Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And now the job....

For the past year and a half, I've struggled to fulfill my demanding job and take care of my sick partner, H.

It isn't just the 10 or so times he's been the hospital at least overnight; and, at least 4 times, he's been there for the better part of a week. Then pretty much a zombie for another week or two as he gets back on his feet.

It isn't just the dozen (at least) times that I've taken him to the ER because of any number of things, but mostly seizures.

It isn't just that he can't do much for himself anymore. Or that I don't get my needs met. Or that I'm exhausted.

It isn't just that I'm watching H lose his mind. Or his health. Or his personality.

It isn't just the job and all the crazy demands that it has that wants to take over my life.

It's all of the above and more stuff that I can't remember.

All of this came to a head yesterday, when having a somewhat formal conversation wth my boss about recent performance.

Apparently (and this is a surprise to me), I have "lost all credibility with management" and they're not certain that it is "recoverable."

I've missed too much time, not produced enough, and what I have produced is below what they think my ability is. (How about that for a sideways compliment?)

Now, few people here know what is really going on with my partner, but I tend not to talk about it very much for obvious reasons.

So, they have cut me slack for the past year or so, but are now putting pressure on me to ramp up the productivity.

My choices are many, but the most likely are: 1) buckle down and do my best to fix this situation or 2) go to another company. Internal transfer is not likely to work out in this case.

Problem is that I don't have the emotional energy to deal with either 1 or 2 right now.

I discussed this issue with H last night and, of course, he feels badly. How could he not?

What do I do now? I thought that I had the work thing under control. But I guess not.


Truth be told, there are really three things that make it hard to continue living with H:
  • As long as I am his caregiver (read: live with him), then our relationship will never been what it can be. It won't ever be what it was, but there is certainly room for improvement.
  • His needs for care are increasing as time goes by
  • I need to focus on work and it is hard to do when you live with someone you love who is fading away

Friday, February 23, 2007

How do you work this thing?

So, last night H was looking for a phone number for some friends. We found it and H wrote it down in big numbers on a piece of paper.

He picked up his cell phone to call them and didn't know how to dial it. "What do I do? How do I use it?," he asked with a bit of tremble in his voice. "Oh, you just punch in the number like this," I said.

He punched in the number after a few tries and then decided it was too late to call them anway.

As it turns out, their phone number was in his contacts list, but he couldn't figure out how to find that contact entry either. He doesn't have to...all he has to do is say, "Call X" and it will dial. But he forgot that too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Is that all there is?

So, back in therapy for me after about a year break. I stopped last year because, not only were my benefits running out, but also because I was running out of things to say. Yup, it's still distressing, I need to act, yup, it sucks, woe is me, time to act, no it isn't, I'm afraid, blah, blah, blah.

Now that I'm back in it, some observations:

  • My relationship with H has digressed to one of "resentful roomate" and I am not emotionally present with him...I'm just kinda "flat." I dont' know any other way to describe it...maybe it's just depression, but it doesn't feel like that. Depression for me means that I don't want to do anything, which isn't entirely true.
  • I realize just how much I don't like my life and how much I've let his illness consume me as it has been consuming him for some time. I mean, I get up, go to work, maybe the gym, come home, he's asleep until dinner's ready (which I'm making always), then he's up to eat (we don't really talk much), a few hours on the computer, and it's bed time. Weekends aren't much different.
  • Unfulfilling doesn't even come close to describing my life. And that is my responsibility, not his.
  • Caring for him and living with him is sucking me dry (no, not in that way!)

So, with all apologies to Peggy, I have to ask, "Is that all there is?" And, am I happy with that? No. Until H is no longer living with me, we will not have any reasonable "partner-like" relationship.

It is up to me to raise the topic of the nursing home with him and I just don't want to do it. Not certain why...some is guilt, some is fear, some is seeing the expression on his face. What I have to do is to not let fear stop me. I think that there is also the "I don't deserve to be happy" thing going on in my head.

One startling realization is that we all have what we think that we should have. In many ways, I do believe that we create our lives to fulfill our deepest expectations/beliefs of ourselves.

So, if you don't feel worthy of love, you don't find it...or you find a "love" that will refinforce your belief that you are not worthy of love. If you don't feel your needs matter, then you get someone who will reinforce that deeply held belief (Uhhh, HELLO!). If you don't feel worthy of success, then you get the level of success that you believe you deserve. This is the ole "what you think about, how you feel, and what you focus on" is what you get because at your deepest level it's what you believe you deserve.

All of this basically says that I am where I am because where I am is a result of my beliefs about what I deserve.

Kinda pisses me off, to tell you the truth.