I must admit that I never viewed love as the perfect “happily ever after” depicted in the movies. Relationships are hard, just as life is hard, and that perfect ending in the movies doesn’t exist. Doesn’t mean that one can’t be happy, just that there will be good and bad and ups and downs.
With that said, I didn’t expect at age 41 to be both the breadwinner and housewife along with caregiver of my partner (who is 49) for going on 15 years. My partner became permanently disabled within a year of us entering our relationship and has battled chronic pain, an autoimmune disease, and decreased mobility for most of that time. More recently, she has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (an Alzheimer’s related disease than can potential end in Alzheimer’s but will hopefully be curbed by meds). And this week we find she could have early stages of Parkinson’s. Needless to say, medical problems and hospital visits have long been routine and just a way of life.
As a result, I feel like I lost my voice along the way. Long days are spend working at my “day job”, taking care of my partner and our menagerie of pets and rescues, taking care of our home, and running our animal welfare group. When I finally sit at my computer for “me” time, I’m at a loss. In exhaustion, I can no longer remember my prior thoughts that will express myself. What, really, are my opinions? What do I believe? Am I passionate about anything anymore, or am I just a machine doing the physical tasks that need to be done.
So, here I am, finally beginning to express myself again . . . time to have my voice heard once again.