Need vs Want

August 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm (Living With Chronic Illness, Mental Health) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s been a week since I made the decision that my marriage was functionally over. There’s been a whirlwind of questions since then; from him, my friends, and most of all from me. He is trying to convince me that he wants to fix things, that he is really committed to this relationship. I’ve also been looking into temporary options; it’s been hard sharing living space with him, as it seems any time we sit down to talk it turns into emotionally wrenching, snot nosed emotional venting. I can’t keep that up on a daily basis and maintain my sanity.

One of the big questions is about where I am going to live, both in the short and long term. I told him I would stay here for 30 days, but that’s quickly turning longer. I’m scheduled for surgery on Sept 19 and I have nowhere else to coalesce. I also don’t want to jump to any long-distance options because that means rebooting all my health care – finding new doctors, starting over, getting new scripts. This is a bad time for that, what with the neurologist actually making progress. So staying here is unfortunately probably my best option.

What makes it hardest for me is that I feel that one of the reasons he felt he could do what he did is because in his head, I can’t leave. My partners are very concerned about me living alone, even if the option of a PCA were to manifest. There would still be no one there to help me should I need to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, or if I need help getting around my house, or if I fall. But that concern gives him an undeniable advantage.

Do I need him? Has my health progressed to a point where being single would be detrimental to my health? There’s definitely a part of me that feels if I really am facing the downslope of my life, the better choice might be to swallow his indiscretion in exchange for companionship as I walk this road. But that’s a want, not a need. What are my needs, in term of day-to-day living?

As of now, I spend most days alone. He goes to work, and I hang around working on the computer or watching streaming video. I make phone calls and write. I rarely go out and do things, as most of my friends also have day jobs. I go to doctor’s appointments, and it’s the exception rather than the rule that he takes time off to go with me. (He sometimes does so I can have a ride, and once in a while if the appointment carries weight, he’ll go.)

But I admit that I also put some stuff off until he comes home, so I can have his assistance. I usually need help to change the sheets on my bed, to retrieve items from upstairs, and go to the store. I like having one person who has walked the whole experience with me, that I can discuss new developments with, so together we can process and brainstorm and make decisions. Sometimes, he makes sure I eat (between the nausea and the pain, sometimes I won’t eat without coaxing). He massages my legs when they are painful.

Once everything was out in the open, I told myself that I had to prove to him that I didn’t need him just because I am disabled. I had someone else go out and get enough food that I could feed myself with the equipment I have in my room. I had them bring down clothes from upstairs and do a load of laundry. I made sure my meds were up to date. I got rides to all of my upcoming medical appointments. I wanted a semblance of independance, a feeling as though when this ends, I will be okay.

It’s been interesting. He comes home from work and we share an awkward conversation because he’s used to me asking him to do stuff, to bring home dinner, to talk about my doctor’s appointments, but instead I tell him I’m okay and leave it at that. He keeps reminding me that if there is anything he can do for me, he’s willing. When I finally asked him to run me a small favor, he took it very seriously – in a fucked up way, it felt like giving an addict a hit.

I know he has serious White Knight syndrome: he’s very attracted to people who have an obvious need in their lives. Almost all the people he’s dated (including *that* one) have been people who suffer from challenges he’s been able to help with in some way. Whether they have serious health issues, or are in neglectful relationships, or just need a confidante to talk about their lives with, it makes him feel valued and cherished to be that person for them. I see it as clear as day.

What I’m afraid of is that is all that’s left for us. That the reason he chose to deceive, rather than leave, me, is because of some odd sense of obligation. No one wants to be someone else’s obligation, least of all me. I keep telling him it’s about choice: I want him to choose to be here because it’s the best option in his mind. I want him to desire me, to be the first person he wants to share his thoughts and dreams with. I want him to want me for all the unique things that make me awesome; I do not want him to want things to work out because I’m disabled and need someone to take care of me.

I want a husband, not a PCA.

For now, I’m moving forward. I had a sleep study last night in hopes that a better CPAP setting (or a BiPAP, for that matter) may help relieve some of the brain-fog I have. Also, good night’s sleep helps my pain tremendously, and in the past few months my sleep quality has decreased significantly. And my neurologist is also a sleep specialist, and this was one of those things he insisted I do before we move forward. I have several appointments next week, including meeting with the GP about getting new STI tests. (Not something I’m particularly happy about, but in light of what’s happened, and it’s about time anyway…) I continue to think deeply about want vs. need, and what I need moving forward; both in terms of taking care of myself physically due to the challenges I have, as well as emotionally and romantically.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth said,

    Because you are awesome, I have given you an Inspiring Blogger Award:

    http://twilightandfire.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/inspiring-blogger-award/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: