It’s increasingly becoming clearer that a sign of abuse is that no matter what someone does, it is never enough. Not only is it never enough; it rarely if ever is good enough.
It was my own experience that rarely could I ever do enough. When I become sick and started to regain enough strength to start to mow the lawn; it wasn’t good enough that I was trying to mow; although it would take me three days to finish it. If I mowed the front; I would be criticised as to why I hadn’t finished the back. Or if I did the back; it would be why the edges were not done. The term “A real man would do more…” would always accompany those criticisms.
I started to do some basic work for a business at that rented an upstairs room at church. Basically it meant sitting down and putting some equipment together. Slowly and awkwardly I would do so. My co-ordination not the best. Often I would fall asleep in the chair; or drop tools and pieces as my hands started to shake uncontrollably.
I appreciated this time which was more beneficially to me on a social basis then it was on an economic level. One day I arrived and found no one was downstairs in the church office nor upstairs in the business area where I worked.
On my way down the stairs I slipped and slid down the stairs. I was reminded of the time I had collapsed at work and it had taken an hour and a half before someone found me. It also reminded me that I was being silly for trying to negotiate stairs with a walking stick and with the mobility and balance problems that I had. This incident shook me up pretty badly and in the interests of personal safety I decided not to continue doing what I had been doing.
I was told by my ex wife that that wasn’t a good excuse to stop and that the wife of the business partner also agreed with her. Of course I believed her at the time. In hindsight I now believe that she had lied about what this persons wife had said.
It was nearly 6 – 8 months after I came home from hospital that my GP put me on prednisone to help control the affects of asthma. The steroid helped me to feel stronger and I self medicated myself to 30 – 40 mg every 2 days.
During this time I started to do some plodding work for some friends on their hobby farm. I was able to paint their fence with sump oil. Do some basic fence repairs. They also drew on my past experience working with animals to show them how to ear tag, drench; and castrate the young calves and goats.
I would normally have enough steam to plodder along for about an hour and then have at least an 1/2 hour break before getting back to it. After 3 hours I was totally exhausted and I would have to stop on the way home for a sleep in the car.
I would normally go there once or twice a week. I enjoyed my time there and appreciated the help that was given to me. One particular day when I came home dead on my feet and totally exhausted my ex wife greeted me at the door; her hand held out for the money and said to me “…Your not doing enough; you never do enough… you have to do more…”
. These words killed me inside. They totally dried me up and internally I died. It was soon after that experience that the specialist found out I was self medicating on prednisone and she had a metaphorical fit at me for doing so; ordering me to slowly wean myself off it.
In doing this my strength waned and my endurance fell back to what it was before and I found my health back to what it had been previously.
There came a time when I head those words That a real man would do more, combined with the words you don’t do enough! too many times. And one day enough did become enough and because enough was enough; I told her I was going to divorce her… which is a topic for another day….