Protected: The Tale

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in daily living

Communication breakdown


Again. We have gone round and round all morning. I have given him every minute since 8 o’clock so he could know I am listening to him. He has kept on and kept on about hating Rocky Mount and how I censor him. I let him talk and kept silent. He apologized for fighting with me and said how he should just realize I don’t talk easily in the mornings. I thought we’d found some peace and I wrote G a list of things to do for me. Steve wanted me to have him go outside and stack the wood pile right now. I said later is fine because it’s raining. He said “I always did those things regardless of the weather.” I said I know it, but now, we are protecting ourselves from getting sick. I mentioned calling the city about the tarp that breeds mosquitoes lying in the yard of the house next door. He came back with putting a chain link fence around the front yard. I said I’d like the falling down fence on the other side of us knocked off the posts and laid against the house. he went off about stupid people and RM not caring about how people keep their property. I felt myself cringe physically, and asked him if he could try not to go off onto other examples and stick to the conversation. He jumped on me about cutting him off and not letting him be himself. He headed back into his early morning tirade and I said NO. I’m not listening and he said I guess I just won’t talk then. I said Fine. Don’t talk and as he continued with his flood of how I won’t let him express himself, I raised my voice said THAT’S RIGHT and put my earbuds in. He tried to talk louder and I turned up the music. I hate to hurt him, but I can’t stand another moment of this today.

Now he’s in the bedroom crying again. Shit. Shit. Shit. There is no winning in this situation. It sucks for both of us.

Posted in daily living, survival | Leave a comment

again we hit a wall.

Last night hubby threw a fit like I’ve never seen. He was screaming kill me! Over and over. It was so horrible. I was reading my bible for strength thru it and came across Behold I have refined thee but not with Silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10 I kept holding my boundaries (my daughter said boundaries are for ME, not applied to others, which helps me a lot). He threw his cane at me for ignoring him. His fists were all balled up and he was so swollen in the face from screaming. As he came towards me, I grabbed up his cane and told him I would stop him from hitting me. He started to cry more and said give me my cane. I told him no – I wasn’t going to fight with him like this. So he started the usual verbal assault on my kids. I told him he is not going to do that either and if he does, I’m not listening. He said how I ignore him. I never touch him and I never hug him. He sat on the couch and sobbed. He promised he wasn’t going to hit me and I gave his cane back.
He told me he went into the kitchen with the intent of getting a knife to cut his wrists and couldn’t even find a knife. He said he never thought about hurting me – only himself.
You know, I am not looking for people to feel sympathy for me. I am trying to be honest and Christian or not, strokes are ugly. We would have to be Jesus Himself to handle this stuff without a curse word or falling into our own personal pit of despair.
This man helped me know I wasn’t broken 24 yrs ago. The first answer out of his mouth to me was always YES no matter what pain it caused him later on. He paid every child support payment even though his ex refused to let him see his kids. He was kind. He helped with housework and worked hours and hours of overtime – never calling in sick even when he could barely move. He remembers his dreams in vivid details. He has the most beautiful, expressive hands. THIS is not HIM.
I’m going to protect myself. I won’t hesitate to call the police if necessary. I turn on the video on my phone and let it record when these things happen. I try hard not to goad him with my words. I make myself remember that I love him.
If he wants to leave me, he can. If he wants to call his brother or his friends in Atlanta, he can. I guess if he wants to kill himself, he can.
He had calmed down enough to ask me for a kiss when I went to bed and I kissed him, I didn’t want to. I am tired of all of this, but I am not going to close a door that is still open in this awful situation.
Posted in daily living, survival | Leave a comment


Welp, he’s back on a foley catheter. Prostate is swollen bigger and he can’t pee. I feel so bad for him but he refused to have it treated when we had money to cover it. Now I have to refile for his medicaid.

Posted in daily living | Leave a comment

FB memory from a yr ago – still the same.

Strokes are so cruel. They take love and twist it. They take self, and diminish it. Stroke leaves us with the semblance of desired reality without the substance of our relationships. It’s a cruelty that can be invisible unless you live with it. it’s doubly cruel when the person knows they aren’t right inside and yet can’t fix it. All the memories and facts and knowledge are there but it’s inactive except during tv shows or brief encounters with strangers. With me, he’s just sad and wants to be somewhere else. We didn’t get to sell the GA house and take the money and fix this one, flip it, and move to the mountains. We got interrupted and stuck in Rocky Mount. I can make a home anyplace, out of anything. Steve doesn’t have that skill. All he sees is “it’s not the mountains’. I can’t move us without him and he’s not able either and he can’t stand it. This is not something that can go away or heal up and disappear. I’m sorry I make people sad or uncomfortable, I really am – I’ve even been told by a lifetime friend to only post the good stuff. She told me I was being vindictive by posting because I want others to suffer too. I’ve blocked her from seeing my posts to protect her. I’m sorry I’m different too. I wish this was like a broken bone where it would heal and be done and over. I wish SO MUCH.

