In the beginning of my special brand of funk, I would fervently explain and defend myself, while attempting to justify why I did or didn’t do certain things. I think some of this may be due in part to me trying to quiet those internal voices that were asking the same questions and making the same judgments.
The thing about chronic illness that not many seem to understand is that I won’t miraculously get better (I may not be as sick as I currently am at some point, but I’ll never be 100%), and when they see me still sick a year later, they start looking for someone to blame. This usually falls on me (I suppose technically it is my fault – I sometimes forget I’m not just a brain floating through the air), and to a lesser extent, my doctors. I reenter the defensive position once again. After a while, I wondered why in the hell I’m wasting my time and energy doing that when I could say one word and be done with it. I do what I do, and fuck what other people think. I do appreciate constructive suggestions, but telling me what I should have done 10 years ago really doesn’t help me right now. I live in the present and I highly recommend it.
This evening, we were all sitting in the living room and manchild was talking about bikes with his Dad. Harpy asked if he has been riding any, and yes, before his heart tried to explode, he was doing a 12 mile loop a couple of times per week. Then she asked me if I was riding with him. My answer a couple of years ago may have been “No, because….”, but this time I just said no, she asked why, and I said I’m a klutz then left it at that. She scoffed and rolled her eyes at me, said something about laziness, then Manchild came to the rescue “her balance isn’t what it used to be.” He explained how joint position sense greatly impacts our ability to stay perpendicular to the ground, and that I’ve lost it all the way up to my hips due to the neuropathy. I’ve actually fallen off of the shower bench before if I close my eyes for too long while washing my hair. I dump right out onto the bathroom floor. It’s why my bathroom floor is so clean. Even with my eyes open, staying stable while sitting without a chair back and armrests is difficult. “She’s not looking for another reason to break something.” That’s right! The more cautious I am, the less likely I am to cause undue stress to your kid!
It was nice of him to come to my rescue, but he didn’t have to. I gave up on trying to get the woman to understand my “shit”, as she calls it, and it’s less stressful to let it go in one ear and then slide out of the other. On a long enough timeline, these tiny assaults do build up, but we’re not there yet. After handling having her accuse me of causing manchild’s aneurysm, this accusation of laziness/ineptitude was nothing. It seems the stress that I DO cause him with my illnesses and the fact that I didn’t “make him go to a doctor…” are the reasons he’s due for open heart surgery in two weeks. That’s funny. I’m pretty sure I called this one. At least the woman is predictable? I can’t make him do much of anything. I’m not the boss of him, just like if I decide to say fuck all doctors, he’s not going to “force” me into anything. He does what I do – makes suggestions. When the needs outweigh the wants, I think we’re both capable of doing what we need to do. Almost dying after a run is what it took for him to have his “OH SHIT” moment.
I got a truckload of crap about not calling them when he was admitted. I knew this would happen as well. I specifically asked him if he wanted me to call his parents, but he wanted to wait until he had more info…..because the bitch freaks out. He didn’t want to deal with the stress of his parents. He wanted rest. Quiet rest.
The best part was how pissed off Harpy was when I told her that my parents are planning to leave for Vermont the day after manchild has surgery. Now, those are two people I have to defend. They have offered to cancel and said they can be here in a day – just say when. They’ll be helping my sister move into her new condo, but she has plenty of people who can help if my parents can’t make it. They love MC like he’s part of the family. My Dad is ex-military himself, so he feels comfortable talking with him about things he won’t tell anyone else. In fact, I think my husband has a better relationship with my Dad than I do.
Knowing his parents would be here, there’s no reason for mine to cancel their trip. Especially since one set of parents is more than enough. I asked him if I should release the hounds, and he replied, “How about you attach your TENS electrodes to my nuts and crank it up to max – that’ll be just as much fun as having ALL of the parents here.” Uh huh. Agreed. That’s a lot of crazy in one tiny house.