December 17, 2021

December 17, 2021

Like a journal, these posts are a place for me to be more honest about what was happening than I was on Facebook, or Caring Bridge, at that time. Some people already know some of this, some don’t. Everything expressed here are my opinions, my feelings, my emotions, my truth, and should be taken as such (and so should not be taken personally). This is going to be as open and honest as I can make it, and some of it may be unintentionally hurtful, raw, or hard to read. You’re not required to read, or comment on, any of this. 

Dear Goddamn Diary;

Tim and I had a bit of an argument last night. Well, not really, because he’ll stomp off before he’ll talk about feelings, but he’s been an absolute pill all week and I boiled over about it last night. I mean, if you call rolling your eyes where someone can’t see them, and pull-slamming a door, “boiling over.” You see, my bonus!cousin Michelle is in town, and seeing her, being with her, is like being home. I’d been excited all week about us going out to dinner with her, and Doris and June, at The Yearling. We just saw Sharon and Katie at GLAM, and now get to see Michelle? It’s like a week that’s hugging my heart… except that Tim has done nothing but whine all week.

He says he hasn’t been feeling well, which, having just had my Covid booster the week before and being sick as a dog, I can both relate to and have zero sympathy for at the same time. Dude, I literally fell asleep standing at the front door, trying to unlock it and bring in the groceries, because I was so exhausted, and the best you can come up with is “I don’t know, I just don’t feel well” and you use that as an excuse to sit on the couch and read? You don’t want to take the trash out because you’re just kind of icky? When I still got dinner on the table every night last week when I was sick and exhausted? I mean, I know it’s not a competition, but WHY?! Lord, why are men such giant babies when they don’t feel well? In fact, just, why are men????

Anyway, he bowed out of going to dinner with us at the last minute, and I was just… Look. Dude. If you’re sick, I get it. But you’ve been talking about “general malaise” for a week now, you can’t narrow it down, you can’t tell me any actual symptoms you have, you don’t want to go to a doc-in-a-box, you don’t have a GP you can call because you don’t want regular checkups and shit to be responsible for, the dentist is bad enough. You just want to complain about not feeling well, but not actually do anything about it? OK. But you know what? If you’re not sick, you’re depressed? I get that, too. The pandemic has been rough on everyone. And I know you’re not a people-person, but I also know you have a tendency to check out sometimes, go into your own little world. Don’t get me started on that thirteen months you were unemployed, and how I knew you were fighting depression about it but never wanted to talk about it, or deal with it… because feelings, am I right?

So anyway, I was prepared for him to bow out of going at the last second, and darned if he didn’t do just that, about half an hour before we were supposed to leave. Ok. Fine, dude. Whatever.

When routine bites hard
and ambitions are low
And resentment rides high
but emotions won’t grow
And we’re changing our ways
taking different roads
Then love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart
again

Even though I was feeling pissy, I said goodbye to him before I left. I stood at the door and waited for him to say something. Silence. “Did you hear me? I’m out of here, be back in a couple hours.” Silence. “Dude, fine, if you don’t want to talk to me, don’t. I’m still going out to dinner with my family, I’m not going to stay home and let you be an asshole to me all night.” Silence. As I was shutting the door behind me (forcefully? politely? I’m sure whatever you imagine is correct.) I heard him call out “bye, have a good time!”. Yeah. Whatever, dude. It seems like you’ve been in a bad mood every day for the last two years and I’m just so tired of it. We have some shit that we need to work out and I’m not saying it has to be solved after dinner tonight, but we need to work through this.

I tried not to think about it at dinner. I tried not to think about it on the drive home. When I got home, he was still awake, he asked how dinner was, and then I went to bed. He spent the night on his recliner in the living room.

I don’t want to give Tim any kind of ultimatum, any kind of “we need to get counseling or I’m out of here” kind of thing, because I’ve always thought when someone is making you make a choice, you choose the thing that’s not the person forcing you into a corner. But I also know from experience that just trying to talk to Tim about how I feel, just asking him to hear me, does nothing. He will listen, when I talk to him about why I am the way I am, but he doesn’t hear me. How do I make the conversation we really need to have, a “when you/I feel/because” conversation, one that he will hear?

I don’t need him to change. I don’t even particularly want him to change. But I do want him to hear and understand why I’m at my wit’s end here. I want him to see that if he’s sick, he’s worth taking care of.  He deserves to be healthy, in both body and mind. He’s a good person with a good life, and it would be heartbreaking for him to turn his back on that. I need him to hear that he’s not alone, here; he’s part of a partnership, and if he gets sick, so sick that he’s incapacitated (again, either mentally or physically), that impacts me.

It impacts us.

If he’s playing Russian Roulette with his health, he’s not the only one who is going to have to pay a high price. If he has a heart attack, or a debilitating illness, or whatever, both of us will carry that. He’s not single, is what I’m saying. His choices directly affect me, just as mine would affect him. What if I didn’t take care of my kidney? What if I sunk from Stage Three to Stage Four kidney disease, and needed a transplant? What if I needed a transplant but didn’t take care of myself enough to get one? What if I had to be hospitalized, needed daily dialysis, or died, because I didn’t take care of my kidney? That would directly affect him. When you’re part of a partnership, your health, mental or physical, directly impacts your partner.

Why is the bedroom so cold?
You’ve turned away on your side
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry
Yet there’s still this appeal
that we’ve kept through our lives
But love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart
again

Plus, and it’s not like he’d never been grouchy – I’d known he was stubborn and grouchy since Day One. But he was also kind. Until recently. For almost two years now he’d been irritated, irritable, and generally unkind. How do I tell him I’m not tired of him, but I’m tired of that? Without making it seem like it’s him I don’t like? How do I make the conversation about my reaction to his behavior?

Well, it turns out it didn’t matter.

The next morning, this morning (as I’m writing in my journal), December 18th, what would have been my father’s 80th birthday, everything changed.

lyrics to Love Will Tear Us Apart
Joy Division
by  Morris / Sumner / Hook / Curtis

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