on the scale and right above some term that I must have blocked out because it was so bad. I kind of stared at her for a minute as she declared me depressed, and said "I mean, yeah...is that surprising, considering the situation?" She looked back at me and said "Well no, of course not."


I wish I'd never taken the test. Now that I know I'm severely depressed, I feel severely depressed. I mean, I knew I was down and depressed, but having a professional tell me that has made it all too real to me. But how am I supposed to feel? I went from speaking to John ten times a day, waiting up for him on the couch at night, to never ever even hearing from him unless he is texting to see the kids. I miss him, no matter what he's done, and it makes me really sad. Severely sad, apparently.


It's funny, the things I wish I could do with him. They're things that are silly and inconsequential. John and I have seen almost every Harry Potter movie together, and although I am supposed to attend the latest with friends I don't think I can bring myself to go without him. I want him there with me, sharing our HP obsession. Our wedding anniversary was last Tuesday...we spent it in marriage counseling, before he decided he didn't want to do counseling, after all. But before all this happened, he had set up an anniversary date for us...babysitters to watch all three kids, which has not happened since Seth was born (we usually bring him along), and a reservation at my very favorite restaurant. I was so excited about that date, and I feel like I got gypped out of it, gypped out of our anniversary altogether. I want to go bowling, like we used to do every Monday night. I want to stay up talking on the phone all night like we used to do, before cell phones, when he would talk to me from a wal-mart payphone until the wee hours of the morning. I want to go to IHOP with him. I want to play ski ball with him.


He has someone to do all those things with, talk with, and I am just here, wishing he would talk to me. I know it sounds so silly, considering, and maybe I should hate him and be mad and angry. But I believe in marriage. I believe that I have a responsibility not just to John but to God to remember why I married him and what our marriage is really for. Being respectful of his feelings even in the face of what he's doing, loving and missing him even when he is not doing the same to me, is part of what I can do to honor God. I know there will be many of you who disagree, think I'm trying to be a martyr, and that's ok.


BUT. And this is a big but...how can you stay severely depressed when you have the many faces of this adorable boy to marvel at?


seth7129
seth7128
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Just four days until my baby boy will be 1 year old!

31 comments:

Anna said...

You are so unbelievably strong! More so than I think I would be. I am praying for you and your family, and yes John too. I hope he realizes what he is doing and comes back to his family. He is hurting too I suspect and needs our prayers as well. I just wish I could do something to help you. Too bad I'm not in Florida or I'd come and just hang out or help you with the kiddos. :) Hang in there! And please let me know if there is something I CAN do to help! ((Hugs))

Emily said...

I cannot even begin to imagine what you're going through. I am so proud of you though for standing up for your marriage and husband despite anything else! Marriage is a sacred institution and should be fought for and honored. El, keep fighting. No matter what, don't give up!! I pray that God gives you the strength to get through this and when you feel alone, cling to Him.

Claudia said...

Dear El,
I wanted to write to you again. I don't know you but I have been following your blog. I feel so badly for you. Of course you are depressed. You are mourning. I, for one, believe that you are doing the right thing to continue to honor your marriage. You made a vow, for better or worse. Even though John appears to have forgotten that, you have not. I will continue to pray that he wakes up and realizes that he belongs with you and your beautiful children. It is not impossible. Please know that people are praying for you...even people you don't know. In the meantime I hope you find a way to smile each and every day. Just looking at Seth would bring a smile to most peoples' faces. (And of course your other beautiful children as well.) And please, don't beat yourself up for being depressed. It is perfectly normal for you to feel that way right now.
Please try to stay strong and feel God's love.

Analiza said...

it's not silly at all and don't worry about those who will disagree - there will always be a difference of opinion. what matters now is that you surrounded by the love that He has for you and by the unconditional love your children have for you. Let them be your reminder that even though John is not there in physically he lives within those children.

Maybe now would be a great time to start some new traditions and new memories, until you get yourself out of a rut.

I was diagnosed manic depressive with reoccuring panic attacks - which basically meant that I was bipolar to some degree... I've dealt with it for 15 years, on meds off meds, blah blah... the key is to learn how to cope and to remember that if only just a glimpse of happiness is through the eyes of your children - hang on to it, because THAT will get you through the minute, hours, days, and months that lie before you.

