Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lingering Resentment

Don’t think I’ve told this story here before. I looked in my archives and don’t find it. It is a story of two things that happened 8-10 years ago. Both incidents happened prior to N coming into our lives. Both incidents hurt me like they happened yesterday. I am writing it here just to memorialize them and hopefully put them out of my mind because I know they are recorded somewhere not to ever be forgotten. Maybe I can let go this way. Maybe I can move beyond the resentment. Maybe not.

Incident #1
TS must have surgery to remove her very diseased gall bladder (memories jogged by reading Unspoken Drama’s blog recently). W takes TS to the hospital and stays with her as she signs in, changes into the always fashionable hospital gown, and has an IV inserted (a 45 minute nightmare unto itself, but I’ll spare you the details). As the nurse takes TS to the OR she tells W where the waiting room is and points the way. At that time he asks how long TS will be in surgery. When given the amount of time he replies that he’ll have time to leave and come back (first TS heard that he wouldn’t be sitting at the hospital waiting while TS has surgery). TS is a little stunned and hurt, but is being ushered into the OR so she says nothing. When TS awakens from surgery, W is by her side where he stays for a couple of hours before leaving for the evening because he promised he would go help some friends. TS spends a blissful evening and night in the hospital drugged to the hilt on Demerol (gotta tell ya’ Demerol is da’ bomb). The next morning TS is denied any more Demerol and is switched to Vicodin which does nothing for the pain, but adds stomach upset to the rest of the pain. TS is not happy. W shows up around 11:00 a.m. as TS must be out by noon or apparently her hospital bed would turn back into a pumpkin according to hospital administrators. W drives TS home, paying no mind to her complaints that going over bumps too fast increased her pain. W gets her home, tucks TS into bed, makes sure she has the newspaper, the TV remote and a glass of water. W is not seen, nor does he call to check on TS until after 6:00 that evening. W does not understand why TS is unhappy that he left her at home alone for several hours. After all, she needs her rest. TS brushes away the tears and realizes that her recovery time of one week is going to be a very lonely time. Turns out she is right. Keep in mind that W at this point was already retired and had no job and no child making any demands on his time. He simply chose to go help out at a friend’s business, work for which he was not paid. But it was important. His friend needed him. Apparently more than his recovering wife did.

Incident #2
Leaving her weekly Bible study, TS takes a very bad fall in the parking lot, tripping on a curb, flying slow motion through the air, thinking “I can’t say ‘Oh shit’ in front of these fine Christian ladies.” Upon landing hard on her knee, TS pooh poohs all the concerned ladies telling them she is fine, just fine even though she knows she is close to tears and in great pain. Mostly TS is pissed off that she just ruined a perfectly good pair of pantyhose because pantyhose aren’t cheap. TS gets up and limps to her car all the while protesting that she is just fine, and she smiles to her Bible study friends as she drives away. At the time, W has a pager but no cell phone. However, there is a car phone in the car TS is driving that night. She pages W using their prearranged code of 911 plus her number to let him know she urgently needed him. TS wasn’t sure she’d be able to manage the steps going up to their house by herself, and she knew he was at another of his get-rich-quick-fly-by-night-scheme meetings. She figured getting her and her ailing knee into the house would take priority. She figured wrong. W didn’t call back. Maybe, TS thought, he didn’t get the first page so as she neared their house she paged again. After sitting a few minutes in the car in the driveway TS decided she’d better see if she could get herself into the house by herself. Her knee had started to swell tremendously, and she had much difficulty putting any weight on it. She sat on the steps to the house and scooched herself up backwards to the door. She then pulled herself up so that she could unlock the door, hobbled into the house, back to the bedroom and collapsed onto the bed. TS continued to page W, about once every 15 minutes, wanting him to come home and assist her, and also to stop at the drugstore for a few things she felt she needed to tend to her knee. He never called her back. Eventually, late in the evening W came home and found TS on the bed, still dressed, with her knee propped up on a pillow. TS’s knee was approximately twice its normal size. TS asked if he’d gotten her pages. Yes, he said he had but he had been busy in the meeting and couldn’t leave. TS wondered out loud why they had come up with a coded system for pages if even the urgent code would be ignored. W didn’t respond. TS wondered out loud if W thought that she abused the coding system by labeling this as an urgent situation. W didn’t respond. W helped TS undress for bed and get up to use the bathroom. He then offered to take her to the doctor the next day if she wanted him to. If she hadn’t been so incapacitated TS probably would have come back with an answer to the negative, but feeling that she wouldn’t be able to drive herself she agreed. It took six weeks for TS to fully recover from the crushed bursa in her knee and to this day she still suffers from occasional bursitis because of it. TS also still suffers from the knowledge that W cared less about her than one of his many money-making schemes that never made any money.

