If I told you I don’t shower often, would you shun me? My wife doesn’t.
Is this question just another literary ploy of mine? To make me seem big and scary.
Well, it’s a serious problem. I joke about it because it is a serious problem. The problem is that my wife is seriously depressed.
Andi and I met in our teens. Its a good love story. I tell it over and over again, It sustains me. Nowadays, she sleeps a lot. A lot! And she sleeps a lot because she’s embarrassed. She’s embarrassed because she used to be a dynamo.
Its called ‘depression’, but I think of it as an assault on the self. By the self. Deep within it, there are elements of guilt and anger.
She was always the “go to” girl. Her depressed mother and her depressed father always came to her for assistance. Her sickly brother and her spoiled sister came as well. These themes take generations to work themselves out. But she and I, we always had each other to protect ourselves from the onslaught. Her support was my first experience of salvation.
I’ve not told you about my family. Yet.
But on to Andi’s ‘now’. Where is Andi now? “Where’s the Jones file, Andi?.” “When was it that we had that terrible lawsuit, Andi?” “How should we approach The Director, Andi?” “Where’s that place we used to go for Chinese, Andi?” “What should I get for my girlfriend, Andi?” “I’m having a fit and I need someone to take it out on and…Hey, there’s Andi?”
And, finally, “We’re needing to cut staff and we know you’ll understand, Andi”.
But Andi has built her life on ‘understanding’, and excusing others, and taking it all on herself. We know that strategy as “controlling”. It has good parts and bad parts. [In our relationship, we talk about that theme a lot. Controlling.]
[I am uncontrollable. By design. She loves me for the excitement I bring. But she’s also afraid of the ‘danger’. This push-pull energizes our relationship. For better or worse. Its a toss up. I don’t feel the limits until I see the disapproval in another’s eyes, and feel embarrassed. At least, that’s my current conceptualization. But, hey, ain’t God’s plan grand??]
But on to depression. We, Andi and I, have a problem. I can’t shower by myself. I’m in a wheelchair. I can’t step over the bathtub sill. Andi showers me. Sometimes weekly. Sometimes less.
Of course there’s a solution! Duh! Medi-Care pays for home health care. But Andi won’t allow the shower person in. She’s embarrassed to acknowledge she needs help! And she’s too guilty to get help.
Yes, yes, I know. These are the kinds of self-imposed problems that drive me crazy too!! But it is not only my life! Its our life.
I realize this is a rant. Nothing will change now. Sometimes all we can do is rant. It helps me to know you understand my situation. Funny thing is, no one seems to notice. I keep thinking people will sniff the air when I approach. But no seems to care.
When I’m talking about the ‘nitty-gitty’, it’s really gritty.