Changing the Rules

I decided recently to start preparing for the next stage of my life by pursuing my computer Spanish and looking for assistance in various avenues. Getting the windows done has been overly dramatic. They are installed, but I seem incapable of cleaning the upper ones. I have to get the window guy to come help me because I think one of the windows is missing a slider.  However, they are basically done, which is huge. Once the outdoors stuff is done, I will have the time to focus on more indoors-y stuff like Spanish.

One of my obstacles has been Barry clinging to me. He has been clinging hard and I can never escape this situation if all I do is watch TV with him and maintain the old lifestyle. I have been making gradual changes for probably a year, but the more I let go, the harder he clings. So now it’s getting ugly. I am changing the little things in my routine, like the morning kiss when I get my glasses off the table in the living room. I now put my glasses on the dresser before I go to bed so that, in the morning, I can start my kitchen routine without having to make a trip to the living room at all. I feel horrible and cruel. But I don’t see a lot of options. I have to make sure that Barry has nothing to cling to if I ever want to move on. I realized that his clinging to me was keeping both of us stuck. He likes where we are stuck. Well, that makes one of us.

Part of him is trying to let go. I can see it in how much he sleeps. I can feel his spirit withdrawing. That’s why I don’t get a response when I speak to him many times. He is truly “not all there.” In other words, part of him is trying to leave, but another part is hanging on desperately.

What’s hard is that part of me desperately wants to hang onto the old life, or at least the illusion of it. I want to be married to the old Barry and pretend he is still here. My needs aren’t getting met and this has caused a rush of grief in me. The problem is that my needs haven’t been met for a few years; I’m just getting honest about it now.

So I am changing the rules to fit the current reality and to prepare for the one I must eventually deal with. This is painful. I would love to explain some or any of this to Barry, but he is cognitively compromised. I am on my own to figure out how to navigate this time of my life. I thought the transition from this part of my life would have been much earlier and easier than this. This is limbo. This is bardo.

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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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