Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

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Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

Hi I'm new today and have come across your community! Reading some of the posts I can I'm not alone with some of the things I've been experiencing as my husband's begins his battle with Breast Cancer. 

We have been married for 8 months (2nd marriages for both of us) and I am surprised by my feelings in supporting my husband. I feel guilty I feel alone I feel selfish angry and sad...

I'm frustrated because I'm usually the one to fix things and I can't...

I  feel guilt because he has Breast cancer and I feel it should of been me...We both went through biopsies at the same time 

I understand the mood swings the anger etc and I  always try not let it effect me personally as I know it's the cancer...but I'm also confused by some of the stuff going on....

I feel alone and isolated by him...he constantly receives messages of support but he never shares them with me or mentions anything and if I ask "I'm checking up on him" yes I totally understand he has cancer not me but he goes on about we are a team and we will beat this together but yet he isolates me...he even got upset when my Mum gave me flowers after he had a 2 week hospital stay...he tells this is he fight his battle and nothing to do with me...but yet publically tells people we are a team and he can't do it without me...

I do totally understand what he is going through and the many emotions he goes through all day every day...but I'm confused and emotionally exhausted by this isolation. We will be in Drs appts and before we are finished he tells me to post the Drs finding etc to Facebook...I haven't even processed the info...it feels like it's more important for everyone to know than what we are going through...I feel like I'm letting him down by not being to understand this isolation I find it confusing...privately I'm the fall guy but publicly I'm a hero?

I feel selfish because a lot of the time I'm standing here saying what about me...I feel guilty because I know it's not about me but surely I do matter my feelings matter? Lol just writing the last sentence makes me feel like a shit! But what do I do?

 

It's the hardest thing watching the love of your life go through this cancer and I'm letting him down and I'm lost as to how to help him without losing me ....

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

Hi Trysta, Welcome to this little supportive family over this side of the internet.

 

I cannot express myself enough when I state that:  All feelings are valid & All thoughts are valid. Let me reassure you as much as possible, that feeling guilty for whatever reason is absolutely common and completely standard.  It’s often one of the first reactions people may experience; many have felt this before and many have thought something similar as well.

 

E.g. It should have been me, why did this happen? Those thoughts are normal to any surreal situation; I’m familiar with them too, many are. (Feeling helpless or powerless tends to breed frustration and angry as a byproduct). You are not selfish and you shouldn’t feel guilty (even if it’s a standard reaction). You are clearly a supportive and deeply caring partner – you seeking support, advice and assistance even demonstrates this.

 

From my understanding, your husband seems to be isolating/shielding you in private from the direct situation but acknowledging you in public, in regards to “being a team/I couldn’t do it without you” so thus recognizing your supportive nature? That is understandably conflicting and confusing but I’m going to attempt to approach the topic at hand, so please forgive me in advance if my understanding is mistaken.

 

Given the actions of your husband, maybe he is trying to protect you by creating a fence/barrier by blocking out direct actions or acknowledgement in more personal environments (the home environment for example). He is lessening your direct involvement and doesn’t appear to like recognition or reminders of the topic.  He wants to indirectly protect you and by doing this, he is providing the support he feels you may need. E.g. Wanting to speak about it is recognizing the topic, keeping messages or information to himself is shielding you.

 

He protects you by pushing you away, yet publicly announces and highlights the fact that you’re devoted and committed which is something he doesn’t need to do. This demonstrates his love and since it’s public and not private, it feels less direct to the cancer topic.

 

I'm not sure if this helped any as it's just my view on it. 

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New Contributor

Re: Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

Thank you for your reply...yes I understand the emotions and feelings are normal given the circumstances just doesn't help them tho lol but yes reading other posts have provided comfort in knowing I'm not alone. 

 

As to the isolating me it's a tricky one hey...in public he will discuss the cancer with anyone and everyone even shop assistants are being told his story so he is happy to let me hear it all over and over...and he is always discussing it at home...so he isn't shielding me from it...it's just in public it's all nice nice positive language being used...like I've got this I'm going to beat it etc but at home in anger I get I wish I'd died (which he did in ICU at Clayton due to internal bleeding but they brought him back) or he will tell me it isn't worth living and he isn't going to do chemo etc but we walk out the door and it's all smiles and fist pumps...yes no doubt it's the male thing not showing his true emotions in public...but damn he is beating me emotionally at home and when we are out I'm down and quiet so people mistake that for what it's not about...it's confusing as I'm the same way home or in public whereas he has 2 very different personalities  at the moment...arghhhhhh this cancer sucks hey!!! 

 

I know it's a day by day emotion by emotion but just sometimes I feel so alone....

 

But thank you x

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

I'm sorry that you’re feeling so alone; perhaps it's time to seek out additional support. Maybe speaking with the hospital’s guidance counselor or attending a support group will help ease the feeling of isolation?? Have you spoken with other families or friends yet? Possibly you and your husband could attend appointments together?

 

https://cancerqld.org.au/get-support/cancer-emotional-support/cancer-counselling-service/ -Support Link

https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/online-services/crisis-chat - If the pressure ever becomes a little much.

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Super Contributor

Re: Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

Hi Trysta, I can relate a bit to what you are saying. My husband is having a relapse of Follicular lymphoma, and I can relate to all the emotions you describe. I'm glad you found this forum! Another great place to go for support is the facebook page 'Caring for Husbands with Cancer'- which is exactly as it sounds, a forum for women who's husbands/partners/boyfriends have cancer. It is extremely supportive and very active (it now has about 1400 members from across the world!) You are definitely not alone. Hugs, Emily
Frequent Contributor

Re: Why do I feel selfish guilty and alone...My husband has Breast Cancer

Hi Trysta64,

 

I realise that it might be challenging to expose your feelings to your husband at this time, but I would take the risk and get him to read your post - unedited.

 

You need him to realise that you are there for him, but you also need him to be there for you. You are partners and so you are in this together. Sometimes the person with the diagnosis just needs a good kick in the backside every now and then - I sure did!

 

Big hugs to you and good luck with how ever you plan to deal with this.

 

Rick

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