Sunday, August 7, 2016
How do you convince someone they're not a burden?
Yeah yeah yeah, I know. I know everything. I do! About feelings, anyways. If I keep the wall up, I can't experience any true feelings, good or bad. If I keep the wall up, I eat or drink or overindulge in some way that isn't really good for me.
But you know what? I need this wall right now. I cannot, I CANNOT feel this grief, this sadness, this frustration and loneliness.
I wish a part of me was awesome enough to put these feelings in to working out or taking walks or gardening. Something more constructive. At times, I do... I rally and get it together. What choice do you have? Feeling not awesome all the time gets old. Plus I have this thing I have to do which is not letting my sick husband feel any worse by my depression.
The thing is, apparently I have. OMG. I can't stand it. He said to me, in this heartbreaking way, that he hates being a burden. It takes my breath away to imagine how he feels. I just can't.
I dismissed his feelings with "you're not a burden" and left it at that. Which, on my part, was not the best thing to do. One of those feelings lessons I've learned is YOU GET TO FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. Me telling him he's not a burden negates his feelings. I didn't let him talk about it. I shut him down. As if me saying "no you're not" makes him feel instantly better.
Tonight, I talked to him about it. He did admit that sometimes I say things that hurt his feelings. My heart cracks in a million pieces thinking this. Words are so hurtful. Sometimes they fly out of my mouth before I realize what I've said. I do try so hard to stay quiet, to not let him see my grief or frustration. Clearly, I haven't been doing a great job.
We have home health care now and that's different. Ed begrudgingly accepts that I need help. More for my mental state than physical. I think he's a little hurt that I don't want to spend 24/7 with him. I mean, he's stuck in this body 24/7. He doesn't get to go anywhere. He doesn't get any relief from ALS. Why should I??? The home health care aid gets here and I pretty much run out the door. He sits here for 4 hours with a stranger.
Guilt is a terrible thing.
Even writing this isn't helping me sort things out. I think I'll just go hang out with him for a while and hope we both fall asleep early.