My husband died 6 years ago, and two years later, I met a man through mutual friends, who would become my Ch 2 (technically Ch 3 bc LH was #2). He moved to Virginia from Alabama to be with me, and in June 2018, we got married.
Until December 2019, things were very good. His mother’s COPD became worse, and he struggled with her impending death. As a widow, I understood what he was grappling with and offered everything I could to help. We spoke to our priest, he went to therapy, I let him be quiet, I let him cry. Then COVID hit and a week later, mom died. What had been a struggle for both of us became insurmountable. I remained patient with him, but my mental health was being affected as well.
Two weeks after returning from her burial, I was visiting with my parents, and he was hanging out with a buddy. He had been drinking pretty heavily for the past month, and that night was no exception. He mentioned to his buddy that he wished he was dead and ended up in the psych ward of the hospital after being combative. I immediately drove the 300 miles to get back home. Once released we had a long talk about getting help and moving forward. That lasted about 2 weeks before he was back to drinking heavily every night and spending his evenings sitting in the garage alone. He was agitated and anxious all day every day. Nothing I did or didn’t do could stem the arguments that were full blown, red-faced screaming matches. I was at my wit’s end. I didnt know what to do.
I continued traveling back and forth every 3-4 weeks to take care of my parents, but he always encouraged me to do that. In late June, a friend of his who was like a father died. That was the beginning of the end. Things quickly spiraled downward. He told me he was lost, did not know who he was anymore, hated his job, etc. We discussed his return to truck driving. I had retired on July 1, so we could move wherever he needed to be if he wanted to drive again. On August 1, a couple days after he returned from being in Florida with his late friend’s family, taking care of things for them, he came home from work and told me he was leaving to return to Alabama. He had a truck job offering and needed to be there in 2 weeks. I offered to wrap things up here and move with him, but he told me he wanted to be alone. No further discussion, a lot of crying (me) and screaming (him), and he left.
Fast forward to now and I am in the process of packing up my entire house (he only took what he wanted, which wasnt much) and moving in with my parents in PA. Since I retired, I cannot afford to stay here on a reduced income, so I am left with this option. While I am very happy about being back home again after 31 years away, the last 5 weeks have been pure hell. I am alone, completely alone, trying to pack up a 2 bedroom home where I have lived (and accumulated) for 14 years.
Today was the hardest day so far. I have not eaten much, surviving on cigarettes, coffee, and Mt Dew, for the last few days. Can’t sleep more than a few hours at a time. Having strange dreams where I am being suffocated and held down. This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done.
I used up all the strength and determination I had six years ago when my husband died. I had people around then to make me laugh and forget and take care of things. I could afford to stay where I was. I loved him more than life and felt him with me every day. I do not have that this time, and I don’t know how much more I can take. I have friends who check on me daily and have offered to help me pack, but it isn’t helping me. That may sound selfish or shitty, but it is my mindset right now. I am scared. I am anxious. I am lost. I know that with time, this too will be okay but right now, I am in such a dark, miserable place that I cannot function well enough to finish what I need to.