Because my mother chose to live her life as a leech on society and I felt the humiliation of that, begging for food in poverty and degradation, I'm touchy about accepting favors, charity, accolades, gifts, or compliments. **That doesn't include those of you who constantly help keep my computer going, I don't know why my brain has made an exception there, but I will still be e-mailing you to fix something.**
But it hurts me to have to lean on others, including my husband. I'm very independent and I will crawl on a broken leg to do my laundry and the things I consider my part of the bargain in our marriage. I snap at him when he hovers. I feel guilty because I don't work and pay my way. I know that's not right, I know it, but it's how I'm wired. I take care of. Nobody takes care of me.
I've been ill the last few months, struggling to do basic things like get out of bed. And Bill has taken over a few things, the shopping. I stumble through my household chores in the few good hours I have a day and feel like a total slug because I literally lay around the rest of the time (or sit at the computer, that doesn't seem to tax my energy too much, although I haven't been as up to that as usual, either.)
In a desperate attempt to save our marriage (an attempt that has been going on for 25 years now:)) we are going to a therapist. Yesterday I told him how awful I felt that Bill was taking care of me and he smiled and said, "Did you ever have that one child who wouldn't cuddle? The one who would stiffen in your arms and want to get down and play? The one who you kind of enjoyed it when they were sick because you could hold them and rock them and love them?"
I said, "well, not really, but I had a grandchild like that."
He said, "that's you. You're the baby who won't let him love you and take care of you. He's enjoying this and he wants to take care of you. Let him."
I was like, "oh." Isn't that the most precious concept? I don't know how long I'll be able to let him be nice to me, but you know, I could get used to the foot rubs.
PS, I'm not dying, I'm just aging rather rapidly.