'Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing, the dream that you wish will come true.' - Author Unknown
The process of grief is multifaceted. According to Barbato and Irwin 1992 grief is fundamentally an emotional response to loss, the expression of which can include, sadness, sorrow, fatigue, depression, anger, guilt, anxiety. The list goes on! Although I feel that I have managed to avoid many of these symptoms it would seem that, intermingled with similar after-effects of Breast Cancer, I may not be the person I think I am . Much has been written about the effects of both grief and breast cancer/cancer on relationships. We know that many do not survive. I had considered myself to be one of the lucky ones.
It is now 5 years since my surgery. I am just one year into my treatment with Femara; 4 to go! God willing! It is nothing short of a miracle that I am still here. Somewhere along the way it appears that I have lost myself. According to Haydn I have not recognised the loss. Although I consciously grieve for the many losses in my life, I had not been aware that I might also be grieving for the loss of self. Haydn is struggling with the person I have become while I would have said he did not even notice. He simply gets on with his life. I understand Haydn's frustrations. After all, he is my ex-husband; I know him well. We have been together 14 years. Although we separated, later divorcing, we have never been apart. I simply moved out, taking Jeremy with me. This I did to protect myself and my child. We continued to fraternise.
I have noticed for some time that the relationship has become strained. I am used to Haydn and his need to retreat into his 'cave' at the appropriate times. It is his 'thinking' time. I was quite unprepared for the outcome this time. For the first time he laid his cards on the table with complete honesty. I appreciate that. Many things were said. It is not my intention to go into them here other than to say that it has given me plenty to think about.
Each time I go to discuss the situation I burst into tears. He then says it would have been better to say nothing as he cannot handle my tears. I reassure him that tears are good and I wish I had cried more as they are a great emotional release. There is no shame for him to admit that he feels let down by what has happened in his life and wants to 'grab' life and run with it. Strange, I feel exactly the same way. The question is 'Can we do it together?'
Haydn feels he is 'missing out' while I see him as 'living his dream.' He loves the farm. Being out in the paddocks, on his tractor, or with his cattle is what he loves to do. He has the freedom to hop in his vehicle and go wherever his heart takes him. His family are close by; he can see them whenever he chooses. There are things in our relationship Hayd finds difficult. At just 63 he has much to look forward to. With the 'right' partner, in good health, life could be good for him.
On the other hand, I rely on him to take me to appointments. I miss out on so much rather than ask him to give up his time. I miss my family and my friends. I love my cyber friends who fill a HUGE void however, I miss personal contact. I feel the need to find my passion! I am no longer interested in 'housekeeping' and the fatigue prevents me from participating in many activities.
It is interesting to note that Haydn does not share the same point view. I am grateful to him for his honesty and have explained that this is like a game of 'hot potato.' The 'hot potato' is in my hands and it is now up to me to decide what to do with it. My feelings are that this is something I need to 'hang onto' until the New Year, providing I don't get burnt.
At the end of the day it takes two very special people to survive all that we have experienced in our lives. Simply put, maybe we are not the people we thought we were.
I think I will have a look at the movie EAT PRAY LOVE. There may be something there for me.