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.