The breakdown on our relationship at the height of my disability.
We have been together 3 years, our 4 year anniversary will be in September and of those 3 years, she has maybe liked me for one of them, just before I broke my leg.
Breaking my leg was a turning point in my life, and it totally messed me up, it resulted in me not having a job, not being able to drive and generally needing my boyfriend to do a lot for me. The last section, her son doing for me, she didn’t like.
I remember one mid morning, I was staying at my partners house (he lived with his mum at the time) and I was going downstairs to help him with breakfast. I really wanted to help him with the tea’s. Going downstairs was not exactly right, I was hobbling, making sure not to put extra pressure on the bad right foot, therefore my steps down the stairs were very quiet, and what I heard at the bottom of the stairs really hurt me.
“She’s just fucking lazy J”
Here I was, half way through a major break, that was not healing fast enough, going to work at a temp job that I had found once I got the cast off, in an AIRCAST boot, not knowing how to run, walk fast or anything that I used to be able to do pre-leg break, having to rely on J to do a lot for me when I was at his and I was getting called lazy.
At home, when I lived with my mum, I was the one who did a lot around the house because my mum had a health issue. Jack did very little when I was able-bodied. When I was “dis-abled” he helped me out of love, as what you would do if you ever find your loved one in pain and wanting. She never saw what I had done for him however, she only saw what he was doing for me and that rubbed her up the wrong way.
I heard that, and I left. I got in my car and drove home.
It was the first and only issue me and J had ever had, and from there she became our biggest issue. For a time.
I didn’t quite get home, I got a phone call from J, basically telling me to come back and I told him what I had heard and said I didn’t wanna be there to get slagged off when I was ill. She heard and started gobbing at me down the phone, basically telling me to get a grip. I was crying.
I have always held a notion that what your partners parents think about you matters to them. So I was devastated because I thought we were close, we had spent a lovely Christmas together, I did love her for a brief amount of time, until I didn’t, and I thought that this was the end, because I always fantasied about one of those relationships where the boyfriends mother and girlfriend are really close, can go to hairdressers together, get their nails done.
Fantasy was shattered. What had I done so wrong? Took the kindness of her son for granted? Yet really all I had done was break my leg and was in receipt of his help.
My boyfriends mother is one of those women who gets up at the same time as her husband, even though she doesn’t need to be up for another 2 hours so she can say she’s had a harder day. She judges everyone by her standards, once I got up with J to see him off to work at 6am, she asked me what was wrong with me, proclaiming;
Someone who gets up at 5am for no reason other than they cannot sleep anymore, shouldn’t be judging others who can sleep, and sleep well and deep and can’t get up earlier than 6:30. Also she was in her 50’s and older women sleep less than younger women, however she was somehow making me feel like I was beneath her because she had more energy than me.
This was pre leg break.
She believed a woman should match their partners at home of what the men do at work, however she also had a full time job. She also went to bed later than her husband. Did all the housework and cooking, and somehow because I needed care, I was lazy. By her standards.
So I drove back to theirs and saw J, she apologized, saying she didn’t mean it but I could be doing more for myself by what she could see. The thing about “dis-ability” (I’m giving it the — in the middle because I am fully able, and this was temporary) is when the visual cue of “dis-ability” is gone, mine was my cast, people assume you’re okay.
What she didn’t know was, I had ordered the Dr’s to give me an air-cast boot as the issue with blood flow to my leg was all down to inactivity of the muscles and atrophy. They kept me in a plaster cast for too long.
She thought the Dr’s made the decision to take my cast off me, but it wasn’t until my suggestion that they even considered it. I was doing less, and she knew that I had been “made” to have an air cast boot to be more active. So on that particular Saturday morning when I heard her call me lazy I can understand why she come to that notion.
J quickly told her she didn’t know what she was on about, and he also told her what I did for him and my own parents at my parental home when I was once able. I doubt she cared, because that wasn’t what she could see. I was supposed to be staying for a while at that time, I didn’t, I chose to go back home that night. I didn’t want to be around her negative thoughts of me because of her own assumptions and internal misogyny.
That was the original issue that broke our relationship, and I’d like to tell you that it got better from there, but it didn’t it got worse. I like her when she is far away. When she doesn’t meddle like she used to because I hope she’s realised that her son, loves me, and nothing she can say about me will make him think any different of me.