From the author: A couple of months after my husband and I started dating, I began noticing that something was not right. As someone with lived experience with a mental health condition, I notice symptoms of PTSD which provoke him to anger. I searched for help through NAMI (National Alliance On Mental Illness) and started educating myself through a caregiver class called NAMI Homefront for family members of people with military trauma. There, I was able to gather information on how to deal with his condition. After a year of courting, we got married. I thought loving him would be enough to empower him to change his behavior and seek help. How wrong was I! We were able to maintain five bittersweet marriage years, but the illness took a toll on our relationship, and after seeing no change and lack of responsibility regarding his illness, I decided to file for divorce. Making the decision was painful but sometimes no matter how much it hurts the best decision is to let go and let God.
I hope this letter finds you well. A lot of things have been going on lately that have crushed both our hearts but I want you to know that , I love you and I know that you love me. You are a man of God. You are loving, caring and compassionate. You care about me and worried about me when you see that I am sad. You are a blessing to me. You are knowledgeable of the word of God and you look for God very closely. You pray for me before I go to work, make me breakfast and coffee every morning. You make my mornings go smoothly. You wake me up with a kiss and check on me throughout the day to make sure I am okay. You have showed me unconditional love when you help me around the house and have coffee ready when I come from work. You massage my feet and serve me food
Something I like about you is that you are very sensitive to the pain of others and dislike those who abuse vulnerable people. When I get sick you take care of me to the best of your ability. When I lost my cousin to cancer, you were there by my side and supported me even though you could not find the words to say. You are a very special man but, you share your body with a beast. This beast usually comes out when someone or something makes him angry. He is mean and vicious with his words towards me and others. He likes putting people down who do not agree with him. He hurts me with his words and you allow him. His words are like a sword to my heart. This beast purpose is to kill and destroy whomever step in front of him. He knows how to devoir his prey and he uses the word of God to crush me because he knows my fears and flaws.
His power subdues you. He has a plan against me and for other people you love. He does not care about how much his words can destroy me or the pain they can cause because his purpose is to have me vow before him and praise him.
I need you to find help getting rid of this beast so that you can stay afloat all the time and we can be happy to express our love. Would you find the help you need to get rid of this beast?
from the editor: Send me your letter. Now receiving submissions through March 1.
Tony Roberts, author of When Despair Meets Delight: Cultivating Hope for Those Battling Mental Illness ; podcaster of Revealing Voices ; and administrator of the Facebook community group Hope for Troubled Minds is shepherding a project through his blog at delightindisorder.org we hope will culminate in a book with photos entitled Hope for Troubled Minds: An Anthology of Letters Between Those with Brain Illnesses and Our Loved Ones.
Submit your letter directed to your loved ones (first & second person grammar). Include your contact information so I can reach you. You may indicate if you wish to remain anonymous. Target date for submissions: March 1, 2023. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org .