Friday, March 4, 2016

ESCAPING: not an option

I don't like myself when I am upset with Gary.  The thought that came to mind this morning was:  "The very man who spent years building me up and ensuring that I was strong and successful is the very man who is now tearing me down."  Some might say that is a selfish way of looking at the situation.

Well, in some ways it is selfish.  After all, he is the one suffering from a horrible disease.  He has lost functionality and enjoyment.  He has lost his career and all that implies.  He can barely write his name now. 

On the other hand, I am the one who wakes with him in the middle of the night to try to steer him to the bathroom to avoid accidents.  I change his clothes in the middle of the night when he doesn't awake in time and has a "slip". I shower and shave him.  Dress him.  Groom him.  Guide him.  Love him.  Discipline him.  Remind him.  All those things take their toll on the caregiver.

Yes, I have help part of the day but the weight of it all rides me all day, every day.  Even though I use work to escape and still enjoy my career immensely, there are times on a break, looking at photos in my office, or on a drive home that I cannot help but think about what ifs or what was.  It is a living grief process. 

I buy my own birthday presents, make all the decisions (have to get input from trusted folks rather than Gary) and live in what feels like a vacuum.  So many times, I just want to escape but I am too responsible. 

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