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wanttobehealthy 04-11-2011 07:17 AM

My health
I spent part of this past week hospitalized. I haven't said a word about this to anyone other than my kids of course who knew I wasn't home. I am ashamed of being "weak" I guess and trying to keep it a secret.

I've had these weird fluttery chest pains and lightheadedness for about a year and on Sat night I had a really bad episode of it. Tingling down both arms, fell down bc I was so dizzy, difficulty breathing etc... I thought it was a panic/anxiety attack issue. Turns out, after being hooked up to every monitor known to mankind that there's some abnormal patterns to my heartrate. It fluctuates between racing and my blood pressure dropping dramatically (thus the dizzy feeling) to my heart rate slowing dangerously and my blood pressure spiking.

I had a bunch of EKG's, a chest xray, have a portable heart monitor that is connected to 911 somehow so that if something happens and I can't call 911 myself, this monitor somehow signals 911 to come...

So, last night after being released from the hospital on Fri and then having to return Sat night and being released on Sun morning, my AH said he was staying at the house last night in case something happened. I didn't argue.

This morning I got up planning to go to work. I got up, woke AH up, told him he probably should get up and get ready too, then I got dressed fast, got both girls up, started breakfast for the girls, started to make lunches etc... All the while AH is making coffee and sitting drinking some and DOING NOTHING TO HELP.

Finally, as D3 was fussing about her clothing and I was still doing 100 things all at once with no help, I said to AH "could you PLEASE help me out here?!"

That was all I said.

That one remark resulted in a tirade. Being told I am an unreaosonable b*itch, how he can't wait to get the hell out from under my nazi thumb, insulted and swore at me in front of the girls, even D5 told him to stop and he looked at me and said "see what you're causing!?". Normally I'd defend myself, argue back etc... This morning I just stayed calm and asked him to please stop. At one point he told me to "worry about yourself" and I told him I was but that when he worried just about himself and did not help out with the girls and morning duties, it put a lot of stress on me that I can't deal with right now. That made him blow his top. Not sure why.

I have told him umpteen million times that I understand in the first 12 months of recovery (which I don't consider him even a part of-- he is not in recovery at all from what I can tell) he needs to focus on nothing but himself and not have many expectations placed on him. I've said I understand that. But I told him BEFORE he decided to stay last night to "help" me bc of my health issues, that if he was going to be at the house, he needed to ask himself whether hew able to pitch in. I said I didn't need him to stay, didn't expect him to, but that if he did stay then he needed to contribute and help.

I think that he just used my health issues as an excuse to stay at the house and treat it like the hotel with maid service he thinks it is. I stupidly thought his offer to stay was a "let me stay to help and let me stay so that if something happens to you & you have to go back to the hospital the girls will have someone to take care of them in the morning". But that was naive huh? His offer to stay was clearly a self serving move. Now when he has to leave again and can't stay indefinitely he can use his tantrum this morning as justification to blame me for his misery....

I am SO tired of this. I am tired of it all the time but right now I am freaking out bc I have a SERIOUS health issue going on and even with that he can't stop being a narcissist.


LS2 04-11-2011 07:50 AM

I am so sorry your going through this with your health issues. It hurts to have 'normal' expectations of a spouse, but they are so self abosorbed. It's all about them. Is there anyone that could help with the kids in the morning? with your Ah being around it seems to be adding more problems to the ones your already dealing with.

Buffalo66 04-11-2011 08:04 AM


I hope you take care of yourself...

incredibly, I have some of these same symptoms. Sometimes I feel like I am going to "bottom out" Very disconcerting, and my doctor told me it was arythmia, with stress. Really bad stress.

I wonder if there is anyone else you can get to help out?
It would be great if you could count on him, but he is proving himself to be an addition to the stress.

Do you have the financial resource to pay a college kid to 'help out' on weekday mornings, so you can get him out of there? A relative?

When my son was having surgery, and the recovery was too long, with complications...My RAH kind of wanted to help. All I got were self centered phone calls, and visits that focused on him. It made it soooo much worse.
I feel for you

Thumper 04-11-2011 08:16 AM

:hug: I hope your health issues resolve soon. The stress can't be helping.