Hang in there and tons of hugs and prayers! I'm always here =)

Rachel said...

El, I am praying for you. I am praying for peace and comfort in your heart and for a miracle in John's. I am praying for the kids to be protected as much as possible throughout this situation. I am praying for that sweet baby in your belly because he/she is a gift and a blessing, no matter what the circumstance. El, remember that the Lord has a plan for Your life. He is not surprised by this. He knows. I pray that this is a comfort to you. Keep being vulnerable and open so that we can be praying specifically for you. You are loved.

You are a blessing to so many. I am bathing you in prayer.

Your friend,
Rachel

edbteach said...

Please take care of yourself. Of course you are depressed. Keep doing whatever you need to do to feel better.

Ryan & Lois said...

I am not sure if I've ever commented before, but I have been following your blog for a while. And I just felt compelled to respond tonight. I am so sorry for what you are having to deal with right now. I am praying for you and your entire family, including John. I don't think you are crazy for wanting to stay true to your marriage vows. Marriage is sacred, and divorce makes God sad, so you are defnitely honoring God by honoring your marriage. I'm sorry that John doesn't seem to feel that way right now, but there are lots of people praying for a miracle in his heart. I hope you can smile when you look into the eyes of your beautiful babies, and hope that relieves even a tiny bit of your depression. Hang in there, you are one strong woman! God will pull you through.
-Lois

Mandy and Jack said...

Sweet friend, I know you're not trying to be a martyr. I think you have absolutely the right attitude about marriage. I pray that John will see you as the respectful, Godly wife you are and evaluate his actions accordingly.

I can only hope that I will have the same attitude when things get tough in my own marriage. And they always do.

Praying for you!!

Ps - I love me some Seth!!

Audrey said...

This is sad. I hope he comes around soon.

BeLoVed AiMeE said...

El, the first part of your post brought me to tears. Because I have been there. I have been the woman who's husband cheated on her and wanted to save her marriage. I know what you are going through. I know so much the pain in your soul right now. I don't think you are a martyr. I don't think you are silly for missing your husband. I don't think you are without hope even in the midst of this struggle where it may seem at times hopeless. I'm praying for ya girl.

and the second part of your post...made me smile immensely... just look at that boy :) :) :)

Jennifer W. said...

Just wanted you to know that I am still praying and I don't think you are crazy or a martyr. I think you are just a Godly woman trying to honor your marriage vows. I completely understand that you ache for him-I would too, I'm sure. I will continue to pray for God's strength for you, God's protection for the children, and God's hand to move John's heart. And the pics of Seth are precious. Let your kids bring you joy.
Jen

Rose said...

Ugh, I am so so sorry. What a beautiful boy Seth is, I'm sure it is helpful to look at those sweet faces.

And I just have to say, leaving John out of this, how could one woman do that to another? And to their kids?

It should be like a sisterhood- one woman should never do that to another. Ever.

Momof2bz said...

Hi El,

Your little man is so adorable! I bet he warms your heart every time you look at him. He warms mine :)

I know that your therapist had you take that test and now you feel like what they told you. Did you ever think that maybe everyone just wants to label things too much? I do. It's like everything has to have a name, has to fit in some checked box. You are upset and have every right to feel so. I can only imagine your pain but I have a huge idea of what it feels like because your descriptions are vivid and real.

My observation of men that claim to have moved on are this..(I hope you don't mind my opinion here) When men find another woman it's because it's easy. Marriage counseling is hard, working at a marriage especially with children is hard, dealing with problems is hard. The new woman doesn't have the wife's responsibilities (kids, household, etc.)so it's easier. Everything is new and exciting. They love the thrill of the chase. But the new wears off. Most times, they see their mistake and want what they once had but most times it's too late. Hopefully, John realizes that before it is. If he doesn't, remember that you already have the best parts of him. You have his babies and their unconditional love.

You deserve someone who loves you. Someone who sees your worth. You deserve to be valued. You deserve to be fought for, not cast aside for a simpler model. Don't forget that! The hurt and the pain that you are feeling now will someday lessen and each day will start to be better than the one before. It's not easy but you have at least 4 reasons that I know of to try.

