- 2 years ago
This is a hard post to write. But I took strength from other Bees who posted about their challenges, so I’m sharing mine.
Today is my birthday. A month from today I was supposed to marry the man I love – I’ll call him Z. That’s not happening – and it’s crazy.
We’ve been together since Dec 2012. Our entire relationship, we marvelled at how smoothly everything went – How happy we were together. We moved in together in Dec 2013. So happy. Got engaged June 2013. So ridiculously happy. We experienced deaths in the family, major home renos, medical emergencies, and we sailed through, strong and supportive of each other.
We’re both in our mid-thirties and were so grateful that we’d found each other. After attending countless friends’ weddings, it was our turn!
So what went wrong?
Z was born with a heart defect. It’s been monitored since he was a child. He always knew some day he would need surgery to fix the problem. Right before we got engaged, we found out it was time. His aorta needed replacing within the year.
Surgery was scheduled for 13 weeks before the wedding – tight, but what could we do? The surgery went amazing well, the results were the best possible outcome, and his physical recovery has been exemplary. BUT …
He got what Drs call a post-surgery mental impact (also called surgery-induced PTSD, post-surgery depression, or pump-head syndrome). His symptoms are textbook. Nothing that mattered to him before surgery matters now. He feels like he woke up in someone else’s skin. He says it’s like a switch went off and he doesn’t care about his job, the life he built, the life we planned together. Two days after he came home, he told me he didn’t want to marry me. He loved me but didn’t feel “in love” with me anymore.
The invitations were done, but not mailed. I was to pick up my dress that weekend. My bridal shower was the weekend after that. We were less than 90 days to the wedding. But more importantly – WHAT? I just saw you through heart surgery. I stayed with you and sat by your bedside when your own family didn’t. We’re a team. We were so happy. You promised not to hurt me!
I stayed for the next week and took care of him – because the hospital had released him to my care and his family are from out of town and didn’t offer to come back. There was no one else. Then I moved to my parents and started cancelling the wedding. I spent the next 6 weeks crying, talking to him, explaining to him that he’s experiencing something very common in post-heart surgery patients. The heart surgeons have a psychiatrist on staff to deal with this because it happens. It could be a side-effect of the meds you’re on. There’s help. Use it. It took six weeks, but he’s finally seeing someone.
And last week he finished his post-surgery meds. He says it’s like the switch that went off has come back on. He wants all the things he used to want. Including me. He wants to know; Could I ever forgive him? Do I want him to try and fix this?
But the damage! Our wedding is cancelled. I moved out. He broke my heart. And his family abandoned me. Not one of them ever called or emailed to offer me any kind of support. Him I could maybe forgive – something happened to him. But what’s their excuse?
So it’s my birthday today. And a month before when I was supposed to get married. And Z is taking me out to dinner and I’m going to try and see if there is anything left there.
Have any Bees had experience with post-surgery depression? Known someone who went through heart surgery and came out a different person? Had an engagement cancelled, but ended up marrying that person eventually?
Has he shown his true colours and I’m a sucker for going back for more? Or could it be true that this was all temporary and caused by the surgery? I prayed he would come back to me. Now that it’s happened, I don’t know if it’s too late.
Thanks for reading.