I found that once I aligned my expectations with what I had learned from his past behavior, not how I would react to a situation, the stress did reduce. I also began arranging my life so that not one minute of it depended on him. That really reduced stress and frustration, for real.

wanttobehealthy 04-11-2011 08:19 AM

Wow- it's reassuring in a way I guess to know that others have been in the same boat. When I was a college student (back in the dark ages!) I had anorexia and was warned that I was causing damage to my heart. I hadn't had any issues with irregular heartbeat/blood pressure and shortness of breath since the early 1990's up until the past year.

And I haven't said anything about these symptoms until I wound up in the hospital bc I figured it was just my time to pay the piper for my past bad health choices...

I guess I was naive to think that stress had nothing to do with any of this...

BobbyJ 04-11-2011 08:42 AM

They take so much from us
and by the end, I have gave my health to him too..
Stress is like cancer. It eats us alive...
But remember, we are the only ones who can change that..
Your not alone, Im scheduling a surgery, because of mine
And I have promised myself, it will be the last time...

GettingBy 04-11-2011 08:43 AM

I don't have any great thoughts on your health issues, but I can tell you that it does absolutely SUCK to have a partner who couldn't care less about what you're going through.

I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma back in November - and my AH wasn't there for me, at all. He didn't care that my arm was completely tore up and I couldn't do heavy lifting. He didn't want to talk about any of my feelings. I went through it completely alone. I'm still struggling with it emotionally - and he told me last week, "You need to get over yourself."

He's so full of his own hatred that he simply does not care about me. And expecting him to suddenly want to care and be there for me... is only going to set me up for more hurt. Sad, but true.

Your AH is not in a healthy place, and your health issues are NOT going to shock him into getting there. Accept it, and continue to use your boundaries to protect yourself from further hurt.

eaglette 04-11-2011 08:55 AM

Hi wanttobe,

Coming from one person who struggles with boundaries, it does seem like you might be having a tough time with yours right now. Even though it is true that your husband needs to focus on himself right now, it takes two to maintain a relationship and a healthy family. It seems like he may be taking advantage of your generosity. Remember that many addicts tend do this, and if it was a behavior he learned before he was in recovery, it's another pattern he will have to break. Focusing on himself is not the same as completely disregarding your needs and the needs of your family. No, he cannot be expected to participate in the same way as you can right now. But I don't think it's unfair to want some help from time to time. You both elected to remain in the relationship following his recovery. Although sobriety needs to be top priority, you should still at least make the list. And the same goes for you, GettingBy. You both deserve to be in a relationship with a person who will show love for you, even if he has to put himself first right now.

eaglette 04-11-2011 08:56 AM

I also hope you feel better physically!!!

nodaybut2day 04-11-2011 09:52 AM

He can blame you for all he's worth but you don't have to accept that blame. His inability to control his rage in front of *children* is a clear sign that you need to get him out again. It wasn't clear in your post if you had asked him to leave once more though...

wanttobehealthy 04-11-2011 11:02 AM

Nodaybut2day. This morning i just wanted him out. I've asked my mom to be here this afternoon so that if he decides to show up, i will have a witness hearing me telling him to leave and a witness to any possible tantrum he has.

Getting by- I'm really sorry your H wasn't there for you this fall. The things he continues to say to you about this are far too familiar.

again, i shouldn't be surprised that my H isn't the man he claims/pretends to be this past week for me... there have been a handful of times during our marriage when i've leaned toward (not on since i know better, but toward) him and he's let me fall to the ground. my fault is in continuing to think that the "next time" will be different. i guess it's not all that different than the "magical thinking" that this time the drink will be okay that my H has displayed for years. problem is that it seems a lot harder to say to myself "leaning on my H is unhealthy" than it would be to say "i shouldn't injest alcohol bc it is unhealthy". one seems a naturally normal thing to do and is necessary (human comfort) for emotional health. the other isn't a necessity for life.

ugh. this all sucks and i am sick to death of it.

i just remembered something i want to share that popped into my head.

this fall our youngest daughter (then 2) had her tonsils and adenoids out. H refused to take the morning off of work to be there with her before surgery, to wait during and to see her after surgery. on top of that 5 other people called/texted to see how she was throughout the DAY and not one of those people was her father. i finally called him around 5 (PM!) and he gave me the following lines:
- if she were older and realized that i wasn't there then i would have been there-- she doesn't know the difference so it doesn't matter
- i don't like how you treat me and wasn't about to be around you all day and because of that i was forced to not be there for D
- he had no ability to call bc a) he didn't have a single "break" all day (though he does have a 1 hr lunch daily) and b) i didn't give him enough time to call and if i had, he'd have called (surgery was at 7:30 am and i called bc i hadn't heard from him by 5 pm)

Then when he came home, due to my reaction (telling him i was upset/disappointed) he left and went on a 2 day bender and i had to take those 2 days off (bc he'd agreed to take them off to be home with D2 since she couldn't return to school that week) and got a tongue lashing from work because of it.

