My daughter has been sick all week, which is the reason why I’ve been quiet. I had to skip work and take care of her. My daughter being sick reminded me of how my husband acted with me when I was confined to bed due to a back injury.

My daughter got sick on Monday afternoon. Tuesday, was the first day I skipped work this week to stay home with her. My husband, on the other hand, he left early to go see some clients or something. He left and didn’t say when he was coming back. Honestly, I didn’t care. I was happy not to be stuck under the same roof with him for a full day and with a sick toddler. Actually, it is easier for me to take care of our daughter when she’s sick all by myself. My husband is not help anyway and when he thinks he’s helping, he makes things worse.

For example, he does not want to give our daughter her medicine in the middle of the night if that’s when she’s supposed to take it. And he would insist on us not waking her up. In other words, he is the one who doesn’t want to get up, let’s say, at 3:00 AM to give her the Motrin or any other medicine that requires to be administered every 6 or 8 hours. He rather have her suffer from high fever so he can go on catching Z’s.

It never made any difference, whether our daughter is sick, hungry, having a night terror, or simply crying because she can’t find her cuddling friend. It has always been me the one getting out of bed and checking on and taking care of her. Why would this time be any different just because she was sick?

In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion over the course of this week that he cannot tolerate other people being sick. Why? Because a narcissist does not like to compete for attention. A sick person requires to be taken care of and a narcissist does not like to lose the spotlight. It is sick, isn’t it? No pun intended.

I hurt my back about 8 years ago. The first year wasn’t as bad and I was still able to continue my outdoor activities, as well as go to work. But as the treatment progressed, the pain got worse and I had to stop all of my activities and missed a lot of days of work. I had been told that was going to be the case; that the pain was going to get worse as I would heal and it will eventually go away. Nonetheless, I never expected it to be that painful to the point that I couldn’t sit for extended periods of time, I would have trouble getting in and out of the shower, I would feel excruciating pain going up and down stairs (and we live in a 2-story condo with the only full bathroom being upstairs,) I would be in pain when going to the bathroom, while driving, and many other things we don’t even think about when doing them and we take for granted. It was painful, but it taught me to appreciate health in a way I had never done so.

With my daughter getting sick this week and him leaving to supposedly take care of customers, many of the things that happened during the worst 3 years of my recovery came back to me. The endless hours of my laying on a couch trying to forget the pain by doing marathons of some sitcom, completely alone because he would leave. I need to clarify that my husband works from home. Therefore, he could have easily rearrange his schedule and stay home most days. Trying to get up to eat or take care of some basic necessity proved to be an almost impossible task. During those years, he never, not once, drove me to work or the doctor’s office. He would leave with a “Call me if you need anything.”

At first, I would try to call him when the pain was intolerable, only to get his voice-mail. As a result, I eventually stop trying to reach him. When I came back from tbe hospital after delivering our daughter, the story repeated itself. He would go to the basement (his office) and I would be left alone in the master bedroom in the second floor with a newborn baby. After a couple of days of not being able to get him to hear me or having to call him on his cell phone so he would come upstairs and help me with something, I moved myself with the baby to the living room. But even with just one floor difference, he would not lend me a hand. I ended up asking my mother to drive our way every day. I would cry every evening when it was time for her to go home since I knew my husband would go to the gym or make up some excuse just not to be there. Sometimes he would eveb eat something and not even check whether I had eaten or not.

It might be worth mentioning that about a year before I got pregnant, he hurt his lower back lifting some boxes. He didn’t go to the doctor because he always thinks he knows better than then what to do. Long story short, he ended up getting worse. One night I heard crying coming from downstairs. He was laying on the same couch that has been my companion for months, if not years. I felt bad for him. However, I couldn’t help thinking about my own sleepless nights, crying silently in pain so as not to wake him up. And to some degree, I resented it a little. There he was, asking me for help for the one time he was in pain when he had not really helped me in all the years I had been hurting.

Yes, if you are wondering, I did end up helping him. I was still deep in the narc fog back then and I was at the peak of trying to do everything humanly possible to make him happy, changing myself, being understanding, and always failing, as it always goes with narcissist and emotional abuse.

His back pain was not the only time when he expected me to take care of him. He busted an ACL for not following doctor’s orders. He hurt a foot for once again not wanting to follow the doctor’s advise to stop running. And there were a couple of other situations. Every time, he would want me to skip work, help him with something, drive him to some place. By then I was already tired of his attitude and lack of consideration and told him to manage on his own. It was never like my situation when I was confined to a bed. He could still move around. 

Closer to the demise of our marriage, I would remember one of our wedding vows, the one about in sickness and in health, and I would think whether I had missed a fine print saying that it was conditional as of whom was allowed to get sick. This week, with my daughter being sick, I realized that my daughter is not exempted, either.