I went with my husband to his cardiac rehabilitation and I got to watch some of what my husband does as he works towards recuperation (if that is possible at this point in his life, after 5-6 heart attacks (I’ve lost count), 17 stents, and a Defibrillator/Pacemaker combination. But since he’s been attending (and eating better) he has not had a bout of Congestive Heart Failure (this is the point where I would knock on wood). The rehab center is basically a mini-gym at the hospital with I guess are qualified nurses that are fitness experts. They attach a heart monitor to all the participants and basically give them very light workouts. I think this is a really good thing for my husband to participate not just because of the health benefits but otherwise he just sits at home and does nothing, remember his Archie Bunker chair?. He has been going to the center three days per week. But I have to tell you, going here with him and seeing the way he is acting just walking the hospital halls with him I felt like I was with my grandfather and not my mate. He was stumbling and seemed to almost exaggerate a weakness, it just all seems to put on, but I can’t say that for sure, that’s just the impression I got.
Right now he is sad, I can tell. Something is up with him, he is sad or scared or whatever but he is not acting normal self. His “woe is me” attitude seems to have increased…maybe he really is weak, too weak from doing nothing day in and day out, his body and muscles have atrophied. I hope he keeps up with this rehab because I truly believe these sessions are good for him. The saddest things for me during this visit was that most the people were decades older than he is (except one guy that looks like he’s in his mid-40’s) but because of this exaggerated sadness or mood that he is going through he is acting like he is the oldest. He seems to be the most helpless, feeble, and weakest of all, not really talking to anyone and just moping around. All the rest of the seniors here are talking and laughing and seem to have bonded slightly. Not my husband, he is just sitting alone, silently and answering questions when asked with this unusual soft weak voice he’s been using lately. I am glad I got to see the process and see the good things they are trying to do for him but I’m also sorry I went with him because I think part of the way he was acting was his putting on a show for me. He’s playing the mental mind abuse games with me, trying to punish me, but for what?
After we got home from the rehab things just got worse. I don't know how much longer I can take living with this man I swear I'm just so disgusted with him right now, he's acting like such a fucking old man hardly speaking just sitting and watching TV. He seems to have enough energy (when he doesn’t ask me to do it) to go to the kitchen and make himself something to eat. He is being really weird, when I speak to him his responses don't really acknowledge how or what I'm saying to him. He is of acting like the characters of “Keeping Up Appearances” (the old British 80’s/90’s era sit-com usually found on Public Broadcasting although lately it’s been on Netflix) when Richard talks to his wife, the main character of the show, Mrs. Hyacinth Bouquet (or Bucket as it is spelled) when she responds “That's nice” to Richard out of context. Like one episode he says “Guess who I ran into today?” and she responds “Did you?” This is exactly the way that he responds to me right now.
Sometimes I try to talk to him about my work and I know hearing about another person’s job while interesting to the speaker is boring to those that are forced to listen but I have NO ONE ELSE TO TALK TO! When I tell him about something at work or something he doesn’t even respond “Uh-huh” he responds with some word or statement that doesn’t even sound like he heard what I said, more focused on either TV or his smartphone, even though there are only the two of us in the room and I am talking directly to him it’s like I’m talking to the wall.
Since we've came home he went silently to the kitchen and made himself a huge salad. He hasn't spoken a word to me since we came into the house, just sitting there with this great big salad and watching Judge Judy. I can't stand this fucking life and I can't stand living with him anymore. I just I just want it all to be over. It's no fun in this house, it’s death waiting to happen. I know he's got heart issues but I didn't marry him so that I could spend the rest of my life in silence, taking care of him, get him his food, and doing things for him that he should be able to do for himself. I certainly am taking my marriage vows seriously and I defy anyone to say I am not doing my duty as a spouse but there are something he can certainly handle.
If I am not here to give him his food (or if he’s being overly moody like he is right now) he finds the strength to do it himself. I don’t mind taking care of him when he needs me to but I think that lately he has become lazy and just says “Get me a glass of ice” or “Bring me some cookies” or “Get me a pudding” while he sits in his “Archie Bunker” chair.
I mentioned at the rehabilitation center he acted like he was the oldest person there when almost everybody else had at least 10 to 30 years on him. I mean seriously they were 10 to 30 years older than him yet he acted like he was the oldest one in the room. I’m just so depressed living with him at this very moment if it weren't for my dogs I could just take a belt and put it around my neck and hang myself from the nearest tree in the backyard (yes, sometimes I think of the what would be the easiest way out of this world, the most painless and quickest) I am just so done and finished with his life. My husband just exists and so do I, we don’t live, we serve no purpose. Let me repeat, we JUST EXIST.
