Pain and Pleasure

Posted on 09 April 2012

It has been a rough week, full of pain and pleasure but mostly pain. I am filled with angst, wanting to do the right thing for someone I love but not knowing what the right thing is.

I cannot tell the full story at this time because it could create more problems. There is someone I know who is being verbally abused by her husband. She cries too often and yet does not want to leave him because without him she is alone and homeless. He also has some serious health issues and she fears he may die when she is away and then she will be consumed with guilt.

I understand too that their relationship has always been abusive and this is her norm and though she is miserable, she is afraid of change. I think that change becomes more and more difficult as one grows old.

I forgot to mention that she is a woman in her eighties and can no longer look after him or her house well.

Relationships are difficult at any age. A couple do not always want the same thing. One may be suffering physically. One may be in a bad mood (with oneself.) The other irks. The other does not understand. Nothing is discussed calmly. Everything becomes an affront. Everything is blamed on the other.

Rob sent me an email about the five things people most regret when they’re dying. The first and last struck me most.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. And 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

All the regrets pertain to self. Reminds me of some lines from Oliver:

“When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Just before things became difficult, I had a good time with my siblings. Two flew in from Vancouver and so the six of us were together for the first time in five years. We gathered at our parents to celebrate my birthday. We surprised Mum and Dad and had a great day catching up, feasting, drinking bubbly and later in the evening, dancing. I adore all my siblings.

This whole trip has me thinking about relationships and how the word “love” is thrown around, often without substance. You cannot say that you love someone one moment and the next sling abuse at her or, at the very least, not pay attention and care about her well-being.

I love this quote from Shirley’s blog “…whatever you pay attention to grows. It’s a simple enough thought, really. Tend to your garden, practice your scales, invest your money, write your book, pay attention to your partner. Anything that is important deserves attention, and if you are ignoring it, that’s worth noticing too.”

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