Job Drift

I am struggling to remember that my role as carer does not make me a comprehensive mediator between my wife and the world.

There are some interfaces I need to handle, and some I can't, or shouldn't. I need to cut her meat in the restaurant, or set a pick for her in Costco, but that doesn't mean that I need to explain her behavior to friends or strangers, or try to protect her from her own impulses.

After so many years together, I feel a little joint ownership of K's opinions, plans and actions. I expect them to be familiar, even if they're uncomfortable. Cancer has changed that. The disease, the treatment, and the angst are pushing her to new, more-extreme places. And when she acts from those places, my comfort and my joint ownership are challenged. No, they're gone. My impulse is to apologize, to explain, to mediate, to do anything to get us out of an uncomfortable situation.

I am a conflict averse person. I am professionally tasked to interpret conflict and turn it into progress. Pain to progress.

Here, in Cancer, there is no progress. The roots of the pain are deep in intractable disease. The best I can do is be mindful and watch for caring opportunities. Not opportunities to avoid conflict, or to explain K away for other people, but the opportunity to provide true comfort. Easier said than done.

Morning Confession

Mr. In Between