Diary entry June 17
The eye rolls were frustrating. It seemed like I annoyed her simply by being there. It all felt a little hostile – passive aggressive at least. I know she feared for his future. We all did. Even so or maybe because of that — I found the rudeness hard to tolerate today. I’m sure she didn’t realise how negative her energy had become towards me.
I attempted to contribute to the conversation, hoping I sounded cheerful – my efforts met with blank stares. I don’t think she meant to be rude. She isn’t always aware of her actions when it comes to me. I stopped mid sentence and fumbled for lost words that were sitting just outside my mind’s reach. I went completely blank. A flush of colour stained my cheeks. I felt I shouldn’t be joining in, and it was disarming.
With the deterioration of my husbands condition, the only reason I stayed close by was that he often become anxious if I wasn’t near — especially when visitors came. He wanted me there. Otherwise I would happily have left them to it. She didn’t know that. It would have hurt her feelings to know he needed me even when with her.
When she was ready to leave, I saw her out. I came back and sat down beside my husband, pulling the end of his rug over my knees. He asked what happened, why had I got up earlier and left mid sentence? I explained that every time I spoke it felt like I was intruding. He looked at me, smiled apologetically, squeezed my hand, “she doesn’t like to hear about my life from you. They have just never got us, none of them. They have just never got us, any of them.” He said. This made me sad. Not for me — for him!
Throughout what had been a horrendous time for him, she knew I thought some of his family had missed opportunities to support my him. I think she worried she was one of them. So when she was able to visit she liked his undivided attention. Busy work lives, distance and young families made it difficult for everyone he loved to be there for him, through his treatment. There was the odd visit here and there, but that was it. We blamed the distance between them..
The brief, unpleasant interaction between she and I hadn’t fazed him really; he was in too much pain to notice much of anything. His eyes were closed throughout most of her visit, it had surprised him when I stood up abruptly, excused myself and asked if he was Ok if I left for a while. I was done with the eye rolls and blank stares. I’m usually better at reading what people need from me, she needed me to be quiet. To not be there. Today I was too exhausted to make allowance where I should have. I could have handled things better.
When I could no longer stand the negativity, not wanting to add to it with my presence, or him to be surrounded by it, I told him I had some chores that needed doing, so I could remove myself from the the situation. It worried her to think he may have noticed that she offended me, or more so that she had been caught doing it. I had accidentally called her out on what I felt was poor behaviour, with my unwillingness to sit there and take it. She looked panicked, her eyes had darted between him and me, as she searched for the right thing to say.
She settled on, sorry, sorry…you don’t have to leave. I knew that! It was my house. I guess we both should have checked our manners at the door.