Bad Month

I was not avoiding as much as processing.


I wrote an essay for class last year about cancer, more specifically about my husbands cancer. It was hard to write, but it got me an A in the class. I had asked my husband to read it, he declined till it was discovered that my little essay was published. My counselor asked me how I was feeling about it. I told her I cried, but I’m not crying about it now. I am feeling a bit irritated. Why was it not good enough to read when I wrote it last year? Why is it worthy of his time now? I guess I should be happy he bothered at all. I guess I can take solace in the fact that when he did deem it worth his time that it made him cry. I hadn’t intended that but it was nice to see an emotion other than anger from him. He said he was lucky to have me. That should make me happy, but I kept thinking if you feel so lucky why couldn’t you show it from time to time.  I know that sounds selfish of me, I should be happy about any acknowledgement at all.


I hate this part. Loosing my nephew was a…shock. Finding out it was probably a suicide really threw me far more than I can express with words. That kind of loss always hits entirely to close to home. It is so odd, I haven’t seen the child in eight years, when his mom moved him across the country. I am not sure why but she kept him from the family, but I see his little sister every summer. I am so thankful for that, but perhaps if his mom had afforded him the same opportunities I could have made sure he know how much he was loved. I was sad of course, and I cried a bit when I thought it was an accident. When I heard suicide, it became very personal for a quite a while. It was like I was 19 all over again learning I lost my sister. All those feeling rushed back in. I suppose it didn’t help that the 18th anniversary of her death was just 2 weeks ago. But that day it was so fresh all. You know, the really strange thing is losing my sister is still the hardest thing I ever had to live through. You would think it would be the tumor, but it was her. I still miss her and really wish I could talk to her just one more time. I would ask her why she thought it was okay to leave me when I still needed her. So then I thought of my nephews baby sister and what she was going through, and I needed to talk to her just to tell her she wasn’t alone. I felt alone and I didn’t want her to feel that way.


So that brings us to counseling.


My counselor talked to me this week about a bunch of things. Something she is worried about is my gift of avoiding. She said I use humor to cope with things, and that is very true. So I guess it’s not a bad thing until I make a joke to change the subject. I told her that a few of my friends have called me on it from time to time. She seemed happy with that. It’s funny, I don’t mean to do it, I didn’t even realize I was so effectively avoiding thing I find difficult, but apparently I am quite proficient at the sill. I’m supposed to work on it. I am also supposed to work on being honest with my husband. I have a tendency to hide my hurt, anger, and frustration from him. My Dr. thinks I am trying to protect him, and I know she’s right. I don’t want him to be upset so I keep things to myself, and he did tell me de only want’s to know about happy things, but I am also supposed to be honest. This is a tricky line, on one hand I want him happy but I wish to never have a panic attack again. Here is a good thing about that though. He said something that was hurtful the other day. I told him that what he said was mean and unacceptable. He got defensive, and I told him to settle down then pointed out that he said he wanted me to be more honest.


My math grade has me really wigged. I have Good grades in all my other classes so it’s frustrating to have a bad grade. I know it’s stupid but I think I need that little bit of normal to help even out all the really hard stuff. I have no doubt that makes zero sense.


You know that saying, when it rains it pours? I think I’m in the middle of that right now. I know things could be so much worse, but lately everything just feels so much harder then last month. It’s even been difficult to talk to my counselor and I like talking to her. I’m reading a book, well I’m reading a few books, but one in particular is about how to be a caregiver, it’s a handbook of sorts. Typing that last line just gave me an anxiety attack. How funny is that that typing some meaningless words can garner a physical reaction. My heart is still racing, I am finding that sad. So the book. It starts off telling how the caregiver will feel overwhelmed and powerless…no shit. My counselor liked that I am reading things to help me find answers. He forgot how he likes his potatoes. I’m not ready to be a caregiver. It scares me. He stopped taking his antidepressants that scares me too.   Today he went to the doctor for a cold and they had him go for a chest ct, that scared me too. I was afraid he had phenomena.


