9 September 2012

When your spouse is your carer

I thought I had accepted my illness. I really did.

Then my husband got a new job (a good thing) and we moved to a new flat (a good thing) and because he's not constantly travelling anymore, he became my primary carer (also a good thing).

We were prepared that this might cause some problems. We foolishly thought the emotional burden of it would fall mostly on him. After all, I'd been receiving care from others for some time. I thought I had accepted it.

I realized today there is a big difference between a paid carer and a spouse-as-carer in the way it feels emotionally. There is no guilt or insecurity in asking a paid carer to do something. It's just part of their job. But as a wife, I feel like I haven't 'earned' the care I'm receiving from him. I don't feel like I'm giving enough to him, emotionally or physically or sexually to be the partner he deserves.

So now there's this huge knot inside me of fear and insecurity and guilt and feeling like I'm not enough for him that I have to figure out how to deal with. I recognize that it's all me. He gives me all the love and reassurance that he can to try and counteract these feelings. But he can't go inside me and try to untangle all of the mess that's there. It's another aspect of my illness that I simply haven't dealt with yet. So now it's time to start.

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