Steve wants to be better. He wants to want to go on living. His mind that can’t work his arm and hand and leg and half his mouth says “What’s the point?” I have people I can talk to via an online support group. I have you guys. Steve doesn’t. There’s not a physical group close enough to go to, and he can’t manage one on his phone. HE HAS A PHONE. His family doesn’t call. His friends don’t call. Ken does, but Steve thinks it’s only about playing trivia. I can’t afford to drive us to Atlanta so Steve can play trivia and Steve thinks that’s the only reason you call. Please just call and chat with him. Somebody call and tell him how Shelby is doing. Sheila, Janah, he loves you guys. he’s outside the loop. He cried when your mama died. He cries when his friends and family hurt and there is nothing he can do. He can’t even leave a note on Facebook.He doesn’t think anyone loves him or misses him or needs him. Do you all get me and understand what I am saying? This stroke has fully isolated him. Do you really think a pill will fix how he looks at these things? Do you see why he wants to die? He walked the hall last night over and over crying to God “Please take me.”

Forgive my rant. this morning. I’m not trying to bring anyone down OR rip Steve a new one. That was not my intent. I want him to CENTER himself and find his emotional BALANCE. I want him to buck up and be STRONG like I have to be. I want him to see that I love him. I want him back. These meds are not good for anyone. I want him to to choose to be better so there is less strain on me. It just gets to me sometimes. He’s healthy. HE’S HEALTHY. He was supposed to take care of me – what a joke… another cruel residual of his stroke. It’s awful to know if he had someplace else to be he’d have the impetus to get better so he could leave. Not because he doesn’t love me. He just doesn’t want to be here. That’s what he has fixated on. I told him not to say it ever again. I don’t care. Unless he gets better, this is it. He should be thankful we have a house we can’t loose. I’m sorry his stuff is gone. I just went through the same heartache when kayla gave my things away. I cried off and on for a good long time. Then I went on and started replacing what is gone. I understand. He said no you don’t you can’t. You haven’t had a stroke. I said keep it up, you are making me sick too. He cried and I cried. He got up and dressed and we took the dogs out with us. He stayed in the car with them.

And tomorrow, G turns 21.

What a wonderful way to live. Right?

Thank you God…for not taking him. I swear I’ll try to find my joy and hold it close. The little things hold my sanity. The squirrels chasing whatever it is they chase, make me laugh. The dogs give me smiles. My knitting settles me. Thanking God holds me together. When I reach for my husband that hollow after stroke LOOK answers me, I turn my face away and cry and carry on.

And I guess that’s it… I told him to walk the circle and shake a leg. I laughed, he didn’t. He just got up and struggled on.

Posted in daily living | Leave a comment

Still struggling

Life moves on and shifts and rolls and eases and squeezes. So tired some days. Steve has his intellect in tact but his emotions have a disconnect. When he tries to engage them, it (he) becomes upset and cries out. He loses his words and makes these god awful noises. He bangs his cane and walks like a stomp and paces and it’s so disconcerting.

On Tuesday I was seized by an intense need for silence. My mind screamed I can not listen to more of this! Not listen to stories point by point that I lived and also have heard a hundred times. Not listen to what everyone we know is doing wrong or that is bad for them. I intensely needed silence. For 2 hours Steve focused on the houses next door and each item that was wrong with them. It shifted to Charlie (a brother that’s been dead since 2003) and then the yard at the house in Georgia (which we sold last May). I wanted to go bang my head on the wall to drown the words out.

I tried redirecting and it didn’t work. I tried asking directly and there was still another example or 4 or 8. OMG. I swear I tried to just nicely ask and he came back with who else do I have to talk to? (guilt and license to continue). I tried saying please. I ‘resorted’ to interrupting. Now he’s mad and not INTERESTED in talking to me EVER. He said “All you want to do is set me off so I lose control…” he’s never going to talk to me again.

I guess he can’t win and neither can I. I have tried to give him all of my attention for days on end and it’s too much for me to maintain. I can do it until he starts reliving the tough parts of my life for me (telling me how I should have handled every single situation, followed by the question “Am I right?” and saying Yes, is giving in and releasing ME and saying nothing pisses him off) and then, I did a knee-jerk correction and that’s all she wrote.

