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On My Own
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I'm taking this day and the weekend to go camping, off on my own. I haven't been on a trip (short or long) by myself since 2002, maybe longer. As I write this, I find that I can't remember when last I sallied forth solo.

I can't remember the dates, but I can remember the aftermaths. Both times, I came home from short outings of two to three days, to encounter disaster. The first time, my husband had been taken away by paramedics because he fainted. He woke up feeling tight in the chest and the paramedics, fearing heart attack at his age, whisked him off to the nearest emergency room.

The second time, he had shortness of breath and chest pain, and lay in bed suffering for two days, waiting for me to come home. He "didn't think to call 911."

Both times my arrival on the scene effected a miraculous recovery, no heart attack, no damage, no harm, no foul.

Since those two events I've been afraid to leave him alone and feeling guilty because I should be motivated by love, not fear. Furthermore, I refuse to be controlled by my fears and his manipulation. It's time this little game ceased.

I'm sure that his distress is real, but that it's a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. I've set up all his meds for three days; we've talked about what he must do if he doesn't feel well. I leave in a couple of hours to spend some time alone. Solitude. Navel-gazing. Whatever.

If the "emergency" scenario repeats itself, I'll have to consider in-home care, at least while I'm away. I will not be bullied into servitude.

I intend to live by my wits, not by my fears.

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