Marie's first reaction to my decision to go and see my daughter and critically ill grandson was, ”What am I going to do?”
This is the nature of agoraphobia. Its needs must be met before anything else can be considered.
Marie has never been able to stay at home while I was outside our local area. Therefore I had to arrange for Marie to stay at her parents' house while I was in Ireland and for one of my daughters – Colleen – to look after her until she could get there. The downside of all of this was that the children would miss school during my absence.
While travelling to Ireland it suddenly occurred to me that if I was hospitalised we would have the same problems. When I was last in hospital with kidney problems, two of my adult daughters were still living at home. They were able to look after Marie and the children. They even brought Marie to see me in hospital. Now that they had moved out, it would seem that if I was to go into hospital, not only would Marie have to go to her parents', 1½ hours' drive away (thus not able to visit me often), but also the children's education would be interrupted.
Not a happy state of affairs.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised to learn, when I phoned Marie from Ireland, that she was still at home. Colleen had driven Marie to Weymouth to collect my mother-in-law. Marie's mother was now staying at our house, and would stay until I returned home from Ireland. She would be taking the children to school.
Marie now knows that she can stay at home – albeit with a “safe” person – when I am away.
This is a great relief to me and, although they don't realise it, a great benefit for the children.
Equally important, it is another slap in the face for Marie's agoraphobia/monophobia demon.