Okay, there they are; two incidents years ago. I still resent how I was treated both times. I’m trying to let it go. I’m trying to get over it, but the following thoughts always linger in the back of my head,
“Will next time be any different?”
“Do I expect too much?”
“Do other husbands and wives treat their spouses this way?”

In counseling he has said that those incidents are long ago, that he wouldn’t treat me that way again. He seems to think that I should accept that those things are in the past, long gone, that he can’t change what happened. No he can’t change what happened, but he could give me some indication that he would do things differently now rather than defending his past actions. He could admit that treating me that way exhibits a certain callousness. Yet he sticks to his defensive stance, his position that everything turned out okay in the end so it is no big deal. Maybe it’s not. Maybe I am the one with the problem. Maybe everything really is all okay. Maybe those are pigs I saw flying by just now.


Unspoken Drama said...

*hugs* I am so sorry that you have carried these memories. You are a much much stronger woman than I. I don't know that I could even consider staying with him after experiencing such disregard from him.


freebird said...

I can't help feeling that you haven't quite finished talking these out. I think he still needs it spelling out that what is required is a little remorse. An apology would be good. I'm not sure he would be any different next time without learning these simple things and how much it still hurts.

Trueself said...

Drama - I guess I stayed because he had me so convinced that I was just a whining baby about it all. It wasn't until I started to talk about it to others that I realized that I wasn't asking too much to want my husband take better care of me.

FB - I've tried talking to him about it several times, even during our couples counseling. Nothing seems to get through to him on this issue. I'm not sure but it may be because he has had so many worse medical problems all his life that he just doesn't think my little things are a big deal.

Serenity said...

I too have incidents that i always said "go to character, your honor." Maybe he wouldn't act that way again but most likely his personality is what it is and how he reacts to things is not likely to change any time soon. So either you live with it.. or not. You should likely leave the past where it is, but that doesn't mean you have to take any more of the same.

Val said...

I've w/ya all the way on the "can't let go of past traumas" thing...
If I were smarter I'd embed that in a single link, sorry!
Dear P, too, is guilty of several instances of appalling behavior -- more sins of "omission" than "commission" at least...
But that's an excellent point you make Serenity!

oldbear said...

Sorry Truey, at least he could have apologized for hurting your feelings.

I think he treated you piss poo ron both times, especially since he ahd no job.

WTF else is there to do but get to help you. Efven if he left the room and gave you a little bell.

But ingnorign the 911 code is BS, what if you had been critically injured, or your folks had died and you needed support!

Sorry to add gas to teh fire. It was long ago, and gettign over it is advisable, but it would be easier to get OVER it........If he were to turn OVER a NEW leaf!!

Al Laddin said...

I'm with oldbear on this. I have actually been the "wrong-or" and the "wrong-ee". They both suck...the latter much more than the former.

Esp. if as the "wrong-or" you are a clueless bastard.

Trueself said...

Serenity - You make a good point about leaving the past in the past but not tolerating similar behavior in the present.

Val - That post was about the time I found your blog and started reading. We do have our similarities, you and I.

OB - Thanks for your kind words of support. His point has always been that I wasn't critically injured so using 911 was uncalled for because, after all, I did manage to get myself home and into bed by myself.

AL - It sounds as though you've learned something from your experiences so I doubt you are any longer a "clueless bastard" or would do those things again. However, if you do, I will be over with my 2x4 to whack some sense into you.