I hope things get better for you, I really do. You seem like such a sweet person who just deserves so much more. With your history of pregnancy complications, you owe it to yourself to try to relax and feel better, I'll pray for a smooth pregnancy (from what it sounds like you are almost entitled to one) and for some peace for you.

Morgnmc said...

Your feeling depressed is absolutely understandable...but your expression of grace towards your husband is incredibly admirable and very, very touching actually. You have reminded me fully of the book, The Love Dare, which accompanied the movie Fireproof. When we enter into marriage, we are meant to sacrifice ourselves as Christ sacrificed His life on the cross. Oh that everyone's love for their spouse could be so great! You are right, God HAS called you to love your husband and to hang on through this terrible storm. After all, love without sacrifice isn't really love at all. You and your family are in my prayers each day.

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

El,

Right there at the bottom of your blog is this wonderful scripture:

"For I know the plans I have for you." Says the LORD. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

You may have chosen that for Seth, but right now I think it is fitting for you as well.

I can tell you are hurt and sad and lonely...you have a right to be. Your world has turned upside down. But things will get easier, not sure when or how but God will answer your prayers.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I saw those beautiful pictures of Seth I just wanted to bust out crying. For you, for him...and my thought was I hope John is looking at this. How can he look into those sweet eyes and say, 'I don't want to be here any more'?

Having been in your situation not so long ago I know how much you are struggling now. My heart indeed goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant counsel, figuring out the depression thing-guess that's why they pay 'em the big bucks.

I'm praying for your husband too-though probably not as lovingly as God would prefer. More like ... I picture him walking into the street...as a crazy out of control semi races by, swerving to miss him by a fraction of an inch...I imagine his life flashing before his eyes...I see God tapping his toe, waiting for him to get it...to realize in that moment of saving grace that he too is rushing headlong within a fraction of an inch of crushing his own family...

but no...he still can't connect the dots...Now God, who of course also loves John, knows that he will eventually rot inside if he doesn't get his head on straight, so...

He rewinds a bit, veers the Semi just slightly...just enough that the rear-view mirror clocks him a good one...and in a voila/I coulda had a V8 type moment..John remembers the man he once strived to be...he acknowledges that he has fallen...and his next step is not a step away, but a step up.

Or something. But seriously, and sadly, you can't control John's actions. You pray, of course; and we're praying with you.

So, I lift him-but you and the kids I lift higher. Partly because you're the one in charge of oxygen masks on the turbulent flight that is your family's life right now. And partly because you're right about Seth-about all the kids. John has the power to hurt you at this time-but those beautiful children have the greater power to love, love, love. And above all that sits God, loving you and the kids like crazy, and all of you loving him right back.
I don't know where God is taking you, or how convoluted the path will be; but Man Oh Man, He must have some big big plans for you.

Anonymous said...

So adorable! In the first he looks like he's about to blow a spit bubble, in the second like he's saying "I bet I can stick my whole hand in my mouth - wanna see?", and in the rest he's going "I know I'm cute, you know I'm cute, now I'd best practice my poses for the ladies". So sweet!

On a completely different note, I so respect how much strength you have to stay committed to your marriage. I have never been in a situation anything like yours, and even if I had I wouldn't want to judge yours, but still...I can only hope your husband realizes how incredible your love is.


Thanks for sharing the adorable pictures. I miss the baby I used to take care of, and these bring me right back: meal time = play time!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
-Lesley

Sonya said...

Seth is just about the cutest thing that I have ever seen. Hang in there El. Things will turn around. I hope that John has a change of heart and decides to return to counseling with you. You all have been through a lot in the last several years with Eli, then Seth and now the stress of another pregnancy. But God will see you through. Just don't give up.

Kingdom Mama said...

I feel like I've known you forever, and I am SO proud of you! Awesome, God honoring post!

Jenn said...

Ellyn,
We haven't met each other, but I want you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I can't imagine what this time is like for you. You are incredibly brave and God-honoring. Remember that each day you make it through is one less day to deal with. Hang in there.

