As I stated in an earlier post, I don't pretend to believe that I'm perfect in all of this. I have to accept as much fault with what's wrong in my marriage. I've made more than my fair share of mistakes. Some calculated; some beyond my control.
For so many years our marriage was good. I don't know that I would ever call it perfect. Then what marriage is. But we were happy; we had fun; we laughed. We had good times as a family. Kevin was and continues to be a great father. He was the fun one out of the two of us. I was the disciplinarian. We weren't rich but we weren't poor. Every year brought a family vacation to the beach; to the mountains; to Disney. Several times a year we'd make a trip to Florida to visit his family and the children would go down for 2 weeks during the summer and stay with their grandparents. We had "Family Fun Day" one day a year where we would pull the children out of school and go do whatever they wanted to do. The children enjoyed "sleep wherever you want night" where they could sleep anywhere in the house they wanted to. We played family games; pizza nights. Just your typical average American family.
Things began to unravel in 2003 when I got sick. Out of the blue I lost use of both my feet. I couldn't walk and spent almost 3 months in a wheel chair. Hundreds of medical tests and dr visits could determine nothing. During the medical testing a 5 inch abdominal mass was discovered. It was unknown if it was cancer so I was immediately scheduled for surgery. Thankfully it was benign; however, the mass was attached to my reproductive organs so at the age of 39 I also had to undergo a complete hysterectomy.
As most women know, that alone brings it's own set of challenges. Hot flashes, irritability, decreased sex drive. All of the above applied. Then to add insult to injury, whatever had happened to my feet had begun to effect to my legs, my hips and my back. Constant and chronic pain became the norm. Again, test after test could confirm nothing. So the dr began me on a pain management regimen. Over the course of time the pain medicine increased accompanied by medication for anxiety. I was in pain, I was taking large amounts of medication, I was missing a lot of work. Worst of all, I fell of the radar as far as my family was concerned. With large doses of Vicodin and Clonipin, when I wasn't in bed asleep, I was in chronic and constant pain. I no longer found myself capable of enjoying family activities on a regular basis. So they continued without me. I began to build myself in a little shell in my room. I began to withdraw; I began to become dependent on myself. While my family tried to be supportive, they didn't really understand what was going on with me and to be honest, they didn't make a lot of effort to find out. All they knew was I was taking a lot of medication and spending most of my time in bed. I found it difficult to be a wife and a mother; and all that entails. Life was difficult to say the least. We still managed to squeeze in some good times; but they were fewer and farther between. This continued for years. Above all, my marriage suffered greatly. Kevin tried his best, most of the time. Our sex life suffered; we became more like friends than husband and wife.
I was absent from our family life more than I was present. I was irritable; I was in pain and I pretty much didn't care.
Finally in 2012 things began to turn around. I began to see a Rheumatologist who diagnosed so many things wrong with me. So many things that made sense. I was started on an anti-inflammatory and began to immediately feel better. It was like I was the old me. There were still bad days; but they were more the exception than the rule. I then talked with my dr and made the decision to begin the withdrawal process from Vicodin. I stepped up my exercise program; started eating right and began reprogramming my mind to go from that of a long term sick patient to a loving wife and mother. Little did I know it was too late for my marriage.
Roughly 2 or 3 weeks following the "50 Shades of Grey" escapade, Kevin and I had a fight. A pretty big one. Though at this time I'd be hard pressed to tell you what started it. But this is what ended it. A letter written by him, left for me on the kitchen counter. Outlining several of my flaws; that I don't support him and he "doesn't expect my support". But the final straw was his statement that "You can chose to live your life in a 12 x 12 room, but don't expect me to do the same!" To me that could be interrupted several different ways. But to me the bottom line was this. The marriage vows we took almost 29 years ago, "For better or for worse; in sickness and in health" apparently had an expiration date on them and I had reached that date. In that statement, he killed a part of my heart. Though I knew that life with me had been difficult, hard and often times required him giving much more than I gave, he had made it clear that he had enough. He was moving forward to live his own life and I could do whatever I wanted.
Couple that with the fact that he hadn't approached me following the "50 Shades" debacle and I began to put a wall up; a wall around my heart. I was hurt; crushed and devastated. It said to me that I could no longer count on him to be there for me.
So I became determined to not need to count on him. I made the decision to become self sufficient, I would no longer expect him to be there for me; to care for me; to do things for me. There will still be times when I need him. As I said earlier he helps take care of my elderly mother; my prescriptions are filled at the local pharmacy which closes before I get home so I have to ask him to pick them up for me. But other than having to ask for an occasional favor or help with my mother, I need to move on. To not count on him to be there for me; to not expect him to love me or care for me.
I have to be my own hero. Take care of myself. And that makes me very sad.