Sunday, December 14, 2014

I get tired

I have dreams for my blog.  In my dreams, people battling caregiver burnout, bipolar disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, alcohol addictions, abusive relationships, born-agains, and the unreached all come together.  They are inspired and learn.

If nothing else, they walk away saying "At least I don't have it that bad". 

What I don't want: Ron is mean.  Ron is a jerk.  This what Ron did to me.  Ron is verbally abusive.  Ron is a drunk.  Ron is a manipulative narcissist. 

But, I ask myself, what if he is?  

I can't lie.  And I won't.  

Which leads me to sharing the bitter truth even when I'm sure it drives you nuts.  This is my message in a bottle.

I get tired.  Today, I'm exhausted.  I slept well.  I got my God Time.  I "only" went to church and came home.  I had some nice cuddles with the cats. 

Hours of Ron's complaints, tirades, and threats - before, during, and after. "I'll just cancel the trip right now!  How about that?!"   [I'm supposed to beg him to reconsider]

It's exhausting.

I wanted to say "Do I ask to be taken out to dinner?  No.  In fact, the only dine-out meal we've had (this month) involved $1.79 bacon cheeseburgers and a value fry, apiece.  Most guys would kill for a wife like that."

I could have said "Hey, I spent $85 on shoes, for the entire year.  $50 of that I spent on work shoes to help you run your business."  I could have emphasized my frugality in other ways.

Then I thought, why should I have to "defend" myself?  He should know this anyway - I know he does.    When he's feeling better, he thanks me for selecting the mega-flush toilet as my "expensive" birthday/anniversary present. 

And then the old thought: well, I'm a Christian.  I answer to God.  This shouldn't bother me. 

It does.  It bothers me a lot.  It bothers me that I spend nearly every minute "serving" Ron - investing all my highly limited energy, into taking care of his business, taking care of him, making sure he's happy.  I don't mind doing that. 

I do mind it when I ask for a couple hours on Sunday - not even every Sunday, and he screams like I'm shaving him bald. 

Full drama queen mode: I have to wait for half an hour!   Then what I'll call the martyr's droop, so others can see how he's suffering.  He assumes a "victim" posture so other people will come over.  Then he can share how I'm "abusing" him. 

As it was, he just acted like a jerk at church, turning his back on people when they asked how he was doing.  I thought it was awful, but it only reflects on him. 

"Why" he asked me, baffled "Is it such a big deal I'm using a walker?"  People kept complimenting his progress in using the walker, instead of his usual wheelchair. 

"They care about you" I replied sincerely "And they are happy you are getting better."  He started to speak "Even if it's just a little bit." 

He's depressed.  I get it.  Boy do I get it.  So am I!  But I take my medication.  I got medication.  I sought help.  He is in such denial he won't even see it.   I have begged him, begged him, to seek medication.  Other people in close contact with us agree Ron is severely depressed.  They have spoken to him as well. 

He's depressed, so he picks at me.  Plays manipulative head games.  Carries on so when I ask for small things, I don't want to ask for anything.  His behavior is often so repellent I don't want to spend any time with him at all.  Especially when he's drinking. 

On some level, I'm sure Ron knows something is wrong with our marriage.  He talks, at times, about "being a burden" to me.  He is, but not how he thinks. 

I don't care about the laundry.  I don't care about reading the mail or doing the yardwork.  I don't care about doing the heavy lifting at work - the way I see it I get paid to go to the gym.  I don't care about pushing him in the wheelchair.  He has never understood it is far easier than guiding him when he "walks"; but it's a huge deal to him. 

He won't get very far without me pushing the chair, but I'm here for the duration.

Which is why I DON'T get the verbal abuse.  I am here, I am the only one here for you.  I never, ever, say that to you (although he would, to me).  I just do whatever needs doing.  I ask for very little (see aforementioned value meal).  I have stayed when everyone else ran off.  Again, I have never said that.  But we both know. 

I don't care about the caregiving.

So why do you verbally abuse me about my weight?  It's not "I'm worried about diabetes, etc"  It's just ugly cutting down.  If I tell him I have lost weight he will make a comment like "Not enough".  He calls me his beluga.  You know, the whale?  He thinks it is cute and endearing.  I "let" him do it because it is somewhat less offensive than some of his other comments. 

Why carry on with all the drama when I ask for a ride involving God?  He had absolute tantrums the day of the Bible Handout (in front of the driver no less, haranguing the poor man), and today, because they weren't perfect trips.  If you won't do it, say no.  I will accept that, but saying you will go and then torturing me, and the driver - is just abuse.   It's deceitful to say you will go happily, and then to kick me verbally for hours, complaining bitterly the entire time.  Except when he was eating. 

Today he wore an absolutely filthy sweatshirt and pants to church because "You can't make me change".  Fine.  I'm not going to fight.  If you want to look filthy that's on you.

It's funny, because, prior to his accident, Ron was hyperconcious of my behavior in any setting, "correcting" me at home and raving how I'd "embarrassed him".  Ron has always had this issue with wanting the perfect woman, socially and in appearance, so she wouldn't embarrass him, so people wouldn't think less of him.

Now he's just the opposite, and I just think "Well, he's got wits enough to pay our bills, he can make his own choices.  I made a suggestion and I will leave it at that."   I'm not going to beat him down for it. 

His behavior has just gotten worse and worse, lately.  I have moved on from embarrassed to thinking "Go ahead and make yourself look like a jackass.  It just makes me look better that I stay." 

He only behaves at work.  Usually.  He is generally only appreciative at work. 

He was eating some of my bread today and asked me to bake more, which I was planning to do anyway.  I mentioned I had planned to add some dried fruit to the next batch. 

"No" he replied, his mouth full "Just the plain bread". 

Fine.  I'll do it because it honors God but boy do I get tired. 

Besides, I had planned to add a little soy flour to mine.  I'm sure he'd have noticed that. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

anger in Ron is a result as you know of his own fears. He abuses you verbally and does all these behaviors out of anxiety at whatever it is he wants. Booze, time, to feel better? who knows. he is one terrified puppy acting out in mean. But in the end you are the stronger smarter one. you work hard taking care of him. Please have more days out alone if you can get on that bus and go like you used to before you get too burned out. You need it. Some free time to just be Heather. I do not think Ron is a jerk. He just behaves like one when he feels like he is out of control and you are there. Reset limits and get the hell out of the house when you can. Much love and Merry Christmas

A trip to the hematologist

I slept OK but woke up really tired.  I hit the snooze alarm a few times, much to Biscuit's disgust.  But I'm getting ahead of mys...