living with a cripple
So, another cripple post. Im fast approaching that magic number of 137 so my partners going to need something to read. At least something she might have some interest in reading.
So today’s is the next step, bringing her home. After a month of hospital she was finally allowed to return to us. She was excited and we were happy about it, it had been an intense month of working, driving, looking after two kids and having nanny around. Nanny being there was an immense help, but it also added it’s own complications because she’s insistent on spoiling the kids at every opportunity. Not that that’s bad- it’s a grandparents right- but it makes parenting so much harder.
So my partner comes home and hobbles in to be met by ecstatic children. Things weren’t easy, we had a combination of my partner feeling useless about being essentially useless, combined with her stubbornness and insistence on doing things and overdoing it, plus her natural ability to fall out with her mum at every opportunity. It’s strange, they clearly love each other but just wind each other up far too much. Honestly I’m sure it’s an equal thing, but I see my partner getting grumpy more often so I can see how it escalates to tears.
Things changed massively, especially once nanny returned home. At times I was left with essentially three children as my partner just couldn’t do a great deal. This increased her feelings of frustration about being ‘useless’ which shortened her temper and made her snappier. Especially when she overdid it (see stubbornness) and was exhausted. I was struggling at this point as work was taking a lot of my energy and attention and becoming more stressful, whilst the most Important thing – my family- was getting all that I could spare with regards energy, attention, time.
Things then got harder as money became tight, because I was working the state benefit support was minimal and we were left to work it out. As it stood once rent and bills were paid from my wages I was left with £30 to spend. This is before petrol, food, additional bills. And also before leisure spending. It reached a point where my partner was using online selling sites to sell something in order to free up a few quid to buy some vegetables for dinner. At this point out savings disappeared, followed by our overdrafts.
It was a tight time, but we managed, somehow things picked up and we coped. My partner was able to return to work which of course brought extra money in- though childcare costs of course ate into money too. The sacrifice there was my partners energy, she was exhausted by a days work which made her more frustrated and wore her out, so she wasn’t able to do much. This in turn frustrated her and there was a vicious cycle.
Through all of this I felt helpless. I wasn’t able to increase the money coming in, the money that was wasn’t enough and I didn’t have the energy to do enough to look after my family to the level they need and deserve. Helplessness is a strange feeling, Iv never really felt helpless, there’s always a solution, always something that can be done. But not this time. And it was a damaging thing. As Iv mentioned in another post I’m always right. There’s a certain confidence/cockiness/arrogance that comes from that, but this knocked my confidence. Made me feel like I didn’t have the answers, I couldn’t provide solutions, wasn’t able to look after those around me. The effects of that I’ll cover in a future post.
Bitterness. Bitterness is a strange one. Several times Iv been asked if I feel bitter. Bitter about the disability. Bitter about the effect it had on me. Bitter it’s changed how my life works. But I don’t know, I don’t feel bitter. Of course there are moments of anger, disbelief, even denial about the situation, but no bitterness. It happens, it would be better if it didn’t, or of it at least happened to someone else (selfish? Yes, but tough). Maybe there is some bitterness deep down but I don’t think it’s surfaced, or even really had an impact, there’s been far too much to worry about without it.