I think that is about it. Oh, fun fact: When you ask me a question such as how are you. I tend to avoid or say fine. If you ask me a specific and direct question such as how far have you gotten with that crappy book? I am more apt to answer those and if they are yes no questions your odds are even better. That is just if I annoy you by avoiding too much.


Is it wrong to want a break from reality? I feel even more lost these days. It feels like my brain is going all over the place except where it really needs to be. I feel like I want to work on one thing at a time, yet i have about twenty that really need my attention now, and the thing the bugs me most are the stupid ones like my grades feel just as painful as the loss of my nephew. It should not be that way, I think my priorities are fucked.


Session 2

This is a downer and I am really sorry. I was going to scrap it, but I wanted someone to see it. I think I want you to judge me, and reaffirm my thought that I really do suck.   I’m really sorry for this one!

My counselor gave me a project to work on this week. I knew it would be a mistake, but I did it anyway. I tested the waters with something small, and it did not end well. I need to back up. Have you noticed I do that a lot; start at the end then… you know.

Okay this is the homework I was given on Monday. I was supposed to write down what hurts me in my marriage and what I feel about my relationship. The funny thing is that this counseling thing is supposed to be for me to get my head right so I can be a proper caregiver and make it through school without a stroke or something.

This homework came about because I am a selfish asshole. A few questions that she asked me prompted this realization.

“It sounds like as a couple you are doing better; is that accurate?”

“Yes…he is happier.”

The other question was “are you feeling as hopeless as you felt just before you found out about the tumor?”

“No, then I was just done, now I can deal a little better.”

The last question she asked me was “if you are unhappy, and you know you have the choice to leave why do you stay in the situation?”

“I don’t have a choice. He needs me and he is only mean because of the tumor. “

“You do have a choice.”

That was what prompted my inner investigation. First I don’t like this one little bit! I am doing this homework under protest, and I am not happy about it. I guess I should ask myself why I’m not happy about it? Okay, why are you so pissed about this? Well, it’s stupid! Okay it’s not stupid it’s hard, and I don’t like myself very much when I think about how I feel about our relationship. I think the real issue is me not looking like the good guy. I am always the nice one, the dependable one, trustworthy, loyal…but am I really? I don’t think so. I think if anyone every really saw past my show…they would hate me. I want out! I want out so bad I can taste it! I was ready to leave just before diagnosis be then…I couldn’t leave when he needed me, and it wasn’t his fault, but I was done. He had said and done one to many mean things and I was over it. I’m not someone that will just take a bunch of shit, and not respond…yet now I am because I don’t have a choice.   Now I let him say mean things, call me names, and thrown his tantrums and I never say a word other than I’m sorry. I’m fucking sorry is my mantra. He was my best friend. He was the most loving and supportive man I had ever known. Back in the day he was sweet, kind, and caring. When those parts of him started to disappear so did we. I loved him with all my heart, and seeing him vanish has been my hell and I want out, but I can’t let him go through this alone. I also cant lie, and say we have any semblance of the relationship we once had. I don’t know this new person, and I really don’t like him. I can’t talk to him and I don’t want to. Everything I do is wrong. Everything I say is wrong. I honestly don’t think he even likes me, and I can’t blame him because I can’t stand him. He is mean, manipulative, and rude. He is still supportive when it suits him, but he hates that I am studying or at school so much. I can’t leave because I am all he really has. I try not to be a bitch, but I know I have my days. I try and do what’s needed even though I don’t want to. I feel like I am the most selfish person alive because I want out and I hate that I am wasting years of my life being unhappy. That’s how I feel about my relationship.

What hurts me…other then the fact that he seems to be all but gone? Okay, it hurts that I don’t feel wanted. I know he needs me. I am pretty sure he cares, but he doesn’t want me. If he did I find it hard to believe that he would call me the things he does. By that I don’t mean things like bitch. He likes to cut deeper. He calls me fat, unattractive, selfish, mean, he tells me I never listen, I am always wrong, I can’t cook, I dress like an old lady, I don’t do enough around the house, and I talk to much. Those are the one that hurt most there’s more, but the rest are minor and only bother me for a little bit. The odd thing is I never call him names, and if I did I doubt it would end well. The really odd thing is I don’t like him yet I am so hurt that he doesn’t want me. I don’t get that. You would think by now I just really wouldn’t care but I do.


