February 20, 2013

Don't Admire Me

Shortly after entering Mark's life I was hailed as his "personal savior".

It was flattering, and helped me feel like his family liked and accepted me. But it also undermined Mark's own efforts at getting his shit together.

When his kidneys failed and subsequently had his transplant, I was like a saint or something for standing by him, for staying and dealing with it all.

Sure, we weren't yet married and I could have said, "To hell with this crap, I don't have to take this  on!", and walked away.

But I had fallen in love with him. That love must have made me brave. I wasn't afraid back then.

While Mark was at his healthiest we got married and had our daughter, never once thinking the transplant would last only 6 years. Things weren't perfect, but he had done so well, seeming to have beaten all the odds. With a precedent like that, you have all the hope in the world.

We were crushed when the transplanted organs rejected and Mark went back to dialysis and insulin dependency. The wind sucked out of our sails and set us adrift.

Eleven years, relocation, another child, a house and two very big health scares later......it's hard to wrap our heads around everything we've been through.

Yes, I've managed to deal with it all. I've kept my chin up, pushed forward, held out hope and fell in love with my husband over and over again.

But it hasn't been pretty. There have been fights - ugly fights - things said that hit below the belt. Impatience. Selfishness. Tantrums. Not just from the children.

I still hear over and over, "I admire you." or "You handle it all so well. I don't think I could do as well as you have."

Don't get me wrong, it's good to hear that others think I'm doing a good job. Who wouldn't want to hear that?

On the other hand, sometimes I feel like a fraud. A fake.

Because a lot of the time, *I* feel like I'm holding it all together by a thread.

Also? What if, at some point, it breaks me?

Will you still admire me then? Or will I disappoint you?

I get angry. I get sad. I get disheartened. I get selfish. I get intolerant. I get insecure. I ball up my fists and stamp my feet.

I never "saved" Mark. I've just loved him. Loving him is really the easiest thing in all of it. He's loved me back and given me babies. It's not as if I've gotten nothing out of the deal.

So don't admire me. Don't put me on a pedestal. I'm just a girl who loves a boy who's sick. I'm just a girl doing her best with what she's given each day.

Linked with Pour Your Heart Out.

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