Although I do not technically qualify as a real recluse, I do consider myself to be close enough to qualify.
My disqualifications are: I live in my son’s home, where my husband and I have semi-private quarters, sharing the main bathroom, the kitchen and laundry room. I speak to my daughter-in-law regularly,as she is also a chronic pain sufferer. She had a large tumour removed from the base of her spine when in her early 20’s…being so young and living with all that comes with chronic pain while still maintaining a great disposition is impressive to me. I see and speak to my son at supper time as he retreats to his upstairs quarters and rarely puts in an appearance during the day. I speak to my hubby when he gets home from work. I go to the local library, the doctor’s office and sometimes a relative will visit me.(I’m talking months and often years between visits)
While writing down my live human contacts, I realize it seems like A LOT to me. To anyone who knew me way back when, brothers and sisters included, I am almost unrecognizable to them. They find my remote living conditions perplexing, often wondering out loud why on earth I would choose to live this way. I even had one sister say we live like pioneers LOL She definitely is a city girl with a tendency towards exaggeration. Anyway, they all knew me when I was young and mostly carefree, flitting here, there and everywhere, never complaining and always laughing. They are surprised to see me now, how I am, but when they allude to wanting an explanation, I tell them it’s because I’m old now.
I do not share my chronic pain information because I am in no mood to defend myself when they will question the validity of it. I am in no mood to verbalize to anyone the extent of the pain, or the change in personality as I work to accept my own limitations. It is exhausting for me to have company but I love them dearly and I am years without seeing them, including my own daughter and grandchildren. It makes me sad to be unable to travel to visit them when I miss them, and it makes me sad when they choose to not visit me. But it is what it is and I don’t really have the energy to change it.
It may appear that I deliberately keep my pain a secret of sorts, which I guess is true in a way. I just don’t want any of their potential pity, I don’t want it to be the focus of any conversations that I may have with anyone in the future and I mainly don’t want to waste my breath in any way.
I barely talk about how I feel to the people I live with, hubby included. I explained to them once about how I feel, prognosis and such and that is enough. Why do I need to remind them what’s what? Sometimes, when hubby asks how my day was or how do you feel today, I snap at him, always saying “do you think I was “magically cured today?”, or “do you think I’ll say something different?”.
It just exasperates me.