His Disease, My Loneliness // A young wife’s journey through her husband’s mental illness

By I.P*

I reached out to Rechy Frankfurter on a whim. While I’ve been a writer all my life, I had never shared the truly personal insides of my ripped heart with anyone. My writings depicting my agonizing challenges were mine alone. But the time has come to share my story with the world.

My intention is not to stigmatize mental illness any more than it’s already stigmatized, merely to describe what it’s like to live with someone who has it. At the same time, I’m not advising that people should be more open to marrying those suffering from this terrible disease. Not many people would be able to hold on the way I did.

But there is no denying that this has been my personal journey. For some unknown reason, it was tailor-made for my soul to reach its destination. Marrying my husband changed me, and I hope this message of perseverance and triumph will be taken in the right way. Please feel free to reach me via email through Ami Magazine.

Dear Master of the World:

My life is so challenging right now. I am 26 years old with three children and so unhappy. I wish I had a chance to just breathe, live, enjoy and sincerely smile. Instead I am sad, needy, indecisive, and irritable. Oh, Hashem, I would love to be a good person. I would love to serve You with a clean house, nice suppers, a husband who is sitting and learning and pious, with beautiful, healthy children and enough money to give to others. That’s what I want. But Hashem, You want something different. You want my house to be a mess because I can’t pull it together because I am overwhelmed. You want my husband to be depressed and for me to have to live with it. I want to have a huge house full of happy children, but You want otherwise. You want me to have confusion and stress. You want all this. And this is the way I should serve You. But how, how can I serve You when I am in this emotionally ragged state?

Please, Hashem, give me the tools to serve You with peace and joy. To be nice to my husband. Not to get annoyed and frustrated by his repetitious activity, lack of energy and concentration. To be able to care for my children happily. Please, Hashem, give me the support I need to come out of all this emotionally stronger and a better person. Please. Life is so stressful, and I am so young. I can’t do anything alone. My thoughts, feelings and actions are all based on Your desires. Please, show me goodness!

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