When he can’t “fix” it

I’ve had a family member struggling with terrible health issues. I’m doing everything I can to help her. Seeing her unable to do things she once so enjoyed, in tremendous pain, and with good days so unpredictable and growing fewer, it’s all taking a toll on my own emotional health. This is absolutely not her fault. She did nothing to bring this on herself. There is no blame to go around and maybe that’s even more frustrating? I feel helpless. This is out of my control and I can’t make it better. My stress and hormones are all over the place. We have some very important dates coming up early next month where we’re going to learn whether she’s improving or the disease is progressing and if so, how much time we have left with her.

The smallest things seem to set me off. I feel like my cup is too full. Even one extra drop of water and everything spills over. Adam was trying to get some work done using a new computer program that he’s unfamiliar with. It was getting late, I was tired and grumpy. He was struggling and instead of being supportive, or even just walking away, I made him feel like crap. I reminded him of how incapable he was at similar tasks in the recent past. He’s technologically illiterate. He doesn’t understand what a “cloud” is or how it works. He can’t ever remember a freaking password, so he’s constantly having to recover them. After I had sufficiently crucified him, I finally walked away leaving him to fend for himself. I stepped outside and felt the summer night air. I listened to the locusts and watched an owl fly out of a tree and land on our fence. I opened my blog and began to read my own writings from just hours before. My heart softened and I began to realize how cruel and disrespectful I had just been to Adam. I wished so badly I could take it all back. I wished that Adam had told me to knock it off, yelled at me, punished me, anything other than what he’d done. He’d simply sat there and quietly took in all of my tongue lashing. I knew why he’d stayed silent. I knew I had gotten a pass because Adam knows I’m in pain. I think he feels powerless too because he can’t make this pain stop for me. Adam’s a fixer. He sees a problem and he finds a solution. This is not the kind of problem he has any power to fight, though. I can imagine exactly how he must be feeling because I’m struggling with the same emotions feeling useless and weak against the punches life is throwing right now.

I went back inside and found Adam already laying in bed. He patted my side of the bed, the spot right next to him where I sleep every night. I walked over and climbed into bed and I laid my head on his chest and put my arms around his neck. I wanted to erase the things I’d said to him earlier. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was. I couldn’t find words in that moment. Instead I laid there crying silent tears and trying to wipe them away before they fell on his chest and made him aware of my upset. I didn’t deserve comfort. I can tear down my husband’s confidence so quickly with my angry words and defiant actions. I knew I’d hurt him, made him feel small. He let me do it without fighting back because of the pain and the guilt he feels about what I’m going through right now. I took advantage of the deep love he feels for me. I failed miserably at submission last night. I am so very sorry for that.

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