Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In My Somewhat Cocoon

I feel like I am living in a cocoon.

In his illness, Hubby has drawn a cocoon around himself.

I need to remain near him; easing his burden; helping him stay alive. Feeding his energy, as mine ebbs.

And so I am forced to live in a cocoon as well.

Well, maybe not quite. I can push open the back door and rush out to snatch laundry off the clothesline before it rains. Or fling open the front door, hop onto my bike and chase after the full moon, if I want.

Hubby can't. He would sit by the window and watch.....

I can jump in the car and go shopping, fill up on gas (not that anybody looks forward to that - at these prices), check out new books at the library, visit the garden center.

Hubby can't. He sits at home and waits for me to return.....

My daughter calls: "Mom can you come and babysit today and tomorrow?"

"I'd love to, but I can't do both. How about tomorrow?" My daughter understands.

Hubby stays home. He rarely sees his grandchild. His Elder Son comes here to visit.......once in a while..... and only if he doesn't have a cold.

Then why do I feel as if I'm in a cocoon? I can come and go as I please.
Well, not really. My "freedom" is limited.

Then I must be living somewhat in a cocoon. Partially in a cocoon. With little cat doors or windows, where I can crawl out from time to nourish my spirit.

While my body "rests" in my Somewhat Cocoon, my mind is working furiously:

Why am I so cut off from social life? I can't work. I can't travel. I can't pick up and go whenever I want. Every visit to the library, to my grandchildren, to grocery shop must be planned around Hubby's needs. I can't stay away overnight.

What is this supposed to be teaching me?
Where is my learning, my growth in this experience?
It is said "When one door closes another opens".
Which door is that and where is it?

It looks as though Life has given me a gift. A bit of a "time out" from the flow of normal outside activities.
Time for what? Inner growth?
Is that what happens inside a cocoon?

Should I be rejoicing? Well I'm not. I'm like a child who was not invited to the party....... I stick my nose against the windowpane and look longingly at the rest of the world, that merrily goes on without me.

Will I look back on this time and say "I was handed a golden opportunity - the time to develop my inner self. Why didn't I publish my book, write another one, create an on-line business, learn some crafts, languages, and anything else that took my fancy?"

Will I look back on this time and remember only the good parts? Will I feel blessed with the strength of our love that kept us going.

All my lessons of ......
Focus on what you have - not what you don't have.
If you can't change your situation, change your attitude (or energy).
Life is not waiting for the storm to pass; it's learning to dance in the rain.
.......are not working today.

I long for the day when I can fly free. Shake out my glistening butterfly wings and...... go. Escape to a sunny tropical beach; lie on the sand and listen...... to the rhythmic song of the waves, as they soothe my weary soul.

But that day will also be laced with grief; saturated with tears and pain. Hubby will be gone.

So I sit in my Somewhat Cocoon today.......

Waiting for the Storm to Pass instead of...... Learning to Dance in the Rain.


femail doc said...

Your imagery is astounding...and so right on. Cocoon indeed, resentment and love simmering together in a crazy-making blend. Sitting with bated breath with breathless men, waiting, for what? The inevitable change is scary yet the here and now unbearable at times. Very thought-provoking post, well done! Going to send it on to friends so they can better understand what this is like.

Bear Naked said...

My heart goes out to you and I want you to know that we are all here for you.
To listen, to share your sorrows and to pray for both of you.
Gentle bear hugs to you both.

Bear((( )))

Mimi said...

You hit the nail on the head. It is a cocoon. Female moths at times don't form wings. They carry their cocoon on their backs and stick their strong legs out to walk around the earth and have their cocoon with them wherever they go... lovely cocoons made of silk and leaves and twigs. They carry with them beautiful sad little pieces of their nature but never leave. They are never really free. *hugs*

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
I shall sit with you and wait out the storm. I shall have tea with you while the wind howls. I shall be near, you are never alone.
When the time is right you will dance on the shore. For now you are called to a higher order. For now you are honoring love.
Three hugs and a wish!
May caterpillars distract you and bring a smile. (They are very cute)

beckie said...

Dear Wendy, a 'somewhat' cocoon, yes. But I thought of your husband's cocoon. How cozy, safe and secure his must be because of you. Embrace the warmth of your cocoons now as it could be a cold scary world out there.
Thinking of you, always.

Wendy said...

