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First off, thanks for the replies to my first post.
You know, I think we are a pretty ordinary couple, other than the sz. Of course, I guess I am not real firm on what ordinary is because this is all I have known for my adult life.
I do know that I am pretty lucky, that we don't deal with drinking, illegal drug abuse, physical violence or infidelity. I know a lot of "normal" people who do all those things! Thank goodness, we don't have to add any or all of those things onto an already full plate.
Don't be misled...this is not a bed of roses. Plenty of times, I have thought of walking away and never, ever looking back. What has kept me here? Sometimes I don't have a clue.
M and I have 3 children. He is a good father. He cares deeply for the kids and has their best interest at heart. He may not be the same as all the other dads, but he is pretty darn close.
Our kids don't know M. any other way than the way he is today. I have only recently explained to them what sz. is. They are teens now and I feel they have the ability to understand what it means and how they need to react to it. I also felt the need to talk to them about the genes, their possibilities of inheriting it and what they need to do if they start to feel problems coming on or any symptoms, etc... We also had a big talk about illegal drug use/abuse and how that figures in to their possibly of inheriting it. I stressed the fact that they have a 90% chance of not getting sz., but there is still that 10% chance that they could. I wanted them to know that I am their strongest supporter and they can rest assured that I will do everything possible for them if something arises. Phew. This is my greatest worry in life that one of my children will suffer with this illness the way M. has.
I went for 17 years without support for myself. I knew that their must be other people in my position, but never had the time or desire to find out. After buying my computer, I was astounded at the number of spouses/signicant others that are here on sz.com. And the fact that they have heard it all, seen it all and are not shocked by anything was amazing to me! It truly was one of the best days of my life to connect with people in my situation.
Recently I also started on prozac to help myself with depression. What a difference! Why did I wait so long? Who knows.
M.'s disease has been a secret for 20 years. The only and I mean only person whom I have told is my sister. I have 2 very, very close friends that I have not told. I am not worried that they won't "like" me or judge me- I am worried about that they will feel different toward M.
M. does not tell people either. In the small town that we live in, more than likely he would be quickly excluded.
It is a shame, a real darn shame, that people are so ignorant about mental illness. It doesn't help that tv, music, press throw out words like sz., bi-polar, multi-personality disorder...when they have absolutely no idea what those words mean. Maybe someday I can do something to help people in the world to understand or at least know the facts. I will put that on my 'to-do list" :O)