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guilt for having mental health issues and not disclosing them

  • Thread starter River of Circle
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River of Circle

River of Circle

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Aug 4, 2020
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44
Location
USA
I have been clinically diagnosed with 3 mental health issues - Depression, General Anxiety Disorder, and Complex-PTSD. When I first sought treatment 14 years ago, my wife didn't really understand what was going on with me. At times, I was coming home from work and going to bed to sleep until time to get up the next day to go to work. I was isolating, even more so than my normally introverted self does. I was spiraling downward due to a trigger from my father, who was a physically abusive alcoholic when I was growing up.

I decided to finally seek counseling and start to deal with some of the multiple traumas of the past. No more running from them. As I was going through that, my wife told me that she was worried about what was happening to me, and what that meant for her, i.e., was I going to go crazy(er) and our marriage fall apart.

I felt guilty for putting her through my problems, and still do. I feel guilty for not telling her about my issues before we got married so that she could have decided whether she wanted to get involved with someone as broken as me. I feel I was deceptive, and that was not fair to her. I was embarrassed about my past, with my dysfunctional family. I didn't want her to think lesser of me as a man for having been sexually abused at 12 and 16. I wanted to shield her from my teenage drug use to cope. There was a lot that I didn't tell her beforehand, and I'm ashamed at my deception.
 
J

Jomp

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Jul 25, 2020
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Everybody lies. We all make ourselves out to be better than we are when we meet someone, because we're scared that maybe we're not enough as we are.

When you have the history you have then the issue is much greater, as you don't like yourself, let alone have the confidence that someone else will like you.

Sure, you should have told her, but you didn't; you can't change that.

She didn't walk out; she expressed a realistic concern and she did that because you cared enough about her to face up to an extremely difficult problem. You did that because you want the relationship to be honest and work.

This problem isn't you; it's something that happened to you. She has the right to decide, based on this new information, as to whether she wants to stay or go, but if she stays then it's a problem you will both face together. If she's worried that the marriage will fall apart, it means that she wants the marriage.

What she deserves now is for you to continue to work on it and be honest with her moving forward.
 
River of Circle

River of Circle

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
USA
This problem isn't you; it's something that happened to you.
Thank you for your response, Jomp. The above sentence really spoke to me and is something that I need to try to remember often. I've added it to my signature to be a constant reminder to myself.
 
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