Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm a jerk.

At risk of sounding like a selfish, mean, ignorant, cold bitch and alienating all my readers - I am going to go ahead and unload a shitload of thoughts and feelings here that may not leave me in the best of light.  I have no choice - if I do not let it out I may implode or explode and I can think of no other "safe-ish" place to do it.

Now, where to start...

I guess to catch you all up on the situation, I'll tell you that Steve's dad took a turn for the worse.  His body is riddled with cancer. He has it in his brain, liver, lungs, adrenal gland, spine and likely his colon.  The doctor who said he would be back on the golf course by the spring gave everybody false hope and I feel he was very irresponsible in doing that and I would like to personally find him and kick him in the balls.  Steve's dad was home but is back in the hospital now as he can not stand up and he is too weak to even hold a newspaper.  He's been given a catheter and has a bedsore already.  He's got minimal appetite and has lost a load of weight. We were last told that he's got about 6 weeks left. We are all completely fucking devastated. It just sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

My MIL has been outstanding. She really has. She's been so strong and I am amazed and impressed by her. Sad that her and I have never gotten along better than we have since my FIL's diagnosis - but I do feel that good will come from bad and I'm happy with this bit of goodness. I have been calling her regularly to check on her, bringing her meals whenever I go visit (which is once a week), and bringing her little gifts and treats whenever I can.  She seems to really appreciate it and that makes me feel good.

I wrote my FIL a letter.  I wanted him to know how I feel about him and the great job he's done as father to Steve. I wanted him and my MIL to know how I feel and I would never get the chance to say it verbally.  They both loved the letter and said my words were beautiful.

I bring the kids to see my FIL at every chance I get. They bring him (and my MIL) such joy and I want him to have as much joy as possible. I also want the kids to spend as much time with him as possible even if they won't remember it later in life.

Where my issues lie are with my husband. (Here's where I make myself look like an asshole.)  I feel like he's not dealing with his father's illness very well at all. (I know, I know - we all grieve differently but I think it's more than that) He's always been a softy and an emotional person and he is VERY close with his dad so I expected him to be really sad and to have some struggles. I expected tears and emotions.  But I am starting to think that it's getting out of control and that he's perhaps being a little bit... selfish about the whole thing.  Last weekend when we went to visit in the hospital we had a nice visit until we were ready to leave and Steve absolutely fell apart.  I stood off to the side of the room with the kids, waiting for him to hug and kiss his dad but he started sobbing and waved me out of the room.  I had to pack Ruby and Lincoln (who is now over 21lbs, by the way) out of the hospital and load them into the van by myself.  Steve showed up a while later, a complete wreck, sobbing and saying he's never seen his dad so upset. Well, darling... that is because you were so upset in front of him.  The man is dying - can we not give him the gift of at least restraining ourselves from falling apart in front of him? He wants to know that we're going to be ok after he's gone - I feel it's unfair to unload our sorrow onto him. He then had me drive to his moms house so he could bawl on her shoulder.  She was a bit chuffed at him and told him that we have to just deal with this shitty part of life and he needs to keep his chin up. I also felt that that maybe wasn't fair for him to do to his mom - she's dealing with SO MUCH already.  I feel like Steve still wants to be a little boy and for his mom and dad (and brother) to take care of him. He needs to man up a bit. 

His family has started leaving him out of decisions and family meetings and discussions because he can't seem to handle any of it.  But he gets upset to not be involved.  I honestly don't blame them.  Everybody is dealing with their own grief and their own problems and trying to make the best of the time they have left and it's hard for them to have to deal with Steve's sobbing on top of all of that. 

And if you think that sounds cold... just wait. I've got more.

Steve will use any and all opportunity to elicit sympathy from people.  My mom asked him the other day if he's busy at work and he replied that he had to go for a little walk by himself to sort out his thoughts.  Uh, not what she was asking.  He gets all weepy at the drop of the hat.  He'll call me to talk about banking and it somehow gets turned around to him being sad and he'll get all choked up.  I mean, I've been nothing but supportive to him.  He has been seeing a counselor and everyone around him is trying to help him.  And I kinda feel like he's liking it, too much.  He seems to LOVE people giving him sympathy. I sometimes think he uses this situation to get attention. 

...I'm going to hell.

He is mopey around the house.  He cries in front of our kids.  He isn't supportive of me. He hates it if I say anything that isn't 100% sympathetic to him and his needs. He is distant from me. He wants me to care for him and the kids and the house and he gives nothing in return - all in the name of grief.

I work HARD all day every day.  The added stress and requirements with his dad's illness have added to my physical and emotional work load.  I don't complain. I don't.  I feel it is my job and I suck it up and I do what I have to do.  At the end of the day when I'm tired and yes, sometimes depressed and sad over the situation - he rarely notices. He's too consumed with his own self. It's not about ME, I know that.  But I'm lonely and tired and sad and need some sort of comfort and companionship.

