Saturday, August 20, 2011

Giving Vince Credit

We have been working on how we can relieve some of my stress and how Vince can make himself feel needed and useful again. It's so hard when you are as young as him (now 31) and you are so limited. This isn't how he ever imagined his life, or mine for that matter. In fact, off the subject a little bit here, but a few weeks ago Vince and I had similar dreams two nights in a row. One night he dreamt that he went back to work, but couldn't do anything because of his pain and weakness. He didn't mention this dream to me until the next night when I told him about a dream that I had where he applied for an exterminating job and got the job but never told the manager of his conditions and then had trouble standing up from the chair he was in. I think it just shows how much I want him to have a normal life, and also how much he wants to work and be normal. He tells me and his mom all the time how much he enjoyed his (short) career and how he would give anything to get it back. It's so sad. It's not fair. Not fair to him and not fair to me as his wife. Only (now) 27 years old and being the breadwinner of the house, taking care of a sick husband all while trying to figure out how to have a family. Sure, there are a lot of options, but why can't just one thing be easy for us? Because life is not fair and it just plain sucks. There is no better answer. Okay, I went off on a rant there for a little bit, but back to what I wanted to post about. We have found some household chores that Vince can do, and it has been a big help to me. Through talking with our therapist, I have realized that although I have to take over 99% of the duties in our life and in our home, it seems that maybe I have taken over the last 1% out of habit. It is easier for me just to do it all since I have to do almost all of it anyway. But in doing this, it seems that I have become overwhelmed and Vince is left with low self esteem and a feeling of uselessness. You see, when Vince was working, it was all he could do to get out of bed, go to work, and get back home. He didn't have any energy left in him to do any of the household things so I took over in hopes that he would work as long as he could, which he did. Now that he isn't working, although he has a lot of physical barriers, there are a few simple things we have discovered he can do and wants to do! I have discovered that he is a great duster and a great waste basket emptier. He is also now in charge of feeding the cat, putting away his clothes after I do the wash, and dust mopping the kitchen floor. These may sound like very simple things, which they are, but these are the things that he is capable of doing and it gives him some sense of responsibility back. He is starting to feel better knowing he is helping me in ways that he is able to. I still have a lot on my plate but these are a few less things that I have to worry about, and it's been a great help! We are continuing to look for different things that he can help with. 


  1. Sandy, you are amazing!
    it is clear (to me) why you do it
    but that doesn't make it easier
    small steps lead to great achievement!

  2. Sounds like a great solution for you both! I remember when my kids were little, if I would ask one of them to, say, set the table for dinner, and they complained, I would say, "Look - if YOU do it, then I don't have to, and that is a huge help to me!" Now they use that line on their own ids, so it must have sunk in.

    It's great that Vince can help when he feels able to, and then he can feel - validly - that he is contributing to the well-being of the household.

    Cheers for you both!