I guess I should have remembered this before I went looking for his support for my silly heart health issues-- if he can't be there for his own young D, why would he be there for me? He has informed me many many a time that he IS there for the girls but not me bc they are "innocent" and have not "hurt and betrayed him" (evidently i have and evidently if that happens then one can not care-- gee, how is it he's been able to get caring from me then?)

Sorry for the ramble.

Guess I need to accept he is useless and probably would be whether he were an A or not. I don't think his behavior is bc of alcoholism. I think he's a jerk and there's no "recovery" for that.

I just would have liked to not be dealing with a huge dose of a$$hole on top of feeling like crap right now. I think that his feeling miserable ='s a need to take any crummy situation for someone else and make it worse for them in order to feel better about his life.

Today I really hate him and no, not just the disease. It's him I hate.

FindingPeace1 04-11-2011 12:08 PM

I know it doesn't feel like you have any control over your life situations right now, but you do.
You can't control him being a selfish, abusive jerk, but you can control how much (if any) time you spend around him.
You can't control his frustrating behaviors, but you can control how much mental real estate you give him. If he's being annoying, you can work on conciously setting it down. Catch yourself spinning on it and choose not to stress on it. It just IS. It doesn't help to stress on it. Just ACCEPT. Yep. He's being a jerk again. No surprise and no thanks. How can I weed him out of my life situations so his ICK doesn't bleed on me?
You can't control the crummy things arising, but you can control where your awareness is and how you handle it. Attempt working on ACCEPTING the health issue. You don't need to be ashamed. You don't need to be upset or helpless. You can see it for what it is and make choices (right now) that care for you in regards to it. You can ask for help from others to take care of you and your family.
And, you can remember that despite the crummy things, you have many wonderful blessings in your life. In fact, this setback might bring you unexpected gifts. Perhaps you can look at how you are benefiting from these struggles. If that seems impossible, you can reflect on the other great things that are in your life.

I have a quote on my wall: Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

Hang tough,

sillysquirrel 04-11-2011 12:25 PM

First and foremost, I hope you are ok and that you are putting your health above all else.

There is no doubt in my mind, that having your "R"AH back at the house to "help" you is not going to work. I have already decided that he is a clone of my "R"AH so I know him well. Having him there will only stress you out more. I find that with my "R"AH, it is easier for me to not have him only pis*es me off. His inability to help out results in alot of anger that I hold inside that wouldn't be there if he was absent. I have found that I am much better off taking on complete responsibility of my children and having no expectations out of him whatsoever. If, out of the blue, he decides to be helpful....great. But if not, I didn't expect it anyway.

With your health in jeopardy right now, do you really need the added stress of having him back in the house? I understand why you let him expected him to react with compassion. He is not capable of it, at least not right now. What is best for you?

wanttobehealthy 04-11-2011 12:37 PM

I don't know who else to call to help with the girls. My mom lives in town but is pretty unstable. I thought that regardless of what he felt about me, he'd care about his KIDS but his actions today said otherwise.

keepinon 04-11-2011 02:08 PM

People who are narsicissts(sp?) can pretend/play/look like the rest of us at times..but they are not..if this isn't all the proof you need, I don't know what is..take care of yourself..he won't/can't/is not equipped

coffeedrinker 04-11-2011 02:20 PM

Oh, my heart goes out to you.

I know that when we are really in need, that's when we most expect those who claim to love us to jump on that white horse and rush in.

One of the posters said he/she was sorry that your AH let you down. I'm not so sure I feel that way.

I found that when mine "came through" for me in either small ways, or just came through but couldn't keep it up, it really only perpetuated the notion that "yep, he really is good down deep." "yes, he does love me and when he's not too depressed he can show it" and a number of other statements that really didn't help anything.

The painful truth was that my man simply wasn't able to sustain a loving relationship....any relationship for that matter....with another person. No matter how much he cared for me down deep, he was not what I needed and deserved.

