Ofoeti Posted September 4, 2020 Report Share Posted September 4, 2020 Eight months have passed since my husband died, of septic encephalopathy. We were married for 53 years. His body had been failing for 3 years, and together we spent many hours and nights in emergency wards and hospital rooms. He was 75, paraplegic from polio when he was 6. In his last 3 years he had developed loss of function in multiple systems: heart blockages, myasthenia gravis, diabetes, lymphedema, osteomyelitis. He survived these impacts because he had such strong care giving from myself and our two adult children. He was an artist--metalsmith, jeweler, craftsman, sculptor, painter. I suppose that many (not all) creative people can concentrate on their art by being self-absorbed. By being manipulative, selfish, "using" other people, flirting and charming admirers, never feeling the need to apologize or admit errors. I married him because I believed we were alike; I painted, wrote poetry and essays, loved all the arts. As our relationship developed, I became not only his caregiver and financial support, but a dedicated enabler of his narcissism. In the turmoil and sorrow of his final suffering (trauma from his confused speeding in a power wheelchair over a curb, being propelled out of his chair, multiple injuries) I persisted on a path of self-awareness, trying to forgive him and myself for what we did to each other. At 77 and physically deteriorating, I knew I could not possibly give him what he wanted: to come home and be nursed by us. My adult children had lives and families and work to attend to. He was massively overweight; I could not put him on bedpans or move him onto wheelchairs. He told people I did not love him; he did not want to die in a nursing home. I mentioned all this in some previous topics. Since then, I have allowed myself to release some emotions. All those years of denying how I felt. Immersing myself in my children, my job, our financial needs. In the needs of my aging parents. It is scary to feel. It's scary to realize how stupid I was. It's scary to be angry, and sad. I think I have finally reached a point where I can start to forgive him. He survived great physical difficulties by manipulating. I can understand that. And I am beginning to understand how my early development in an emotionally distraught family led me to think I had to take control of circumstances around me to stop the chaos. Now I am alone. And I have to find myself. Make my own decisions. Make a life. Finally to see aloneness and age as positive factors. Able to create my own art. Able to let go my guilt about my middle-aged children's problems because I did my best as a parent and they are their own people. Able to write poetry. To put paint on a canvas, which I haven't done since 1970. I thought I would travel, but the virus stopped that. I never thought how much energy this would require. Sometimes I feel everything at once--rage, extreme sadness, ashamed. And I need to walk away, take a long nap, or immerse myself in an audio book, just to shut out the noise in my heart. It makes me very very tired. 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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