The hopeless desire for heaven: autism or acedia?
#1
I finally had a mental break-down. My kid got hurt. My husband finally noticed that he repulses me. He said something along those lines and I said, 'Yes, because you're like a corpse.' I must say I was condescending in the way that I asked if hadn't noticed the feeling of utter hopelessness in our marriage. He blinked and he concurred. Now, I think I will once again have to explode and scream in his face, in order to finally have an impact. I literally can't go on like this. Honestly, I'm baffled. Our kid could have died. And that still made no dent. Sometimes I think if he came home to me lying in a pool of blood with a knife on floor he'd just stand and stare.

Here's the bullshit I've been having to deal with. My husband has turned into sad sack robot even since his 'dream' was shattered. I'm not going to go into detail about what the 'dream' was, we all go through losing certain illusions in life. This was my husband's turn. But at some point it is necessary to get a second wind, right? He doesn't seem to think so. For him it's like life is just let-down, and you just drudge through the crap, making a habit of robotic prayer, and then when you die you'll go to heaven, which is that awesome good place we're longing for. But before then, life just sucks. I told him, 'NO. WRONG.' There's supposed to be joy and laughter in this life, not just in the next. Life is not misery, we're not out here just to suffer. This is why he feels like a corpse to me, and why he repulses me. After enough one-sided ranting on my part, I just angrily told him to 'Get a new dream!' and stormed off. Apparently he hasn't noticed the urgency of the situation, for he hasn't approached me about it since. Hence the cue on my part to resort to screaming in his face. Again. (It's happened already about four times before. I've always had to resort to it. My husband never once made met me halfway.)

My husband is retarded, in the sense that he's extremely slow. However, after four years now, I'm almost pushed to really consider him autistic. But I think that's just an excuse. I wonder if he doesn't suffer from severe acedia. The hopelessness certainly feels extremely sinful. I don't understand how faith can lead to that. I know that it's hard being married to me. I'm sorry about it all the time. But this feels like punishment. I don't get it. And there's no help, no one to talk to. Having marriage problems at our church is like being from another planet. Apparently it doesn't happen and it cramps their style to bring up the topic. I've lost the 'feeling' lately, I just go to church out of sense out duty, and any prayer of mine that comes from the heart is nothing short of an attack of lashed-out madness. I've been living without even the slightest touch of empathy or intimacy for three years now. I fear. I hate. And I live in a country and society that doesn't talk about their problems, or try to solve them. They just out their heads in the sand. (Surely a reason why my husband has no idea how the handle these difficulties.) I need laughter and warmth that is not outsourced via Skype. Why does no else just scream every once in a while? I refuse to be numbed and put on meds. My problems are real and they can be solved. Life doesn't have to just suck. Or am I the one who is completely insane? Is it arrogant to to think: nobody deserves this? I refuse to lower the bar of dignity. I don't think Jesus shed his blood for people to live like this.

By the way, the FE forum doesn't have a 'marriage' sub-forum either, so I just put this here. Whatever. Just goes to further prove my point that there's an unhealthy obsession with the idea of marriage amongst Catholics, and very little advice and help about the ugly and nitty gritty side of it. Sorry that we 'only' have one kid and all that! At least I haven't killed anyone yet. Can I at least get a pat on the back for that?
Reply
#2
Gee, Xan, I'm sorry you have to go through this. Having lived with a sociopath for several years I can kind of get how you're probably feeling. I can't give you any advice but I will pray for you and your family. I hope things get better for you.
Reply
#3
Surely as members of the church militant, we are not guaranteed that this life will be a bundle of fun. I know this won't do much to cheer you up, but take heart and offer it up. You are not alone.
Reply
#4
First off, I truly hope your kid is OK.

I'm sorry to read this.  Being something of the FNG here, and not knowing all the background, I don't have much specific in the way of advice.  However, I can offer some thoughts based on what sounds like a similar time period my wife and I went through.  We were able to work through it, and have been married 16 years now.  While there are times it's not easy, as we're all human, it's gotten much better, and we're both better, stronger, and happier for it.

Quote:However, after four years now...

