It’s the wee hours of the morning, and I am wide awake. Perhaps it’s that “decaf” coffee I’ve been drinking, which in retrospect, contained some flavored, caffeinated grounds as well?
Anyhow, my boyfriend underwent surgery early this week. It was a surgery he put much hope in, as he’s been dealing with an illness for quite some time (since before I knew him), that since I’ve known him has gotten progressively worse (Yeah, I know. The inferences are endless here, so spare me!). He suffers with what the doctors believe is Eagle Syndrome.
He went in feeling and hoping that THIS surgery was going to be the answer. It may have been. But he’s very stubborn. I tried to explain to him that surgery is still trauma to the body, and that he would have to slow down afterward for at least a few days, no matter how good he felt, to allow his body to heal.
But noooo. He went on an intense hike the day after his surgery. He went on another one the following day. Today he stayed in because he felt extremely sick. Now he is feeling HORRIBLE. So bad, in fact, that he declined my taking him out to dinner to celebrate our Easter Holiday together (an early dinner as I will be out of town). He went to bed hours ago, because he felt so sick.
Here’s the clincher. I’ve been planning to leave tomorrow – or is it today? I’ve been planning to leave on Friday the 21st, to head back to Aspen and get ready for my twelve year old son to come for the week. Before going to bed, my boyfriend said, in a worried voice, “I don’t know what I’m going to do if I continue to feel this way, babe.”
Immediately, I’m embarrassed to admit that my heart sank. Not because my boyfriend is being unreasonable, and not because he has even created this dilemma. This conflict is my own. I spent my entire married life (obviously, prior to this) revolving everything around my ex, his life, career, health and mental issues. I sacrificed what I wanted to do ALL the time. It’s a sensitive subject.
But I couldn’t help but feel like the right thing to do would be to cancel my plans and stay and take care of my man, until it was absolutely necessary to leave for Aspen. I’d made plans to meet a girlfriend in Aspen, prior to my son’s arrival, but this only made me feel more guilty – like I shouldn’t have made those plans.
I am normally one to trust my instincts, but in this case I am just not sure what to do. Am I being selfish? Should I stay and take care of my boyfriend, or should I stick to my plan and trust that he can take care of himself? Is it okay to say “no” to my instincts in this case? Or is saying “no” NOT okay in this instance? Would that communicate poor priorities to my love? My boyfriend and I have worked hard to individuate and live healthy “individual” lives, while sharing everything with each other. This is a tough one! Give me some advice here people – because I am definitely struggling!