I was talking today to a CNA that works at a nursing home. She explained a lot to me about how things work out in the civilian world regarding people with problems like Dean has. She really GOT IT....she works with people with brain problems everyday and has been doing it for years....and she gets to see it from such a different vantage point than I do. I have thought about visiting a nursing home type facility to see if they have things set up there that I can mimic here to keep me better organized.
Anyway, at one point she asked me "How do you do it"? I replied with some kind of answer like "I have no choice....I have to just do it". As we continued talking and I told her of some issues I'm having with Dean and him spending money and trying to teach him how to track his spending and not be so impulsive she said something that never occurred to me. As crazy as this sounds....it never occurred to me!!! She said "What if this is as good as he's going to get and you can never teach him how"? At that point I had the slamming to a halt realization of something that I had not allowed myself to think about. What if there is nothing more I can do, what if I'm not the inept one, what if I'm not doing something wrong, what if I'm doing all I can do and it just isn't going to improve? I have been hanging onto some idea that if I can just get him in a routine, get him to follow some protocols, or teach him some new habits then this could all be more manageable. But what if he will never get into a routine, never follow protocols, and never learn new habits and we are stuck going around the same overwhelming circle over and over and over again?
The deepest sadness hit me.
What if this is it? I am barely hanging on as it is. I can't keep track of another life that has this much freedom and ability. How do I have the same conversations over and over about our future and the decisions I have to make that he doesn't understand? Sometimes it feels like 50 first dates with a 3 year old (and I do NOT say that to be belittling to my husband!) but in a lot of ways it's like he can't see that something won't work, he can't see that he is unable to do something, he can't see the impossiblity of a situation that contains so many facets.
Can one only maintain optimism when there is hope? I guess I will find out.