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Thread: How do you all feel about this?

  1. #1

    How do you all feel about this?

    For those who are AB and those with SCIs...

    My partner has been run down, shot, gotten MS, had a leg amputated, been physically and emotionally abused, and a few other traumas and illnesses in her life. She is my rock, my hero, and never ceases to amaze me with her strength. That is not to say she doesn't have bad days, weak moments, or has never wanted to say "ENOUGH" but quite frankly I suspect I'd be long dead if I had lived through what she has and as far as I"m concerned she's freaking incredible.

    However... Because I see her as such a strong person - always fighting to carry on as much as possible and then some- it also means that I tend to not feel like I have any right to ever feel pain - physically or emotionally. I broke my ankle and had to have surgery a couple years ago. Did this begin to compare with a SCI injury? Of course not. Did it still hurt? Um.. yep! But I kept feeling like I had to be "tuff guy" and never let on that I was in pain, cause Debbie endures more than that every day of her life.
    You get the idea.

    Now, I"m definitely and decidedly NOT blaming this on Debbie in any way, shape or form. As a matter of fact, we have discussed this and she believes that even if her pain level is higher than anything I might ever go through , it does not mean that I am not hurting just the same. She doesn't expect me to break my ankle and not even blink. This is my problem, and I know that, but it's still hard for me to deal with.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Guest
    Kendell, I know exactly, exactly what you mean. In fact I KNOW it so exactly, that I can't even verbalize what I "think' right now, cause it's just something I know in my gut. I will have to think on this one before I reply!

  3. #3
    You have to be who YOU are. Lose your self-identity and your relationship will suffer.

    She Loves you for you. Continue being yourself.


  4. #4
    Kendall
    It hurt's me to see anyone I love in anykind of pain!! when It happens I tend to forget about me and just worry about how are they and wow htat has to hurt!

    T-12 incomplete 10-3-02

  5. #5
    I so understand what you're feeling. I think it just speaks to the kind of person you are, which is a compliment to you. I have felt the same way, however, Debbie is right. You still have pain and health problems just like anyone else. We shouldn't feel we have to be Superhuman. That can lead to some serious health problems just because you are so intent on not ever complaining that you can convince yourself that whatever problem you might have, whether it's an injury or an illness, is not that serious and it may then become serious due to neglect. I know, I've done it several times myself even before I met my hubby I've done that. No one was ever allowed to be sick in our house when I was growing up, my ex-Marine stepfather didn't believe in it, until he got an injury of course.

    Even though I try not to do that anymore, I still feel guilty for going to the doctor or even saying I don't feel well or my neck hurts when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't move my head without using my hands to turn it, because at least I can do that, but it still hurts like hell. I know from my own knee surgery many years ago how painful that kind of thing is too, I swear it took two years before that thing didn't hurt all day, every day.

    Pain is pain, unfortunately we all endure it, some of us more than others but it's all bad. Allow yourself to be human, your partner obviously does, give yourself the same consideration.


    Jewel

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cspine's Avatar
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    pain is relative.



    "I vote . . . unrestrained idiocy . . ." -larwatson

  7. #7
    Guest
    Kendell I've thought and thought about this. Thanks for the food for thought!

    I'm just going to ramble on about my experience with this, it may or may not make sense!

    To deny myself to feel pain, or to admitt that I feel pain is to give myself the message that I don't "matter as much". (It may also give others that message (not Ray, but others)..."Oh don't worry about ME! I'll be FINE!"...I say this too much.

    I know that I matter and Ray makes it clear that to him, I matter MORE than "as much". But when I unconsciously (or is it consciously...hmmm..not sure yet) say to myself, "just be glad you aren't as sick as, or hurting as much as Ray" I neglect myself without even meaning to, or realizing it. Example, I will bust down doors to ensure he gets the care HE needs, but right now, I NEED a massage, a visit to the chiropractor, my teeth cleaned and bonded and a gyno check up! Part of the delay is simply that I just don't want to GO anywhere when I've worked all day. But, part of the neglect of myself I'm sure is because while I will rarely use my precious few days of leave for myself, I will without hesitation use it for someone else. So, I end up with none for me. I think I do this because I minimize the importance of my pain or needs, by comparing them to the pain and needs of others. "It's not as bad, so it's not important." This is unfair not only to myself, first and foremost, but in the long run it is unfair to Ray too. Some of the worst health problems start out as seemingly nothing. I have to take CARE of myself and recognize my pain as real, valid and needing to be addressed just as much as his, so that I can be there for him always.