Did I understand you've been married 4 years?  That's exactly the point when we started having issues, and I've read in a couple places that most marriages fail between 4-7 years (I've noticed this also with acquaintances who've been divorced).  Conversely, people I know who've been married past that "magic" 4-7 year mark have said it was a horribly difficult time, but that their relationship came out stronger.  Just a thought.

Forgive me if this comes off as abrasive or if I offend, but it sounds like y'all gotta talk.  Somehow.  Perhaps seeing a priest, marriage counselor, or both together.  If you aren't getting the support/advice you need from your parish, perhaps consider seeing a priest at a different parish.  Without knowing the specifics, it sounds like he needs to open up to you, but on the flip side, insults don't help (these are both coming from experience). 

As I stated before, my wife and I went through our period of darkness, and seeing our pastor is what worked for us.  It was the first timed we had "truly talked," let alone talked civilly in quite awhile.  Suffering is a part of this life, but life doesn't have to suck.  No need to make life suck because of a lack of communication.

I hope my garbled ramblings are some help, and I truly hope and pray things work out well for you and your family.  I'll pray a Memorare for you and your family.
Reply
#5
Xandratax,

I had no children for the first 12 years of my marriage.  You don't have to apologize for such a thing. 

We all go through struggles in our relationships.  Most of us have close friends we can talk to.  It sounds like you are pretty alone.  I'm going to share some stuff in the hopes that it helps.  If it is over-sharing, I am sorry. 

A long, long time ago, Pilgrim and I lost everything we owned in an apartment fire.  This was when we were first married.  It was bad - a 3 alarm fire in which the roof collapsed and 5 firemen were injured.  Pilgrim and I responded really differently.  I called my sister so that we would have a place to stay for a day or two and started making lists of things that needed to be done.  Pilgrim (who had lost his doctoral thesis in that fire) curled up in a little ball and shut down completely.  He didn't know what to do and completely freaked out.  It took days for him to snap out of it.  In the meantime, I wasn't sleeping and was attempting to handle everything myself.  He never finished his dissertation - never went back and is only now starting to see that as a negative (15 years later).  I took care of every bit of insurance paperwork and handled everything for a while.  It sucked.  I was stressed out beyond all belief and felt completely adrift.  Some men are really complacent and hate any form of change.  Pilgrim is one of those men.  He lost of great deal in that fire.  So did I.  But we didn't lose each other.  Somehow, he woke up and we started to rebuild our life.

A few years later, we started having miscarriages - baby after baby died before they ever had a chance at life.  Pilgrim once again didn't know how to make it better, so he grew distant.  That's when we started to drift apart and struggle.  It came close; the "d word" came up more than once.  I was hurting, angry at everyone - God included; he felt unmanly and unable to make it all better.  A good friend said something to me: "men grieve and struggle differently.  Don't push Pilgrim away."  That was hard.  I was so mad.  Mad that he didn't seem to be hurting the same way I was.  Mad that he didn't mourn our children - at least as far as I could see.

I cried, I yelled, I screamed, I ranted, and I raved.  I fell completely apart.  All it did was make him feel utterly useless.  He couldn't fix my body so that we could have a baby.  Finally, I stepped back and tried to listen.  We talked for the first time in a long while about something other than what needed to be done or what was going on at work.  When I stopped freaking out, he started opening up.  If I was at least in control of myself, he could express what was going on in his heart.  I realized that his silence was his expression of pain and his attempt at being strong for me.  He was quiet so that I could let go.  One of us had to be strong and he took on that role.  I'd been strong with the fire; it was my turn to fall apart. 

Why do I share all of this?  Well, our last miscarriage was 4 years ago - just one month before we brought our children home from Russia.  That time, Pilgrim held my hand and cried with me.  He and I learned to communicate through the pain and frustration.  I won't lie and tell you it's always easy, but we've learned a lot about each other and how to communicate.  We've been married 15 years and I can honestly say that our marriage is much stronger because of those struggles.

I don't know the details of your situation and I don't need to.  Your pain is really clear.  I am so sorry that you are suffering.  My recommendation: don't push your husband away.  Try to find a way to talk about what's going on without yelling.  It will hurt.  It will be frustrating.  It will likely be a horrible disaster.  The good thing: once the conversation stops becoming one sided, you may be able to find each other again.

