Monday, May 19, 2008

What For Better or Worse Sounds Like

Better - as Charlie Brown was checking out my new layout last week....

"Well, whaddyou think?"

"It's nice....but this part where you're bashing me? That's why I don't read your blog."

"What do you mean, Charlie Brown?"

He points out:

Tuesday and the rest of the week has been kind of like a return to planet earth, if you know what I mean....
"I wasn't bashing you! It was just you kind of were grumpy, understandably because the kids were demons this week, but you know, it was just....back to normal?"

"Heather, I'm just giving you crap! We all gotta vent. Do you know how often I hear, 'My wife/GF really pulled a number last night...' at work? Every friggin' day. It's ok - it's not like you're calling me an asshole and stuff like that."

Worse - as we were getting ready for Life Group yesterday and Charlie Brown had already mowed the lawn and done his stuff that he wanted to do before I asked for help in the house. Also, an already fragile Heather had the kids all day yesterday, while Charlie Brown worked the Saturday shift, and they had proceeded to be complete bastards (love you guys!)...she was still recovering. Also, Charlie Brown had kind of made her the brunt of a marital joke in the Sunday school class with their peers that morning. Irritability...Check!

"Honey, the yard looks great. I'm gonna need your help inside soon."

Nods. Proceeds to call his mom.

20 minutes later....

"Hon, I really do need your help in here, people are going to be here soon."

Nods. Waves his hand dismissively.

15 minutes later, my blood is boiling with frustration, overwhelm and the need for release. I walk outside to take out some trash and give him a look.

"I better go, Heather's freakin' out."

Hell hath no fury like a vulnerable gal who's feeling so low that it's a psychological kill or be killed match.

"I wasn't freaking out! But thanks a freakin' lot for throwing me under the bus AGAIN today! Damnit, Charlie your family doesn't already think I'm crazy and not good enough for you*! Why do you have to say things QUITE like that?"

Phone call to MIL has since been discarded.

I raged for several minutes, sounding very paranoid and demented. Truly.

I said things that *I* felt, feelings that have never actually been merited or substantiated by actions or subtle nuances. Looking back, I see that now and how preposterous the spewage of my rage must have sounded, but at the time? It was rawly, painfully, and devastatingly real to me. I hurt deeply, to the point that I felt my id tearing out from my subconscious, coming to lick these freshly made primal wounds.

Charlie Brown yelled back.

And I cried. Like I have been for a month now.

I cleaned. Charlie Brown cleaned. LMNOB was at a birthday party.

"Hey babe, I'm gonna go to 7-11 and go get some lighter fluid for the bbq. I'll take Punkinhead. Do you need anything?"

No...nothing that would come from there.

I cried more while they were gone.

They returned and I was in the kitchen. Charlie Brown walked up to me, put his arms tenderly on my shoulders, looked me deeply in the eyes and said, "I'm sorry. Babe, I'm sorry."

I crumpled into a "Me too" sob fest on his shoulder.

"Babe....what's on your mind now?"

What came out of my mouth has to be the world record for the longest run-on, tangential sentence ever.

"I'm just feeling defective because this will be my third go with meds and I don't want to keep cycling in and out of depression for my whole life but then I am so scared to think that it will be life long because oh my god, what is that doing to my body and you know the shakes will come back and then I'm gonna lose my 'O' when I'm with you and that's hard on you because you are like me and don't like for things to be onesided in the bedroom, not to mention it's hard on me because I kinda like my 'O' and it's a shitty trade off to have to decide whether to be anorgasmic or depressed for the rest of my life and then I'm nervous because I want to share with the group that I'm struggling but then I keep thinking to the last time we were all together and they were talking about A's sister who has mental health issues and they were all like clucking their tongues and disappointed and what they don't understand is that is me too - they were clucking their tongues and exclaiming about some of the same crap I deal with all the time and oh my god............I'm a freak" (.............meaning there was more but I can't remember it all)

All of the above is a "worse" because I can't imagine it is easy for Charlie Brown to see me this way.....

