I have been having what I think might be a serious problem with depression. If I may, let me explain:
I don’t know if posting this is a mistake or not, but at this moment in time I feel like I have to because I feel like I have nowhere at all to turn. It’s not that I’m hoping someone here can help me, but rather I’m wondering if there are or have been any women that have gone through similar feelings, with a similar “limited” situation, and what they did for themselves that helped them turn things around.
I’m 48, newly married (3 years – second marriage) – perimenopausal with mild to moderate symptoms. I am not terribly uncomfortable with my symptoms (yet) and am not interested in HRT. I prefer to treat my peri symptoms with diet, exercise, organic soy and evening primrose 2x a day. My problem is that I think I have become actually “clinically” depressed and it’s scaring the heck out of me. I don’t think the peri has caused this depression, but I think the change in my life since divorcing, remarrying, and moving to a isolated home out in the country has. I hate to lay blame, but I think my husband (by no fault of his own) has caused me to...basically...detest myself. Where I used to feel I had strong creative talents (I had a career in the creative arts but haven’t been able to do any work in over two years because of this depression), had a good sense of humor, was in pretty good physical shape (loved working out and being fit) and felt somewhat comfortable with my physical appearance, I now feel ugly, stupid, like I’m an annoyance to my husband, that he views me as immature and useless, that I have no worth to the world. He makes me feel stupid – for example - because he can cook up a storm, and I was never very good at it – and he tells me how to do things in the kitchen and then seems to expect perfection when it just isn’t in me, and it isn’t a passion for me. He is that way about everything – gardening, how I vacuum, how I do laundry ... everything. I think HE thinks he is merely making suggestions, but it is all the time, about everything, and I’m tired. It makes me feel like I can’t do anything right at all – or at least not up to his standards. It’s exhausting. I do my best and it used to be good enough for other people – it used to be good enough for me. But all that has changed. I married a man that can do almost anything with very little effort at all (cook – fix anything – build anything) and he makes me feel like I was raised by wolves or something – and not just any wolves; stupid wolves (no offense to wolves – beautiful awesome creatures). But seriously, my husband always has a better and smarter way to do things and it has just gotten to me. I have actually found myself secretively doing my chores so he won’t see me and have either something to say, or an almost judgemental look on his face. I’ve discussed my feelings with him and he apologizes – he tells me that he has never been good at communicating and that he is very competitive and doesn’t know why he does that to me; he says he doesn’t even notice when he does it and that he is very sorry. He says he would never do anything to hurt me, but he has hurt me over the years with this and I am now feeling the end result – My sense of self has been completely devastated and my self-confidence is shot. I can actually say that I hate myself and I can’t understand how anyone else can stand me either. But I don’t want to make my husband out to be an ogre – it is a strange situation because he is VERY wonderful to me in all other aspects. I spoils me rotten, gives me every little thing he thinks would please me (although I don’t want “things” I want to feel good about myself), makes tiny little gestures that prove his love (like he remembered I like Ovaltine I had made a tiny passing comment about craving it one evening – a week later he brings a jar home in his lunch-pail – he made a special trip and went looking for it way out of his way to bring it home for me). He is very physically attentive to me and tells me “you’re beautiful” all the time. He’s a great guy – very generous and thoughtful in many ways, but I’ve come to see over time that we have no connection intellectually and his tendency to offer his expertise to me repeatedly has actually destroyed the person I once was and left me dull and grey inside. Our minds work in such dramatically different ways that I have no idea how we got together in the first place. He does not enjoy the same things I do (or used to – I should say – I don’t enjoy anything anymore). He doesn’t know anything about anything creative and I don’t know anything about welding or steel-work. He doesn’t love animals the way I do. He loves them on a plate – I love them curled up on my lap. (He respects wildlife though – he’s not a total savage or anything). He tries to be kind and understanding, but he can be very cold and harsh in a lot of ways and a lot of the time he hurts me at the core. I tell him when some of his mannerisms or domineering/competitive words hurt me and he feels very sorry, but he is who he is. I know he can’t change, nor can I. So I’m left feeling really hopeless about our marriage. He makes me feel like he thinks I’m off in some stupid little universe that is of no use to anyone and it has crushed me.
