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Posted by Margi ( on July 03, 2001 at 10:48:04:

In Reply to: Significant other has clusters ... posted by MJ on July 02, 2001 at 13:00:55:

Hi MJ, I'm a supporter too. I felt your words in your post about J. Big time. I sooooo understand your feeling of helplessness and frustration. Hang in there, stick around and read everything you can to help battle the beast.
But the first thing you need to do is learn the first lesson of supportdom. When our clusterheads are under attack, they are NOT themselves -- it's almost like an Exorcist scene sometimes -- nothing they say during an attack is meant to hurt you, J loves that you are there helping, trust me. But the best advice you can get is to ask her/him what she/he needs you to be doing when an attack hits. But, have this conversation when there isn't an attack happening. For me, I turn the lights down, turn any noise off, and just quietly fade into the background so my hubby can focus and do battle alone. I stay within earshot, but he is better able to handle the pain alone. There are times that he wants me to rub his shoulders, or just hug him when he needs it, but I've learned to not be offended when he asks me to stop, or to leave him alone. It's the hardest thing to do, because you figure that since you're not in pain, you are stronger and can fight harder but that's not always the case. Sometimes J probably feels embarassed that you are witnessing this pain, or that she/he is causing YOU pain by worrying about her/him. So, take the advice you've been given here and sit down with J during non-attack times and make a battle plan.
And please feel free to email at any time if you need a shoulder. Just press my name in blue at the top of this post to get my email.

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