Now he’s definitely not speaking or acknowledging anything I say. Our son was in his room belting out “It’s Raining Men” and it was funny as anything. He wouldn’t respond. So childish. I tried my hardest to say I had to have a little quiet and off we went into the wild blue yonder of Stroke world. SIGH.

I can’t keep a pain journal anymore. Every Journal entry I post is about Steve. Every prayer is about Steve. Every breath is about Steve. I want to fight back and say ENOUGH, but I can’t. I have to put ME back in the box and continue on. I have to be the happy lady and just ignore him and his words or lack of them, and his fits because he can’t handle anything. I’m not allowed to change the subject or pick the conversation or challenge any thought. I want to say “Take your miserable self back to Georgia!!!” And instead I write on my FB wall and my friends disappear and it feels like there is no one left. No one to listen or touch or say a nice word to me. I’ve lost my husband, my love, my self, all in the trappings of his stroke.

He says no if I offer to make him coffee or a sandwich or a plate of food. He doesn’t respond to any question or gesture or kindness or apology. He gets to do this and I have to take it because I am the carer. There are days I really want to say FUCK that but all I really want is my husband back.

Posted in daily living | Leave a comment

Posting writings: Part 2

Our handyman friend is here to fix our fence and deck over the next few days. It’s so hard listening to Steve try to talk and and have conversation. Half sentences and lots of you knows and veer offs from the subjects. The other man is a Steve also and he’s just letting him talk. Bless him. I could easily cry but what good would it do..
My pastor had texted about getting Steve to come with him on a drive and as I read it, my phone called him back. I had the best conversation with him. Totally moved me outside of myself. I’m so sorry for all that happened this morning. In God, I am not limited. We are going to keep moving forward on this journey and whatever lessons lie before us, I pray they come with a side of Mercy and Grace. I’m sorry for spilling over onto this group of lovely ladies and I thank you each so much for being here to lift me up.
I had a small burger patty and some blueberries with sour cream and a pinch of sweetener for lunch. That’s one of my favorite things 🙂 Plus, the doctor noticed I’d lost some weight. YAY! I decided the 55 lbs I put on since Steve’s stroke, has to go.
His blood work came back excellent. His PSA has stayed the same (prostate is enlarged) b/p and cholesterol are great. Diabetes is still controlled with diet. Steve’s fine except he decided to be a whiner and carry on about hating Rocky Mount again. How can he hate it? He never goes outside. He got all ticky and made me drop him off instead of coming with me on errands. Fine. I took my time.
It’s hard to always do everything alone. I love him but it’s not enough for either of us. I sure wish he’d decide to still LIVE. We are both too young to go on like this. I’m not going to stop doing what I can because he won’t join in. Unless he’s tired and strained, his mind is good. He has what I think of as EPISODES of difficulty now, which is so much better than before. Praise god for that improvement. His taking Prozac has help ME more than I can say. I feel guilty for wanting MORE and I feel like he’s released our relationship except for the part of me that feeds him and cleans up.
99% of the time I manage by putting on my smile and thanking God and putting everything out of my mind. I can ‘busy work’ with the best. Still… sometimes I find myself kinda wishing I didn’t remember how we were. The dogs were all on his bed the other morning and I slid over so he could get in my bed, with me. Out of habit, he raised his arm and I moved against him and we laid like that for a couple of minutes then he rolled over saying his shoulder hurt. I got up and cried.
This message sat for several hours during which time I let myself get angry. He was complaining about our home and where it is, loudly, and I let him have it. I told him how I felt about US and ME and his own body not being enough to inspire him to walk and work on himself. I’m paying a lady to come in tomorrow and clean for me. She will add the shine to things I can’t manage; mostly dusting and floors.
Steve has and could, fold clothes for me and with me – He was getting his own coffee and putting his dishes into the sink and picking up his own trash, and he fed the dogs and washed their bowels. Now nothing. He won’t even put his peanut butter on bread. I feel eating out of the jar is gross. I know he’s weaker – he is back on his cane because he said his ankle was going to snap in two. He won’t take a Tylenol. Now he can’t walk well again. He moves only to the bathroom or between chairs – 8ft. I called boloney on his not being able. He doesn’t want to be able. He just wants it to go away and be over. I get that, oh God how I get that. He finished his trivia game online and hung his head for a bit then went off to bed at 5:30. I wish I’d of bit my tongue.
I so seldom get angry. I rarely verbalize it. Today I did and then I felt instantly bad. He didn’t do this on purpose. He didn’t have a stroke because he wanted to. I want to raise my voice to the sky and scream. Why did this happen? We were nice people trying to build our lives and finish raising our kids. We were lovers and friends and confidants – and now WHAT???? I am so tired of being alone. Some days I do it better than others… today wasn’t one of those days.
