Once E was served with divorce papers, he called me freaking out. It took over two months for my lawyer and I to get everything straightened out on paper and all the proper documents filled out, before he was actually notified on April 29, 2014. All the time between my flying back from Kenya and him being served, I think he thought I was joking, or just playing a game, hoping he would change or something. I honestly don’t know why he was so surprised that I actually filed for divorce. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it…
But, those papers started a whole myriad of amazing lies on his part. Time after time I was left speechless at the items he put in his “sworn statements.” Things he “promised” were the truth, and it just confirmed to me how much of a liar I’d been married too.
First and foremost, he claimed that he had caught me IN BED with our farm boy that Sunday morning back in January, but no violence occurred, and so he wanted to divorce me because of that. Seriously? At this point E, I don’t even care as long as I get out of this marriage to you. But then it went on to say that I had beat up his mother when I was trying to leave Kenya (claiming she had suffered a concussion) and that the incident with his father and the van never occurred. Oh common. Next, he said that I owed him some $21,000.00 for some reason. Haha for real? Dude, you haven’t held a long-term steady job our entire relationship! I’ve paid for practically everything in our lives, meaning houses/land, cars, and multiples cross-continental trips every time you had a whim that you wanted to move back and forth between Kenya & Canada. If anything you owe me a ridiculous sum of money. But I wasn’t asking for money. All I wanted was a life free from E. As soon as possible.
Life never works out like that though. Because after I left E, his mental health deteriorated quickly. He slowly stopped answering phone calls, and even texts became too much for him. He started missing meetings with his lawyer which delayed everything even more than necessary. I was on the phone with him one day after not hearing from him for a while. I asked him how he was doing, knowing his past problems with anxiety. He shared with me then, that he was too scared to leave his house to even get groceries. I tried my best to convince him to get help, to find a Dr., or someone he felt comfortable confiding in to talk to, but nothing ever came of it.
Then, a couple of weeks later, he went missing. Not answering calls, or texts. He even missed showing up to a prearranged visit with the kids. So I got worried. Just because I no longer wanted to be the man’s wife, didn’t mean I wanted anything bad to happen to him (or anyone). So the search was on. He had been staying with a guy from work, who said he hadn’t seen him in a couple of days (also mentioned that E owed him rent money if I felt like paying, haha no thanks). I called his work, who said E didn’t show up to the plane to head up to camp for his latest shift. I called some of his family in Kenya, as well as his one brother living in the States… No one had heard from him.
So I ended up calling the police to file a missing person report. I explained that he might be dangerous, and that he didn’t have all his faculties at the moment. They, again, weren’t helpful. They explained that even if they did find him, they couldn’t do anything. E was a grown ass man. If he didn’t want anyone to know where he was, then the police couldn’t inform me of his whereabouts even if they did locate him. Fine. I was just trying to be helpful. It’s the middle of January and I’m thinking he’s out on the streets somewhere, afraid of life and no ones around to help. And I felt bad. During this time, I felt bad for leaving him. I felt like I had been the stability in his life, and maybe if I had stayed with E, then his illness would’ve never progressed to this point. I felt like my leaving him had “pushed him over the edge” so to speak.
But then a phone call came. It was E, and he was on his way across the country. He told me he had sold everything he owed except what fit in one suitcase, and had bought a bus ticket to Ottawa. What??? WHY??? Oh, C. Don’t ask a mentally ill person to explain their actions… because then you get answers like the following.
He felt like people were out to get him, and so he didn’t feel safe where he was. Umm Ok? Why Ottawa though? Two reasons, he has one friend from Kenya who lived there, and the Kenyan Embassy was located there. What the heck is the Embassy going to do? You need a Doctor! I couldn’t hear much else over the phone so our call was ended abruptly since the bus was going through a tunnel of sorts, but I knew he was at least alive. I called his family to let them know where he was and to let the friend in Ottawa know to expect E. I had to then call the police and cancel my missing person report, even though I knew they had been putting zero effort into finding him.
Another month or so went by with no word from E. Until finally one day I receive an email from his email address, but I knew right away it wasn’t him who had written it. “He” asked how the kids were doing and also needed some paperwork from me. I emailed back asking where he had been for the last month, and who was writing his emails and then they whole story came out. Kinda… Well as good as it gets with this man.
After he got to Ottawa, he somehow found his old rugby buddy and stayed with him for a bit. But the “voices” became too much for him. And the paranoia was so bad, that his friend found him one morning sleeping UNDER the bed. So at that point, his friend took him to the hospital. Where he’d been officially diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, depression and extreme anxiety. He was locked up in the pysch ward, fed a concoction of medication, and hadn’t had access to his phone or email until that day, since he had earned access outside the ward. His therapist had helped him write the email to me.
In some ways I felt relieved that he was finally getting help. I felt like it validated my feelings of frustration. Trying for years to make a marriage work. A relationship work. But constantly feeling like I wasn’t getting through. Feeling like he was never listening to me. In a way, he never was. He was listening to the voices in his head. The voices telling him everyone was against him. That I was against him. It explained a lot, and although it didn’t forgive his behaviour, it made me feel like less of a failure. Like I had done all that I could, but he was legitimately ill. I could’ve tried ’til I was blue in the face, but nothing would’ve helped our marriage. Not until he received the proper care he needed, and I and others had continually suggested. And now he was getting it.
E was held in the psychiatric ward for about 4-5 months. The doctors called me a few times asking for a little background information, and informing me of his treatment plan. I had to explain many times that we were no longer a couple and that no, I wouldn’t be helping him once he was released. E ended up staying with his friend in Ottawa for about 3 months once he was released from the ward. The Doctors wanted to make sure he was following up on his medication and counselling, letting me know that there is no cure for his condition, and that he would be on medication for life. Also letting me know that a relapse is likely, and that if there was a history of violence, there was a strong possibility of more violence.
E’s friend was fine with having him stay there, but after a while, I could tell that he was getting a little frustrated with E’s extended stay, and I had to break it down to E. He couldn’t live with his friend forever. His friend was married with two kids, and although I’m sure they’d enjoyed this catch up time, he and his wife probably wanted to get back to their own life. E was able to call his old job and get his previous position back for himself, even though his hours/duties had to be modified. I was probably just as glad as his friend was for him to start back at work, because I’d been missing out on child support payments for the last 8-9 months.
Now that E is on medication, he is a little more reliable as far as payments for the kids go, but the meds have changed him. He is constantly tired and has gained a solid 50 lbs. His thinking has slowed dramatically and it’s like talking to a kid. When he does get to see our kids (about once a month) he takes them to the same place and sits there while he watches them play. Actually, now that I think about it… that’s pretty much how he was before minus the weight gain. So not much has changed.