For the past few weeks I have been quite prolific, a cross country road trip, a little music, a date that really wasn’t. Yet in all those words I have avoided the topic that at the moment feels most important. I have wrestled with what if anything to say because this is KA’s story, though I live it as a part of her. She has given me permission to share this.
KA has battled depression at various times in her life. Readers of Flip’s comments will know that her mother was an alcoholic from when she was quite young till after she went off to college. When her mom recovered and did AA, she must have been absent the day they of admitting and amends. If only that was all of it. One could discuss the other issues of her childhood but that would imply a childhood and as I have learned certain people are denied that simple pleasure. I can choose as an adult to explore my gay side but KA’s childhood: once gone, it cannot be relived.
None of this came as a surprise to me. When we were first together the comfort we found in each other allowed her demons to surface and she faced them down. This was before we were married. As I am learning demons of this sort are conquered but never fully vanquished. Twelve or so years ago they returned with a vengeance. After a number of false starts KA found a shrink up to the task and made incredible strides. The problem was that the shrink was my client, but he was very, very good and we all accepted the strangeness of that quirk.
Then came Washington. There was no way that KA could be in deep therapy and not discuss my sexuality – it was in her bedroom. At that point in time I could have been a man – at no cost. I could have called the shrink and told him I was bi, that I had an infidelity. He was a professional, an M.D. He had heard worse in his day and he would not have betrayed a confidence.
I am deeply ashamed to say I was not a man that day. I did not pick up the phone, stop by his office. I was afraid and I was ashamed of being bi, though not nearly as ashamed as I am today by my inaction then. KA stopped seeing him. The next few therapists could not match up and shortly thereafter KA ceased therapy. Her progress with this shrink had been so great that she was fully functional.
She has had a great run, but I had the need announce: “I am bi-sexual.” (I do not actually remember phrasing it quite so bluntly, but I am sure she has that moment down pat.) Shocker – it triggers a recurrence of the depression.
KA has found a new therapist who seems to get it. She is meeting with a psych to get meds. She will be back; she has enormous inner strength which has withstood some real body blows of late.
Why do I write about this? There are a few reasons. She is my wife, I love her dearly, and her depression weighs heavily on me. There is the fact that I was the trigger and while she assures me the demons always do return, I effectively sent an invitation and held the door. I write because I screwed up her relationship with a good therapist and the selfish side of me feels better with a public flogging.
I also write because depression, like alcoholism and other of life’s dark issues, is a subject that is not talked about – a closet subject if you would. I suspect that anyone reading this needs no consciousness raising when it comes to the land of demons. Yet I find writing about this to be uncomfortable and embarrassing which I guess says it all.
I wrote this a few days ago and driving to work at the obscene hour of 5:45 this morning, I heard the line on the radio: Truth brings us comfort. I write this, and everything else for that reason. And this is a topic where our home could use comfort.