My Antidepressant Life

Have a good life.

Sundowners in Whoville

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: WHO.

I really want to write something about Doctor Who here, but my brain is too tired to be clever. There isn’t enough coffee in the world, after being up most of the night with my Maggie Mayhem cat, who is 18 1/2, and has the occasional bad night. That’s when I give her muscle relaxant, and hold her. The vet says she’s just developed a cat version of sundowners. It’s bonkers. 98% of the time, she’s great. Happy, mischievous, and with a spring in her step. Maybe every three-ish months we have A Night.

See? Tired enough I can’t stay on target. Where was I? Better still, who was I?

Losing my husband to his own midlife idiocy has been even more bonkers than a cat with sundowners.

So many years have been All Him All the Time. Two of those years he was going through cancer treatments, and needed a lot of help and care, so that was as it should be. It was a lot of pressure and exhaustion for me, but he got to live, so it was worth it.

But the expectation that every day be All Him All the Time didn’t end with the cancer being cleared. If he wasn’t the center of attention, if people weren’t waiting on him, if he wasn’t excused for all bad behaviour, if anyone asked anything of him? Criminy.

If I so much as asked him to take the trash out, while I was cooking dinner, he literally stopped speaking to me . He’d come home, glare at me, and go straight into the bedroom. Where he’d stay except for coming out to eat. He was the only one in his world allowed to be a real person, and everyone else was a nonplayer character.

And I went along with it, because He’d Had Cancer and Almost Died. Which was true, but at some point, can’t we start being a married couple again, and not a caregiver and care-ee?

I wasn’t allowed to be a person, with opinions and needs and feelings. I had no “who” in Whoville. I didn’t exist as a separate person.

And I went along with it. For years.

I went along with it, until I just couldn’t anymore. And I got some help, and I tried to get us to a marriage counselor, because me not caving anymore led to days of him just not speaking to me. The sheets of resentment baking off him locked me up with anxiety. I was on eggshells so constantly it was making me physically sick.[note]And in writing this, I suddenly get what my therapist was talking about, when he said I was being manipulated; when he said T’s behaviour was abusive.[/note]

Who can live like that?

After not having a who for so many years, it’s strange to have one. It’s like standing up and stretching after sleeping on the couch all scrinched up.

And now I’ve gone into eight minutes, so I guess that’s the end. Thanks for coming to my stream-of-consciousness Ted Talk.


I guess I’m going to sneak this in there after the timer, after all. I had stopped writing, years and years ago. I just didn’t have anything in me to write with. All my spare energy and time was spent taking care of T, in order to avoid his anger and resentment. This writing challenge is a tiny act of rebellion and reclaiming of self.[note]Oh, who am I kidding? This blog is an enormous middle finger.[/note]

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

7 thoughts on “Sundowners in Whoville

  1. Hi there,
    I am not sure “who” who is but lovely to meet you. So happy that you are finding out who you are. It’s not easy when that’s been taken away. I pray for the Lord to fill you up to who you really are.

  2. Your voice is so strong. I am so proud of you and happy that clarity is coming with the writing. Bless you and keep writing your way through. You will like where you end up on the other side of all this hurt, confusion, and exhaustion.

    1. Thank you, Julie. That means a lot. When I started this series, it wasn’t with the intent of it being a healing experience. I wasn’t planning on writing about most of this. But showing up to the page day after day has made me look at my experiences in a more focused way. It’s a funny thing. I wish healing for you, and hope that you’re nourishing yourself as you’re nourishing and cultivating your garden.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your story! Hugs to you. You definitely were being emotionally abused, in my opinion. I’m sad you had to go through all that, and glad that you have picked up your pen and started writing again. Hope Maggie Mayhem is back to her old self again, and you get a better sleep tonight!

    1. Maggie Mayhem is ridiculous. She’s back to slapping the dog off the heated bed. Never mind that there are three heated beds, with the intent that they not compete for them. Silly me. She wants whichever one the dog wants. I love cats. They’re not shy about making their opinions known.

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