Part 2 Symptoms or Diagnoses?

 May 12th, 2016, part 2. 

What my husband told me as I lay on the couch, reeling from the excessive medications and being shut off from the world was, “I like it when you are down, then I have all the control.”  I knew then that I needed a miracle.  

And I got three!

My disability had a fully favorable award, but that certainly was not a miracle.  I was enrolled in Medicare, which compared to the benefits I was getting at work, was absolutely not a miracle.  My supposed intelligent, heavily published, psychiatrist didn’t take Medicare so I had to find a new psychiatrist. This was the first miracle!  Interestingly, this doctor eventually had to have a liver transplant.  Apparently, he was taking as many of the medications as he prescribed for his patients. 

Only one psychiatrist in all of Green Bay would see Medicare patients.  It was minor miracle that I got into see anyone at all.  His name was Dr. Ashraf Ahmed and he was my second miracle.   This brilliant doctor immediately knew that I wasn’t bipolar and gradually took me off of all of the weird medications.  Once he got me back to my “better” self, Dr. Ahmed kindly he told me that I would never recover fully if I didn’t leave my husband.  He and I kept track of my mental health status and the quality of the relationship between my husband and me.  There was a direct correlation.  The more abusive my husband was with me, the more depressed and anxious I became.

Dr. Ahmed knew that my depression and anxiety wasn’t caused primarily because

it ran in my family;  he and I both knew that my depression and anxiety was caused

primarily because my husband wanted to run my family.

For the next couple of years I went to a Divorcecare program and tried to leave my husband, but even with Dr. Ahmed’s continual coaching and compassion, I didn’t have the courage.  Then, the third miracle came.   It was the holiday season, my absolutely favorite time of year, until I got married.  Eventually I learned to hate Christmas as much as my husband.  It was the day after Christmas in 2006 and my husband was in a particularly foul holiday mood.  He started punching in a wall swearing about me.  Then he got the kids out of bed and had them help him.  Both were young, but had taken Karate lessons and my husband encouraged them to hit and kick the wall while he instructed them.  “This is what you do when you marry the wrong woman!” he told them. I called the police. 

I didn’t know that they would handcuff him and take him to jail and  I also didn’t know that they would restrain him from having any contact with the kids and me.  This reprieve was the third miracle.  It gave me the chance that I needed to file for divorce.  During this short time I was walking on air.  I never realized that I had been living under his constant oppressive manipulation and control until he was gone.  When he left our home my depression and anxiety went with him.

We Need To Get To The CAUSE!

Yes, depression and anxiety run in my family and these were written down as my primary diagnoses.   But, Dr. Ahmed knew that these were just symptoms of a deeper, darker cause; psychological abuse.  We experience the same traumatic abuse that our children do; psychological abuse.  Your mental health care provider needs to recognize the causes, not the symptoms. 

Engaging in therapy with our children to eliminate our ex-partner’s abuse is really illogical.  We are NOT responsible for any part of our children’s rejection and neither are they. 

Yes, we are an emotional mess, and 

Yes, we are angry, confused and desperate, and

Yes, we might lash out in moments of intolerable pain, and 

YES we are traumatized by psychological abuse by our narcissistic/borderline ex-partner! 

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Yes, our children have suppressed their attachment to us, and

Yes, our children behave with those horrible narcissistic/borderline traits, and

Yes, our children bought into our ex-partners’ delusion that we are awful parents, and

YES, they are being traumatized by child psychological abuse by the other parent!

What to Do?

The next time you are in therapy with(or without) your child(ren), make sure you know the diagnosis and why it was made.  In our cases, depression, anxiety, ADHD and PTSD are all symptoms of a traumatizing home life.  A traumatizing home life that you and your children are constantly being exposed to.  The Diagnosis is psychological abuse (both child and ex-partner). You need protective separation to resolve all of the symptoms.  Let your therapist or psychologist know the diagnosis.  Give them this article.  Have them contact us (  They are probably members of the APA.