Why do we keep lying to ourselves? I know I do it all the time, in fact, there is hardly an hour that passes without somewhere in my brain that a lie appears and to make it worse, I don’t think they are lies. Some even go further, I tell them not just to myself, but to Adam. There not huge, simple little things like, “I don’t need help, I can do that alone”. That’s probably the one I tell the most, “I can do that”. Actually, I just told that one about half an hour ago. Adam asked if I needed help to make my lunch, as if I did, he would go out later to the Bank instead of just then. I told my lie and ushered him out of the house. Why did I do that?
The answer if very simple and I’m sure that you’ve already worked it out, I don’t want to be the person who needs help. I know I am that person, but I don’t want to be. Of course, I needed help with my lunch. I was making seafood in my favourite homemade sauce, one teaspoon of ginger paste, one of garlic paste, two of honey, a good squeeze lemon juice, loads of shredded pickled ginger, and some butter. Put it in a bowl with the precooked muscles, prawns and squid rings, and microwave for 1min 40secs, season and eat. It’s simple, delicious and deadly. The deadly bit is that it produces a wonderfully flavoured broth, a broth that without great care slops out of the bowl and all over me. I’m not sure what is worse, the pain that boiling hot broth causes to my skin or the waste of something so delicious. So yes, I needed help but I wasn’t saying so, I was once again being me. If anyone was wondering why I asked for outside helpers to come in and cook my lunch for me, now you know. An outsider means I can’t say, I can do it, as they are there to do it for me.
I don’t like lies, and I really didn’t think of them as such. They are excuses, excuses for me to keep pretending to myself that I can do everything. You know something, it is far, far, harder for me to accept that I can’t do everything, than it was to accept that I am dying, how screwed up is that. I thought all of this was dealt with when I accepted having someone here to shower me, yet here I am, still struggling with my independence being taken from me, even if it is with my permission. I was asked the other day by someone who has been reading my blog for over a year on and off, if I could help them, with the same struggle. I confidently gave them a list of few posts from the last couple of months, as I thought at that second, that I had this one licked. Clearly, I was wrong and I apologise for that. I thought that I had it licked but suddenly, it has worked its way back up to the surface. When I caught myself doing it, I also realised that as I said at the start of this post, I’ve been lying to myself about it all along.
There really is something about out personal independence that is so deeply ingrained that any threat to it at all, is answered with an instant defence. I have discovered over and over that the same thing is required, I have to actually say out loud, that I am not able to do something. Not out loud to myself, but to Adam. It wasn’t enough that he was in the room when Laurie ask me if I wanted help and I said yes, I hadn’t said it to him and somehow, that has become what is important. When he came home, half way through my writing this, I told him without exception, if I am making myself a meal that is hot, he is to get in between me and the food and take over. Yes, I will be having to teach him how to cook most things, but he is to not let me physically put anything in, or take anything out, of either the oven or the microwave. I had to do just the same with my meds, my mail and everything else that I have handed over into his care, and it has worked. I now don’t bat an eyelid when he does any of the things I no longer do. I’m not even tempted any longer to open a letter with my name on it, it just goes in the pile for him to sort out when he gets home.
For me, that is the thing I now see I have to do, I have to make it know verbally, as sorry, writing it here, isn’t enough. Once said, it has become a contract, something that has to be stuck to on both sides and from there on, I start to accept it and to live with and to it. I know that it might not work for all, but as there is one thing I don’t like, telling lies, it is the perfect method. It doesn’t matter what care we are talking about, you have to be ready, to be able to say those words, and ready to live by the consequences. That’s what care is, it’s a contract between you and the person supplying it. Yes, if your not happy with how they do it, you can break the contract and find another way to solve the problem, as you are always in control. Verbalising it, takes it out of your head and into reality, and that’s the first step to accepting whatever the change is. Acceptance isn’t just one step, it’s many, many steps and each one takes adjustment. Step one is made, no more cooking for me when there is someone else who can do it for me. Now, I just have to accept it fully, I know from having the carers here to shower me, it will take me a few weeks to be comfortable, but nothing starts, without taking that first step.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 06/09/2014 – Joining the party
I didn’t realise it until a while after I wrote it, that I was opening a new chapter in my MS. I mentions that I was having gentle spasms, I can feel muscles getting tight but without reaching those solid painful climaxes I am all to families with. The first one I noticed what my stomach, at first I thought it was some kind of reaction to my eating or drinking something, which is why I went……
Thanking of you often in your journey.
