Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"That Guy" on Vacation

Yesterday DH got home from therapy and offered me the opportunity to ride along with him to drop off a job application (he is getting help and "motivation" from the organization that finds jobs for mentally ill people). This was a pretty normal occurrence before bipolar, but nowadays it's unheard of. I truly thought "Uh-oh, he's bought something and wants to convince me that it's smart". But I went along with him anyhow, because another part of me was thinking "ok, the therapist wants him to address something with me".

I was actually wrong (to the best of my knowledge) on both accounts. I asked him how therapy went, and he told me that once again, the therapist asked a lot of questions about me. I asked DH if he could pick up on what the therapist was getting at, and he had no idea. So we're still in the dark there. But then DH said, "I told him that I think I'm losing you." I didn't say anything at first, because during these last two days, had I been asked, I would have said that was the case. Then I asked him "what makes you think that?" And suddenly I realized that "That Guy" was not in the vehicle. It was all DH and nobody else. I cherish these moments.

He talked about how I take care of him, pay all the bills, clean the house, cook the meals, but I don't seem very happy to see him any more and how I seem to get irritated with him when he's in the bedroom (of course I do!!!! He's in the bedroom about 23 hours a day, lying on the bed, watching TV and sometimes eating dry cereal by the boxful so he doesn't have to come out into the kitchen!) and how I seem to not really want to spend time with him lately.

Anyhow, without bringing up any of the things that have really given me reason to rethink the entire relationship, I simply asked him "What do you think I am getting out of all this?" He couldn't answer me, but I still don't think he was seeing....so I said, "there are so many ways that, even when you're having a "bad day", you could tell or show me that you love me" and I offered to make him a list. I still wasn't 100% sure "That Guy" wasn't somewhere in the car, so I thought I was going to get in trouble for that. But instead, my very concerned husband asked for examples. I said "You used to call me just to say hi when I was working. Now you tell me you'll call and then you don't." "You used to ask me how I was doing, how my day was going". "You used to say "Thank you" and "I'm sorry". "You used to tell me how lucky you were to be married to me." "Now all you do is tell me I'm a nag and a bully". And I kept my mouth shut about the spending, and the stealing and the not working and the anger parts.

I started to cry, but I tried to hide it (not very successfully, I'm afraid). And I think he started to see what I was getting at. I'm getting absolutely nothing back from him except grief lately. And you know what he said???

"Well, you know, I really hate to say this, but, well, my memory isn't as good as it should be, and I'm not sure I remember how to not be selfish. I know I've been really selfish these last few months, and I need to stop. Can you make me that list of how I can do better?" Holy Cow. Blow me out of the water.

Here comes that hope again....this is the man I married talking.

I know "That Guy" will be back, he never stays away too long, but I'm hoping that by putting this down in words, that maybe next time "That Guy" is back, I can remember that my DH is still in there somewhere....


Amanda said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I found your blog by clicking on the link from a comment you made at Liiving on a Dime. My husband is also bipolar and I just have felt all of those same things about my husband. I feel like I am very alone and that no one knows exactly how I feel. I tell people he's bipolar but they don't really "understand". I will have to come back to your blog more often. God bless!