The boundary between my exboyfriend and me is blurry at best. I fluctuate between feeling so sad for him, being really concerned about his health and resenting the fact that I can’t just simply move on and focus on how I feel about everything that has happened these past two months.
Throughout the week after he moved back and our dog died, he kept telling me how sick he felt. He claimed he couldn’t even drive himself to the doctor. I initially dismissed it a little because I didn’t know if he was depressed or just weak from the coma or (worst case scenario) drinking. He called me Thursday afternoon (which was May 2) and told me that the doctor called and said his white blood cell count was quadruple was it is supposed to be, indicating a serious infection. He said his mother was flying in to take him back to the hospital the next morning. I feared he had sepsis and told him I was going to come and get him and take him right away to the ER. He finally agreed. I went to his new apartment, something I never wanted to do, to help him pack a bag. He looked AWFUL. He was so skinny and weak, it took over an hour to get him to my car and I had to use a wheelchair to get him into the ER. I stayed with him until 3 am and he was admitted into a room. They diagnosed him with the same infection he had when he was in the coma. He stayed in the hospital for another 20 days. His mother only stayed for the first week.
I was so torn. I felt terrible he was so sick and so alone. But for 28 days, my life revolved around his health and I simply could not do that again. I went to see him that first weekend, mostly out of concern and also obligation, and then did not visit again. However, we texted and spoke on the phone every day. He was finally discharged and his friend drove him home.
He has spent a total of 48 days in the hospital since March 15. I feel like my life has been on hold for most of that time. I “do” things, mostly around my house (redecorating the basement was a good, but expensive distraction) and hang out with my sister and niece, but I always feel an underlying sadness and guilt.
It occurred to me that he hasn’t lived with me for over two months now. It is still an adjustment in so many big and small ways. This morning when I woke up for work, I felt pressure on my waist and for a split second I thought it was his arm slung over my body. It was my cat sleeping on top of me. This has happened several times. Yet, ironically, we didn’t cuddle a lot in bed. Yet, I find myself in the middle of the night reaching my arm out to his side of the bed to touch his back and feel nothing but the cold sheets when his body used to be.
I know I need to not focus on just the things I miss about him. I feel resentful that I never got to be a “regular girl” in that when I found out he was cheating on me by texting another woman very explicitly, I did not get a chance to yell at him and throw him out…because he was in a coma. I never got the chance to be angry about all of the alcohol hidden in the basement…because he was in a coma. Everything was about his health, but now it has been so long and his health is still a major concern.
I obviously still care about him. I know we can’t be together. He has to focus on his health and also his sobriety (which he hasn’t really done anything about) and I need time to heal. Yet, over the weekend, I was talking to him and he sounded SO lonely. I was about to go to the dog park with my niece, my sister and her friend (who has two dogs) and I invited him to come, sort of expecting him to say no. He said yes and I went and picked him up. His appearance was startling. Within two months, he has lost over 50 pounds and looks so gaunt and pale. He was always so muscular and had thick, strong legs. Now he can put his two hands around his thigh and they touch. He walks slowly, like an old man. I felt so many different emotions when I saw him. My sister and her friend both hugged him when we met them at the park and I realized when I entered his apartment, I did not. In some ways, I feel detached. In other ways, I feel OVER involved.
On Memorial Day, I went to my friend’s pool. It was the first really nice day, warm and sunny. He texted me in the afternoon saying how nice it was out and reluctantly, I invited him over, since my sister and niece were there too. He did not respond and it instantly affected my mood. I was not able to enjoy myself anymore, because I felt guilty and worried. Ironically, I was reading a book while laying on a lounge chair about how to overcome being a codependent and the chapter was on “detachment”. I am having a really hard time with that process, obviously. I can’t help but still feel responsible for him, knowing he really has nobody else. I picture him sitting alone in his apartment and I feel SO bad.
But then I think, HE should be the one suffering the consequences of his actions and choices. He was the one who drank, he was the one who betrayed my trust, he was the one who neglected his health…I feel like if he had not almost died, I would feel differently because I would allow myself to be mad. Good- he should be lonely and miserable. I don’t know how to get there. I keep telling my friends “once he is better, I can move on and stop talking to him and checking on him.” I need to, but it is so hard to let go completely.