Illness is not a competition. If I say that enough hopefully it will be believed. I am currently living at home again after seven years of living on my own. Having finished my Master’s degree I have agreed to take a year off to get jaw surgery. To get jaw surgery I first have to once again have braces. Braces, as I have mentioned in previous posts, were invented by the Devil as instruments of torture. This means that I am in constant pain and often have migraines. I tend to skip meals because it hurts to eat. I also don’t do a lot other than write and play games.
This seems to have left my father feeling neglected. He has had my mother all to himself since my brother went to away to school a year after me. Earlier in this year, he simply quit eating, and ended up in the hospital. According to the doctors there wasn’t anything wrong with him, though they eventually told him he had a stomach bug. He claimed it hurt to eat, this could have been true but is no reason to quit altogether. Is attention deficit order a thing? I don’t even particularly want the babying he seems to demand with every “illness”.
After that incident he decided instead of buying the winter’s wood he would cut it himself. I would like to point out that my father is in his mid-70s. He nevertheless spent the months of December and January cutting down trees and hauling logs. Naturally, he was always sore and tired. He did this by himself because he refused to let anyone help. Finally, at the end of January he ordered wood.
His latest thing was equally crazy. He waited for one of the few days when I went to town and my mother was at work and they took a sledge hammer to the concrete chimney in our kitchen. This chimney has needed to come down for the entire seven years that I have lived away from home and suddenly it could not wait one more day. The project had suddenly become so desperate that it couldn’t even wait for him to secure the ladder. You can see where this is going can’t you. Fortunately, the chimney is only about seven feet off the ground so that when he fell off the ladder he didn’t kill himself or break any bones. He did however take a chunk out of his elbow that required five stitches and injure his shoulder. He also sat in the living room waiting for mom and I to get home rather for who knows how long, rather than call an ambulance. This despite demanding to go to the hospital the minute we got in the door and specifying he wanted only mom to take him.
Illness is not a competition. The person who is most sick does not win my mother. Making yourself sick to the point where medical intervention is required is an illness in itself and needs to stop. However, if I say any of this to him, he’ll go sulk in his room and my mother will come and tell me your father was really hurt when you said x. Maybe it is all subconscious, I certainly hope so, but he is an adult and self-harm whatever the cause is wrong.