Thursday, May 06, 2010

I'm sorry you're stuck, redux

Last night, I talked with H about his comment: "I'm sorry that you're stuck caring for me."

I thanked him for acknowledging what a difficult situation this is and I told him that I don't blame him for it.

"Where we are is because of your illness, not you," I told him. "I don't blame you for this, I blame your health. I wish that it was different, but it is what it is."

(Lots of conversation not worth repeating here.)

The core issue is that H can't accept that our relationship is irrevocably changed...he keeps telling me that I'm "punishing him" by not re-engaging in a romantic relationship as soon as he's feeling better.

I told him that "I can't deal with the whiplash. You're going to die, no you're not, then you're going to die again, then you get better and want me to be the loving man that I was earlier in our time. You don't remember last year, you could hardly get out of bed, couldn't make a sandwich, and now you want me to act like nothing ever happened. I can't keep up emotionally."

"No, I don't remember what happened last year, but I know I was in bed a lot," he says.

I continue, "If you want me to show up, you need to show up too. And you haven't for years, except for a few months at a time. I do love you H and I want to make certain you're OK, but I'm mostly a nurse now anyway, not a partner."

And then the divorce word comes up again. Sigh.

So we go through all of that again. And I told him that I'm not going to make him leave, but if he wants to, let's talk about that, but where will he go?

The whole thing netted out to him begging me to place him at the facility that we have planned on using when the need arises. Then he told me he didn't want to talk about this anymore.

This morning, I asked him if he remembered our conversation last night and what he thought about it.



Greg said...

I was moved when I read "I'm sorry you're stuck", but couldn't think of anything I could say in comment on something so perfectly poignant.

I think you've responded beautifully here to H, and articulated your dilemma more clearly than ever before. I'm sure it was a very emotional conversation you had with him, which demanded deep soul searching and courage and many tears.

These are conversations that we should only have to go through once. That H could not remember it the next morning is pretty devastating to read, though I'm sure you anticipated it.

I hear you about the "whiplash". Maybe it is time for you to make use of H's current health window to make some of these decisions, like the one you mention about the Care Facility. I hesitate to suggest this, but maybe you need to find some way of having H record the decision either by signing something, or speaking on camera, just so that he can reassure himself in future that he was involved in whatever you decide together.

Whatever you do, with H's memory shot there will be some painful and recriminatory times. But can you really endure another downswing in H's health all by yourself?

citygirl said...

I'd have crazy long conversations like this with my mom when she was with it and yep, the next day, she wouldn't remember a word of it.