Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm a Selfish Bastard

No.  Really.  I am.

The date for my dad's funeral is set.  It's a Saturday in a few weeks.  It will be in the little town here was born, about 300 miles from my mom's house.

I looked at the calendar after the date was set and discovered my youngest son has a school trip to the beach that week.  He's been looking forward to that all year.  The trip ends on Friday and I may be able to get a Friday night flight.  I think K will take the other kids the day before.

So why am I selfish? Because I still want T to come with me.  If we left on Friday and returned on Sundays, he would only miss one day at work.  I knew what the answer would be before I asked.  He can't.  Saturday is supposed to be a short day, the in reality he generally see the the same number of patients as a weekday.  The office is supposed to close at 2:00 but they are frequently there until 6:00.

He is worried about how crazy it would be for his sister if he's not there.  He is worried about how long the patients will wait.  And I even know he is worried about not being there for me when I need him.  I know he thinks about all of it.  In the end, though, the office won out over me.

He says I'm not being fair.

He's probably right.


T said...

It's not about the office winning over you. You know perfectly well that I would go if I could without you asking. On a slow day, we have at least 90 patients, and I usually see half of them and my sister and the PA see the other half. On average, we see 110 patients. With me around, my sister and I work non-stop from 8am to at least 6pm w/o lunch. How is she going to handle it? You know how hard I've been trying so hard to get more help, and it's just not happening. Even when I cancel all the appoints, the walk-ins still line up before I got to the clinic. You know what it looks like, Jim. You also know about all the other ridiculous things I have to deal with. I feel horrible I can't go. I just want to cry. I want to cry because I can't go, and I want to cry because I feel you are better off with someone else. I know you love me very much. And I love you very much, too, Jim. You are not selfish. And I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Both of you relax.

Life is for the living.

Jim is supporting his family - the living.

T is helping his sister and other people - the living.

Enjoy the time you have with each other and rejoice in your love.

So live and love - no regrets.

Nenne said...

Oh my - what a twisted situation.

You post this in your blog - so I assume you deal with comments ;)

Jim - you lost your dad and you'd love to have support from the man you love. This is totally understandable and only human, it's not selfish. You wish that just once he'll put you front, is that right? Also a very normal wish - we all wish that our partner would always be here for us the moment we need him.

T - you'd love to be there for Jim but you can't see how you can make it work. You see the amount of paitents and obviously have other "ridiculous things to deal with" (I assume they are important)

You are both in a bad place but news here - we can't do and get everything right.

Jim - you have fallen in love with a man who obviously had choosen a very intense and responsible profession. It's part of what he is. If you want to change his attitufe towards his responiblities you want to change him. Don't do that, never try to change your partner, it doesn't work. Accpet who he is the way he is. (Believe me, I know what I'm talking about because I married a workaholic - and still love him).
Just because he is not with you doesn't mean he is not thinking of you. I'm sure he'll be there when you are back. Your brain understands, just your heart needs to catch up, true?

T - hi, since you are so free to write a response I think I can offer you something, too. You seem to be torn in several directions. I only got a small glimpse of your situation but your reaction ("better of with someone else") is nonsense. Problems arise and will always be there. Don't doubt your worth in your relationship. But ask yourself: If you'd for example break your leg? What would happen then at the office?
Since the funeral is in a few weeks, both you and your sister could probably rescedule the patients which would leave her with only those without appointments ...

I'm not taking sides here, just doing brainstorming. In the end one of you is going to be the one to give in and understand. But that doesn't mean that your love is not strong - it just means that sometimes life is not fair and there there is no satisfiying solution to each problem. And one thing I have learned in all my years (gosh - that makes me sound old): Do not ponder over things you can't change.
Don't make a situation like this a stumbling block in your relationship.

Jim - If T can't come with you, don't hold it against him that he is how he is. I'm sure you'll have situations in your life, too, that might make him feel less important despite he isn't.
T - If you change your mind and go with Jim, do it because you need to, not because you think you have to and don't make him feel guilty for it.

So - no real solution here - but make sure both of you that you'll get together as soon as possible after the funeral. You'll both need it.


T said...

Hi Nenne,
I do appreciate your advice. The problem with my clinic is we serve an indigent population of patients. A lot of them don't have the mean to just follow appointments. If I close the clinic for one day, the next day will be intolerable. A lot of times, these people don't mind waiting for 2-3 hours to be seen. I've been trying to get more help but so far w/o success. Jim and I love each other very much.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure finding PA's who want to work long hours with indigent patients is difficult. Hopefully that special person is out there. I hope they find your clinic soon so you can get a break. The work you do is very important, there are so many who need help. My husband is a paramedic, he sees a lot of indigent as well, but usually at the point where they are dying after years of medical neglect. We need so much more free care for the mentally ill too - but don't get me started on that subject.
Good Luck,

Nenne said...

T - I understand your problem and I'm sure Jim understands it, too. At least rationally. That doesn't change what the heart wants. But as I said before - I'm not taking sides, I just want to point out that you'll face situations like this in a relationship, it's natural. You can't always fullfil each other needs. He has chosen you and has fallen in love with you because you are you - and it's obviously not in you to abandon your responsibility.
That doesn't mean it's always easy to accept or does not hurt. And that doesn't mean he "deserves someone better". It just means that reality does not take a step back because we love.

Instead of pondering what can't be you both need to concentrate on what you CAN give each other.

I really wish you both all luck.

Anonymous said...

Like another comment, I'm not sure why this matter is in a public blog.

That said, you both seem to have commitments that only give you the leftovers for each other. One has three kids that can't live with the mother and the other has a million patients. What each of you get from the other is leftovers.

Marriage is the passion to join with such force that all other commitments lose their power. I like you both and hope that you find some way to make the patients and the kids ready for the leftovers.