Sunday, August 5, 2012

Surrendering Sanity

Why is it that women have to act stark-staring crazy to convince those we love the most that they need to take definitive action? Have we made a terrible mistake with all of our love coming from the same well as our mothering? Whoever came up with the concept that men protect women, but that men need no protection certainly was never in a real marriage.

I thought I was through with mothering when my children made it clear that they wanted no further help with mothering their children. I have long known about myself that the only people on earth that I was willing to give my life for were my children and (if necessary) their children. I reasoned that this was because I had responsibility for bringing innocent souls into this not-so-innocent world. I have found out that I was sorely mistaken.

My long-suffering husband waited in the wings for over twenty years for me to mother him with the full intensity of my passion. He had saved me from financial ruin, supported me while I mothered countless relatives and neighbors, held me when I was nothing but a husk, and drained of all energy in my soul.

The cost to him seemed to matter little. Never did he complain. Even my efforts, and those of my family and our friends, to save his life were really more about my need for him than about his hanging on to his own life. He seems to take all of life, including death, in stride. He has said that he refuses to live a life of fear. He allowed me to handle all the fear while he continued to provide. He even had every insurance one could imagine to protect me when he's gone.

When I began to feel like the burden was too great, I simply lay down and handed it all to him. He has been handling it, but I still felt scared. I tried laughing, crying, screaming. writing, and singing  out my anxiety. None of it did any good until I did all of these things at the same time, and threatened to abandon him. Now, he's paying attention and accepting help in finding answers. It only took five years of lunatic behavior. How was I to know that I had to surrender my sanity for him to understand how much I love him? Maybe as much as I love my children, because I've certainly gone insane more than once for them.