The trap and joy of being a support person
I would like either advice or a story of your own experience on this matter.
My partner is incredible, I have so much respect for her. So it is peculiar that I share this, then again, it’s not of the rational brain.
Due to a life threatening event in her life, her health has been significantly altered. She needs much more sleep than me, and can get strong migraines easily.
Because I have so much respect for her, in how beautifully she is able to face this, I have been joyfully willing to be unconditionally supportive. However, recently, I noticed myself pushing an edge where I found more reluctance to be of support.
By going into the migraine with awareness, I learned how to heal the migraines quite effectively. Though, recently, once again I noticed it didn’t seem so enticing to help her in this way again and again, especially since I have to take some of the migraine energy into my own body and move it through, which I don’t always have the patience for.
What I am trying to say, is I am afraid I am hitting a wall and a new way of relating to being in a support position is needed. I remember reading Ken Wilber’s book “grace and grit,” and surprised that after his period of being an amazing husband to his cancerous wife, he found all of this anger arise towards her, he even thought of suicide, and began drinking heavily.
It has not gotten extreme at all for me, I just noticed strong feelings in a similar category.
I especially notice it when critical thoughts arise in relation to her. I claim that her “condition” is too debilitating since we have to be so sensitive otherwise she will get another migraine. Thoughts have claimed that she is preventing me from taking my risks and pushing my edge in life. This is of course ridiculous because she wants me to do what is best for me, and not be supportive for her if I don’t wish to. But it’s such a joy to be there for her, and show I love her unconditionally. So you see, I am conflicted it seems. Does anyone have experience with this?
I think of myself in situations like this where I have found myself devoting my energies to supporting another persons healing. These efforts are given freely out of love and the understanding that ultimately we are one. What I have come to realise for myself is that I often leave myself out of the equation and give more to others than I ever would to myself. Supporting others feels like an opportunity to express my selfless nature however I also see it as a way to ignore my own healing and well being. I am learning to ask myself questions such as ” what am I getting out of this situation?” and ” am I over looking my own basic needs?” This is a big and recent learning curve for me. Can I direct the love and compassion I offer others to myself? When I focus on my own needs do I still feel loved by and connected to others?
I was chronically ill for an extended period of time. My husband at the time tried to be supportive and understanding for a number of years until it just got to be too much for him to handle.
It is important to understand that one person cannot do everything all the time over an extended period of time. You need support and respite in your continuing care for your partner. Anger, resentment and bitterness will arise and must be faced. They can be overcome if you have an outlet and time away to find yourself and center and balance your energy. By taking care of yourself, you will be able to clear out any excess energy you took on that hasn’t been cleared, and then be able to offer more love, care and healing for her. It is not selfish.
She will understand if she knows it is best for you both. Having another caregiver/healer temporarily support her while you take time away also gives her a different energy source and perhaps a change of pace for her healing. I loved the different modalities I had the opportunity to explore during my healing.
These are just my thoughts from the experience I went through during my healing experience. Chronic illness was one factor that broke my marriage. I wish I knew then what I learned later. It would have made the transition easier on both of us.
If you are feeling yourself reluctant at times to support your wonderful partner it is probably a clear message from your heart that you are out of balance with your own self care. Life never seems to unfold according to our plans for it. The best we can do is learn to listen to our internal guidance system to navigate the bumps. The fact that you are aware of your resentment while it is still minor makes it likely that if you do find ways to increase your self care activities you will probably be able to balance yourself out without needing to make major changes. Best wishes on the adventure.