Friday, April 02, 2010


Right now it's very dark and I'm typing solely by the light of the computer screen. Thank heaven's for learning touch typing! I'm trying to be very quiet because Joe is sleeping and I can hear him breathing the way he does when he's deeply asleep. We are on vacation, that is to say I am. I'm feeling a little guilty because, while I get to take vacations from my life, Joe doesn't really get to take vacations from his. There is a level of unfairness when it comes to disability. Sometimes, with barriers and attitudes, there is an unfair degree of restrictions on my life. Sometimes with the steady constant of assistance and need, there is an unfair demand on Joe for his time, his effort, his work.

Going on vacation is great for me cause I don't pack, I don't haul, I don't load the car, I don't lift and stuff the wheelchair into the back. It's great for me because I can fall asleep in the passenger seat and have one of those 'the sun is on you naps,' this isn't possible in the other seat. Driving and all the rest, once shared, is not longer so.

Last night something happened where I had a problem that required a fair bit of work before everything was back to normal. Joe was tired. We had picked Joseph up and then 'teenaged talked' (we get the individual WORDS) up to Ottawa. And then we had Ruby laughing and hugging, Sadie up and alert, along with trying to catch up with Mike and Marissa. We'd all gone out to a buffet restaurant here in Ottawa, and those are by the nature of the beast, loud. I don't know why but the older I get the tireder noise makes me. So once they'd gone and we were getting ready for bed, WHAM, there was a bit of a problem and I needed more help than usual.

So, I'm on vacation from my regular life, i wonder if I'll ever take a vacation from guilt?

PS. I learned my lesson, I'll never play that April Fools trick again.

PS. I have an Ottawa reader who suggested we have tea together next time I was in town. I've lost your email. Drop me a line and maybe tomorrow morning.


Heather said...

What do you call that kind of guilt for which you are not responsible but feel it?
I always thought self-recrimination was the perogative of parents but yeah needing a carer qualifies too.

Brenda said...

I'm with OhWheely. There needs to be a word for that thing we feel when required to depend on others. If our far-north neighbours can have umpteen different words for 'snow', then surely there can be a different word for the uninvited/unintentioned guilt that plagues those of us who must have help to go about our lives.

MC Mobility said...

That is a tough feeling, no matter what your circumstances. In a world that puts so much pressure on us to be independent, learning to depend on others is a very uncomfortable thing. But what we really need is to value interdependence. Allowing oneself to depend upon another human being, who shares your values, your ambitions, your principals, and ultimately those experiences that make us part of the larger human experience, makes us better people. And more importantly, it means we are not alone.

That is not something to feel guilty about. It's something to celebrate. And I'm sure Joe would tell you that you are well worth the effort. :)

Shan said...

I'm really glad you are on vacation...I hope you've queued up some automatic blog posts so you can take a break from blogging, too!

Speaking of, your h.mail account should have a message from me with a .doc attached.

Kristin said...

Joe wouldn't continue to do for you if he didn't love you so much. I'm sure there is plenty you bring to his life that he feels balances out what he does for you.

In any relationship, there are times one person gives a lot while the other person needs a lot. But, it never fails that the situation reverses and the former taker becomes the giver.

Anonymous said...

Ooh do I ever have trouble with this! I feel guilty that the boyfriend has to go at my pace on vacations, instead of the huge amoung of exploring we would have done if he'd known me before I became disabled. I feel awful about the sheer volume of STUFF that is necessary for me to travel. I hate that I can't usually help with the driving. I hate that his family and mine both have to be so willing to accomodate my condition.

Worst of all, though, I hate when he does complain about being tired or sore because I can't help and need lots of stuff, and I apologize because whether or not it's my fault, I am the cause of it, and then HE feels bad because he made me sorry that I was causing so much bother.

It doesn't help any that he and I could compete in the world championship for the sport of 'kicking self'.