The project:

I was supposed to start to tell the husband the things he does that hurt me. Easy enough. Tonight was the perfect opportunity for me to be open and honest! FUCK! I should have known better. I was working on cleaning my closet. Well during the process I like to try things on and toss the things I don’t like and make sure everything looks good. I had an outfit on and asked if he liked it. He said it’s not as good as some of your other clothes. Okay, I get that so I pressed on. He said something mean, but I don’t recall what it was so I let it go. After all he had been an a mood all day, I guess chemo was the reason. He said something snarky, and I said it wouldn’t kill him to be a little nicer to me. He said he is nothing but nice. I laughed and said he was not and if he wanted to know the truth it would be great to know he wanted me around. He got really pissed, and told me I was the one that never said anything nice, supportive or let him know he was needed. Well He got madder and I…I got quiet. I told him I was sorry and I would do better. That made him even madder. Long story short, I needs to keep he fucking mouth shut because any criticism ends badly. So I know I’m not perfect, or even close to it but I do my best.

So the fact that he thinks I never say anything nice or supportive to him makes me wonder, does he just not remember, does he not pay attention, or am I being a bitch so it doesn’t register. Maybe he’s right, and I never do say anything nice? Is that possible? I thought I was always…maybe I’m wrong. So then if I’m wrong about that then maybe things he says about me are right. No! that is shit. I am supportive! I check on him, and remind him to take his meds, I cheer him up, I stroke his ego all the fucking time, I never say anything mean…I don’t think. I hate second guessing myself. I hate this project. Well project failed, and I think it would be best for me to just make due and try and make sure I say and do supportive things more often, but I should not expect the same in return. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” I feel like I am being tracked by the thought police



Session 1…

New Session 1…I should have stuck with weeks this may get confusing.

Today I went to the counselor for the first real appointment. We touched on things that make me happy.  I told her that anymore the things that make me happy are the things I do alone.  She asked me why I felt that way, and I said because I liked my husband the better before he started constricting me.  I felt horrible for saying that, but it is true. Everything is harder now and I want things the way they used to be.  She asked me; “Do you think you may be having a hard time with acceptance?”

I sat trying not to cry, but I failed.  It made me question, am I really having trouble with accepting things?  I didn’t think I was.  Odds are he is going to die ore become incapacitated in some way and I have to be ready to take the lead financially when that happens. That is dealing? At least I thought it was dealing…is there a different between dealing and accepting?  Maybe there is, and I just never thought about it.  Maybe in my dealing with shit I never took the time to say this is what is happening.  This is the unchangeable fact.  This is want coming.  How are you going to accept it?

So I really thought long and hard, and I think that’s shit, I’m totally accepting things.  I know what’s likely to happen I’ve read the stats, I’ve talked with the doctors.  I know all I can know so how am I not accepting?

What if I’m not? Okay so the fact that that stupid word makes me cry every time I say, hear, or type it could be an indication that she’s right.

Fuck, what am I supposed to do now?  In my head acceptance is easy, logical even.  Stupid emotions.  I want to be like Data.


A Message to Friends

I thought it might be in my best interest to reach out, after all my doctor, therapist, and that book I read suggested it.  This want what I wrote to my friends:

So as I think you all know by now the hubby has a brain tumor and it is inoperable.  Several months ago he started having seizures.  Meds have fixed that, we also learned he has a “flair” on his MRI.  That means the tumor is beginning to change.  Hubby and his Doctor are opting to hold off and I agree.  Biopsy risks are high.

