Eric W

Hello. My name is Eric. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 1989 at the age of 15. It’s basically a mixture of schizophrenia and bipolar. It has been a long journey thus far, so to make this as brief as possible, I’ll just write about what has been happening since 2010.

In June or July 2010, I intentionally stopped my meds for the third time since being diagnosed. I had been married to a verbally and physically abusive wife for almost 6 years at the time, and we were still married. I believe it was October 2010 that I realized that I was not doing well, so I attempted to restart my meds. But I often could not remember to take them because I was so sick. My then wife said that she would remind me to medicate, but she often forgot also.

It seemed the more I regressed, the more severe the abuse became. I wanted and needed inpatient care, but she would not allow it because she wanted me to stay home to take care of her (she had had knee surgery and also some imagined and/or faked physical ailments). But on a December day in 2010, we went to the local community mental health center so that she could file a complaint about one of the staff members breaching her confidentiality. During this meeting, I told the “complaint lady” that I was not doing very well and that I had stopped my meds. This led to me staying there and being admitted to their crisis stabilization unit and my then wife going back to the house.

That evening, I told a staff member on the unit of my then wife’s abusing me and that “I want out”. So the plan was for me to become stable, and then not to be discharged back to the house, but either to an apartment to live by myself or to a group home. About a week passed. I was getting better, but still kind of sick. Maybe that is why I changed my mind. So on my tenth day there, I was discharged back to the house.

Our marriage was going quite well in 2011. It was the best year of our marriage. But it did not take very long for the abuse to resume, and it only escalated as time went by. I was back on my meds as prescribed, but obviously under a lot of stress. For a long time I thought I had to remain married to her. But finally in July or August 2014, i googled what the Bible says about abuse and divorce. I found out that it is okay to leave and divorce an abuser. I also found out how to do it safely.

So on August 21, 2014, I left her and moved in with my parents. We divorced January 15, 2015. On May 3, 2015, I moved back to the same town where my ex-wife still lives but to a different address. I did this because my boss had offered my job back as a lobby attendant at a fast food restaurant. This was the job I abruptly resigned from shortly after I had moved in with my parents. So I started working there again May 4, 2015, and an presently still employed there. I’m still doing well and still medicated.

The purpose for writing this is two fold. One is to offer hope to those struggling with mental illness. Recovery is possible and there are better days ahead. The other is to offer hope to survivors of domestic abuse. It is okay to leave and to get help whether male or female, mentally ill or mentally healthy. I have had counseling after I left her and it has helped. There is also no shame in getting treatment for mental illness.

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