Monday, July 7, 2014

Living with someone with issues

This is most likely too personal of a post. Oh well.
A blogger I follow writes about her dramatic childhood in a cult, and how she suffers PTSD and other issues, like depression and anxiety. She talks about having bad days or even weeks, withdrawing, needing to sleep or retreat.
She makes it feel all very compelling and horrible. Which it is. This isn't to minimize that at all.
But there is another side of the story- her husband.
He is married to someone that retreats, that needs to curl up in her shell, so to speak. She withdraws, sleeps, does whatever she needs to make it. Her husband is left to deal with everything else. The house. The kids. That is a lot of pressure.

I'm writing this because I am living with a person with issues.
As long as I've known my husband, he has had issues. That's sorta what drew me to him- I liked complicated. I liked wounded. I had a significantly misplaced Florence Nightingale syndrome. When I first met him he had blown out his knee and could barely walk, if that tells ya how big my issues are (and perhaps he feels he is living with a person with issues, but I'll explain the difference later).

Other issues?
father abandoning the family after cheating on his wife
verbal and emotional abuse of his mother by his father during his formative years
strict religious upbringing
death of his mother from cancer which she chose to treat naturally
no communication from any of his father's side during or after her death
father a raging alcoholic
just to name a few.

And he withdraws. He retreats. He sleeps. Excessively. Granted, it has improved in the past 5 years. But that's like saying the cancer has improved. It's still cancer. The sleep drags on from morning into afternoon. It starts and nap time and stretches into dinner. It takes up days of work, family time. And the drinking to deal with issues. The constant "I'm going to quit" and never quitting. The "you could have it so much worse" explanations. How he isn't mean since he isn't calling me a c*nt like his dad called his mom. That he doesn't drink near as much as his dad did. And then I start feeling guilty. Maybe I am a princess. Maybe I do expect too much.
And I deal with it. I take the boys to the park, go to playdates, do what I can. They say "where's papa" and I tell them "sleeping" if I just can't figure out something better to say. I worry incessantly that they will develop his sleeping problems, his drinking problems, his compartmentalizing of emotions, like how my eldest's eyes changed from blue to green when he was 2. The genetics will be too strong and win out.
I worry.
I clean to help with the worry.

I get yelled at for saying anything because dammit he is working on it or dammit he wants to change or dammit he isn't even sleeping that much or he needed to drink because it was a long day or his back hurts.
And I'm alone.
By myself.
While the person I'm living with who has issues is trying to deal with their issues.
I guess I wait around hoping that someday it will be different.

Maybe he does too.

1 comment:

  1. I've never considered the blogger you're talking about from that point of view. Though for some reason I seem to think she's mentioned a nanny or at least a cleaning lady. Maybe not when the kids were babies, though. Or maybe she gets help from friends to drive them places (now that they're older). I know we heavily relied on people to give us rides b/c my mom was always working during prime after-school hours.

    You do not expect too much. Don't believe his b.s.
    I think the difference is with "issues" that you or I might have that we are actually trying to deal with ours, to find new ways to cope, to get help outside of ourselves, through friends, God, pastors, books, music, etc. Meanwhile he seems content in his 'status quo' and doesn't seem to want to find a way out. (I might be wrong).