Dear Judy, thanks for your comments. You've certainly summed the situation in a nutshell. I was in a very dismal place when I wrote that. Wondered whether or not I should actually post it.

Hi BearNaked - thanks for your support and gentle hugs. I am happy to have blogger friends like you.

Wendy said...

Hi Mimi - that's a very interesting science lesson. Thank you. I was going to say something about having strong legs (I walk a lot), but my arms are weak. Now I know why. I must be like the female moth.
You say they don't form wings. I often use that analogy to describe how I feel - just like my wings are clipped. And yet, Hubby is so loving, kind and gentle - he's certainly not doing this on purpose.

Wendy said...

Hi Sherry, thank you for your friendship and your support. You've given me something to think about - I'm being called to Honour love. I will gladly accept your hugs and a wish..... and watch for playful caterpillers.

Hi Beckie - thank you for your kind words and support. I never thought of Hubby's cocoon being safe and warm because of me - but you are right!

Ruth said...

I hadn't read this when I posted my cocoon pictures. How touching and poignant to read your description of where you are right now. We call it "caregiver stress" clinically, but that does not convey the emotion you reveal in your writing.

annette said...

Dear Wendy,

I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. I have not had the experience you are living at this time, so I really don't want to offer advice, but I will say draw close to God, tell Him what you think and how you feel, it's no surprise to Him and you will feel better.

Wendy said...

Hi Ruth, we must have been on the same wavelength - different reasons, however. Thank you for stopping in.

Hi Annette - thank you for your support and your kind prayers.

JeanMac said...

My heart goes out to you, Wendy.

LK said...

Hugs! and more hugs!

Maggie May said...

I was moved to tears by this situation that you find yourself in. My heart goest out to you.You are a really good person.
Thanks for visiting mine.

Rose said...

Care-giving has to be one of the most difficult jobs of all--you don't get weekends off or a vacation. I think what you are feeling is only natural,especially the ambivalence and I'm sure I would feel the same way.

Your writing is so full of imagery, so beautiful; perhaps you could write a book about your experiences?? Do you keep a journal?

I wish I could provide some relief, some time to do something just for "you." Since none of us can, just remember that we are here for you any time you are feeling down and want someone to listen. We care, Wendy.

Wendy said...

Hi JeanMac,
Thank you.

Hi LK,
Thanks for the hugs.

Hi MaggieMay,
I hope you are never in this situation, but if you find yourself Caregiving one day, just reach out to us for support. We're here for each other.

Wendy said...

Thank you Rose for your support and friendship. I was keeping a journal, but gave it up. Now blogging has become my journal.
Just being here for me is enough, Rose. Thank you.

Carin Fuchs said...

In your response to Judy's comment, your wrote that you've wondered whether to post it at all. I think it is important to write down the thoughts and emotions you experience and as far as I can see there is no better place for that then your blog with lots of friends who are more than willing to take part at your happieness but also at your sorrows.
So actually you don't even have your cocoon for yourself, because 'we' all are in it as well.
Lots of hugs for you and lots of strength for 'OH'

Shammickite said...

I'm glad you posted your thoughts about your innermost feelings, because if you hadn't, you wouldn't be ware of the outpouring of support that I have just read in the comments. I have always valued my freedom to come and go as I like, and I know that you have too.... but you are doing a wonderful job looking after your husband and I hope he appreciates all that you do for him.

MoM2-2GoodBoys said...

It is hard to be the caregiver...You know you are doing the right thing yet...there is resentment....then guilt for feeling this way. Such a dramatic range of emotions and all very normal. It is good for you to write these thoughts down. It is good to share them with us...your friends. My hope is that you find peace through your writing and comfort from the supporting responses from all your friends here.

30 years from Darling said...

Thank you for voicing what is so difficult for many of us caregivers to voice.

Wendy said...

Hi Carin, what a nice thing to say! Thank you so much. I am glad to know that you are all in there with me.

Hi Shammickite, yes he does. He really appreciates all I do for him and voices it every day. Even the little things he thanks me for.
And you are quite right - I had no idea of outpouring of support from my Blogger friends.

Hi Mary - you are so right. I do find release in writing my thoughts down and feel so happy that others can share this difficult journey with me.

Hi 30yearsfrom darling,
Thanks for popping by. I hope your caregiving days are going smoothly.