Saturday, November 17, 2007

And now, marriage counselling

While I'm pretty well-rested at this point, I'm awfully puzzled and annoyed.

Had a long conversation with H's mom yesterday about what is happening here. But, they haven't seen any evidence of his dementia worsening, she tells me, other than he's a bit slow. Now, she's been there all of one day and H has only been at his sister's for two weeks now. Apparently, he's cooking his own meals, but "he does sleep a lot."

I explained how when I've raised placement with H before that he gets all energetic, cleans and polishes, but that this isn't sustainable and that he will poop out and crash after awhile.

Suffice to say that there is a difference between what they've seen and what I've seen. And what is that difference attributable to?

Simple: H is afraid.

She did use the divorce word again and once again I asked her not to use it because it isn't helpful. And it isn't true, besides. How is it that I struggle do this anymore is divorce?

She suggested marriage counseling. We did that 5 years ago, I say. The net was that yup, it's a hard situation and that what love we have for one another is slowly being destroyed by circumstance. Advice at that time was to get out before you end up hating one another.

We'll see how it goes when H gets back this afternoon.

Sheesh….I am so tired of having a drama about my sick partner (again). I so enjoyed the brief respite that I had.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guilt song trilogy

Low burn

H is coming home in a few days, after spending over two weeks at his sister's house out of state.

I've been sorta beginning to feel fondness for H the past few days…like "Yea, it would be nice to see him." Or even a fleeting, "I wish H were here to share this moment with me," or two.

The weight of my anger and resentment is much lower right now. And so I notice what love that I have for him more.

Before he left, I was so angry that I rarely felt love for him, just obligation and resentment. I am worried that the anger will come raging back when H returns. Without any change, it will.

I am not trying to steal from you

I was just talking with H a few minutes ago. He's asking me if he should find a place near his sister's out of state, "cuz I'm not ready for a hospice or for assisted living."

"Dr. says you are," I say.

"That's not what he told me. ..that was true a long awhile ago. But now you just want to get me out of the house, so that you can get it," he says.

I try to beg off of the topic until he gets home. I tell him that I still think that (place) is the right solution, or something like it because there are big issues here at home. That this isn't sustainable for me anymore. And that everyone seems to have their opinions.

"Then it is over," he says. "You said that this was for better or for worse. If I move down here, then it is divorce…. The amount of care you seem to think I need…well, that's ridiculous. You just want the house."

I object to the word ridiculous.

I beg off, tell him I love him, and say goodbye.

When he gets back, I will try to see what H and I can work out. Something has to change here…if he is doing so well, can he step up?

The bitter aftertaste of denial

I'm getting a sense that the family is minimizing H's disability and gathering the wagons…looking for a place for him to live away from our home and me. I can just hear them cackle about how good he is doing. In some ways, I can't blame them…he's not dying in front of them, after all.

And I know that H will do the best show that he can while he's on his visit. And I will be the bad guy in all of this, even though I've been a "saint" for so many, many years (his family's word). Now, they may think that I'm cheating him…he does. Sigh.

I've been planning on arranging having his family talk with his Dr. and also talk with my shrink. And to get a dementia baseline test done (essential). I guess that I feel a need to build the case…or, at least, smooth the waters?

Truth is, us continuing to live together is hard for me, but easier for everyone else. Living apart is easier for me, but harder for everyone else.

Why is everyone so certain that he doesn't need to go to a facility, that he can live on his own? I have seen little evidence that he can live on his own in the last 3+ years. Was he just being lazy? Why isn't he exhibiting those skills now?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Enjoy the silence

H has been gone for over a week now, although he calls me at least once a day. I've been off work for over a week too now. I love being a hermit.

It's very strange to have this house to myself…this house that I've shared with H for so many years. I like the silence and the lack of responsibility. I like being able to sleep so long in the king size bed without having to share the covers or wear ear plugs so I don't hear his C-pap machine.

I've been disoriented by the lack of structure recently. I don’t have to be anywhere, I don't have to talk to anyone. There is nothing that really has to be done. If I were somewhere else, I'd call this a vacation.

I've talked with H just a few times since he's been gone, even tho' he's called several times a day (I am so thankful to whoever invented Caller ID ). He hasn't asked me any questions about how I'm doing or how I'm feeling, just what I'm doing.

"Where were you yesterday?," he asked me. "I called many times." "I must have been in the garden, outside," I say, knowing that he didn't call me yesterday.

H tells me that he's bored, "They all have to work. I miss all the things that I get to do at home."

I don't care that he misses home, but I don't tell him so.

There is odd silence in my head as well. I don't hear so much of my anger, my resentment driven by the things that H has said when I've told him that I can't deal anymore:

At least I'm not in the hospital right now.
You've always been depressed and stressed and angry.
I'm not that sick…you're just trying to get rid of me.

I don't blame him for his anger, but I'm tired of having my experience so discounted. The sad truth is that this is not H, not the man that I have known for so long, but the dementia talking through his own fear and denial.

This time apart and this time off of work is to help me catch my breath for the next run up the hill. I hope that this will be the last run I make up this hill.