May God bless you both.
Fontevrault
Reply
#6
(04-06-2016, 11:23 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: I don't know the details of your situation and I don't need to.  Your pain is really clear.  I am so sorry that you are suffering.  My recommendation: don't push your husband away.  Try to find a way to talk about what's going on without yelling.  It will hurt.  It will be frustrating.  It will likely be a horrible disaster.  The good thing: once the conversation stops becoming one sided, you may be able to find each other again.

She has said it beautifully.

All marriages have trials, and it's ultimately how you cope with it that will determine the outcome. Sometimes one spouse has to carry both for awhile, like Fontevrault did. In my situation, when my daughter was sick, my spouse had to do some of the carrying as I basically shut down. I've also had extended periods of illness where my husband had to care for me.

But yes. It hurts. It's messy and frustrating and you often wonder if you should just throw in the towel. But one day, without realizing it, it will get better. It just might need to get worse for awhile yet, until you hit the bottom.
Reply
#7
I don't know how to respond to this thread, sadly, it's pathetic. I am grateful for the understanding responses I received. However, the knee-jerk 'offer it up' words, thoughtless spat out leave me feeling cold and angry. And this is what I have to say to that:

There are many people who have a perverted and unhealthy notion of sacrifice and mortification. People who tolerate abuse in its name, people who allow sin and evil to fester in the belief that they are doing good. What is more unfaithful than that? The great saints are full of joy, not knuckled down and navel-gazing. Joan of Arc needed mortification at the very end when she was being persecuted and put to the death, but before then she thrived on the strength of faith, on righteous indignation, on the urge to stand up for what's right. (There is a difference between indignation and anger. You navel-gazers and doom-cries don't get that, it seems.) The knee-jerk 'offer it up' reaction often sacrifices things that don't even deserve it. It snuffs out the life of many beautiful things, things struggling to be born. It's abortion. My husband's whole family is being eaten alive by this. They wear a mask, stewing in their own rotten and putrid misery underneath. Call me self-righteous and too touchy if you will, but I cannot stand to be around such a society. It literally drives me insane. When I encounter such attitudes, and the zombie like people they create, all I can do is say 'Get thee behind me, Satan' and go in the other direction.  Thus far, this is hands down the biggest problem I've seen seen in the Catholic Church. It doesn't scare me away, but excuse my humanity if it makes me flinch.

Despite everything, I still have hope for my marriage and my husband. We're going on a trip to Corsica next month, because I long to feel humbled in the sublime wilderness of Creation. It's been too long since I last experienced that. I'm trying to find something enjoyable here, something positive. My husband has been understanding, and I think a deserve a vacation after all this. It has been utterly exhausting teaching him how to communicate and be human.

I was out of line to explode here about my problems, but unfortunately I find the Internet incapable of channeling other such feeling from me. I've come to the conclusion that I'm wasting my time here. So I'm leaving. Except a goodbye thread from me soon.
Reply
#8
As an unmarried person with no children, I have no real advice I can offer from experience, but I will include you and your needs in my next Rosary.
Reply
#9
you might try getting rid of all of your tv's or at least all of the channels and show / movie subscriptions. 2 or more hours of tv/day has been shown to make very happy people progressively become depressed, and highly motivated depressed people to be incapable of general mood improvement. Matthew Kelly is a great resource. He talks about how to live the fullness of our faith, but also life in general. Get yourself a mental prayer manual, try to start praying together. Take fast food, sugar, salt, and red meat out of your diets. Go on weekly dates. Man, I dunno, try getting some relationship improving books and spend 15 minutes a day with them. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. My non practicing Catholic parents are in a similar situation but getting my mother to do anything with her evening free time besides read the propaganda newspaper and play computer games is next to impossible. Likewise my dad works 80 hours a week, sleeps 5 hours/night but wastes his precious little free time watching NASCAR and (what is in my opinion the most enraging and depressing pornography available to man) "American MSM televised news" for hours a day. They hate their lives, and I truly believe if they had a pile of good books which they read for just ten minutes a day and got rid of all the toxic mindless influences in their lives they would quickly progress to a happy marriage.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)