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Gov. Patrick’s Wife Opens Up About Her Life As First Lady

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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Diane Patrick, wife of Gov. Deval Patrick

Diane Patrick, wife of Gov. Deval Patrick

For The Ladies

BOSTON (CBS) — “They were very hard days,” Diane Patrick said thoughtfully Monday, looking back at the early days in the Governor’s office.  “The campaign was hard, it was something I had not been accustomed to. It was physically and emotionally wearing.”  

Mrs. Patrick says after her husband Governor Deval Patrick was elected, she didn’t know what to expect, and she was not prepared for the scrutiny, criticism and media reports.  “I began to feel as though I was losing control over who I was, who my family was, who my husband was. And I felt as though he was being redefined, and it was very distressing.  Having come through a long campaign, then to be bombarded with what I thought was a heavy dose of negativism, it was difficult.” 

Web Extra: Diane Patrick Talks About Her Life As Mass. First Lady

At the time, the Patricks were being questions about a number of early missteps, including $12,000 curtains and a new desk for the Governor’s office, Mrs. Patrick’s assistant, and the Governor’s choice of a car: a Cadillac.  

On the night she learned of a reporter questioning the Governor about a phone call he made, she went into a downward spiral.   The Governor and a state trooper drove her to McLean Hospital to be checked in for treatment.  She says the lack of control she felt brought her back to the days of her first marriage, which was an abusive relationship.  She says, “Because there was a similarity with a sense of losing control, and not knowing who you were any more. And that was really what, that I think is what ultimately causes you to crash.”

Web Extra: Diane Patrick Talks About Her Depression & Abusive First Marriage

Mrs. Patrick was treated two weeks, during which time she says she received an outpouring of support from the Governor, her family and friends, and hundreds of cards from strangers.  “In those three weeks I got bag loads, box loads of cards from children, from within the state and out… sending me prayers… I felt as though I needed to make good on all of that, and I have, and I think others have as well.

She says she wants people to know they can overcome these mental illness and depression.  “These episodes are brief moments, people should not be afraid of them, with proper care, with professional care, from friends and colleagues, you can get though it. People ought not feel stigmatized, embarrassed, and there is good help out there. If you seek it and get it you can feel stronger than you were before.  It’s really an amazing experience. To understand how I feel today. I feel really stronger than I ever have felt.”

As for the public life: “I can’t say I enjoy being a public person…. But I’ve gotten such positive reinforcement, that it gets easier every day.”  She adds, “I kept having to pinch myself, saying this is so far from where we were five years ago, it was really amazing experience.”

Related Story: Patrick Starts Publicity For New Book

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