I left Steve with our son and went to church today. I only made his coffee before leaving at 9:00. I got home at 1:30 and asked if he had gotten himself anything to eat. Of course he didn’t. He decided to wait for me to get home. I’m leaving him to go camping with the church in 3 weeks. I’m going to leave food them both, but if he only sticks a spoon in the peanut butter jar, that’s his fault, not mine! He can’t “carry” stuff. He could at the end of last year, but he’s regressed. He talks about when he’s better, but he doesn’t do things for himself that he COULD do. It’s frustrating. He could ask Geoffrey to help him, but he won’t do that either. I try not to do too much, but it seems I need to move back into living my life and if he chooses, he can come along, or I’ll have to leave him at home. He’s so welcome to come along… I can’t stop doing all things because he had a stroke. It’s closing in on 2 years …
Well, today he hates me again. He’s been screaming and accusing me of being cruel. I just am tired of butting heads. I am tired of being in charge always and him being in a dream world. I lost my cool when he raised my hand vac out of my reach and I said give me the ___ vacuum. Oh my – I’ve heard 3 hrs of how I have no right to even go to church and he has to work so hard to get there…blah blah. We have argued since yesterday and I am so exasperated. I do it every time – I start believing he’s ok in his thinking like he says – since he’s been ok for a month. Like a fool I have an expectation. I KNOW better. He’s not ok. None of this is ok.
I told everyone we are having work done on our house and the man doing it has become a real friend to us over the years. I had a little crush on him once upon a time – he’s a handsome man with curly hair, tall, and muscular…classic builder. The body is just a machine and gorgeous. I appreciate him coming so far for us. I’ve struggled the last few days – The contrast between him and Steve is so harsh. Used to be I could say Steve was the only man I ever felt really drawn to. Today, I feel so sad and overwhelmed to be stuck in a place emotionally where no need is ever met. I say it and there is no response. I am not lusting after the handyman even though he is eye candy. I am missing the relationship part of my marriage. It’s got me teary this morning… no intimacy and sexless at this age – at any age, is something I can’t dwell on. I have to push wanting it out of my mind. I could use a little prayer for me if you can spare it.
Steve’s gone back to bed today for the 3rd time. He’s not even trying to do anything for himself. I’ve let the cat out of her bedroom, and he won’t keep her off his food. He won’t put his fork down and push her off his lap. I got onto him about helping with her manners and he got upset and went back to bed. I feel like a witch. I have things to do and besides him and our son and his video game, I want to shake something. Time to turn on some music and shake ME! xx
I got up at 6 to the lovely sound of screaming and carrying on in the bathroom. An hour later, he did it again. I got up, made me coffee. At 8, he made his way into the living room with his blanket. He sat himself down and covered up – and ignored everything I tried to say. Silent treatment in force. I made his coffee, sat it next to him and left for the Lowe’s.
I got my paint! I love the colors. It was so expensive! It’s going to feel so good to have this house painted and in shape. I got home, checked my own oil. I came inside and told Steve I know he’s mad at me, but I’m mad too. He sits in that chair with a blanket constantly and has stopped doing everything but throwing fits. He hasn’t eaten since yesterday. I’m not cooking for him until he asks or the food that’s already made is eaten.
I know it sounds harsh, but I am not going to throw my life away waiting for him to do something he isn’t going to do. I’ve decided to volunteer at a local nursing home if they will have me. And I’m also going to join a pinochle group at the senior center. Something for me, and something to help others.
Yesterday he screamed that he hated me and wanted me dead. He won’t act on that, but he hurt me. This relationship is crumbling because he’s lazy and blames everyone but himself.
The last thing I’m going to do is get my teeth pulled and fixed. Then it will be a fixed income forever I guess. But our home will be good and I’ll be ok, and our son will be ok. I think I’m going to let go and see what happens. I’ve been stuck to his every breath for almost 2 yrs now, and he was gone from July before that. Everything I’ve focused on for 24 yrs, has been HIM. It’s got to change because it’s overwhelmed me. I can’t take things like they are anymore.
My Steve is fixated on an online trivia game and he’s so upset. He’s getting ready to cry and loose his words and he will be so embarrassed for our friend to see him like that. I told him he has control of this right now, stop pushing to that uncontrollable point, and he won’t. I swear I want to pull the plug on his computer – but I also feel consequences are important. How can we decide these things? I get upset instead of acting out of love, you know? I need to let go of the personal part I think and go sit with him and talk about it. Sorting out loud…. and with LOVE.
I’m not sure what’s happening this morning. Our Pastor came over to watch Football and give Steve some company last night. Steve talked at his loudest, highest pitched voice, grandiose, opinionated, and non-stop for 5 hours. It continued after Pastor left and has been going on since 6 this morning. I don’t prefer the silence, but the anger and intensity and the bragging – it’s hard. I just don’t know what to do besides to go forward with my “plan” for me, regardless. I’m not leaving the man, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t know what to do to manage myself during this stage – Everything is PROVE IT – TELL ME, Repeat things 3 times in perfect description – now he’s screaming at me again. I have to agree with him verbally or he pounds me with his words to make me say he’s right. Everything is prefaced with 3 examples and ‘I’m not wrong in thinking this.’
I understand that the belligerence is an aspect of the brain damage, but how do I, as a wife, give him context for how I react? I can’t. How can I explain to him that I am so alone and reacting so badly because I caved and used my ‘assistance device’ to be able to even face him another day? I have a girlfriend facing putting her post stroke, cancer ridden, seizing, dying husband with dementia into a SNF, who also has a boyfriend and is 10 yrs older than me. She keeps telling me how we can’t give up our own needs – and I try to give her support and keep that approach out of my mind. I believe he and I are ONE. That’s why we feel this so intensely because it is happening to US as a unit. WE are damaged and WE are in pain.
He’s practically out of control right this minute, with shaking his fist at the world – he’ll do EVERYTHING for HIMSELF and ___ the rest of the world. I don’t want his silence, I want his healing. Like Linda keeps reminding me, his brain is damaged. How are we gonna make it through this? One day at a time, one moment at a time…