Pete, nobody's bashing, least of all Swim, who's offered up an incredible amount of info and insight. This is just more of the same. You've come so far! I'm so proud of you for facing your demons and taking control. You are my treasure and I won't let you go again..ever.
Ed, I sure do get flowers, LOTS of 'em...AND horse feed to boot! LOL!
First time he gave me flowers was our 2nd date. I heard the motorcycle coming in the distance, so I stood out on the balcony watching down the rode. The biked turned into the parking lot, mufflers thumping off the apt building. I looked down and there was Pete, climbing off the bike with a bunch of pink carnations sticking out of his black leather jacket, under his chin! Yeah, makings of a "chic-flick" there somewhere!
Swim, Nice to meet you. How'd the birthday leather work out for you?
This sorta looks like a "Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars" thing goin' on. LOL! ..and yes, it is true...years of it!
I think you might be onto something here...12 Step Program for Survivors! I'm in.... have we met?
So much has happened and no doubt about it, if anything'll get your hackles up it's "c". This *&#* disease isn't for the "faint-hearted". The emotional turmoil we've all experienced has run us through the wringer. We all perceive situations, words, scenery, life in our own way at any given time, and our emotional and physical states might clarify or distort that perception. Facts are facts, but there are often two views or perceptions of the same facts. I didn't mean to misconstrue Peter's words, they are his words.
Women, we can usually talk about anything and everything. I HAVE to talk it out or it'll eat me alive. But I also think I understood why Pete couldn't talk to me. CANCER dx...here he was looking at his future, and his father's past. That gut wrenching pain again, ripping through him like an embolism in a diver surfacing too quickly. The realization of one of his greatest fears was now staring him down, burning right through the whole of him.
Peter and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last September. When we met in 1979, we were so in tune with eachother we would often complete sentences for one another, or one would begin to say something and the other would exclaim, "I was JUST thinking that"! We talked about EVERYTHING.
"Wow, I've never met a guy who can listen and talk with me like this guy". That side of him was so unexpected. Being a big, strong, outdoor-type, he had lots of guy pals and would often take off for days with them. He enjoyed fishing, camping, motorcycles, racing, but he was also pretty popular with the girls...and it wasn't just that fabulous "swimmer's" body he was still sporting at the time! He knew how to talk to women, sharing information and self-history, he talked with me at length about his Dad's illness and the terrible struggle the family endured to survive; the endless surgeries, the chemo and radition sickness, the building and the ultimate destruction of hope, including a trip to Rome to be blessed by the Pope. Were there tears? You bet. But when it came to relating how he had been effected, he'd stop short of the deep end, never diving towards that gruelling, smoldering pain. Not only was it unbearable, it was unmanageable. So he buried it all in the wrecklessness of his days and nights.
Me? When my mother was sick and dying, I talked about it incessantly to everyone and ANYONE who cared to listen. But it was my husband who bore the brunt of my pain. If I was at home, he'd hear it 24/7, if I was in Massachusetts, he'd hear it over the phone. He listened, he comforted, he talked me through it. He'd been there before...he really KNEW what I felt.
Now it was my turn to be there for him, to listen and comfort and talk HIM through it as he'd done for me. We'd been through lots of rough times together, this was just another hurdle to overcome. But he wouldn't talk to me. Was this his way of "protecting" himself, me, both of us? (There's that Venus/Mars thing) And sure, I didn't KNOW how it felt, afterall I didn't have cancer. And he also knew we were both completely overloaded at that time; a son with a serious drug problem, terrible legal issues with my mother's estate, both working way over fulltime hours, problems with insurance ...blah, blah blah. It seemed endless, a constant barage of "stuff" that couldn't be ignored.
I was also acutely aware that something in ME had splintered and SNAPPED. I was in some type of self defense, (or self destruct) mode and I was numb to everything and everybody...thank you very much Mr. Tanguray and Mr. Smirnoff...felt I didn't have anything else left to give. The "Ice Queen" had arrived and there wasn't enough fire left in me to melt her down. Much as I tried, I wasn't "there". I watched as "some other family" crumbled and fell apart before my eyes. I didn't understand any of it.
For the first time in my life, I no longer recognized my own reflection. Who was this fickle, emotionally void airhead? What happened to that strong, "fight the lions in a den", woman that used to be here? I couldn't get organized or plan, my memory was completely shot, and I was spinning my wheels trying to keep up the pace. I could see Peter pulling away and I couldn't stop it. So strange, we were so close, but so far away at the same time. Like a pair of magnets, we spun around, attracting and the next moment repelling one another - inseparable opposites!
We pulled together hard & fast for our boys, but we still weren't addressing Pete's problems. I was so guilty about everything. Wasn't it my job to keep things together and running smoothly? "Don't worry, Mommy will fix", I used to say when the boys were young, but I wasn't fixing anything and truth be told, felt I was making things worse. In the back of my mind I could hear my own mother, "Snap out of it!!" ..sorry Mom, can't do it. I was too angry, grieving for my family's pain, and unable to control anything. (Got an Aries here...know what I'm sayin'?)
I was terrified he wouldn't talk to me, (and after all, who'd want to?) so I urged, pushed and prodded him to talk to someone, ANYONE, before it totally crippled him, and I thought "and us too".
If he'd found you all at that time, I doubt it would have mattered. He wasn't ready then. We'd talked about finding a support group, but he wouldn't make any commitments. Then "Reel Recovery" happened, next this forum, "HealingWell", and now "Us Too".
To those who may think Venus is an unreachable, isolated, a "never even want to approach it place", be warned...Distance between Mars and Venus is only 74,373,000 miles! (at the closest point in the orbits of both planets)
I didn't mean to start a "thing" here and maybe this should be my last post...I don't want to make more a a mess than I already have....and holy mackrel..I sure didn't mean to babble on so much.. my apologies to anyone bored by my drivel!
Special thanks and blessings to each and everyone of you. I am SO glad you're here for each other and you'll always be in my heart and prayers.