The answer to the question “How are you?”

People think I am so strong.
I’m not.

I’m trying to be patient and encouraging, but I am failing dismally.

I’m flawed and broken and frustrated, and I keep on going because I don’t know what else to do.
I’m so tired. I’m tired of pretending everything is ok when it’s clearly not. I’m tired of trying to stay positive when everything feels like it’s turning into seventeen kinds of crap on a daily basis.
It terrifies me that the doctors still don’t know what they are dealing with.
It scares me that my usually active husband is pale, sleeps all the time, and has fevers on a regular basis. He’s losing weight and not eating. He’s been poked and prodded, he’s had surgeries, he’s been on the receiving end of all sorts of tests, scans and needles.
I’m angry and resentful and impatient and scared and as miserable as hell, and there isn’t even anyone to blame.
It is what it is and there’s not a damned thing I can do about it.

And that’s all before I even start to deal with any physical pain I experience on any given day.

People tell me to let them know if there is anything I need, and I say I will, but I don’t. I’ve been conditioned from an early age to not ask for help, to not talk about money, to not express emotions that might make other people uncomfortable, to not show others our weaknesses, to soldier on and go extra mile after extra mile. As a rule, Christians are expected to help those in need rather than admitting to being needy in some way. Even the word needy makes me cringe. Nobody wants to be needy. Ugh.

People tell me to make sure I take time out for myself. Treat myself. Get pampered.
That’s going to happen.
I’m totally going to go out and indulge myself while he’s lying in hospital, a shadow of his former self.
As if.

Others have expressed surprise that I am still staying here with him.
What else did they think I was going to do? What part of who I am have they so obliviously overlooked? Or do I actually give people the impression that I that much of a selfish cow?

And if I did go home, even for one night, they’d be the first to tell everyone how heartless and selfish I was to do that.

Oh, home.
I miss home.
I miss my housemate/bestie and I miss LMC, even if she does test my patience with incessant chatter sometimes.
I miss my dog and my cat.
I miss my own bed. I miss my comfy chair.
I miss my bathroom, and I really miss having my own laundry that doesn’t cost me $20 every time we need clean clothes.
I miss having my own space that I don’t have to pay for at a set rate per night.
I miss falling asleep without crying for an hour or two first.

I just want him to be healthy again so we can go home.

And to the person who suggested that I’m kind of lucky because I’m “getting an extra holiday”… Why don’t you try it?

Please, don’t ask me how I am. You probably won’t like the answer any more than I do.


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