I’m struggling for a reason that I stay right now. The government shutdown and Congress waiting until the 11th hour to decide to do their jobs has taken a toll on my husband. Add to that the fact that we have roof damage causing our bathroom ceiling to leak and become compromised by the much needed rain and, well… He blew a gasket.
For the last hour I was handed my ass for a million different things that I have no control over. I was handed my ass for agreeing with him on certain things. I was handed my ass for not following him to the bathroom to make sure that he gets there and remembers what to do every time I remind him to take his meds. I was handed my ass for essentially anything and everything that has ever hurt or upset him regardless of if I even knew him during those situations.
Now let me be clear, he slept for two days in a row. It’s generally how he deals (or avoids dealing with) stress. I’m pretty damn sure he didn’t take his meds even when reminded on those days. This is not how he is every day. This is his inability to handle prolonged stress and flaring PTSD.
I think what he’d really like to do is hand Congress their ass for using the military, the wounded warriors and the elderly as pawns in their game of chicken. I can’t say that I don’t feel the same. It has been one stressor after another for months in our home and I can’t take another dang thing.
But I will finish out this day and I will let it go because I love him. I feel helpless to help him cope better with stress but that is no reason to leave. (Though I do hope someday he develops coping skills.) I feel terrible that his brain injury is stealing his ability to remember. But that is no reason to leave. I hate to be screamed at for things I have no control over. But that is no reason to leave.
You see, this person is not my husband. I call this person Eugene, after the donkey at a wives retreat I attended. My husband is kind and soft spoken. He has some trouble with interpersonal relations but he’s gotten better. Eugene just doesn’t give a shit. He’s in your face and angry at the world.
I stay because Eugene doesn’t show up every day. In fact, Eugene shows up less frequently now than he ever has. That is forward progress.