Mental Illness

Caregiving: Disabled Vampire

The signs were there all along. How could I have missed them?

That beacon of truth, Wikipedia, sits open on another tab in the browser. The further I looked, the more I wondered how I hadn’t reached this conclusion sooner. I mean, so many of the signs were there. The universe was just waiting for me to connect the dots, I guess.

We were in the living room, Mr. Juniper and I talking about how he was keeping covered up given the beautiful weather. He’s sensitive to sun now, he reminded me, because of his medication. My jaw dropped, a moment later and composure regained, I cried, “You’re a vampire!” He laughed, but no denial was forthcoming.

It seemed only appropriate to research further and gather evidence. Here follow my results:

  • Appearance: Complexion, fangs, mirrors, shadows? He doesn’t have a particularly pale complexion which could perhaps be perceived as evidence against my hypothesis, but Wikipedia assures me that European vampires may have a “ruddy” appearance. Wikipedia also suggests that visible fangs may not feature on all vampires. This leads me to suspect that Mr. Juniper may have retractable fangs. There would then appear to be the issue of, well, not appearing in mirrors. I am suddenly aware that we are without a great number of mirrors in the house. Suddenly suspicious too that I can’t remember the last time I saw him near a mirror. He doesn’t go out much and we were last out on a cloudy day. Has he been concealing a lack of a shadow all this time? Twilight (my other rock solid source of information) tells me that vampires are overwhelmingly attractive. My husband is definitely a handsome man in my view.
  • Weaknesses: Sunlight, silver, garlic, werewolves? My first hunch came from the sensitivity to sunlight. It’s not like he’s ever turned to dust but my goodness if that man doesn’t avoid sunshine. And silver. Well. It all makes sense now why he didn’t want a silver wedding band. He’s never been fond of garlic, either. It is shocking — shocking! — to see all these dots connect up. As for werewolves, well, they’ve been talking about reintroducing wolves (I mean, they’re basically cousins, right?) to Scotland. Who knows what the  consequences could be? No wonder there’s been outcry. Maybe there’s a larger vampire population than I realised.
  • Supernatural powers: Immortality, enhanced strength, enhanced senses, unnatural healing? Well, he’s still here. After all his suicide attempts, that has to count for something, right? He is certainly on the muscular side and has strangely good hearing and sight. Then, well, as for healing, I’d go back to my first point: he’s still here after all he’s done. Hmn.
  • Reproduction and feeding: Fertility, biting, diet? There’s no doubting he’s fertile. My uterus will happily attest to that. Wait. Would that make him a incubus? As for biting, my British sensibilities are feeling a little overwhelmed. Surely biting is something to be kept between consenting partners? Diet. My husband would be quite content to live on steak which would potentially be in accordance with the “vegetarian” diet of Twilight.
  • Conclusion: Some answers. Some questions. A boggled mind, I say!

In short: Things have been hard lately. I look for distractions, I put things off, I sink into the beauty that is denial. Paperwork of monumental proportions has recently been completed for Mr. Juniper. I left my contribution for as long as I could and then I had to sit at the table and write. There’s a tree growing out of our neighbour’s chimney, I hadn’t noticed until then. The birds, look at the darlings sitting on the telephone wires. I had to write down what his disabilities were. I had to describe how they affected him. I wanted to cry. I wanted to swear and shout. I felt ready to drop to the floor, head in hands.

He wants to kill himself. Isn’t that enough? I was advised that writing, “In short: fuck off.” might not go down well. I had a space smaller than what a photograph might occupy in which to write. How does it all affect him? Everything. Just everything. Do they think his disabilities take weekends and bank holidays off? Everything is influenced. Everything is affected.

I began to write. My beloved in black and white. Brutal and to the point. I questioned aloud if I should take out the mention that his disabilities mean sex is almost nonexistant. I was firmly told to leave the detail there. I had written those particular words as the last of the anger left me. They wanted to know everything? There was my everything. The day-to-day, somehow once the words began to flow, I could stomach the task at hand. But then, that flare of hurt rose up, and I let them have it. Let the world know. Scream it from the rooftops. The pen flowed across the paper. I phrased it politely, of course I did. What’s the use in being British if one can’t articulate one’s frustrations in polite language? How do his disabilities affect him? His disabilities mean it is nigh on impossible for us to make love. The day-to-day I can manage. But that hurt. My anger sitting on the paper in black ink. They wanted to know. I told them.

My husband, my love, is hurting. And right now, so am I.

The hurt comes in so many ways. Mine will pass. I have my doubts that his ever will. We have been enduring a period of crisis masquerading as a rough patch for too long now. And now? Now I think it is time I got into my pyjamas and read Twilight.

By Juniper

Rarely to be found without herbal tea nearby. Team Unicorn. Often in pyjamas. Also: TEAM KATNISS!

2 replies on “Caregiving: Disabled Vampire”

Leave a Reply