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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Are we REALLY going to go there? Again?

Matt and I have a crazy few weeks ahead. I am off to the NAHAC (National Association of Health Advocacy Consultants) conference in Washington DC and when I return, Matt will be leaving for the Society for Neuroscience Meeting. I'm a bit bummed about all the time we will apart. (Yes, I AM the person whose last blog addressed the fact that we are back to thinking about living apart again).

Matt -- not so much. He remains pretty unfazed, and exhibits no interest in spending extra time together in anticipation of all that time apart. Not even to squeeze in a morning trip for coffee before leaving for work. Sometimes this gets to be so much to bear: we have so very little "quality" time together, primarily because of the toll it takes on Matt when we focus on our relationship. I don't want to be needy, but it's hard to find a reasonable compromise where I get enough good time with Matt without him having too much good time with me.

So I end up spending most of my time struggling with the sadness that I feel because I'm not getting my relationship needs sufficiently met. At the same time, I understand that it isn't fair to expect all of my needs to be met in my relationship with Matt. I know I need to build more mutually supportive relationships with friends. The problem is, I get so little "good" time with Matt that I hate to spend the necessary time away from him in order to strengthen other relationships.

And so it goes, around and around in my head and in our little lives. A constant low level of depression certainly doesn't make this any better. How can I consider spending time away from Matt when so little of the time we have now is quality, marriage-sustaining time?

What a weird relationship we have. And yet we love each other, and I really, really, really don't want to lose that.

And, oh yes, after our separate trips, we are going to visit family together. Again. This did NOT go so well the last time (check back through my earliest blogs for a recap). However, my Dad has a big birthday coming up, and Matt loves him and feels it's important for him to participate. I suspect Matt will spend most of his time locked away in a room by himself, avoiding the crowd. Hopefully he'll manage to keep from experiencing status cataplecticus (those rolling, constant attacks of cataplexy that make him so very ill)!

I'll let you know how it goes. Because I am pathetically and eternally hopeful (read "in denial"), I kind of expect it to be better than the last time. Only time will tell, so stay tuned! Maybe we'll have spongecake?


  1. Matt is pretty brave to try another family visit. I really hope this one goes better. And Trish, he is not the only one who suffers when that happens. It seems to me you do just as much. How can you enjoy visiting with family when you are worried about Matt, suffering for him, and possibly a little guilty? (Not that you should be).

  2. Sorry I missed your earlier mention of the trip -- I'm actually doing my own brave/stupid trip to southern california for thanksgiving, too, so sadly won't be around. I'll be hoping you guys have an easier trip this time, though. I've found that if I make sure to go hide and rest _before_ I really feel like I absolutely must, I tend to do a little better most of the time, but not always. And, of course, my cataplexy is still nowhere near as bad, though I'm pretty sure it's worsening over time.

    Re: relationship stuff, it's damn hard from all ends. I wish I had some pithy advice, but I honestly don't. I don't have quite as hard a time with people I'm really close with, usually, but I'm aware that whatever cataplexy symptoms I've got are changing, so I don't know where anything in my life is going, ever.

    Which, I suppose, isn't exactly _new_, but it's sort of weird to have to be so aware of it constantly.

  3. My friend told me about your blog; I like your realism about not having all your needs fulfilled by the one person; I've always felt this to be the element of failure in a marriage, most especially in our western cultures, that women put so much demand on a man to be everything to them. It's a Hollywood myth, I'm convinced. Having different people in our lives to fulfil different needs is essential....I love that you have the courage to see that and I hope you find it in others and attain the balance that we all need so much....


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