Today I tried to go out and dig a new garden bed (gardening used to be one of my very serious passions) and gave up after ten minutes; I just didn’t give a sh*#. I just left the shovel where it was and wandered back inside feeling like I didn’t care if the entire world just got sucked into nowhere behind me. It was such a horrible feeling. I knew that moment that I’m not just “figuring things out” anymore; I’m full-on depressed.
OK, so I’m depressed, but I can still function. I can still play “nothing is wrong – I’m SOOOOO cheerful” in front of my husband and he’s none the wiser. I don’t want to take drugs for depression and even if I were open to it, we just so happen to live out in the country, 45 minutes from town and wouldn’t you know it ... I don’t have a car or a license to drive a car. I used to have a beautiful motorcycle but soon after we moved out to this house in the country, I sold it because I am deathly afraid to drive on this lunatic audebon highway we live on (it wasn’t a lunatic highway when we bought the house, but due to major construction work in town, the old highway used is now gone and people have started using our road, traffic has tripled and everyone is a free-for-all maniac). So this house that WAS my dream home in the country is now like a cage for me - I am pretty much trapped out here, isolated. My husband sold his previous house, and 25 acres of his gorgeous wooded hunting land so he could buy us this home in the country – our dream home; MY dream home. I can’t tell him I now hate it because I’m trapped – not after everything he did to make it possible for us. That guilt is killing me as well.
So basically, I can’t get into town even if I wanted to see someone about my worsening feelings of despair. My husband works all day every day, so he couldn’t get me in to town to see someone – plus I don’t want to tell him about any of this because it would only add to the way I think he already sees me: a useless, stupid, aging, annoyance.
I know what many would suggest: Tell him how you’re feeling. HRT will definitely help. You need anti-depressants. Or maybe even “yup, you’re a whining, useless, waste”.
I can’t tell my husband that I am pretty much devastatingly unhappy, depressed, and completely disenchanted with life in this house, life with him, and life in general – it would greatly upset him, and when he gets upset, he shuts down and refuses to speak to me at all. There really isn’t any healthy communication between us and I see that there never will be. Talking to him about anything serious is absolutely futile – I’m on my own with this.
I don’t want to take HRT – I just don’t – I have my reasons.
I don’t want to take anti-depressants, and I have my reasons for that as well. I’m not a danger to myself or anyone else. I’m just feeling hopeless, and don’t care about anything...but I think the one thing that has me on the positive side of the depression border is that I want to care. I want to find the inner strength I used to have that made me independent and able to tackle anything. I know she’s still in here – she’s just been stomped on for a long time. I am hoping that with the right tools, I can turn this around and live again. I’m just too lost in a “screw-it” haze that I can’t see what those tools are.
So if any women out there have some insight into possibly some internal dialogue that helped them, I would love to hear it. Maybe some routines in diet and exercise. Certain foods that can help to uplift, making it easier for me to do the rest by myself. Supplements that help mood? And how to deal with people like my husband – manly men that know how to be generous materialistically, generous physically, and even romantically inclined with small gestures of love, but lack any real communication skills or even have the ability to understand hurt emotions.
Thank you anyone that tolerated me for this long.
Last edited by Administrator; 04-17-2013 at 05:45 PM.
The following user gives a hug of support to renkma1: kittywilde (04-18-2013)
hi renkma1. Well, You have a lot on your plate right now. I will be blunt, hope I don't hurt you or make you angry as it is not my intent. First, your husband sounds like a controlling person in an underhanded way. He belittles you, then brings you flowers.The flowers die after a few days but the hurtful words last a lifetime. You bought your dream house in the country without realizing it wouldn't suit your lifestyle. You are now isolated from everything you once loved. Maybe you could sell the house and move back to the city or get your driver's licence and a car. I know you both chose the house together but it sounds like your husband has you right where he wants you, isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. Your depression could be part menopausal but it could be your situation. You were once a vibrant, outgoing woman who loved life and enjoyed every moment and it has been taken away from you. I think you know that you have some decisions to make, with or without him. You have to fight for yourself, you're worth it. I'm not saying he doesn't love you as I'm sure he does. If he does, he would be willing to make you happy, by helping you get your life back. You said he is not good at communicating, well, he sounds pretty good at putting you down so now it's his turn to listen. Write everything down on a paper that you want and don't want (so you don't forget the things you want to say to him) and sit him down and tell him. He's not a child, I think his attention span should last the whole conversation, and if he doesn't listen it's cause he doesn't like what he's hearing. If he loves you like you say, he will listen and do what he can to better your life. I hope I haven't offended you, I just think you deserve to be happy and get what you want out of life.
