A Note To Diary Part 3. Decisions

The Way Forward

On the 5th February 1995 my husband died. The man that returned to me was not my husband. This stranger amidst our family was pulling us apart. Hour after hour, day after day the whole family struggled with emotions, and the normal every day living was never to be the same. Glenn continued to drink to try and drown his sorrows, he tried to take his own life on 3 separate occasions, he wanted to die.

Social worker after social worker came and went. Each one not able to handle Glenn's moods. I would see their faces as they left the house feeling sorry for me, not knowing any words of comfort. I wanted to shout after them, "you can see Glenn's disability, touch it, but what about me?" I am in prison. I know I must sound very selfish, terribly self centred, but not at all. I wanted my husband back. I needed a shoulder to cry on too. Being strong for the whole family was putting me under immense pressure. Day and night I struggled with my feelings. Compassion and hatred, frustration and self pity. All I could be certain of, was my love for my son.

Craig began to have a bad time at school, he was getting bullied and cruel comments taunted him every day.  The teachers, adding more pressure with their constant questions, just didn't understand at all. People came and went on a daily basis, full of sympathy for Glenn. But who was I? I was Glenn's wife, Craig's mum, dad's daughter, but who was I?. One close family friend described me as a tight lipped old woman with hands permanently pushed in my pockets. I was 37 years old and felt like I had no future.

As Glenn's frustrations got worse, Craig was the one to suffer. I knew I had to make a decision. I loved my husband and was living in the past. A time full of happy memories, but that had all gone. I tossed and turned in bed at night fighting with my own demons. I tried to talk to Glenn, tell him how I felt, but he wouldn't listen. I was his wife, I had chosen to take the vows. I was committed. All my senses told me to look after my son, at 8 years old he needed me more.

Eventually Glenn decided to go back to England for 6 weeks barrier nursing, he had come home from hospital with a pressure sore containing MRSA, and unbelievably, the same hospital would not take him back.

In many ways, although dismayed, Glenn gave me strength. He gave me time to think. I took Craig to the beach, rode the horse down country lanes and visited friends. I made the decision to ask Glenn to leave. I phoned his parents to discuss the matter first. Ken was very understanding, Pat, Glenn's mum told me she had brought her family up when they where young, she would not be prepared to look after her son now at this time of his life. I could not believe what I was hearing. I had spent the past two years trying, devoted to Glenn, hoping to keep my family together, but I would not sacrifice my young son's life.

I packed all Glenn's belongings, dad kept looking in on me shaking his head. He could offer no words of encouragement either. Nor did he disagree with my choice. I felt like the executioner. I boarded the ferry and returned to England to tell Glenn of my decision. He was heartbroken, and very defensive. That decision was the hardest I have ever made in my life. I was to lose my husband for the second time.

Glenn and I had spent a further two years together. Most of his rehabilitation was aided by me. Back wheel balancing of his wheelchair to allow him to negotiate curbs. A vehicle specially modified for his independence so as he could drive. Physiotherapy to keep his muscles in his legs supple. Special diets to keep his bowel and kidneys in good condition. Weeks of counselling. The list was endless. It was all about to stop.

I now had another challenge, to bring my son up as a single parent, I prayed that God would help me to do this, and to make my dads last years happy, he was 82. I had to be the sole bread winner for the household and knew I could not do it running the stud farm. I sold most of my animals and rented the barn to a friend to store her hay crop. I found a full time job working in advertising sales for an Enniskillen based publisher. A drive of 32 miles over the border into Northern Ireland each day. The days where long, but life was picking up and I now had a new routine.

Slowly I began to heal. Glenn has never spoken to me since, and seldom speaks to Craig. But he re-married and has a large extended family and a beautiful house near the beech. He won an award of £600,000.00,from the forestry commission,  he offered me £40,000.00 to provide for Craig until he was 18. I turned it down. Glenn is now very happy. Life is still a strain for him as he continues to have operation after operation, chasing what will never happen. A chance to walk again. This is the only way he can survive, and who am I to begrudge him a better way of life. 

As for me, it is 16 years on now. I still take the anti-depressants, still have the nightmares and live with a guilt of being week every day of my life. I have a settled relationship but will not get married. I was married to Glenn, until death do us part. Fate dealt us a blow so hard that we couldn't survive together.

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Comments 13 comments

lucybell21 profile image

lucybell21 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

You are a very strong woman, and you had a lot on your plate. I can't imagine how you managed it all and stayed sane.You did what you saw fit for you and your son, and look where you are today!!

writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I'm glad you're feeling a little happier now.

thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 6 years ago from Northern Ireland Author

B. thank you but between you and I, I never know what happy is. I am always trying to find it, and therefore lose it so easily.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 6 years ago

You are so honest with this story of your life Bluestar...No one can fault you, if they haven't walked in your shoes...You've given us such raw emotions and in the end you've both survived as well as your son. The decisions were right for you, I only wish that you had taken the money, Glenn offered you after the settlement. But it sounds like your life now is rich and rewarding...and Happy.

thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 6 years ago from Northern Ireland Author

Thank you again Mrs J.B my friend. You have been such a good support to me. Reading everything I write, some of it I know is crap, but you only ever post good comments. You are much appreciated.

Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

Instead of Glenn becoming a ROLE MODEL for someone younger, he acted like it was your fault. Things happen every day to people that can make everyone rearrange their lives but you would think that the person who now needs you 24/7 would be grateful, appreciative and realize many people go thru life not knowing TRUE LOVE... I know that Glenn got a good chunk of money but he has not to this day changed one bit. Madame Blue you are the one with all the riches.. It is called freedom

thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 6 years ago from Northern Ireland Author

Will, sadly it is true that all sympathy goes to the disability and not the person. Many strong women suffer at the hands of a disabled man. We are the unsung heroes of a living nightmare.

I am not saying that these men don't suffer, but they surely put the rest of us through the mill.

Thank you for understanding and not judging.

thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 6 years ago from Northern Ireland Author

Mrs J.B I am beginning to thank my lucky stars that I have met you. You are always there with a good word of encouragement. I will think of you as my fairy godmother from now on lol

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

My sister is married to handicapped tyrant of a man who uses his disability like a hammer.

He one of the few people I actually despise.

Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

Thank goodness but that remark being said at all was very hurtful especially since you were 1. only 37, 2. a definite country girl 3. a mother, 4. a working girl, 5. a ranch hand, and 6. a nurse. I would have looked much worse. I am glad things were forgiven in time.

thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 6 years ago from Northern Ireland Author

The family friend was a man. However, he was still around after Glenn and I split. I used to stand his stallion at stud alongside my Blue. As time went on he changed his opinion and finally agreed that to the detriment of Glenn I had indeed made the correct sacrifice. My husband for my son.

Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

Was this family friend that said you were a tight lipped old woman, a man or a female. Because I will come to Ireland and kick their tail for you. Glenn did not do anything to try to adjust to his new way of life. Instead he tormented you, the animals and especially Craig. I am glad you left him....

edmondpogi profile image

edmondpogi 6 years ago


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