Obsession: I Live With It

I read The Swan Thieves as a member of the From Left to Write book club.  I was given a free copy as part of the book club.  This post was inspired by this book.

The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova, is the story of a famous painter, Robert Oliver, who attacks a painting in the National Gallery of Art and is put into a psychiatric ward. When Robert maintains a state of silence, his psychiatrist, Andrew Marlow, must investigate the artist’s world to treat him, which includes the women in his life.

The Swan Thieves is a story  about obsession.  It does not specifically delve into Robert’s diagnoses and so I will not delve into “my Robert’s” diagnoses, that of my husband.

As I read the book I recognized my husband in it and wondered if this amazing book would be good for me.

Grant has been ruled by obsessions of one kind or another since his teen years, but I will only talk about the ones that he has gone through since we have been married. For a long time, Grant was obsessed with buying posters, statues and trinkets of cats, particularly of the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast. He had hundreds of pieces. This lasted for many years, after which time he realized that this was stupid and has given much of it away to fellow cat lovers.

Then he got into the cats of Andy Warhol. Cards, posters, pocketbooks (?), scarves.

Now his latest obsession is with “time”, watches.  He probably has about a hundred watches. He doesn’t wear them, he just collects many different kinds.

Those who know me know that my family can’t afford what has added up to thousands of dollars, sometimes as much as a thousand dollars a month.  When I was working it was okay, and although he’s worked on it, in therapy and taking medication, he still can’t stop.

Why do I stay with him?  Because this truly is a part of a his mental illness and many people have this symptom.

He is not a bad person.  He has a disease.

Unlike Robert Oliver, I know where he is all the time and I know and understand his obsession.  He is good to my son and I, and is in fact a bit overzealous with buying for my son. He gets me presents, even though I don’t want him to, but deserve it.

Despite his obsessions, he loves my son and I, and is being the best son and father he knows how to be.

Please don’t be angry or feel sorry for me, because I don’t, and I am the one who chooses to love him.


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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.

12 Responses to Obsession: I Live With It

  1. Pingback: Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova – A From Left to Write Book Club |

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