The people came and brought the saw and the rocking chair. They got here and Steve headed into the bedroom with his BLANKIE – his word. G and I drug this big old thing through the house and into the back room and set it on the rug so He could inspect it. I went in and told him to get up, come see your saw! And he said “NO I’m not interested.” I want to let my words run on because I’m so hurt from this morning, but I won’t and I’ll get over everything…but this morning… really hurt me.
The lady who brought the saw with her husband was really nice. She hugged me tight when I told her I’d take care of her grandma’s chair. These people didn’t want to sell their stuff. Just pushed against the wall like the rest of us.
Sigh… half the day is done. Next Tuesday I’m getting my brakes done, a tune up, and oil change and inspection. I’m taking care of business. I’m OK.
He hates me and wants me dead again. He came at me with his cane and I took it from him. I am a big gal and have Martial Arts training for defense so I’m not afraid, but man, this is tough. He asked me how much we have left from the money from the house sale and I told him. He’s screaming, hitting walls and slamming doors. I can account for every penny spent and he’s screaming idiot at me. I have kept my cool and he’s back in front of the tv. When he came at me, I told him I’d call the police and I will… How can this be part of our lives? We were friends and lovers and parents and now we aren’t. Sigh… where to write and put this??? Only here.
Here’s the shame of things…hubby has to get mad to his core to help himself. He cried and yelled and carried on all night. Then he got up this morning, made his own coffee and carried it while holding his cane (not using it) clear into the living room – a good 20 feet!
He refused to let me help because I am now the same scum as the rest of my family, but the lines have been drawn that I will not allow to be crossed. I’d say we are doing better even though he’s still mad.
I swear…one thing after another. Now he wants to talk about a divorce. I won’t say a word. If he leaves. he can figure it out on his own. Every bit of this is on his damaged mind. I didn’t even answer him. I am having heart palps though and I know I need to go eat something. I try to keep quiet. Guess this is my time to bite my tongue. I don’t need I’m sorries. What I need to know is what kind of real damage he can do to our household besides kick me back to 1,020 dollar a month income and try to take my dogs. Just GROWL.
Steve had the dogs crouching around MY feet from screaming at the ball game along with 2 full days of it again. Poor little Scotty was acting like there was a thunderstorm. Our son was trying to do his school work and couldn’t. I was jumping out of my skin and he didn’t care. He was doubling in half and screaching at the top of his lungs over and over. I kept quiet for a good while then told him if he did it again, I’d unplug the tv. He did; on purpose; the next play; and so did I. I pulled every plug on that side of the room. He stormed off in the bedroom and screamed for 30 more minutes. I finally went back and got our poor arthritic dog to come. Poor baby was stuck – couldn’t leave the bed. Then I closed the door so he could do what he wanted because it was so out of hand. I realized that wouldn’t work because he can’t see in the dark, so I went in, pulled the light cord, then shut the door.
It took another full thirty minutes for him to stop and come out and quietly sit at his computer. I made him soup and a sandwich and gave him his medicine. He said a couple words but the dogs didn’t budge from my side. After that it stayed pretty calm. I have several videos of the screaming.
What is clear is that he is unaccepting of where we are and planned to use that house money for getting away from here in his head. I had no intention of that being our plan. We paid people back, and went about fixing this house and he’s super angry. I’ve said over and over I can’t move us without him being better and he has sat in a chair for months not working and loosing the advances he’d made. So I fixed the house and replaced creature comforts like blankets and sheets and towels and fixed the sagging deck and bought paint. I am not trying to hurt him, I’m trying to build us a life.
So he came into his bed at 6am, crying and banging. Woke me and the dogs up and continued on. I finally said Stop it and he sniffled cried softly and hiccuped and loudly cleared his throat for a while and drifted off. I made sure he was covered up and let 3 of the dogs outside. Now I’m writing and having coffee.
I was supposed to go camping this weekend with the church. I am so worried over leaving them all here without me. Our Son, Geoffrey, has Asperger’s and will stem from this behavior. Our pit will growl at Steve’s screaming and Steve will scream at him more. Before this fit throwing he said he wanted me to go, but how can I? I have to decide today preparation wise. I have food to make for myself and for Steve and G. I have packing to do and instructions to write out. I could just stomp my feet over all this ugliness.
Posted in daily living, survival | Leave a comment