Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Turning Tides: Sailing Stormy Seas

As told to Leah Gebber

A diagnosis is perhaps the ultimate fear and the ultimate comfort. Ah, so there’s a name for the crazy way I’ve been feeling. Ah, there’s something very real and very frightening going on in my life. And Aaaaah, there might be a way forward.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I had been married for over a decade, had a houseful of children, and if you looked at me, you’d see yet another housewife, utterly ordinary. But my inner world roiled with emotion — grief, sadness, anger, disappointment. It was almost like I had no skin to protect me from the elements, so every passing whisper of feeling became a veritable storm. I was left buffeted, desperate, and fearful. I remember the time I asked my husband to bring me a tea. He added a heaping teaspoon of sugar instead of sweetener. Telling it over, it sounds ridiculous, but the disappointment I felt plunged me into a pit. “Don’t you know that I don’t take sugar?” I yelled. “You don’t care about me! You don’t even know me!” My husband was completely and utterly bewildered. What exactly did he do wrong? I didn’t know myself, only that my inner world was screaming that he didn’t care, that he would abandon me, that the world was a fearful place wherein everything that could go wrong would do so. And all of this about a teaspoon of sugar. Most of the time, and definitely on the outside, I’m just your average nice person. Inside, though, there are extremes fighting to get out. I found that I could keep the dike closed for a few days, weeks even, but eventually the pressure got too great and I would break down emotionally, feeling despair and terrible fear. I felt like my husband wasn’t supporting me enough through it and I was, at the same time, terrified that he would abandon me. I would cry, unceasing, racking sobs that brought no relief, but only hurt me more, and dug me deeper into my rut. I used the physical pain of the crying to cover up and distract myself from the emotional pain that I had no clue how to deal with. I tried therapist after therapist, and some of them helped a little, but nothing really hit the spot. Some I blame for incompetence, others told me what I wasn’t ready to hear. Like that I should visit a psychiatrist. Me? A psychiatric disorder? It was too much to contemplate. I desperately wanted to be a regular person, but just wanting to be a regular person is not enough. It’s hard enough to contemplate going through therapy, let alone having some kind of psychiatric disorder.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"