Supporters aren't made of cast-iron and clusterheads aren't saints...

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Posted by annemarie ( on December 27, 2000 at 15:44:15:

This is no criticism of persons, though it is triggered by Cheryl's post and Margi's reply, a little way below.

I am both a clusterhead AND a supporter of my physically handicapped partner. I know both sides of the case so I'll take myself as an example.

I have fulfilled the supporter's role for 18 years. It is a tough job physically, but also emotionally. You can't ever get angry at your partner, for being disabled was not his choice and is not his fault. And showing him you're unhappy with what you're supposed to do will make him feel even more guilty. You don't want that.
Like Cheryl said, I'd walk a million miles if I could save him some trouble (or better his condition.) But I can't do it for him. He walks and yes, Margi, I walk beside him.

(And he beside me, when it's cluster time; it is a matter of course.)

Yet I bitterly need to vent sometimes. I am not made of concrete or cast iron or titanium. I need to be small sometimes, and cry a little; and I obviously can't do that to the person dearest to me.
Supporters should have the "right" to vent too, to ask for that shoulder - and where better than where others understand the condition?

Another thing. Having clusters does not make one a saint. Well, we have seen some louses pass through this board...
A selfish person may get better through suffering, but there's no guarantee.

I suggest we reconsider the position of our supporters, privately, but maybe also at the next OUCH convention. It seems a good subject for a discussion.

Walk in beauty, annemarie

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