Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Being the bearer

H's sister and her family are coming to town this weekend for a family birthday bash. (H's parents are not coming to town, which is AOK.) I haven't seen his sister in about 4 years…last time she came up to see H because we were told that he was going to die in 6 months. But, another anti-viral med came out and pulled him back.

But the past year or so has been strained with his family because I moved so aggressively to place him last year.

Because they're not local, they don't see how H is really doing except when he goes to visit once a year or so…like he did last Thanksgiving. And he tends to put on a good show for them, although "he does sleep a lot."

As is the case with H, whenever I raise the issue of my burnout (e.g., my experience), their response is that this means divorce and they get all discounting and accusatory on my ass. Really, what I'd like would be some support and sympathy, but they can't seem to muster it and neither can H.

So, I'm not certain what to expect when they're all in town again.

I guess that no matter how I play it, I am the bad guy. And I just need to accept that. After all, I'm the one who struggles to deal and if I can't, then they are terrified that they will have to step up.

The only way I know how to play it is to tell my truth and if they start to get surly and I feel defensive, I'll just tell them that I love H and I’m doing the best I can…and then just walk away.

My biggest challenge is to approach the time with them with an open mind (& heart!) and not have any expectations. But right now, I find that rather daunting.

1 comment:

Y | O | Y said...

Wouldn't you just love to say, "I wish we could switch places for about a year and you could have the grief and I'd get to criticize from the sidelines every couple of months!"

They don't get it. I do. You're doing great. I don't know how you continue to hold down a job at the same time!