Yesterday, I sought the advice of a banker (think George Bailey as opposed to Gordon Gekko). I was on the teller line when it dawned on me that he might be able to provide an objective view of my sweatshop work schedule. I asked the teller if he was available and to tell him that I didn’t want any money. I never want money, I loathe debt, deep underlying control issues.
My husband has proposed, innumerable times, that we hire someone to absorb some of my work load. I have been resistant to taking on the responsibility of one more person who will rely on us for livelihood. Our banker listened to me, made some observations and suggestions. He laughed with me in the ongoing battle I have against testosterone and growth. He told me something I wanted to hear, that my husband is right, that we have reached a place where we can afford to hire someone to help me. He acknowledged my control issues and told me they’re common.
There are times that I do not hear what my husband is telling me or maybe there are times that he does not articulate his intentions. We talked last night about the period when my brother was dying. My husband felt bad for my brother, knowing every day that one day soon it would be his last day. During that time, when my heart was crumbling slowly into little pieces, my husband was mad. Last night he volunteered, “I was mad when Brian was dying because I was worried about you.” He drove my sister and me 600 miles round trip to see my brother, several times. My sister and I sat in the back seat and talked while we shored ourselves up to watch Brian fading slowly out of our lives. My husband was mad because I was out of control with anticipatory grief and he didn’t know what to do.
Another of our friends has died in recent weeks. He told us he had herniated discs in his back. He had cancer everywhere. He didn’t tell anyone but his best friend, not one other soul, not even his son. He lived and died the best way he knew how. He kept control so he could protect his loved ones, so no one would be hurt by his pain.