Now we are going to get right to a Better......

He bent down to look eye-to-eye at my downcast face, tipped my chin up and lectured me with such love, concern, and compassion.

"Babe, no. Don't do this to yourself, ok? First, so what if you have to do meds for the rest of your life? I mean don't people with diabetes or high blood pressure also have to wonder about long term effects and weigh in the benefits - I get to live - over the litany of horrible side effects that their meds can cause? I mean geeze all you gotta do is watch tv to hear the laundry list of this drug or that's side effects, ya know?"


"Second, you don't know that it'll be that way - there's new stuff out and it might not be as bad. Even if you lose your 'O' we'll be ok. And finally, regarding sharing with the group, that is exactly why you should share with them, because it will help them better understand this. They look up to you, you're smart, you're kind and capable of doing amazing things - but your brain has issues. And it sounds like they need to see that so that they know it's not something you've chosen, or that it only happens to certain kinds of people. But, whatever you choose, I get it, and that's important honey, because I want you to know that I love you, even this side of you, even when it is so hard to see and watch."

Keep in mind that I'm bawling the whole time and this just sends me over again.....

And so there you have it....the man could probably never write his own wedding vows if made to, but spontaneously, given the right circumstances, he can say everything that he needs to....and suspiciously enough, the whole scene sounds Lifetime Movie-esque, no?


I didn't share with the group. We didn't have a request for prayers, but rather a more low-key hanging out of friends, playing ball with Punkinhead, bbq on the patio kind of night.

And it was good.

After they all left, Charlie Brown and I got the kids to bed and talked some more.

I started.

"So I know that you apologized, but I just want to say that I'm sorry too for snapping earlier."

My throat got tighter and my voice went into that choked up nasally register.

"I just...have a hard time asking for help, Charlie Brown, and I know you've said before that you don't mind helping but you hate that you're on Heather's timeline to help when you agree to do so. I just thought that if you knew what was going through my mind when we had our tiff that it might help you. Just like before everybody got here, my mind was doing that racing thought thing. I kept seeing us at Counselor S' and her saying to me, "Heather, you don't have to be perfect and do it all. You can [and should] ask for help," and here I'd already asked twice for your help and I felt ignored, which made me revert to my old self and suddenly I'm a little girl who can't ask for help because no one is gonna pay a damned ounce of attention to her, and then it's like well, I can't count on you either and guess what Counselor S, you were WRONG, because all asking for help does for me is make me vulnerable and open my self up to more hurt when people don't follow-thru and reinforce that HEATHER DOESN'T MATTER SHIT TO ANYONE BUT HERSELF. So I do need for you to help me, on my terms of time, because whenever it looks like you might bail on me, it causes me to stress and feel like you're just like every other person of significance in my life thus far. And I need you to be different than that."

There's more of this conversation....but it's 12:30 am and I must needs to get some sleep.

To be Continued....

© 2008
Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

P.S. I went to the doc today. It went very doc is very compassionate and has had her own struggles with anxiety and depression. She gave me some good pointers on therapy and self-help as well as an in-depth med consult that resulted in a 6 wk sample supply of Lexapro.


  1. Just had to say that I totally feel your pain.
    Good luck with Lexapro, I've heard good things about it.

  2. (((hugs)))

    Those moments when we're having our freakouts and our husbands find the right words to say - to me they more make marriage worth the hard times.

    I've been there. I understand many of your fears about the meds because they affect me similarly.

    I'm thinking of you.

  3. Hugs and kisses to you.

    Will it freak you out to know that I had almost the exact same blow-up with my husband this weekend over him not helping to put together the party it was HIS idea to have in the first place?

    I know that it was also about the meds and stuff, but I'm really glad that you told him that asking for his help is hard and that he needs to give his help to you when you ask for it.