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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's news --no science today 3/27/2012

I just completed reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides in which the female 1980’s protagonist reduces her life and her ambitions to try to please her intellectually gifted, although personally flawed bipolar disordered boyfriend. The author describes her as entering the forest of his life and states that “there comes a moment, when you get lost in the woods, when the woods begin to feel like home.”

As a caregiver to someone who is ill or disabled or to a child who has developmental difficulties, this sentence is illuminating and descriptive. Having never pictured my existence these past six years in this way, I nevertheless understand anew my myopia, my denial of the gravity of my husband’s illness and my determination to keep him as healthy and as independent as possible for as long as I could. As a child therapist, I admired the families of autistic spectrum disordered children, ADD kids, physically challenged children who devoted their entire lives to the wellbeing of their child.

When the physicians at the psychiatric hospital convinced me that my husband’s safety and mine could not be assured if he remained at home, a path opened for me to see a way out of this particular forest. I have to come to grips with my failure to succeed in the impossible goal I had set, I have to accept the grim reality of my husband’s constant and continual loss of skills, cognitive, self-care and now immediate short term memory skills, and I have to understand that although he is no longer violent or aggressive, he is so dependent and in need of such constant attention that I still cannot take him home where both he and I want him to be.

1 comment:

  1. What an important, humbling insight. Who would we be without books?!