After knight's dad unexpectedly died earlier this year, I took over *everything* including telling him when to eat and shower. He was devastated and truly needed moment-by-moment management to get through. I even continued that level of control while we were with his family for the funeral. Knight didn't object to me giving him instructions in front of his family, and even came to me for instructions repeatedly while we were there. I decided when he was ready to go back to work, and I kept his supervisor and HR department informed on what was going on. I stepped in and managed absolutely everything in his world for three months. Interestingly, my knight said that level of control from me was comforting. He told me that in spite of the circumstances that brought on that level of absolute control, he enjoyed it. He responded to it emotionally, by opening up and talking to me. In those three months, we talked about things that we'd never discussed in 13 years. It sounds insensitive, but we were closer in the two months after Knight's dad died than we've been ....ever.
After about three months, I started to back off just a bit. He wasn't showing any signs of resisting, nor was he complaining about it. I simply thought that it was time for him to start making simple decisions for himself again. I started leaving it up to him as to WHEN he completed things.. His list of tasks didn't change. It simply became his responsibility (again) to decide when to do things. I stopped micro-managing every minute of every day.
We started having problems with him getting things done again. Not only at home, but also at work. For those three months I took total control, knight was able to stay caught up at work .. even though I was not managing his work time. But, when I backed off, he started falling behind at work again. I even caught him playing games on his phone frequently as a way to procrastinate.
Hindsight... I just now, while writing this, understood that my mistake was backing off on that complete level of control/management. I should have continued. I stepped in and took over *everything* when his dad died. And I started slowly giving back some of that control after a few months because that's what *I* would have wanted.
Ever since I gave back some level of planning and control we've been see-sawing between strict and not. When I'm strict, things go well, he stays caught up both at home, and at work. He seems happy and content. We're closer, he talks to me. And, when I back off, even just a little bit, he becomes distant, and seems sad.
After a week or so of his distance, constant complaining and inability to get things done, I get frustrated with him and become super "strict" -- managing his routine, tasks, and activities completely for several weeks. It starts with me telling him that for the next few weeks he is to check-in with me before he does anything at all. During these times, I approve (or not) pretty much everything he does from the time he gets up until the time we go to bed. Knight cooperates with my request, and things go pretty well for those several weeks. There's almost no complaining on his part, and we seem to become closer.
Then, when I think he's got a handle of things again, I start letting him take back a little bit of control over his world. The constant check-in are no longer required. I stop telling him exactly what to do every minute of his day.
....and he falls behind again.
Same old damned hamster wheel we've been on for years.,
Okay..........so.. knight's actions, reactions, and emotional state tell me that I need to maintain tight control. That he needs, wants, responds to, and enjoys it when I maintain a tight control over him.
So.. then, why don't I do it?
My knight has a lot of things going on. We are dealing with his memory loss the best we can. It's taking it's toll on him, emotionally. And.. he has demonstrated multiple times that my complete control, and my involvement in absolutely everything he does is comforting to him, and it helps him stay on track.
So.. I guess the question I need to answer is this.. What's missing in our Flr for ME. What do *I* need that I'm not getting from the the arrangement? What am I trying to get from him when I back off, and start expecting him to manage his own minute-by-minute schedule again? and.. How can I get what I'm looking for without backing away from the level of control he seems to thrive on?
Good questions... Ones I need to answer.