So, it seems so bizarre to be writing this. My partner was just diagnosed with cancer. I’m frankly devastated and angry, he can’t understand why I’m having either of these emotions, so it kind of feels easier to write it here (sorry Significant Other).
To put things into a reasonable perspective, I’ve been in love with my partner since I was 14 (See previous blogs) and after affairs and so much other fallout, I figured we had finally done it and settled down. It’s crazy, it almost feels like I’m not allowed happiness, and I know that sounds really selfish, but I’ve been dealing with ill and sick and dying people since I was 4 years old. I just want a moment, a moment when I can be me and I can feel loved and I can look at my life and not worry or be scared.
My partner is holding everything together well, although he can’t cope with my emotions. When I tell him how I feel, we row. He says he doesn’t think I’ll cope. Well I’ve coped for the last 32 years, what’s going to change things?
I feel sad. I kind of feel that I can document it here. It’s bringing a lot of stuff to the surface.
As a kid (if you read back you’ll see) my mum was an alcoholic. I’m sure she didn’t mean to be, she just fell into it after a series of unfortunate events. When she was alive, I felt, well worthless, just pointless, an offshoot of her addiction, an annoyance. She stopped loving me and, if I’m honest, I stopped loving her. The care and responsibility became so much that I couldn’t contemplate the idea of having children. It became a situation where I forewent having kids to look after my parents, plus I was never sure that I was emotionally mature enough to be a parent.
My mum passed away in 2006. I found her dead in her chair. The week before she had told me that she didn’t care if she lived or died, she just wanted the world to stop so that she could get off. She had no interest in me or my life, no yearning to see me get married, be happy or have children. She didn’t care anymore; she hadn’t cared for years. I repeated it word for word at her inquest.
After her funeral I met my ex. It was the day of her funeral. He asked about her and me and seemed interested in my life. We started a relationship. To be honest, I was amazed that anyone would find me attractive, my mum had brutalised any self confidence that I had. She had hardened me to life’s blows.
As it goes, he filled the space that she had emptied. My ex was abusive; he beat me; he broke my nose; he pushed me down stairs; he accused me of being an addict like my mother; he didn’t respect me or my body (I’m saying that lightly, but you can use your imagination). I stayed with him for 6 years!
When I finally left, I found freedom; I found me. I found happiness; I found the confidence to finally be the fat girl who spoke to my new partner and invited him on a date; I found the peace of mind to push. My mum and my ex had constantly told me what a horrible, ugly and stupid person I was and now I had confidence; now I could hand over the valentine’s card that I had looked after for 20 years; now I could be with my soulmate.
And I am with him, and I’m fat, and I hate myself and he has cancer. He keeps telling me that he doesn’t think that I’ll be able to cope and we row. We row more than when he had an affair with my friend. We row, I cry, I weep. I weep for us; I weep for what I wished for; I weep for the unfairness of life; for my lack of a break; for my yearning for happiness and children; I mourn what will be lost; what isn’t heard; my potential loneliness; the thought that he may get better and find someone else. I mourn it all and while I do it, I keep the stone cold face of someone who has witnessed death and dealt with cancer and illness for her whole life.
I know he is ill. My god, I love him so much, the idea of him being sick chills me and sickens me to my core, but I also know that I have to care, no matter how many people say they are there. I will be there at 3am; I am the person closing my business to be there; I am the one crying over something as silly as buying a new mattress and no one seems to notice that because I’m not ill. But I am ill; I’m ripping myself apart at the idea that my partner, my soulmate, the man I love is ill and that he will need me. I worry that I won’t live up to his expectations; I worry that we will never have children; I worry at all the responsibility that is being laid on me and I look at my friends and Facebook and I get angry.
I get angry at fate (yes, I know people have it worse, but I’m sick of having my future decided by others); I get angry at people who offer help, who say they are there (you know what? I’ll never text, it’s not my style, I’m the one who is supposed to cope. So yes, I appreciate the support; if you want to help, call me, invite me out for a drink; give blood; turn up on my doorstep with a frozen lasagne); I get angry at people who tell me that the cancer is curable, yes it is, after intensive chemotherapy (that’s the worse part); I get angry at people who don’t understand that because I live with him, I will also suffer my partner’s illness; I get angry that I haven’t had a moment to deal with it myself; I hate that I have to be the one putting on the strong face; it crushes me that my dream job will be lost so that I can care for the man that I love and that if my history was different that my reaction would be too; I understand that I live with cancer and that is currently what defines me, even though I don’t have it, I suffer from it.
I feel terrible writing this. I imagine I will be asked to delete it, but this is just a modicum of how I feel right now.