My Drew - definitely not the perfect marriage.
It's my late husband Drew's birthday today, 13th June, he would have been 57. I couldn't help it today, I bought him a birthday card and cried as I wrote in it how I miss him and love him. It's now next to his photograph. He passed away in January and I dont think I'll ever forget those last few weeks of Hell. Watching your loved one in pain, dying of cancer, and then losing their mind because of the morphine and other medication has to be the worst experience of my life. I felt so alone and very protective of him, and he was so frightened of dying and missing me. I did my best to put his mind at rest as I have a faith, but I dont think he believed me.
We always laughed when anyone asked how we met - we actually met at an AA group :) I was just over one year sober and Drew was 8 years sober. We neither of us ever drank again. I suppose that gave us a bond from the start, and we were good friends and finished up madly in love with each other. I'd never felt like that about anyone before. They say love is blind, and I certainly was! We married just a few months after we started going out, and now I look back and can see we should have waited. But then, when you're in love, you'll do anything. I knew that he had self esteem issues, and soon realised that he told lies to cover up for how he felt about himself. I made excuses for him and never told him that I thought he was lying.Then he started doing silly things that got him into trouble. He could never do anything 'straight and honest' and had to deceive people all the time. It took me some time before I saw this in him. I knew in the back of my mind that something wasn't right with him, but kept telling myself it was because he was insecure. I always loved the real Drew, the person hidden underneath all the crap, as I knew that he was basically a good, kind person who really did love me. We moved about a lot and he would set up a business or go work for someone and then, I realise now, his lies would get found out and we'd move again. It was not how I'd imagined married life to be. We never had any money, as his one true love was flying, and every chance he had, he'd go off learning how to fly aeroplanes and then he discovered gliding and loved that even more! I think it was his escape, he didn't like his life and never had. I realised early on that he could never be truly happy. What made it worse was that he was an extremely intelligent man, very bright and knowledgeable, and he was a fantastic salesman - he could sell anything to anybody! Gift of the gab I used to say. He was also very selfish and hardly ever saw his children even though he used to say how much he loved them. I had a fantastic dad who cared about and loved me, so I couldn't understand it.
So you're asking yourselves, why did she stay with him? I dont know. I loved him and I also thought that one day he would get help and change. My parents couldn't understand how I stayed with him so long. We split up several times but always got back together again. I knew really that I shouldn't be with him but I felt sorry for him, which was silly but then that's how I am. When finally I'd made up my mind that I just couldn't live with all the turmoil any more, and he'd really messed up working with my brother in law who was really good to him, he became ill and then was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. I couldn't leave then, he had no one else and I knew I had to stay til the end. I'm not saying that I'm a saint to live with because I'm not, and I shouted and screamed at him lots of times and was truly horrible to him. I had my mums attitude of 'if you do it my way, you'll be ok'! I was full time carer for 3 and a half years and although it wasn't easy, I'm so pleased that I stayed with him. In November we had about 3 weeks where we got on really well together and remembered old times together. It was really lovely and I know now that he was going back over his life, preparing for the end.It was such a special time and I realised why I'd stayed with him - we did have some special memories of holidays in Cornwall, Northumberland ( where Drew was born), the Lake District , and it hadn't been all bad at all. During that time I had the chance to apologise for things I'd said and done and told him how much I loved him. He also told me that he loved me too.
Just before he passed away his brother got in touch with me. Drew would never have anything to do with them as, he told me, they were trouble causers. His brother cried over the phone and so I invited him to come and see Drew. Drew was just about sedated all of the time but agreed to see his brother and looked pleased to see him when he arrived. Ian, his brother, is the double of Drew and it was so weird seeing him. Eventually another brother arrived, just in time before he passed away.I couldn't get over what a lovely family he had. Drew was the eldest of 4 brothers and 3 sisters, and I met them all at the funeral and they were brilliant, helping me all the time and bringing food round etc.. I found myself thinking over and over, ''what was it all about? Why was he like he was?'' They told me that Drew had always been the same, very unstable, and they thought he had a mental problem. They put it down to an illness. That got me thinking, and I looked up his 'symptoms' on the internet. Finally I found out what had been the problem. Drew, I'm convinced now, had a Borderline Personality Disorder, and looking further into it, the illness was called Narcissism. I bought a book on the subject and many of the traits described Drew to a tee. At last I understood! I dont think I'd have rested until I knew why he was as he was.
