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Depression: Blind to Destruction

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

He can't see that he is destroying me, that he is causing me so much distress and sadness; he can't see past his own depression. He's selfish.
What do you think is facilitating his continual depression? Consider that maybe the depression indicates that he does see your pain and the destruction he is bringing. Yes, depression is indicative of many things and in MLC the multiple reasons and causes overwhelm him. Your MLCer is already depressed because of his internal issues and now those issues are infecting his external life too. He sees and feels it and is trying to shut it down; maybe if he can no longer feel it, it will stop. Maybe if he runs away it will stop. Maybe if he does not have to see you all the time he can pretend that the external parts of his life are fine. He can live in the fantasy that you are fine and happy without him--that you are better without him.

Depression is both blinding and clearing. Sometimes MLCers cannot see past their own depression, but often this is because they had to shut down their detectors because they initially saw too clearly. Your concern that your MLCer is either incapable or unaware of your pain is indicative that you are not yet understanding or accepting the process of midlife crisis; rather you are taking the crisis and his actions personally. A midlife crisis is an internal crisis and until the MLCer can resolve the internal problems he cannot address the external problems--it's like making sure you have a pulse and airway before addressing a broken bone.

Think deeply about depression; what it is. It is a cold joy and hope sucking force that invades and infects; it overcomes a person's entire being. For some it is a Quiet Worry:

Depression is quiet worry
cacophony internalized,
furious and fearful,
despair coiled,
a spiral springing.
Expanding, it cleanses thoroughly,
scrubbing raw to nothing
but the exposed sting.
The vision of Hope is absent,
stealing with it the burden of care.
I want to curl up
and crawl into tight dark space,
vacate my eyes
and huddle drooping,
unable to hold myself upright.

And for some it is a sinking that defies understanding or description:

There is a depression
sinking whole in
the pit of loneliness.
A loss of unknown qualities,
unknown proportion,
a vacancy in hollow eyes.
Depression is a rocking,
constant back-and-forth
of curled fetal knees.
Depression is a death
amidst breath and heartbeat
clinging to nothingness
of life.

Your MLCer's internal problems are infecting you, causing internal and external problems in you; it is your responsibility to resolve your issues, but that does not mean that your reactions, pain and emotional turmoil are MLCer's fault or responsibility. It is your responsibility to pick yourself up and accept that no one can make you happy, that if this crisis is destroying you--someone else's crisis--you are choosing to let it destroy you. It is not realistic or fair to expect someone else to be responsible for your feelings and emotions and for how you handle a situation. It is especially unfair when the person is already overwhelmed with internal turmoil. Each of us must rely on God and ourselves for rescue. You cannot rescue or fix your MLCer and he cannot rescue or fix you. And you were correct; he is being selfish, but that is because depression is selfish; it's about him.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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