And also thanking you for teaching me a new sauce. I was never sure how to mix the things together to make it come out nice…So, thank you!
I hope you like it as much as I do 😀
You’re not lying to yourself. You are openly expressing your heartfelt hopes and dreams for and about yourself. Thats perfectly normal. Have you considered that you are ahead of Dr. Stephen Hawkins?
No, not in any way, but you clearly have a reason for saying that, so please enlighten me 🙂
Reblogged this on Musings On My Life and commented:
When my Dad was no longer able to do things for himself, like cooking and baking, I knew it must have wounded him deeply—he loved to cook, although as his body wore down he did less and less of it, and so “mother” took over the task and wouldn’t let anyone else in the kitchen except to come get food or drink. Her food was typically overcooked and dry in the beginning, and then overcooked and greasy. There was rarely an in-between. But I remember helping Dad bake babka, that traditional Polish sweet bread, and oh how I wish I had his recipe!
The point of my rambling is this: it’s hard realizing you can no longer do the things you love doing, and harder still to accept it.
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You would think that letting a total stranger shower you, would be far harder, but oddly, it’s not. I guess like your day, I love to cook and I’m fussy about what I eat. So yes, your totally right. Any one can shower, but not anyone can cook.
Thank you again for reblogging my post (((Hugs)))
I know what you mean by not wanting others to literally take over your life. It would be hard, so hard to finally admit that you need someone to bathe and help you in the bathroom. And no, I’m not at all worried about dyin…..,I just pray I die before I have to turn my life over to others for my personal care. Now if someone wants to come and cook and clean do laundry,,,I would not at all be offended in the least !!! 😂😂
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Wow, this post really resonated with me. When I developed the weird nerve pain in my face two years ago, I had no idea how quickly and completely I could go from a functioning adult to totally dependent. It really messes with your sense of identity and sense of place. Acceptance of it is just not easy. I particularly hated having help to get to the bathroom. It’s taken time to get there but now I actually trust that my wife wants to help me and doesn’t mind when I need to leave things to her because I’m suddenly nauseous or can’t walk, etc. Thank you for posting. I needed to see that today.
Thank you for reading and I’m glad I was able to make you feel a bit better, about something that is so hard. (((Hugs)))
Hello Pam,you sound bright today.I hope you are.I wonder if there is some mysterious route for people such as we.Ive had the same thing to get used to.I owned a catering business once and was devastated to be told to stay out of the kitchen that I was dangerous !Most people will say (that cook)that they like their own food nothing and noone can do it better.It ruined eating out for me.Mentally pricing it up and knowing I could and did do it better.Mike is good but I don’t always like his food and because of all the other things he does I can’t and won’t hurt him by saying it’s not as good as mine.So the little white ones are sometimes a necessity,it saves hurting those who do so much for us.You could do the prep on a good day and just let Adam put it in and out of the oven.Sadly it’s not an option for me but you could try it?Would be interested to know if you try it.As always sending love N
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You hit the nail on the going out bit. I used to teach vegetarian cookery, although I did at the time actually still eat meat. Every meal I ate out I was always went through the same thing as you. Because I will be teaching Adam to cook as we go, I will be doing some of the prep until he is comfortable. We haven’t started yet, as I’ve stuck to what was in the freezer so far, he can’t go far wrong with that. 🙂
The first reptilian instinct in each of us is “competitiveness”. It’s what gets babies up and walking, talking, and running to keep up and beat others.
You’re not alone in lying to yourself, and being able to acknowledge the pattern of self-deception is half the battle. Hang in there – you’re trying.
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