*Author's Note: I agree 100% with Lisa E.'s comment about taking a break from boys for awhile. I am not ready to share my life with anyone yet, but every once in awhile, my little sister's cooing lovey-dovey stuff gets to my black, shriveled heart. Besides, I am trying to break my personal record for Longest Time Without Sex. I am determined to do it and do not want to be tempted to throw my good start away. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going for a monk-like existence, I am a proud supporter of battery companies and feel I need no other companionship than what they power.
That has to be one of my favorite sayings of all time. It can be applied to almost anything, not just what it was originally intended for. Those words have been on my mind because I must be losing my mind. Lately I have been thinking about male companionship again. What is wrong with me?! I have no intentions of ever getting married again, but when I listen to my little sister and her boyfriend/fiance giggling and tittering together I start to think that maybe I need someone to coo and titter over. This is where the title of this post comes in: when do you tell someone that you have MS? My family agrees that I don't have to tell anyone anything, at least not right away. But I feel like it should be known up front to save everyone from the trouble of realizing later that they just can't handle it. My emotions are not easily touched so I'm not worried about my heart being hurt, more my pride than anything. As little as I care for others' opinions, it still mortifies me when I am treated like a diseased thing that should be quarantined. It is very hard to hide the way I walk, my spotty vision that makes me have to bob my head around to see anything, this darn fatigue that demands a long, luxurious nap everyday, the fact that I don't have a job, and I have no money. I'm not ashamed of having MS. I'm not ashamed of the way I walk or any of the other things I mentioned above. I have no control over these things and do not get to dictate the way my body functions these days. But I can't help wondering who would want to be with me?! Don't read into that as a sign of depression or anything like that; it is the MS part of me talking. The non-MS part of me knows that anyone worth their salt won't care, will be able to see beyond my physical problems and see the me that is still an immature, stubborn ass that is going to do as she pleases regardless of what they think. Its the MS part that makes me shy away from people and decide for them what they think of me -- a bad habit that I really need to break. My therapist told me to let people decide for themselves and not do it for them -- great advice that I am still working on.
The demise of my marriage has also left me scarred and scared of relationships. Everything I thought I knew about my husband was wrong and it left me feeling that I am a terrible judge of character to have been so blind to the early clues -- there must have been some that I missed and I keep going over and over things to see where I missed them. Hmmm, this reminds me of something that happened a few months ago. I talked my little sister into going with me to get my Tysabri done because it is such a boring 2 hours and company helps the time pass. She and I were talking about our marriages and how they fell apart. I don't air my dirty laundry in public, on here, yes, out and about, no. While I was saying that my getting MS was the beginning of the end for my marriage, 2 women and a man sitting near us exchanged looks like we had no idea of what a marriage was. Like we were silly children who did not take our vows seriously and took the easy way out. I wanted to tell them that they had no idea of what I had been through. Their pompous, uppity, snarky exchange of knowing looks could be stuffed up their rose scented, superior behinds. What I was not willing to say in a public place, but what I really wanted to say to them, was that the stress of my being diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating disease that drained our money while preventing me from bringing any in had a terrible ripple effect. My husband's alcoholism and violence increased while my ability to defend myself decreased. I know what my vows were -- I was there -- but why should I stay married because I made a vow, when he broke those vows and things were only getting worse? How could I trust my uncertain future to a man whose temper was touchy at best and was becoming more irrational daily? So if that makes me a person who doesn't understand marriage, so be it. I'm not going to lie, I went from not having to worry about money, spending as I pleased, a 4 bed 3 bath house with an in ground pool, a house 300 square feet bigger on just the first floor than this whole house combined, to a life with no money, worrying about the few dollars I do have, and if they will cover what is needed around here. But I gained something I have been missing for too long -- my self respect. I can't respect myself when I put up with the things my husband did. I'm embarrassed that I had to call the cops on him and he went to court for domestic violence. I'm not embarrassed that I called the cops, I'm embarrassed that I was in a marriage that went that way, if that makes sense. I'm ashamed of how long I stayed around and how many chances I gave him after he showed his true colors. I am no one's welcome mat and I made a solemn vow to myself that all relationships from now on are going to be on my terms and the first sign of something unacceptable is the end. I may be poor and living in a sub-par rental, but I can respect myself again and know that I did the right thing. And that is all that matters.
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