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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Clinical vs Emotional

A few years ago, in couple’s therapy, we had a discussion about my way of handling our previous rounds of treatment. DH said that I seemed to lack emotional involvement and that I became overly clinical about everything. And, I completely agree.

As our therapist pointed out, before I could even address the issue myself, I was being clinical and non-emotionally involved as a form of self-preservation. I was researching medications and analyzing stats and symptoms to educate myself, and busy myself, so that I wouldn’t have to feel the emotions deep down inside because I didn’t know how to handle them. I was treating it as a medical process rather than a personal one to avoid the agony of loss or upset. I was going through treatment primarily alone at those times and I didn’t have anyone to sit with me and hold my hand. I didn’t have anyone to go through the rhythms with. All I had were nurses, doctors, technicians, books and the internet 24/7. Yes, we had ample support around us from family and friends, but it isn’t the same as going through it with your partner by your side. He was busy with work and frequently away and I had to deal with that any way I could. I basically disassociated myself from my own treatment.

And while there was nothing wrong with a clinical approach in my mind, it bothered DH. So this time around I have been trying to keep a good balance between clinical for myself and emotional for DH. I let myself FEEL the process leading up to this (cancelled) round of treatment; the ups, the downs, and everything in between mostly in private with DH. It was different, it was new, and it was good; so good that I went against my own plan not to tell anyone who didn’t NEED to know and told people all around us that we would be starting treatment again. The only people I successfully did not tell were those who required ME to support THEM through MY pain during the other failed attempts… and yes, you read that correctly.

And then, the unexpected happened. Treatment was cancelled and everyone who was rooting for us now had to be told. Some were angry along with us, and others were just as upset as we were. It was very much appreciated to have that support through that period of time and it was even better not to have to support OTHERS through our letdown so at least I got part of it right.

But now, enough is enough. After being cancelled, re-scheduled, cancelled again, and potentially re-scheduled only to be cancelled again imminently I can’t take the questioning from everyone anymore. I know that everybody means well. I know that they are all as eager as we are about moving forward but I can’t keep re-living the constant disappointments 15 different times a day with each person who asks me for an update. Honestly, a few weeks back I very intentionally isolated myself from everyone I could just because I was so afraid that whoever I talked to would corner me with more questions that I really wish I had answers to but I don’t. These last few weeks have only shown me why this next time, whenever that may be, I CANNOT tell anyone who isn’t directly involved or affected. This time, I have definitely learned my lesson.

So, as I have been starting to tell those around me, when I have something that isn’t a maybe I will share the information only with whom I choose. If you are one of the lucky ones, great; if you are not, then please respect my decision. This is OUR LIFE.