No jojo you didn't offend me at all. I agree with you - I really do. I don't think he knows he is controlling though, and I believe him when he says he doesn't realize he does and says these things. I hate to say this, but he is ... well ... he's "simple". He's not stupid or dimwitted ... just simple, born and raised. I do need to talk to him, it's just figuring out how to do it and not hurt him. I know that makes me sound too soft, but getting through to him without offending him is unbelievably difficult. He puts up a wall that is almost hostile, and "mopes" . So yes, I agree with you. I just can't seem to find the energy to even bother trying lately. Suppose I don't have much of a choice but to find the energy.
Thank you for your reply and thoughts. I very much appreciate it.
Last edited by renkma1; 04-18-2013 at 10:43 AM.
Your hubby sounds like a lot of the guys I know. They work with their hands and things are pretty simple, meaning you do this and you get that result. They don't delve too much into why it works or doesn't. They aren't mushy but manly men. But deep down they have a soft heart. They just can't figure out "us women". They may say something that to them was a compliment or just a simple observation and completely not catch that they have said something really hurtful. Even when explained to them. So I do feel for you. Seems you do love him and want to make your marriage work.
The only thing that sent up a red flag for me was about the isolation and that you are cut off from others even if you did want to go somewhere in the middle of the day. I agree that you need to get some type of transportation so you can go if you want. Get your license or possibly a bike (I don't know how far distance wise you are out) I have had boyfriends that did this to me and it wasn't for love, it was to control me. Just something to think about.
As for talking to him: maybe if you picked one or two things that you could tell him would make you happy. And phrase it like "Will you do ___, because it would really make me feel loved/happy". If you gave him a specific action and a specific reaction that would come from you it would be easier for him.
I understand not having any motivation. I have troubles with that too. When you were talking about the garden. It was something you used to love. And probably something that you got a lot done in a small amount of time compared to now. Forget about what you did in the past and just start little. Get a few houseplants and get them going. Or start where you started the other day and just plan to do a little bit more and then be done for the day. And then the next day or week, do a little bit more. Ease back into to it. Stop expecting so much of yourself. Find the silver lining in where you are living. What attracted you back in the beginning? Try to focus or rekindle those feelings or reasons.
I sincerely hope things get better for you. You may be in a bit of a pickle right now, but sometimes it's just time going by that helps too. I live alone and wish for what you have... but I do realize that sometimes I have to be careful about what I wish for. Sometimes those wishes materialize and they aren't exactly what I had in mind.
You're right and your description of manly men is spot on. They can be very insensitive - or try to be sensitive and as a result, end up cramming their foot right in their mouth, and injuring people they love. They don't mean to hurt, but sometimes they do.
This morning that foot went right into the mouth again and it hit me that I just can't keep letting his behavior and the way he interacts with me, cause me mental and emotional distress. I had to talk to him. To let it all keep piling up inside me will surely cause me to burst at some point when it's too late. I realized that my depression is not because I hate myself so much - my self-loathing seems to be a symptom of our disolving newlywed relationship. I won't blame him for the way I feel about myself, I can only blame myself for allowing myself to feel the way I feel. So we have to fix us, and I can simultaniously fix myself.
He was receptive. He himself came up with the perfect description of how he reacts to my occassional attempts to communicate in the past. "I get mad at myself for being a jerk," he said, "I clam up and then I stew." I told him that stewing was exactly what he does, and it's doing lots of harm and absolutely no good. He agreed but had to leave for work - both of us cranky but both of us obviously wanting to be better people for each other.
I ordered two relationship help books that have great reviews. I know he will will put in 100% just as I will in improving our state. If they don't help, I will suggest further councelling. I know in my heart we can connect and eventually be best friends. I have to optimistic - As long as we both love each other and want to be married I refuse to let our marriage fail. And I know that once I get things feeling a bit better, I'll feel better, and peri will easier.
And actually, having realized all of this and knowing that we are going to make a real effort in improving things between us already makes me feel so much better.
Thank you all for your support. You guys are awesome!