Nicola said...

My goodness he's so cute! How on earth do you manage to get so many good pictures of him actually looking at the camera??? We haven't got a good, face-on shot of Samantha in AGES! Every time she sees the camera she makes this awful squinty face!! :)

He's gorgeous and I'm glad you're concentrating on your gorgeous kids!

Anonymous said...

To Momof2bz: excellent comment.

To Rose: Gotta watch that Sisterhood business-that's the same Sisterhood famous for blaming the other woman and excusing the man for-well, being a man.

I can not imagine what a woman could see in a man who deserts his family-particularly in such trying circums├×ances.

However, I think it's best to leave her out of this-maybe even give her the benefit of the doubt, as we don't know what rationalizations she has heard and apparently believed.

This is JOHN's wife, John's children, John's broken promise; and the affect these actions have on the emotional well-being of his family-and more acutely, the physical well-being of his unborn child-lie squarely on his shoulders.

I've got to say, having already lost one of his children, I am stunned that he would act in a way that literally threatens this new baby. Sure doesn't sound like the father El has described. Where is that man?

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry, El. Praying for you....btw, those are absolutely beautiful pictures of Seth.

Eva said...

Keep loving him, don't lose it, don't get used to him being gone.... one day he will see how pure your love is toward him and he will see the God behind it. Praying.

LucieP said...

oh I'm feeling sad for you. This is not fair.
But...
God has put you in this place on purpose.
What that purpose is ... well we know you will know in time.
What you do have control over is your own actions-including your reactions.
It's hard to gauge whether to move on or hold on but why can't you do both?! If you want to see the HP movie, do it. If you want to see with him, ask him. Don't stop doing what you want to because he isn't there. It will still be something you want without him and if it isn't then replace it with something that is.
Did you start to feel more pregnant after you found out you were pregnant? I wonder if its the same with depression? At least you know why you're feeling this way, right?!

Praying for you all...

WendyCarole said...

I feel so sad for you. One day at a time was my way of getting through. And the children kept me going.
Still praying for you all

Look after yourself

4 Lettre Words said...

He is so beautiful, El, and such a combination of you and John.

It must be tough, and honestly, I can't even imagine. I am praying for you guys, as always.

Anonymous said...

Hey El-
I have a book recommendation for you. the title is "It's All About Him" and it is by Denise Jackson...alan Jackson's wife. It is a wonderful story about hurt, healing, forgiveness, faith and starting over. I would send it to you but apparently I already gave it to someone. It may help you on your journey. It was an enjoyable book to read with some similarities to your story.

I give you alot of credit...it is difficult (to say the least) to keep a correct outlook on what marriage is and isn't in these circumstances. I am praying that John will change his outlook as well.

I watched family members fight through fertility issues (her), unfaithfulness (him), resulting pregnancy (other woman), decide at the last minute that divorce was NOT what they wanted, lots of counseling (both), fight for rights of the child (both) and now that sweet, almost 6 year old has a whole, intact family and calls my SIL "mommy". It was a long, hard fought battle, but it was worth it! So, it can be done- with God's help, and it is worth fight for...even if you are the only one fighting at this moment.

Check out the book...I hope it helps! :o)
BLessings-
Laura from FL

September said...

Thinking and praying for your marriage daily. Your heart is hurting, I am so sorry El...I love the pics you posted today. Soo adorable!
Hang in there,,, take one day at a time.

Courtney said...

I can't even beging to imagine what you are going through. From an outside (who really doesn't know you or the whole situation)it easy for me to think John is a jerk for walking away from you and his beautiful babies. If I tried to put myself in your postion I can understand why you miss him. You love him and love is not like a light switch....you can't just turn it off like that. Hang in there...I wish I had better words.

Shannon said...

Hi El,
I'm pretty much a lurker on your site. :) I visit often but missed the post that ended up being deleted. But I get the drift... You've been heavy on my mind. I'm not sure if you've heard the song, "If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens but today as I listened to it for the 200th time, you came to mind and I wanted to direct you to it. http://www.myspace.com/ginnyowens It's on her myspace page.
I'm praying for you up here in SC.
Shannon

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