Today with my therapist I ended up trying to come up with escape fantasies. The idea is that I am feeling so trapped; it would be better if I felt I am John's caregiver because I have chosen that role.
The problem was, I couldn't even come up with a fantasy of running away that seemed at all realistic, even leaving aside how it would affect our children.
If I stayed home but stopped taking care of John, there would be consequences that would make my life worse (or at least I would lose the possibility of making things better). His getting the various disability payments would be at least slowed down (Today I found an unopened envelope in his mail from last week that had a form that was supposed to be sent in quickly). He wouldn't push to try Alzheimer's medication or be tested for B12 deficiency, either of which could lead to actual improvement.
If I ran away, left town, until I wanted to come back, there would be even more of a mess when I got back, particularly financial. My eye was caught by a 30-day retreat next summer, but I don't think that will be realistic then.
The fantasy I wanted to pursue was of disappearing, taking on another identity and getting a tiny apartment and a job in a bookstore in some completely different part of the country. My first reaction what that I would hate to betray my professional colleagues that way. The bigger issue, though, is what a mess that would leave, if no one could access my money because I had disappeared. John would run out of money in a few months and what would he do, sell things? He does have one friend I think would come and help him but no family he is close to except his 95 year old aunt. My mother and sisters would probably end up helping him.
His aunt is a whole other story. She lives in an apartment in a retirement community near us and John is the only family member helping her. She is still sharp but due to knee problems can barely walk with a walker. She doesn't depend on John for too much; she pays someone to drive her. But John doesn't want her to know he has Parkinson's because she already fusses about his health in a way that offends him. I would think it would be obvious but she hasn't asked. He told her he had retired early because of new bureaucratic rules affecting his job. I am very uncomfortable with lying, and this was in front of me (we try to have lunch or supper with her once a week). Not a good situation, with lots of potential to get worse.