The Disappearing Lady
One's only real life is the life one never leads. ~Oscar Wilde
I was disconcerted recently to find out that I have disappeared. Here I was, walking around, going to the store, driving the car, playing with my grandchildren, and I have completely disappeared from my own life! Huh? How does someone disappear from their own life?? Well, in all fairness I suppose I have to clarify that comment. Physically I suppose I'm still here...it's more of a "feeling" of disappearance I guess you'd call it. You know what I'm talking about....one day you are this witty, semi-intelligent, occasionally fun to be around human being, and then WHAM....YOU are gone!
I've recently been having a real issue with this feeling. My husband was diagnosed several years ago with Multiple Sclerosis. His various symptoms have combined to make it impossible for him to hold a job outside of our home. This is a man that was used to working approximately 10 to 12 hours a day, at a mid-level oil company as General Manager, well on his way to becoming Vice President. Suddenly he is plunged into full time stay at home husband. You can just about imagine how well he adjusted to this situation! At the same time as all this was happening, my son, as I've previously discussed in other Hubs was diagnosed with several mental health disorders. This resulted in him being home-schooled for part of 8th grade. I felt it necessary to leave my job and stay at home to referee the two of them, amongst other various tasks. Let me add at this point that my son is from a previous marriage, so they are step-father and son, which has its own lovely bag of worms to deal with!
Throw into the mix the fact my mother lives with us, and we have a Chocolate Labrador that has stomach issues and skin allergies, and you begin to get the picture of what my life consists of! We run an ebay business to supplement the disabilty my husband receives. This arrangement leads to one of my feelings of depersonalization that I described earlier as feeling I have disappeared. Occasionally I've realized my husband no longer sees me as a person, I believe he's converted me into one of his employees! You can take the man out of the office, you CANNOT take the manager out of the man! He was very successful as a manager...but this does not mean that I want to work FOR him...with him is good, for him....Nope! In addition to this behavior from him, I also get a lot of comments when I'm in public where people know my husband asking how he is doing, what he is up to, wanting him to come out more often. He rarely ventures from the house due to walking issues, so this leaves me as the only source these people have. Now don't get me wrong, I'm very glad people like him, and I know they are just concerned and want to express this to me....but sometimes I just want someone to talk to ME...not ask me about him!
I've also discovered that in addition to being my husbands employee, or just the conduit for people to find out how my husband is doing, a lot of the time, I'm just my sons mother....Now most of you might be saying, well what is so wrong with that? If you have kids and you are a woman, you ARE a mother. Of course I know that is correct, and I don't argue with that sentiment one bit...I am proud of both my sons and love them very much. It's the being seen as ONLY their mother that I have issues with! It seems lately that because of the things that go on with my son due to his mental health issues, all I hear when I go places are questions about how my son is, what is going on with his life, how I should be parenting him...etc. HA if it is so easy to raise him then YOU do it! :)
This hub is probably prompted by the fact there have been several instances lately where different people have wanted different things from me, all at the same time, and no matter which way you turn, you disappoint somebody, and someone is upset with you! This afternoon my son wanted me to come get him from town so he didn't have to be on the bus longer than necessary as his throat hurt, my mom wanted me to get groceries, I had to drop money off for someone in town, and I wanted to wrap Christmas gifts. The end result was, my mom got upset with me for snapping at her, my son threw a fit and wouldn't let me pick him up in the end and rode the bus the whole way home, and I had to go to town anyway to take the money! (I did get the groceries though so perhaps I earned a few points...I'm not sure she wasn't talking to me when I got home...although she is now!) At least the dog behaved so far today...and the husband didn't nag for anything! :)
I think perhaps I should take this disappearing one step further.,..and reappear in the Carribean!! Or beg for a hot tub so I can sit and relax, but then they'd know where to look for me!
Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau