I have no idea who Maltilda. All I can remember is that in some fairy tail the kids used to watch she was a witch. For my purpose that is all that counts. Not one of them good witches either. Remember Snow White? Ya that witch! My reason for bringing her up is because I am making a comparison to myself. It does not happen often (thank god) but sometimes I put on my hat, grab my broom and my hubby becomes my victim. No I have not gone so far as to poison him…yet! There are many things you could say about him but at the forefront has to be the fact that he has stayed all these years. Read my book (should be out in Jan) and you will be astounded that he did!
For the majority of our marriage he had to look after me. What we did not realize at the time was that my mental was having a drastic effect on my physical. Even during my good times I was not able to care for myself. Never did he lash out at me. Never did he blame me in the heat of anger. It was not that he kept his mouth shut…he honestly never blamed me. We did not know what was happening to me but he admired me that I kept pushing even when I had everything against me. He has always been my greatest fan.
Then things changed. I became strong and it was necessary for me to car for him. I was angry. I always had to lean on him. I couldn’t anymore. I had to hold myself up. I was not accustom to that. I should explain that he is 14 years my senior. I felt sorry for myself that I had planned for us to be a team at this point in my life…to finally enjoy me at my best. We still are a team but not in the way I imagined. It was playing a tole on our marriage. All I could see was how I felt. Jipped! This is what I got for coming this far.
It was thankfully short lived. It was sitting on the couch watching television when I was hit like someone had thrown a baseball at my head. All those years caring for me. He gave up his life to care for me and here I was feeling sorry for myself and the care I have to give is nowhere near to being as demanding as what he had to do for me. I drained him physically and mentally. He causes me frustration. I have to take care of things, make the decisions, run the family. Really not going to cause me a lot of damage.
I cannot help feeling disappointed at the way things have turned out. But to be resentful of the way things are now really tops the scale on unfair. What have I had to give up? Nothing! My life continues to flourish. At that very moment I knew I would be by his side forever no matter what. He would without question for me. I owe him the same. Will things get worse? Probably. But there will never be enough of a reason for me to stand anywhere but next to him. After all he gave me I cannot turn my back on him now just because things are more difficult than expected.
I think when mental illness is involved it makes our version of love a little jagged. If I was to guess I would say it has something to do with loving ourselves. When you dislike or hate who you are…it is not possible to give love in the true sense of the word. Dependence gets confused with love. How can you accept love if you have no idea what loving you is like? I know I spent so many years with self-loathing I just would not have recognized love if it bit me on the nose. Love is doing what he did for me. Love is what I am doing for him now. Never giving up.
I know it was hell living with me. I know it sure as hell is not easy now! He still does. He has supported me every step of the way writing my book. He may not always understand what I am doing but that does not matter. He supports me anyways. He has not even read the book yet and he thinks it is literary genius! How can you not move forward when you know someone believes in you that much? Between him and my youngest son I have my own little fan club!
Learning how to receive is difficult. We might not feel we are worthy. Learning to give is even more difficult. When you are a constant prisoner in your own mind it is near impossible to see anything outside of that. Love can only feel good. Sometimes it is impossible to have anything that makes us feel good. My heart cannot swell when it has gone dark or is broken. I think it is only through the Grace of God that I always had a consuming feeling for hubby. Only once in 23 years did we run into dangerous territory. I knew I would die for him.
There is not much more I can ask for. Who could I ever trade him for ( unless you are talking about Sam Elliot…that could be a problem)? You cannot hang on to the past. I have been trying to drill that into my head for years. But you can never forget those that have stood by you. If I was to look back and be honest… I would not be here if not for him. It scares me to think where I might have ended up. I always told him if the tables were ever turned I would do the same for him.
Now it is my turn. He is not a burden. Unless he had no control over it he would never want himself to be. No matter what happens I will not see him as a burden. This is not me playing the martyr. This is called love…unconditional love. I forgot it for awhile. Sometimes we have to be able to look outside of ourselves…ya it can be difficult. We receive in honesty what we get in honesty. I have had to learn to do both. Putting someone else first was something I had to teach myself. But knowing as long as he is alive there will never be an empty place at my side makes it all worthwhile!