This guy clearly isn't either, even if it's only to be a dad to those dependent children.
Having him shovel out that kind of verbal abuse in front of them is completely unacceptable. He is showing them how a man treats his wife. And when you expose yourself to it, you are as well.

I hope I don't sound unfeeling or overly blunt. I think that we act on behalf of our children more readily than on behalf of ourselves. I hope he doesn't come to their home again.

Tuffgirl 04-11-2011 03:04 PM

Originally Posted by coffeedrinker (Post 2931336)
The painful truth was that my man simply wasn't able to sustain a loving relationship....any relationship for that matter....with another person. No matter how much he cared for me down deep, he was not what I needed and deserved.

This guy clearly isn't either, even if it's only to be a dad to those dependent children.
Having him shovel out that kind of verbal abuse in front of them is completely unacceptable. He is showing them how a man treats his wife. And when you expose yourself to it, you are as well.

Ah, so true, so true. And that is not ok. Not ok for a man to act like that, and not ok for any of us Mom's to allow it to happen.

Separating from my RAH was a terribly sad and difficult decision for me as a woman, but a very easy decision for me as a Mother. I do not want that kind of influence around my kids. Thanks, coffeedrinker, for saying it so eloquently.

sillysquirrel 04-11-2011 05:44 PM

Isn't it they want us to need them, want them, rely on them....and on the rare occasion we really need them....they can't be there? This is a huge problem for my "R"AH and I. He hates how independent I am....but he made me this way. When I occasionally do need him for something or dare to ask for help, he is never able to give me what I need. And then I get mad at myself for even thinking that he could possibly help me out in any way, shape or form.

StarCat 04-11-2011 07:27 PM

Originally Posted by sillysquirrel (Post 2931556)
Isn't it they want us to need them, want them, rely on them....and on the rare occasion we really need them....they can't be there? This is a huge problem for my "R"AH and I. He hates how independent I am....but he made me this way. When I occasionally do need him for something or dare to ask for help, he is never able to give me what I need. And then I get mad at myself for even thinking that he could possibly help me out in any way, shape or form.

Thank you for putting this is writing.
It is absolutely true.

I have discovered that I can do so many things now, that I never thought I'd even be able to think about doing... And I think it's because I was brave enough to venture forth and learn to do things while living under the false assumption that there was something else to back me up if things went wrong, mixed with the requirement for me to be strong and independent because I knew at the same time that he'd never be there for me.

Some good came of this.
Thank you for reminding me!

wanttobehealthy, XABF was always talking about helping me, but never actually crossed the line into doing anything useful. Anything he did to "help me" resulted in more work for me. He'd hang a picture, and I had to hold the chair he was standing on, the pencil he'd use to mark the wall, the hammer, the nails, and keep his pants from falling down. His version of cleaning the dining room table was to hand me things and tell me where I should move them. His version of helping with household chores was to rip up my bills and write little notes like "Please make bed" on the pieces and spread them around the house near the things he was complaining about. (No, I am not joking).

They don't know how to help, and so they never will, even if they think they are. XABF thought he was the most helpful guy in the world, and was always talking about how much he helped me and how I never did anything for him - but XABF is a walking to-do list, and he's not the one doing the doing.

Sometimes it's a good reminder to remember what we're leaving behind, so we don't mistake it for something we actually want.

Alone22 04-11-2011 08:12 PM

First off I really hope you are feeling better very soon. Health issues can be so scary and are not fun. Focus on you and take care of yourself the best you can. I'm not sure how old your kids are but I bet if you asked them for help ( to help themselves) you might be surprised at how much they can step up.

Now...WOW flash backs for me on your comments. The only time I have ever been really ill was while I was pregnant. I was one of those very unlucky women who had horrible sickness the whole time or most of the time I was pg. Life was very difficult for me. It is kind of like having motion sickness 24/7. I was SO disappointed in my AH during my pregnancies. The person I relied on to help me was our son (for pg 2 and 3). If I needed something I would ask him out of fear if I asked my AH I would get some grumpy response that would make me feel worse. Sex was difficult during those times but I did my very best, but yet it was NEVER good enough... there was no compassion from him AT ALL. Looking back I think he was at his peak of abuse during pg #2 and was just down right mean. Amazing what I thought I could get from him not knowing how sick he really was (is). Amazing what I allowed to him to do.

Hugs to you.. really hard accept who they are and who they are not.

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