Ever since we moved into our house five years ago, I've had a vision of a home office in the basement. The office would have exposed brick walls, bright halogen cable lights, stain and polished concrete floor, an area rug with bright colors and modern design, and sleek office furniture.

For five years, ridicule and mockery have been directed at me for my vision, because the space needs a little work. The room, which I envision as my office, currently has a dirt floor, cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, exposed ceiling joists, plumbing coming down from the bathroom above, some of the bricks need replacement, and there is a strong dirt/mold smell permeating the entire space. The kitchen floor, directly above, has a few dryrot issues and looks as if it will collapse at any moment. The finishing touch on the room is that of the three window openings, of which only one actually has glass in it. The other two are barely covered by plastic.

Monday, the Big Dig begins. The basement will be 18" deeper with a 7' ceiling. The walls will be sandblasted and repointed to replace disintergrating mortar. The concrete will be poured, locking all the nasty smells and mold deep into the earth. My vision for my office is moving from fantasy towards reality. Then I was brought up short.

As the office becomes more of a reality, K told me that I no longer could refer to it as "my office". Rather it is to be called either the "home office" or "our office". My dream is being co-opted after the years of ridicule. Naturally, I protested, citing historical evidence as justification for keeping the title of "my office". I was ignored.

It went so far, as to have K download architect software and draw a blueprint of the basement. The office space has an x'ed out figure, meant to represent me, showing that I will be DENIED entrance to my own office. Needless to say, K was cackling as she showed me her drawings.

The battle continues as we discuss the appropriate label for MY office. My co-workers have offered a number of suggestions as ways to subtly suggest reminding her of the original name, such as an 8 foot neon sign or having the computer say "Welcome to L's office" every time it boots up.

Playing like this is a snapshot of normal interactions. This is how we played before the illness and we are returning to where we can do so more and more. After my posts laden with gripes and irritation, I thought it was time to share the good parts of the relationship.


At 6:12 AM, Blogger blondzila said...

It can be a real struggle sometimes to find the positive in a bipolar life. Congrats on both finding it and recognizing how that presence is a marker of how far things have come since the ECT. Good for you both.


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