    I grew up believing that we should put others first. I'm learning (SLOWLY) that putting myself first IS putting others first because good self care makes me a better helper for others, not just for myself. I also think when I hide my pain, I am robbing Ray of an opportunity to nurture ME. I'm denying him the chance to express his love for my by "tending MY wounds". And I think that is important. Even though he feels more pain, he still needs and wants to be needed. If I'm always the tuff guy, he never gets to feel that, at least not in that nurturing, "I care how you feel and want to help" way.

    I guess it's all part of the journey of living with and loving someone with extra challenges and suffering. I really have to be honest with myself ABOUT myself. (Which YOU know, I am working on! )

    I think a lot of the reason I ignore or deny my own pain is because I love Ray sooooo much and next to him, everything else just pales. And so I guess what I have to remember, is that the BEST way to love and care for him, is to love and care for myself. Which in this case means facing up to the fact that yes I DO hurt, I DO get sick, and sometimes I DO just need to chill out and DO NOTHING, but relax.....

    Thanks for posting this...it's a great reminder and really made me use my noodle!

    You and Debbie seem like a great couple! Real soulmates it sounds like.

    My mom is staying with me so I doubt I'll be back until Monday, so I'll just wish everyone a great weekend in advance! Carol

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Denying or minimizing your own pain/needs denies the other person's humanity (need and ability to experience and express compassion) and reduces them to a syndrome. My spouse is a fully functioning partner in our relationship. On a lighter note, I am always fine (f**k'd up, insecure, neurotic and emotional).

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us."~~Sartre

  9. #9
    Hi Kendell,
    I'm thinking to myself here that Debbie may be tough and thats good.Two is definately stronger than one. We sometimes don't think of ourselves as a support.You sound like a pretty unselfish person. We all need someone who is unselfish around when we are suffering.You were there when she needed you and i'm certain she will be there if you express your weakness and need of compassion as we all should do.Just somes thoughts about caring...

  10. #10
    I've been trying to figure out how to reply to so many great comments. All of you make very valid points. Consciously, I know that I am not doing myself or Debbie any favors, on so many levels, by pretending to be Superwoman. If I don't let her know I"m in pain of any kind, then she not only can't help me, but she tends to start doing the same thing - which becomes a vicious cycle of not communicating on some of the most important things we need to talk about. I owe it to both of us to stop doing this. I think even though I know it isn't a healthy thing to do that I still maintain the facade because I know that her health is seriously declining and I want more than ever to be strong for her. Well, sometimes being strong means letting the other person know just how much you care, and allowing them to see your fear so that they have the freedom to confide their fear to you. A couple of days ago we had probably the most honest conversation we have ever had about life, death, and us. It was remarkable, and very freeing.

    As for not taking care of myself on a physical level, or allowing myself the right to feel pain and let Debbie nurture me when I"m ill or injured instead of acting like I'm always peachy keen fine, that is still a work in process. It has helped me a lot to know how everyone feels about this. (Madame X, I'll thank you to get out of MY head! ) Debbie has certainly shown me in any number of ways through the years that she not only wants, but needs, to be there for me as much as I want to be there for her. I have done a piss poor job of giving her the space to hurt for me and care for me too often. Part of that is me - from the time I was a kid I always have tried to take care of others while insisting that I was fine. It's a very unhealthy habit, and totally unfair to my wife who has a very normal need to want to be my helpmate. Maybe I asked this question already knowing the answer cause I needed to get it slammed into my head once and for all. You guys did that in a very kind way, and I thank you for that.

    oh yeah - Marie, I know all about being "fine" As for reducing Debbie to a syndrome , believe me if I were guilty of that,she would've kicked me to the curb long ago.

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