UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE

The other day my boyfriend helped me bathe for the first time. It wasn’t in a fun way. It was in a “I’m recovering from major knee surgery and can’t bathe myself safely” kind of way. As I sat on a shower chair asking to be passed my shampoo, with my right leg aching in a plastic bag, I thought, “Wow, this is intimate. And terrifying.” For the first week after my surgery my parents had stayed with us, and my mom was able to take on the less glamorous tasks like changing my pants and attending to my wounds. But once they left it was just me and John and my vulnerability/helplessness had nowhere to hide. For the next few weeks, John is not just my partner but my caregiver. It is the first time in our relationship that we’ve had such a dramatic shift in our power dynamic. And I am worried that it will ruin us.

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