Recently it was discovered that the tumor and the flair had grown a bit.  Not enough for the doctor to demand a biopsy, but enough to maybe explain all the changes in hubby’s personality…in my opinion.  I didn’t think to put that on the list of questions for the doctor. So, it seems to be growing, but not impacting the brain stem so that is wonderful.

So like I said his personality has been affected.  I don’t think most people would notice, but I do.  He is more possessive, jealous, has a hard time finding words, easily frustrated, he forgets a lot even more often than I do, can’t seem to understand my sarcasm or when I am kidding or serious, new situations and making decisions frustrate him.

His doctor said he is coping well, but he does need to get out more.  That is my new project, to make him get out and talk to people in a way that he is comfortable with.

So how has all this affected me?  How has it not, it has infiltrated every fiber of my being.  I feel like I have to be two people.  At home he needs me to be happy, upbeat, not at all sarcastic; that part just sucks.  I have to make the majority of decisions, and tell him what to do in a way that makes him happy. I used to be able to tell him everything, and I do mean everything.  Now, I can tell him only the happy things that happen in daily life, and he still likes my silliness…thankfully, but that is all he like about me.  It upsets him when I try to talk to him about things that upset me, or make me angry, so I can’t vent to him anymore.  When I am out I get to be me.  I admit I spend my drive home preparing to be the person he needs me to be.  It is hard, but I have noticed a big improvement in his temperament since I altered myself to better help him.  And my therapist said I need to build a community to help me cope. I am really sorry to lay this on you all, I know you have busy lives and I promise not to be to big of a baby.

The responses I received from my message suggested I not sharing anything, and my friends that I didn’t wish to trouble wanted me to share my load with them.  I am not sure how I feel about this.  I am happy to have the support, I feel like a failure because I need it, and I feel stupid because I did not realize my friends want to help.

Intake Day

Scary day! I filled out my paperwork, and turned it in. A really pretty lady comes to get me from the lobby, and she turns out to be the doctor. I based on her name I think she may have been from India, and I was super intimidated by everything about her. He was beautiful, thin, and a doctor, I am an older, pudgy, college student that is broken. I felt like a failure all over. Thankfully I shoved that negativity from my mind and focused on what was real. I have a problem and I need help with it. I decided to look at it like I would a math problem. I would not hesitate to get help with math so why would I not get help for my emotions.

Moving on, from what I was told doctors meet the students/clients first to evaluate what they may need so they can match up the clients needs with the counselors in training. So today’s appointment would just like an interview. And frankly I was kind of proud of myself. I went in and told the story, then when she asked me how I felt I had an answer. It wasn’t a good one bit it was an answer this time. I talked so much for a change I think I told her I don’t like to think about my feeling because it can get to hard to stay in control of them and that is true. She suggested I try and work on creating a support system, meaning I have to share my thoughts with others. Well, I have been working on this…kind of. Or at least I have thought about it. I mean, I talk to people about stuff that’s going on with my school. I don’t over share, because people have their own problems, and I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems. I do feel like I share quite a bit in spite of my need not to be bothersome. Maybe I should ask my friends about this to verify my feelings are accurate?

The therapist asked me how I coped in the past. I had to really think about that, and here is what I came up with.

I guess from ages two to five I coped by crying, but that stopped when kids started making fun of for being a cry baby in kindergarten.

Instances of needing to cope:

Age 12

My father was shot by accident; he was actually hoping to shoot my mother, but was to drunk and shot himself in error. My older sister was with my mother who was obviously and understandably shaken. They called the police. I had the responsibility of my father. I held a cold compress over the wound, and told him to be still till the ambulance arrived. I remember being afraid, sad, and tired, because it was about two in the morning. When it was all said and done I have no recollection of coping I just did what was asked of me then I put it out of my head. The thing I remember most was anger, and a fear of guns and loud noises. I guess I coped by avoiding it?