Poor Drew. It's such a shame and I realise now that it was an illness and he couldn't do anything about it. Denial is part of the illness. To be honest, I think he was ready to die, as he gave up on life when he was diagnosed with the cancer. He'd had enough of life and running away from the problems he'd caused must have been so tiring. I always loved him and still do, for the man that he truly was, deep down inside of him. I believe he was my soul partner because I learned so much from him, and have changed and grown because of it. It was a priviledge to be with him at the end, as he passed over, but I've never, ever felt pain like it. It was such an intense time and I miss him so much. He had a great sense of humour, and I often hear him laughing at some of the things I do and say now :)
So maybe not the perfect marriage and I couldn't write what a wonderful marriage we had cos that wouldn't be true at all. But I'm always grateful to him because Drew showed me what falling in true love was about and he was and still is the love of my life. I miss him so much, especially just chatting with him about all sorts. I even miss him boring me about his flying! That was what he loved best.
God bless you my Drew, and I pray you're at peace now at last.
I love you.
hi oonagh this is a lovely tribute to the love you shared even though as you said you felt like leaving a number of times it didn't mean you didn't love him sometimes people love but find it difficult to live together as i was reading it i thought to myself what is going on there and then you said it yourself and eventually found out he had an illness and couldn't help the way he was the real drew was the one under all that i'm glad you had the special time at the end when you were able to get even closer and must be a comfort to you now in this time of grief
millions of women love a partner and think they can change them and live in some dreadful situations but when you find out it's an illness the pieces all fall into place and forgiveness is easier as you know they can't help the way they are
his family that you have met must have been so comforted to know despite it all he had such a wonderful person to care and love him i hope you will be able to keep in touch with them
there seems a lot more happy memories in your relationship than bad so hold on to those and be proud you stayed and helped him through his illness even though your heart must have been breaking you stood with him cared for him loved him and did all you could your a very special person
the love of your life
dear Gail, i have just finished reading your and drews very moving story, it must have taken such a lot for you to write my love. As reading my heart hurt for you, you have suffered such a lot of pain and grief and yet you are here along with us walking wounded listening to others pain and helping.
Your Drew had gone through a lot in life because of the condition that affected him and how blessed he was to have found you, you found each other didn't you darling, now you are on a journey that is very hard but just maybe he is able to help you in ways that you could never know or understand and just maybe dad is there keeping an eye on him, does that make sense love?
You were lead to this place for a God given purpose and you know what i reckon? i reckon He uses people like us that are cracked vessels for then His light can shine through those cracks into other hurting lives, into this imperfect broken world that we all live in. We are all here together to support one-another.
It would be a good thing to say, well done, but what you have shared with us, those words seem empty, but my heart swells for you with a sort of pride, it took a lot to share with us, we also had things in our relationships that were not ideal, but over all our loves and our faults, love overcame, didn't it love?, the faith book that i believe in, the bible, says that love covers a multitude of sin, in other words love always wins.
I am for a few days visiting precious friends who love and care, a walking testament to love so i was late in reading your post, be blessed my friend,
allow the sorrow to come out, let those tears fall, one day we all will be healed from this sadness, but we will never forget them will we darling?
lots of love and hugs to you dear gail, xxxx chrissie.
I know all to well the life that you lived. My Matthew also had Borderline Personality Disorder. I was with him (with the same roller coaster life ) for 12 years. I don't want to go into detail about it here. This is where you are honoring Drew. And honor him you should if he was anything like my Matthew which by your story, they could have been twins. Even the love of flying. I would take that roller coaster back if I could but I can't. I lost Matthew on June 16th of this year. I was speaking to a friend who helped me describe Matthew and I thought it was something I would share with you as it sounds like Drew may have fit this as well..... "He was so full of life, he just didn't know how to live it" ....I wish you well and although I am posting many months after you originally posted this I hope you get my message. Take care and know that he loved you and appreciated eveything you did for him.
Wishing you the best,
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