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Unholy Trifecta

Six years ago, MS joined my moderate depression and anxiety to completely tear me down. I’m happy to report that by the grace of the almighty God, I’m still here!

After completing my PhD and starting my search for VP positions in universities, I felt worn out and took a few weeks off. I did not know that was the beginning of the end. One morning I couldn’t move. Fast forward a couple weeks and I received my diagnosis.

My husband assured me he would be there for me, and he was. To abuse me in every way imaginable. I did not imagine that. My family said they would help, then they stopped calling and told me that it was my duty to stay with my husband despite the abuse. I was so confused. I had three middle schoolers, one autistic son and no health insurance. I prayed and stayed.

Last may I got the assistance I’d been begging for to move out with the kids to one of our second homes. Unfortunately, the kids now blame me for breaking up the family. They fight me in everything, which stresses me. Stress + MS = NOT good

The good news is that I’m alive and making steady progress. I’m keeping them on the honor roll, focusing them on college, making sure they are healthy, they eat well, and they have opportunities for fun. I hire a lady to clean and cook meals, and I just bought the 17 year old a car. It helps me that she can get to the store, etc.

I’ve also repeatedly taught them that love does not equal violence, and to be doubly aware when it’s hidden. When they’re older, they’ll understand better. Until then, I’m giving my all. The stress kills me because no one waters my “garden”. But I’m doing my best with the physical and cognitive challenges I face everyday.

This year I hope to focus more on me.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Carol
    1 year ago

    I am so sorry to hear that you were in an abusive marriage, but glad to hear that you were able to move out , start living again, and find a loving man who will treat you right in your marriage. I was in an abusive marriage myself and it was difficult and took me a very long time to actually leave him. I have been in a new marriage for 20 years with a man, who loves me and would never dream of hitting me.

  • Mare
    1 year ago

    Dear drmak: Thank you for extricating yourself from that situation. I know first-hand how difficult that is. I left a very abusive marriage one year before I started having MS symptoms (my doctor, however, thinks that I have had MS since I was 18 and it went into an “inactive” phase). The stress from being being his punching bag, police, divorce and moving to another state probably brought on the active phase of it.

    Fast forward 19 years later and now being in a happy 17 year marriage to a wonderful man and I am content. My MS is fairly stable other than peripheral symptoms and moderate to hellish PAIN, I still work full-time and take care of him — he is disabled.

    At least my Catholic parents understood that there was nothing in the vows that that I took that said “love, honor, obey and getting knocked into next week”. They understood and supported my decision to get out. Actually, I was lucky, it was my apartment and I had the cops remove him. We had no children other than 2 beautiful cats.

    You, drmak, are a wonderful example of being a very strong person individual and keep up the great work. Your kids will come around. They may need to see a professional to help them understand that it was never your fault for any of it. Sometimes hearing all of this from a stranger sinks in more and frees yourself from that part of the stress equation.

    Therapy is wonderful and a lot of psychologists will work on a sliding fee scale. I was working for APA at the time all this was going and it helped me so much with a lot of life problems besides the abuse and divorce.

    Take it one day at a time and please let us hear how you are doing. You and your children will be fine. PEACE/LOVE, Mare

  • drmak author
    1 year ago

    It has been very difficult, but with the help of God, the state sheriff’s department, and the legal system, I’m inching my way forward every day.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    HI drmak! Thank you for sharing a part of your story with the community. I am so glad you were able to extricate yourself from an abusive relationship. I know it’s not easy. You are setting a great example for your children and you are right — most likely they will understand better when they are older. It sometimes takes time, distance, and maturity to look back on things with a more compassionate and honest lens.

    I hope you are able to take time to take care of yourself in all of this. I am glad you have your faith and your kids to be there for you.

    Thank you again for sharing and for being an example of a true warrior to your kids.

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

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