Yes, his dad is dying but Steve is still a husband and a father and he has responsibilities to me and to us. 

To add to the misery - he recently cracked a rib while playing soccer.  Good lord, he's on about it every chance he gets.  He cries and complains and fucking whines about it all day and night.  The other night he woke me in the middle of the night to tell me he slipped off his pillow and could I adjust him back onto his pillow because it hurt him too much and he couldn't move.  Really?  And even though he's been to the doctor and he's been told there's nothing they can do for a cracked rib except have him take lots of Advil - he still keeps threatening he's going to take himself to emergency because it hurts so bad.  Oh for fuck sakes, suck it up!  I realize how painful a cracked rib can be but good lord I am so sick and tired of hearing about his fucking painful ribs and watching him mope around wallowing in self sorrow. 

I'm running out of Mrs. Nice Wife.  I'm starting to get short with him and frustrated by the little things - like him breathing too loud, or scraping his teeth on his fork, or getting sucked into fucking Facebook like a bloody zombie while the house falls apart around him.  Sometimes my kids get on my nerves because I've been so frazzled by everything else and have little support. 

Ok, that's enough - kids are fussing and Steve has called saying he's on his way home for his lunch (which I need to make). I've said enough to guarantee myself a spot in hell now anyways.  I had to get it out though.  Thanks for listening/reading.  Try not to judge me too harshly.


Anonymous said...

No judgement here and I have no advice. I am reading though, and sending you my support through wires and the air.

annacyclopedia said...

Oh, sweetie - that sucks!!! All of it. It really sounds like Steve needs some therapy of his own - you and the rest of his family can't be expected to carry all that stuff for him. And I so wish I was nearby to give YOU some support and treats and meals.

I totally get the physical exhaustion thing - mothering is way more physical work than I thought.

I wouldn't worry about a place in hell - sounds like you are balancing out the frustration with plenty of good deeds, and besides - you are more than entitled to your feelings about this. It's your life, too! And just cause you're a mother doesn't give you the magical ability to take care of everyone else without support and understanding and help.

xo hope things improve soon in spite of all you are facing right now

serenity said...

I'm glad he's seeing a therapist, because yes, there sounds like there are some underlying issues that he needs to work through.

But I don't fault you one bit in being annoyed with him. I would be too. Actually, I AM, and I'm just a reader of your blog. I'm sorry, but grief doesn't mean you can abdicate your responsibility for your family.

So okay. I'll be joining you in hell, eh? :)


JJ said...

I dont blame you one bit--so no, you arent a jerk :) You all just have a LOT on your plate.

Hoping that emotions get sorted out...

Thinking of you all

Cece said...

you have every right to be annoyed. Yes - it's a really hard time for him, but for you too. Hopefully he's got a good therapist, because he'll need it! I went through a very similar thing with Aaron when I had my m/c. I had it and a week later he got a headache that lastest 14 days. He was SUCH a baby about it. I was still so sad about the m/c - and I was dealing with him driving himself to the freaking ER with a headache everyday (buddy - if you can drive a car - your headache isn't that bad.)

Big hugs - and if you are going to hell, I'll see you there and we'll have a blast.

Alicia said...

Serenity said it all.

You deserve an effin' medal right now, not a place in hell.

Sully said...

I can totally see how you would feel that way...completely understandable. Hopefully he's able to turn it around and give you the support you need. Hang in there.

JJ Keith said...

I second what everyone else said. This is all very understandable and you're not going to hell for it.

I just have one thing to add: HOLY SHIT! Lincoln weighs 21 pounds?! Way to go big boy. :-)

Anonymous said...

You know one of the things I really love about you?

You speak for all of us


edenland said...

Oh mate. You are NOT going to hell ... sounds like you're already there! Boom-tish.

See, I have the exact opposite .... a man who is so big and tough and strong, nothing upsets him. Ever. Eveeerrrrrrrr. Annoys the God-damn motherfucking hell out of me. We need a balance, between our two blokes.


You sound really strong. Sending you my love XOX

Emily said...

I have to admit that when I read your title I laughed out loud - there are plenty of jerks in the world but you, honey, are not one of them.

Steve sounds a lot like my mum. Everything is really about her, especially if its not (iykwim). I know Steve is getting some therapy but is it worth you talking to a grief counsellor about how to deal with him? I'm sure there are some free services (maybe the hospital can refer you?)

You are handling all of this incredibly well - I have no idea how you're doing it but I think your line about Steve also being a husband and father sums it up. He's not a child anymore & he has his own responsibility to you and the kids to get it together. No one is saying don't grieve but wallowing in your grief is never productive.

Hang in there honey - xoxo

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Your aren't a jerk! We all deal with grief a bit different, but we can't let it take over our lives and that is what he is doing. I'm sorry, girl, I have no advice. Just hang in there because this too will pass.