Yet another February has come and gone and once again I survived those 28 days which most take for granted. Of those 28 days, February 2nd is the date which always brings with it the heightened potential for a melancholy day. It was this day back in 1999 that forever changed my life. February 2, 1999 was the first of two events which caused the amplification of my Dependent Personality Disorder.
A month into the new year, people were still celebrating in song with the words of Prince’s hit, “1999.” But each February that passes, a part of me still remembers sitting in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital as my mother took her final breath. That was the evening of February 2nd. Fresh from that moment, my wife of 4 years informed me that she considered herself a loner and wished to divorce me so that she could fully pursue a career as a cartoonist. Not only that, she aslso confessed to me that she had never in love with me, but instead loved me more like a brother rather than spouse. That a part of her motivation to marry me was to leave home where she was under the rule of a controlling father.
Those two events sent me into the depths of despair. For one, my mother who had been my confidant and even my manager when I performed as a lead guitarist in a band was gone. Secondly, the person that I married and thought would be there for years had admitted that she was ready to move one without me. Not one, not two, but three people were leaving my life because I’d also had a young son with my then wife. At the time, I had no idea that a diagnosis such as Dependent Personality Disorder existed. But as I look back on that time, the course of events had caused me to fall harder than most, casting doubt and pessimism about my being able to go on my own way. I had numerous friends offering words of encouragement, yet I was not in a place where I could believe them. To add to the complexities, my soon-to-be ex-wife suggested that she and I still live together while she worked on her cartooning abilities. Because of my Dependent Personality Disorder and my fear of aloneness, I agreed to this arrangement even though it meant being in the remnants of a marriage which had been devoid of love from its inception. I simply could not stomach the thought of being alone in an empty place. Even though I was the only source of income in working two jobs and also managing the bills, I still doubted that I would be able to make it on my own. Because while I did manage the money and bill paying, I did not do a good job of it because I wound up having to file chapter 7 bankruptcy as I was drowning in debt. This was an extremely nerve wracking time in my life because to stay in this loveless situation defied all logic whatsoever. And I was still feeling vulnerable while dealing with the recent loss of my mother. Later the so-called marriage did disolve for good and ended in divorce. And consistent with my history, I went straight into another relationship.
For years, I could even feel the physical affects of recalling that vulnerable time in my life. I could feel my muscles grow more tense, my pulse quicken in pace in response to the memories of those two events in February 1999. Memories which were marked by my fear of being alone and ill-prepared to not only care for myself, but for my beautiful young son as well.
Over the years, things have gotten easier with each coming and going of the month of February. Fortunately more times than not February 2nd would have come and gone before I realized it. I no longer dwell on the images of my mother’s spirit leaving her body in the hospital on February 2nd. I have moved away from the feeling that the floor had dropped from beneath my feet when my then spouse informed me that she wanted to divorce. The moments that I do recall that awful period in my life are much more fleeting than they were in recent past. But because they still exist at all, it reminds me that I still have so much more growing to do.
I know that I am not out of the woods in regards to the effects of my Dependent Personality Disorder. Aside from the annual February memories, I still occasionally fall into the trap of pessimism. The affects rise up each time my current wife and I disagree on something, which is always regarding my special needs son. Each time, I ask if she is unhappy and if our marriage is damaged because of disagreement. And each time she dismisses my fear by calling me silly and that I am dramatizing a situation. But as anyone with Dependent Personality Disorder can attest, the feelings of insecurity don’t just disappear with the drop of a few positive affirmations or long stretches of journaling sessions. The feelings of insecurity are deeply imbedded and it takes time, patience, and diligence for them to be tamed.
I sincerely hope that I do not experience another set of events like what I experienced in February of 1999. Ones that would require me to put in so much extra work to silence the haunting memories. I’m also trying to reframe the month of February. When those scary memories arise, I will try to also remind myself that eventually everything worked out okay. I will put in the work that I need to do in order to further reframe the month of February as well as any other stimuli which makes me relive other moments of drowing in insecurities. The tools that I need are all around me and within me as well. My yoga mat, my meditation cushion, my journal, and my guitar are all very powerful tools at my disposal.
I’m grateful for the advent of blogging as an avenue for my inclination to express through writing. Through this medium, I am coming across more wonderful people who fully understand what it’s like to live with DPD. People like a young woman named Samantha who runs her own amazing blog, fingerprintsontheroof.wordpress.com HOPE~Hold On Pain Ends. She does a superb job on her blog. Samantha, thank you for being so courageous in sharing your story in such honest and relatable ways. You make me feel that maybe I’m not on the wrong planet after all. That there are indeed others out there who can relate to me and my deeply embeddedd insecurities.
As always, whether you have come across my page either intentionally or by accident, I thank you for the time you took out of your day.
All my very best to each and every one of you!