Where do I start? I feel really sad today, even though nothing has changed since yesterday or the day before. It’s not the melancholy I mention in a previous blog, but one that’s a bit raw and closer to tears.
The summer has been hellish. I should feel refreshed. I feel dog-tired.
MrP has been convinced, as I’ve mentioned before, that I’m having an affair. This conversation has been a rolling one, where it bites me on the ass every few hours. I’ve been in the dock – the judge, jury, policeman and not to mention a spy – pressing me for the truth.
The truth is that I’m not having an affair, but it would be easier for MrP’s poor brain to hear that I have been lying, so that he knows his brain and thinking process are fully intact. I can’t imagine how awful this must feel. Yet, I am not doing anything any differently than I would have 9 months ago – when he would have happily put his life in my hands – but now he can find dishonesty in any of my actions.
I understand – now – that distrust of a partner is a common trait of the drugs MrP is taking. It’s made me realise that if I had taken time to learn about the common side effects (beyond the gambling or sex addiction I had heard of, and which seem far worse) then I might have been better prepared for the onslaught that came this summer.
Even throughout our holiday – which I’d saved for – I was distrusted, called a liar and a cheat – not in those words, but they summarise them. It was a continual groundhog day.
One of my best friends – who MrP has chatted to about his situation* – asked me if I was being entirely honest. To this day, this question upsets me a tiny bit, that she doubts me. And if she, of all people, is wondering if I am being honest, what the hell must other people think that MrP might have downloaded to?
MrP is extremely convincing. When he’s with others and at work, he is fine. It is just with me that he has a problem.
Then, after weeks and weeks of feeling smaller and sadder and like chunks of my personal strength were being chewed off and spat out, MrP lets me know that his specialist has mentioned Parkinson’s Plus, which apparently, if he has it, means that the drugs won’t work so well and he could be wheelchair bound in 18-36 months.
Was I able to jump to MrP’s support? Was I hell.
At the time, it was another shock, another session, 36 or so hours after the last. Another thing to try and find more strength and bounce back from.
It was a shocking moment as a wife. I did not do my job well. Never again will MrP go to his doctor without me – my excuse was that he seemed just to be going for maintenance visits and I am running a business and extremely busy trying to protect us financially – but I’ve learned that lesson too. I was wrong. The news was too much for MrP to hear on his own and I should have been there so we could process it together.
Yet, I can’t tell you upset I have been about having my honour questioned and lambasted every few hours for the last few months. Parkinson’s Pinball cuts me to my core. I might be many rubbish things, but honesty and integrity are huge to me. And here I am being questioned by those closest to me. Four people have asked me if I am having an affair after talking to MrP. One person said to MrP that ‘maybe it’s payback time’ because of his past indiscretion. It is not payback time on a personal level, but I am trying to sensibly manage all the feelings it creates.
I wonder if my friends think maybe I’m being cruel at home. I am scared and tired and pressured, but cruel isn’t who I am. The truth is, it is incredibly hard to support MrP like he needs it when I’ve been under an emotional attack.
He’s been looking at all my emails, my documents, my blackberry, my Twitter messages, work phone bills, my train tickets. He finds ‘evidence’ that isn’t there. I don’t mind him reading my stuff – there is nothing to hide – but I don’t like being treated as guilty.
I cannot possibly prove that I am not having an affair.
I don’t know how I feel about him *downloading to my best friends. In many ways, I find this ok, but in others it upsets me in ways I’m not sure I can pin down. Partly, it’s because I feel it’s not a safe place if I’m going to get MrP’s views come back to me. I don’t mind hearing a different point of view, hell, I welcome it, but I already know MrP’s views, I don’t need to hear them from friends. I know they would always be loyal to me, my kids and MrP, but it just feels awkward to me. Like I say, I can’t pin it down.
I can understand people thinking that I might be having an affair because I need support and love in our strange situation, but I am not. I am not. I am not. I am not even going to someone else and downloading. There is no one else.
MrP and I, thank goodness, had a fantastic talk with his oldest friend – and godfather to all three of our children – the day we came back from holiday. It has helped MrP see that the drugs are working overtime. This is not him. This is not who my husband has ever been. He is trying so hard to address it, and I honour him this.
He is helping himself address it which is fantastic. We have set up tactics. I won’t use my blackberry as an alarm to wake me up (as that makes him think I’ve got it close by to use it in strange hours – I absolutely admit that I love my blackberry – but it’s because I enjoy work and getting occasional texts from friends. It’s a ‘normal’ world in there. Either way, I will try not to have ‘crackberry’ addictions.) I will ask him if he’s worried about things, calmly, so he can ask me daft questions and I will try not to get upset and feel the need to justify innocent actions. I need to take my emotional responses away.
We are going to try and find a counsellor so that we can talk this through and find positive actions we can take, and prepare for the next stage in our Parkinson’s journey.
I’m hoping this part of the journey is done, but I just don’t know what is coming next – emotional or physical. Googling anything is a nightmare – you can’t possibly tell what might be our Parkinson’s or someone else’s Parkinson’s. As far as I can gather there is no typical course ahead. We just need to step forward as bravely as possible.