… yeah sure, but now this shit’s gettin real!
God knows I’ve bitched enough about how these two autoimmune diseases have impacted me, me, me, but there’s another player in the game, isn’t there?
Nineteen years ago, when my now husband (who, by the way is 10 years younger than me!) asked me to marry him, I said “No.” Why? Well, primarily because we were so inherently different! …but also because I was sure he would change his mind and want children of his own, one day and that just wasn’t happening.
I set the differences aside and he somehow managed to convince me that he definitely would not want children of his own; and I believed our biggest, potential issue was solved.
Ha! Little did I realise, that the ensuing years would shine a bright light on some other (perhaps not as significant) differences; i.e. our taste in music (Come on… how can you NOT like Bob Dylan?), the importance and impact of the Vietnam war on our social consciences (He was too young to eat his dinner glued to the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite), the significance (or in my opinion the triviality of) the sounds of the Second British Invasion (The Pretenders? Gary Newman? Squeeze? The Buggles? The Alan Parson’s Project?). Sure, these were annoying, but as I said insignificant.
However, even though we have identified a lot of “differences” between us in the past 21 years… it’s been 18 years of *Ahem* wedded bliss, so I guess we might be okay.
…with the exception of a teeny, tiny wedding vow.
During a Florida Civil Service wedding, the Notary say’s something like; “Blah, blah, blah… to be my husband/wife, blah, blah, blah, to have and to hold from this day forward, in sickness and in health, blah, blah, blah.”
I’m sure our wedding vows were pretty standard. The only thing I distinctly remember refusing to say was the bit about my promising to “obey,” because that would have been just an outright lie! (and the ceremony would have to have been stopped, because we both would have been laughing so hard!) …but we did sincerely make all the other vows.
I should stop here and clarify… before you go jumping to conclusions; my husband is totally fine with the vows. He has no problem with the “in sickness and in health” promise.
Even now, even though he is mentally, emotionally and to some extent physically shackled to me and my chronic illnesses from Satan’s anus; he is unruffled, nonchalant and unflappable!
For the past 100 days , he has been nothing, but gracious and kind, patient and understanding, loving and sweet. (Damn him… isn’t that just like him!!!) But that’s his MO. What did I expect? He is after all, Nick… Nick White. (In my head, I hear this in a deep, sexy, alluring, Daniel Craig as James Bond kind of voice).
No, it’s me… I’m the one whose freakin out!
I’m the one who can’t believe 19 years ago, I was worried about babies… (a decision which he never, ever regretted, by the way!) and it was me who questioned his limited musical taste and level of social consciousness! It was also me who never considered that my being 10 years older than him, could be a problem for us!
What was I thinking?
How could I not foresee that down the road, “I” might be our biggest hurdle to overcome? I totally missed that I could and probably would (just because I’m 10 years older than him) get sick and throw the poor, sweet, unsuspecting guy under the bus… leaving him stuck dealing with an old, sick, miserable, decrepit, woman!!!
It was like a train coming straight at me, but I never saw it!
I guess it was because I “felt” like I was the younger one. I arguably looked younger, acted younger, behaved younger… I think I actually believed I was younger!!!!
But alas… just look where we are now. The worst has happened! I have literally (and almost over night) morphed into that sick, miserable, decrepit, weak, frail, old woman!
I cannot express to you how much I despise being dependent on anyone, for anything, i.e. asking for assistance, relying on other people, being vulnerable, needing someone, and accepting help. Sure, nobody likes it, but I truly (with every fiber of my being) HATE IT! It makes me crazy!
And yes, I recognise that this is a problem. I see myself go to great lengths to not accept help, not need anyone, not rely on others… to the point where I do this thing (that my Mom used to call “cutting off my nose to spite my face”) where I doggedly reject help or assistance, making any undertaking or situation much more difficult and sometimes impossible.
Yes, before you even ask; of course I’ve been royally screwed over by a man! A few of them actually.
So when I reached my late 20s early 30s, I swore to myself that I would become totally independent and self-sufficient. I worked hard and made damn sure I could take care of my girls and myself without any outside help or assistance, from anyone. I didn’t need a man for anything. I worked hard and built a tall, thick, strong, impenetrable wall and by God that wall has protected me and my girls ever since!
That was until Nick White, somehow managed to weasel his way into my black heart. Over the past 20+ years he has worked at deconstructing that wall, brick, by antiquated brick. Damn him! He has been committed, steadfast and true… just as his Father told me he would be, so many years ago.
He has been dedicated to me and my girls and despite his rather strong “disdain” for children, he has accepted and given love, kindness and wisdom to my daughters and to our three grandsons!
What’s his reward?
Here’s the kicker… the poor, unlucky bastard finds himself stuck in an intolerable situation, with ME, day in and day out! Not the fun, crazy, exciting, young at heart, spontaneous me. Ohhhhh, no, he’s stuck with the new “ME.” The cynical, cranky, old, tired, sick, negative “bi-yatch” on wheels, ME!
Never… never ever… did I want this to happen! I would rather die first (ex: cutting of nose to spite face!) Seriously, I would go gently into that good night rather than have my husband have to deal with this shit! Call it vanity, call it ego, chalk it up to my immaturity or my deep-rooted insecurities. I don’t care what you call it… it was NEVER supposed to go down like this.
I’m the CAREGIVER. I’m the one with the innate maternal instincts. It’s me who enjoys and is so fucking good at managing other people’s illnesses and in many cases their subsequent death! How did I end up in the bed?
Well… screw this!
Right here, right now, I set this wrong, right. For his sake and for my sanity, I hereby make a public decree; I go on record as saying that, “I set him free!” He is set free from this archaic wedding vow, free from all of them, if he wishes! He is hereby released from this living hell and free to “move about the cabin” of life without me as the ever heavy (and getting heavier every day) albatross around his neck.
Run Nick White… run far and run fast, while you still can! Get as far away from this Hell on earth, as you possibly can. Save yourself! Don’t look back! Don’t be like Lot’s wife… just get out while there is still life left in you!
… but as you run, know I will miss you and please also know…. you got closer than anyone else ever did.