One Fresh Hell, Hold the Tomatoes

Yearning for my partner’s support and the kind of tender and caring love many of which many metastatic sisters write and blog about, I now look over at him, home in bed, and find one whose dark, inky emotions remain locked away inside his heart, like the stars behind clouds in a dark night sky. He lays there disengaged, thinking to himself about things that cause long bouts of sighing, and the simmering anger of so many men who find themselves bitten by such disorders.


Last week found me a visitor to a mental health facility, leaving him there each evening, heading downcast out to my car and my lonely drive home. This place just a few miles from our house, in the foothills just south of the city in an unremarkable single story building where I chose to allow supposed professional responsible human beings to rescue my ailing partner from the shackles of long term anxiety and depression. Leaving without him broke my heart and provided not a whit of relief as a few close friends hoped a “break” in the action might provide. His pained eyes looking upon my sadness as yet another judgement to come down upon me. Another multi-year term added to the #lifer hashtag slung around my neck like an albatross, another petal of hope plucked from the near bare flower of love for him in my heart.

All the while I possess the knowledge that I likely won’t live to see our future through to a plausibly happy conclusion. Even though this love is over 10 years in the making, cruel editors mangled the melodramatic script and the film itself in the can, spliced together and the story arc mangled under the cruel cinematographer’s blade. The final reels go to the studio with all of my scenes cut and lying on the floor.

I hoped for relief at the end of a long week spent alone over the course of treatment, no sparkle reappears in his eyes yet and his happiness not yet resuscitated. It takes the Zoloft about four weeks to help much.

But I’m mostly alone these days. Yearning for my partner’s support and the kind of tender and caring love many of which many metastatic sisters write and blog about, I now look over at him, home in bed, and find one whose dark, inky emotions remain locked away inside his heart, like stars behind clouds on a black night canvas. He lays there disengaged, brooding silently, interrupted by long bouts of sighing. Inside him rises the simmering anger of so many men who find themselves bitten by but embarrassed to speak of such disorders.

Sometimes, it’s just frustratingly difficult to hide my outrage for being his care giver for over three years, of which this past 18 months one of the most heart wrenching trials of my life. My god – this and cancer, too? Fuck. What more can one do but look up and ask the ceiling over our bed long and winding questions about the treacherous nature of spiritual meaning, self-worth, and the relative value of a life. I then break from the summation of my existential questioning of cogito ergo… to find an email in my inbox from someone who reaches out to me to thank me. Grateful for my honest approach to my blog posts they type out a note that reminds me of why it’s worth it to know that it’s my responsibility as a wife to make a decision to help alleviate my partner’s suffering and try to revive him, to ask the wide, wise universe that his soul be returned his body.

He, too, wants only the same for me – happiness – yet indicates we may not stay together. For fuck’s sake — why now and you have got to be joking (the only sentences I can form without punching him in the face.) These trivialities came to him exactly how? On what plane of existence does he live in that this would even be okay? Not even by a substandard, unintelligent alien culture of unfeeling assholes would this rank as logical or even just “fine.”

Then, with that comment lingering in the air as the gas he passed as he falls asleep yet again and I’m left to wonder alone, naturally, what fresh hell might await me tomorrow?

Hopefully a new sandwich called “fresh hell” from the deli and no more than that.

2 comments on “One Fresh Hell, Hold the Tomatoes”

  1. Continuing without typos – I was interrupted by his answering the door and having a package returned for lack of postage to a customer because I’m scattered about like crumbs from that big shit sandwich and cannot See seem to put things back together or into perspective properly. I have to babysit until Monday and get him more help again. He’s not going to be able to do this on his own and I’m just lost. I’m more than likely going to have to take him to a better facility like Stanford today as he is completely not functioning at this time. It’s so heart wrenching to see my love in so much anguish. Too long without treatment – lying to himself and me about what he has or has not done. I’m now in financial trouble because he can’t get it together long enough to clean up a mess he’s created for no reason I can tell. Thankful for the Eckhardt Tolle discovery I made a few months back to help me separate the emotions from who I am. But he cannot do that right now and I wonder if he ever can. It’s not as though he doesn’t know he’s creating escalating stress for me – he does. I’m not able to leave him alone; he will do something destructive and he can’t get ahold of himself. But I know this, I do not have the right resources to help him myself. He would just as well walk out the house in a state of disheveled unkempt “homeless” chic than pace a groove into our catwalk – a behavior this so called care facility allowed him to pick up like a case of the crabs.
    Fuck this and #fuckcancer.

  2. A big old shit sandwich with a layer of sadness, between two slices of toasted pain with the melted past dripping out of the sides rendering it completely inedible. After dinner last night and attempts to reason with an unreasonable adult who has all but given up on even trying to use the tools that several therapists have shown him and reading countless books, articles, blogs by writers who have come through mostly in tact, I can say yes, he has a fighting chance but he has to take the ring himself and make his recovery a part of his life work right now. He’ll wind up back in the hospital this weekend. I’m messing up my own life by trying desperately and failing miserably to help him repair his own. It’s no ones fault that he has a hereditary illness and I try to separate the disease from the symptoms – but also holding him to the responsibly of carrying out his care has just exhausted my emotional resources. I nabbiymv

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