Age 19

When I lost my sister, that was very hard and I felt terribly alone. I didn’t have anyone I felt I could talk to. There was no grief counselor, friends, or family to confide in, because my friends and family were all struggling with their own grief and I didn’t have the money to pay someone to listen to me whine. So I just shoved my hurt way down and tried to pretend like everything was fine. It wasn’t and I knew it wasn’t because from time to time I would just lose my shit and start yelling and for no real reason. Then I would apologize for being a bitch and everything would be fine. I guess I cope by avoiding or suppressing?

Anyway, she told me that she was going to be the one working with me personally. I guess I am to damaged for a student counselor to work with. Not sure how I feel about this.

I Should Not Have Quit

It has been about a month since my last session and today I went back to my doctor for my, you may be nuts, check up. I felt really bad about quitting therapy and I didn’t tell him that I quit which probably means it was a bad choice. Now, given the fact that my anxiety attacks are even worse, and I was bawling like a baby in his office, again, my guesstimation about quitting was right. I had made a bad choice…or maybe medication is what would be best? Well Dr. A gave me his honest opinion and it was a little harsh. I got a long lecture about the importance of therapy in my situation since I do not have a support system. I can’t do this alone he assured me. This angered me. I mean does he not know I have coped with more shit than this? To turn an overly used phrase from “Mommy Dearest”; ‘This ain’t my first rodeo.’ I survived my father trying to kill my mother, I made it through my sisters suicide, my grand mothers suicide, my mothers breakdown, and came out the other side just fine! I don’t need help! I can do this alone just like I did the other stupid shit in my life. Fuck sharing!

A few days/weeks have passed and I am done with my tantrum. I am going to take this seriously. I had an attack that lasted the better part of a day and it scared me enough to admit maybe I am over my head this time. Maybe.

The doctor had told me the other day that being a caregiver is hard on a person. He said I was grieving, and that alone was hard for a person to deal with, but you put taking care of another human on top of that and it can be overwhelming. It made me think about all the families with kids that have a terminal parent. Their lives are way worse than mine. Or the parents with kids that are sick, their lives are even harder still. So really I have no business struggling. I feel like a failure because I can’t see to get my shit together. I am actually quite embarrassed about this, but I I promised myself that I would call the counselors office at my college. I had looked it up once before, but I was just to chicken to call. Today I will call because self-therapy didn’t do me any good.


Session 3

So I went to my family doctor for a check up. Apparently he wanted to make sure I wasn’t suicidal, or to terribly unstable. I went and didn’t cry this time so I think it was a win for this crazy person. We talked about my therapy and how it was going. I said I didn’t feel like it was working, be told me to stick with it and if I didn’t like the therapist to try another one. Something about trying them out till I get the right fir for me…or something like that. Maybe that is all I need to do, find a different one. Maybe it’s just a wrong fit, maybe I should keep trying. That’s for another thought thread, for this second I have something else weighing on my brain.

My doctor gave me home homework. When I was telling him the therapy was not working like I thought it would, he told me when he was having a hard time he read these two books and they helped give him a new perspective. Okay, I like new perspectives, so I left his office and headed to Half Price Books. I am not a reader really because I suck at it, but I want to try my best to not have this anxiety anymore and if reading will help then I will do it! After asking the folks at the bookstore for help I found that they had one of the books. The other I had to order on Amazon.

I took my new treasure home, plopped down on the sofa and read while my husband slept. The book was about a man/doctor that was a prisoner in a concentration camp. It was called “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Victor Frankl. I read that book in just a couple of days, and it really got me to thinking about a few things. First I had never read a book so fast. Second we all have a purpose here, and I want to find mine. Third, we all have shitty experiences in life, the real question is are we…am I going to succumb to my circumstances or rise above them. Forever I have thought I had no reason for being, now I am reconsidering. I don’t know what my purpose is, maybe it is to be a good caregiver, maybe its to be a great photographer, maybe its to be a good person.

The second book came in as I was wrapping up the first one and I really liked but I only got to the third chapter and have not gotten any farther…yet.

In session I just don’t like talking to her. I like her advice, but I don’t think therapy is my thing and I think she knew that too. I don’t have any notes for today other than to say I quit. I have a few things to think about.