My new boyfriend has begun to sleep over some nights. He says to me...every time I move you jump and ask "am I ok?". He says I am not even awake but I ask it every single time.
I have tried to explain that I was a caretaker for many years. Gary was sick alot at night, had alot of accidents. He tried to clean them up himself out of pride and embarrassment but as a caretaker you can sense something is wrong. How many nights did I wake up to him sobbing, embarrassed and helpless. I would methodically put him in the shower....pick up the towels and rugs and soiled clothes. Strip the bed, spray air freshener. Start the laundry and treat it for the smells. Mop the floors, sterilize the shower. Dry him off, powder him, help him dress. Put him back in a freshly made, lined bed, wash my hands and go back to bed. He would apologize and cry and feel so bad. I didn't care. He cared.
Gary used to say "Quit asking me a 100 times a day if I am ok." I would get paranoid that I was doing it without really realizing it. How does one get so repetitive?
Now I know....I thought if I could intercept the "not ok" I could change the outcome. I could somehow save him...I could cure him....I could keep him. I failed at all of it miserably. He wasn't ok and there wasn't a damned thing I could do about it.
Now....a year later....I am still paranoid and I do not know it. I still sleep on pins and needles. I still have the phobia. How do I get rid of it? Will it eventually go away?
No. I think for the rest of my life I will always be paranoid that I am loosing someone. That they will die on me. I think I will always be scared. I think I will always be looking for the other shoe to drop. Will I smother the next person I am with because of this? I don't know. Do they understand the fear? How can they.
It's all out of love but now mixed with fear. It's time to move forward but so much of our grief is wrapped around us.