I think I have drained my body of all its energy, and it’s just gone past 10:00 am. I took on the battle that Adam failed to fix yesterday, the suction pad grab rail in the shower, that has decided, it no longer wishes to suck. Adam tried four times yesterday afternoon to get it to hold before I had my shower. I eventually told him to leave it alone as it clearly required both the tiles and suction cups to be cleaned first. He just mumbled something unrepeatable and I went and hid in the shower. He has always hated the idea that anything should need any more than the simplest single action, to make it work. Having to clear it all, is like some kind of trial that is designed to get the better of him, but he kept on doing the same thing that failed before, just leaning hard and pressing the levers to complete, before walking away. Within three minutes, it not too surprisingly fell back down, again and again, and again. So it was down to me this morning, to bleach the tiles and the suckers, clean that off and spread the finest film of water over both, but then for me came the hard part, finding the strength to make it stick and stay. I admit my first attempt failed after ten minutes, but I repeated it all again and so far, so good, that is other than my arm, stomach and leg muscles, they are ready to give up totally. If it fails again, I guess that it is going to have to be a joint effort.
I often wonder if I have made taking over everything in the house a million times harder for Adam than it should have been. My first marriage taught me how to do everything, as my then husband did nothing in the house and had made perfectly clear, that he saw all of it, as my job, not his and everything had to be perfect, all of the time. Follow that with ten years living on my own, and well what you have was a once very capable and independent woman. When I married Adam, I just carried on as I did before, I did everything, rarely asking for him to help at all. He is perfectly competent in most things, but when something goes wrong, or I try to show him another way that is faster or easier, he gets uppity with me. Putting up a sucker grab rail clearly fell into that bracket.
When you have spent your life doing everything, it is actually incredibly hard to hand it all over to someone else, anyone else. It doesn’t matter if it is the simplest task, or a complex one, sitting watching someone doing it their way, without opening your mouth is hard. It doesn’t matter if you are totally incapable of helping or not, it is still fixed there in your head, how you would do it, or the silent version, how it should be done. That silent version is the hardest one to keep silent. No one wants to be corrected all the time, especially when they think the way they are doing it, is perfectly fine. In the first years of him taking on the housework, I found it frequently impossible. I can remember him getting annoyed with me and telling me that he was perfectly able, most of the time, I wasn’t doubting his ability, just usually his speed. Somehow, even today, 9 years on, he still takes nearly ten times as long as I ever did, to do anything. I just wanted and still want to make his life easier, I’ve never been trying to tell him what to do.
Just as h
I have learned to bite my tongue, to watch him doing things he clearly didn’t want to be doing. In total honesty, it is one of the hardest things about finding yourself disabled. You are forced to watch someone else doing what you feel, is your job and to make it worse, you are also forced to do so in silence. Not only, can you not help them in any way what so ever, but you also know that because they are using the wrong products, ones that won’t do the job so well and so completely, that they will be having to repeat it all, all the sooner. It’s like some kind of curse that you’re forced to live with silently. I know that there are millions of women out there who think they would love it if their husbands took over everything. I also now know, that the majority of those women, would very quickly be either sneakily doing it again when they couldn’t be seen, or simply telling them to stop. Neither of those is an option that is open to me, so I now stay silent.
Being helped, is one thing, being sidetracked is another. That feeling of being useless just grows and grows. It doesn’t matter what it is, the feeling of no longer being of use is one of the hardest to deal with. For me, my routine and chatting with others here and on twitter has helped me tremendously. Thanks to everyone online, I still have that sense of worth and quite honestly, I don’t know what I would do without you all. Without a doubt, the biggest contributor to depression comes from that feeling of no longer having a purpose. It happens to millions every year when they retire, well, we’re no different, we have gone from having a fulfilling life, to nothing. What our partners might perceive as us interfering, is really just us trying to help, trying to still have a use and a purpose, but it is almost impossible to get that across, so most like me, I’m sure, just go quiet and suffer in silence.
Housework is just one example of how our lives are taken away from us. I used it because I am sure it is one that many will be able to relate to, but I know from personal experience that there are many many other things, that become silent sores. The worse our health gets, the more those sores fester, and the harder they become to explain. If you are someone at the start of this cycle in life, I urge you to do as I did and find an alternative purpose to your life. It doesn’t matter what it is, I know not everyone will want to write, but it’s a wonderful outlet and one that doesn’t need you to have too much energy. Just as deciding you are going to read every single book published by a prolific author, or studying a foreign language. Find something, and learn to talk, that one, I’m still working on.
Please read m blog from 2 years ago today – 10/05/2014 – Is it right?
I was watching the news yesterday and as always happens my ears pricked up when I heard a name I recognised, it wasn’t a person but a place, Manorfield, when it was followed by Aberdeen my attentions was fully on what would come next. Manorfield was the area in Aberdeen that I grew up in, my family for many, many years owned the Manor house, Friendville, now, unfortunately, a hotel but when families split these things happen. I listened as to my surprise they were talking about a National level cricket match being played on the Manorfield cricket ground, I watched and saw what was clearly a commercial ground and for the second time in my life I was once more angry at Gorden’s College, a privet boys school in the city. This is a matter of……