Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHAPTER TWO, continued: DENIAL DEVICE: December 2009

Please start reading my memoir from the beginning.

(All names are changed)

December 10, 2009

Jerry came downstairs to the family room tonight and begged me, in a dramatic way, “Promise me you’ll stop me if I try to go to the funeral.”

Since I work at a dementia community, and a man just died there, I said, “Why would you want to go to his funeral? I’m not even going.”

He twisted his mouth, shook off what I said, and told me, “Just promise me.”

I said, “Did you take your meds? You’re acting weird.”

He raised his eyebrow at me and said, “She just told me the doctors found a spot on her lung.” His voice caught.

“Who?” I wondered if he was talking about his sister. Why wouldn’t he want to go to her funeral? Then I realized, no, it’s his girlfriend.

 “How do you know they found a spot on her lung? You told me you weren’t going to email her anymore.”

“I know, I know. But this was important. She felt she had to tell me.”

 I got up from the couch and started pacing and huffing in disgust. I turned to him and made a gesture like he stabbed me in the heart with a knife and was turning it. “Why are you doing this to me?” I wailed. “Stop. emailing. her. She has a husband to confide in and doesn’t need to confide in you.” It was hard to hold back my wrath.

Still pacing, I spoke, as if to myself, “I must be the stupidest wife on the planet.”

“No, you’re not.” He plopped down on the coffee table and held his head in his  hands.

“I am. I told you to stop your contact with her and I believed you when you said you would. Now you’re on Facebook with her and you’re still emailing her. I want you to stop.” I stamped my foot. "Stop lying to me!"

“But she could die.” He gave me a horrified look as if I should join him in sympathy.

“I don’t care if she dies,” I snapped—and I meant it. “You have to stop this. You are a married man. She is a married woman.”

“Okay, okay.” He didn’t look compliant, only angry. “It’s obvious you don’t understand.” He stomped out of the room like a child in a temper tantrum and took off upstairs, calling over his shoulder, “If it upsets you so much, I’ll just stop telling you about it.”

I am the stupidest wife on the planet. Still, I sat back down on the loveseat, fuming, and picked up my crocheting. I told myself, I think he heard me this time.

My reasoning turned off and my inner thoughts took over as I sat in front of the television again in a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder orbit. I remembered all the things he’d done to me in the past on an unceasing loop—thinking, wondering, analyzing.

Crocheting is my coping mechanism, but I’m thinking now it’s my denial device. It helps me forget . . . rather, deny.

I am my mother.

Help me, Lord. I so need Thy help.

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