My only purpose for existing beside working and bringing the money to support the house is to care for him and my dogs and right now my dogs are the only thing that are important to me. Once I don't have my dogs anymore, once the last breath of my last dog is taken from me I hope I drop dead seconds later. If I were to die my husband can have our 401K and my pension from work and with his SSI should be set for life and I can be at rest. But if my dogs out live me at least one of them (my youngest) has 3 to 4 years left so that is quite a few years away at this point. I hope my attitude changes because I really don’t want to die, I know I don’t, instinctively I want to survive and I know I’m a coward so I wouldn’t have the balls to actually go through with suicide so when my dog last takes his last breath I know that I will be too chicken shit to kill myself. If my life is the same in 4 or 5 years as it is now I hope I have the strength and courage to step out of it and follow through with the easy way out (the question is what is the easiest way out?). I SERVE NO PURPOSE. I have HIV, I have no children. I am NOTHING.
I know it doesn’t sound like it and if it is confusing to you imagine how confusing it is to me as I do love my husband. We've had too many years together for me not to feel and know that he his my family, my only family, and truth be told the only person in my life that cares, but the longevity of our relationship is part of the problem, the tedium, this relationship should have ended 20 years ago. Out of the the 35 years we have been together 15 years would have been plenty enough and at this point there is nothing sexual about us, we just more or less live together. We haven't had sex in probably 8 years if that, maybe a bit longer. We just live together. I love him but I’m sick of him. This is the existence my parents had together, there was no romantic love between them, they just lived together until they died. My husband and I are living their lives. My parents never spoke to each other unless they had to (laughingly when my father became drunk, then he became really talkative - something he and I have (or had) in common and when my father got into that “talkative” drunken state my mother used to say when he was out of earshot “I wish he would shut up”.) The only conversation they would have of substance was when she would ask him some mornings if he wanted eggs. That's what my life with my husband has become, we don’t talk to each other unless we have to and then he doesn’t listen when I do talk. The other day I was on the phone with him and I started telling him something and he said “I gotta go, it looks like the dog is going to pee”. He had been home with her for almost 12 hours while I was at work (and driving back and forth) and the first conversation we have he has to cut off because he “thinks the dog is going to pee”. Hasn’t he been letting her out all day? It was just an excuse because he didn’t want to listen nor did he care what it was I saying to him.
I know I’ve said some mean things in this post and probably because I am a mean person, I don’t know. I’m not a good person and I hate myself. I hate my character, I hate my life, I hate my job, I hate everything (except my dogs). I try to be fun, I try but I can’t. It’s not my nature and no matter how hard I try I am still that boring guy that people try to avoid, offering a wave from a distance but never really wanting to engage in conversation. Nothing I say seems to be of interest to people so when I talk in real life no one seems to care. And honestly about 90% of the time I don’t care to talk to them either. I am bitter, I am angry! I was very upset with my husband today and said more that I should have and I'm still upset with him but the things I said I needed to say and now I have calmed down a little bit. Part of me is angry because he so old now and he shouldn't be, he is only 62 he could have so many years left in him (he doesn’t have HIV by the way, despite our past years unsafe intimacy he never contracted the disease, and now we don’t have sex so the likelihood is he never will contract it) but he's acting so old and just waiting for his death. I’m not asking for him to do somersaults in the front yard, I just want him back the way he was, when he showed some kind of interest in something, in anything! When he used to do things that made him proud and happy, when he would just wake up and start a project. Now all he does is wake up and make his way to the Archie Bunker chair and sit; I can't deal with what this life has become.
I'm so frustrated I do love him, you can't spend 35 years with somebody and not feel love for them but I wish this would have ended 20 years ago, it probably should have been years ago when his sister told me I was not going to keep them apart and I said for her to take him, I probably should have insisted that they both go at that point. Maybe we would both be happier today. I write this now throughout the day as I record my thoughts to Google-Docs to it might seem like things are said out of order or not chronologically correct and I’m saying that because at the beginning of this post I said he was sitting in his chair doing nothing but it is hours later now and he has been asleep for the last two to three hours. I just want him to get to become a bit more active, I want him to say “Let’s go to the store” again. Even though I usually didn’t go because I don’t like to shop, at least he was doing something and then when he would go by himself and come home he would tell me about things that happened like who he ran into or the cute cashier that checked him out. Sometimes he would show me what he bought but most times he would either just leave the stuff in his van or put it in the spare room because what he bought was nothing we needed, usually other peoples junk from the Thrift Store or clearance items on something we could never used but the price was too good for him to pass up, but at least it he was excited about buying the stuff to begin with. Now he just sits or just sleeps. Waiting...waiting to die.
I just hope that when I quit drinking in the next two days (which is really scaring me because I'm beginning to face a life of temporary sobriety after tomorrow night, December 31 is my last night drinking) I'm hoping things change for us and we start to live our lives again instead of just existing. I am just so sick of the way things have been for us. I love my dogs but I feel so sorry for them that they have to exist in this house the way it is. They are not living the life they could be living, fun and excitement, no, they just exist with two old men that sit next to each other in their Archie and Edith Bunker chairs waiting for death. The biggest excitement my dogs get is when I walk around the outside of the house with them. Anyway so while he’s been sleeping I've been cleaning the house, I vacuumed, I started polishing the furniture, started to a little laundry. I wiped off our stainless steel appliances and of course having a cocktail because tonight and tomorrow are it for me, no more drinking.