Well that was unexpected.
Weeping uncontrollably in the physical therapy room, that is.
Not because I was dealing with my mom,
whose body won’t ever be the same,
whose frenetic pace simply stopped,
whose personality is, different.
oh hey surprise!
I haven’t properly dealt with the trauma from James’ accident.
I know, huh?
What the hell is that about?
Helen Jane, you shut your face, this isn’t about you.
This is your mom’s stroke.
What’s your problem, making her trauma about you?
Except it is about me.
Up in here, it’s always about me.
As it’s always about you.
Long time readers, remember that accident?
Less time readers, let me catch you up.
Nine years ago,
(after James and I had been married for three months)
James fell from a big height,
breaking much of the left side of his body.
For nearly a year, we navigated a hostile medical world through multiple surgeries, wheelchairs and physical therapy.
It’s become a cute footnote,
an adorable anecdote
about The Trials of the First Year of Marriage.
As I sat with Mom in her physical therapy,
these memories assaulted me,
punching my head from behind.
One after the other,
the memories broke front,
visions of waiting rooms,
loading the wheelchair in the borrowed two-door civic,
giving my new husband a bath,
fearing the loss of this man I hardly knew but loved more than anything,
sleeping next to the couch on the air mattress,
panic in the face of uncontrolled pain.
Even though her therapy wasn’t about me.
Even though I was to be positive,
full of healing energy,
I broke down.
Assaulted by complete helplessness
where someone I love very much is
now unable to control their meatsack of a body.
Really, aren’t these bodies the worst?
(Don’t even get me started on these brains of ours.)
I excused myself,
had a good cry and
promised myself I’d work on some healing of my own this year.
Sooner than later, before more than after,
I have to get on this stuff.
I have to prioritize some things that have fallen away.
From dealing with the fallout from Mom’s stroke to
re-experiencing the emotions of an emotional trauma I thought I was way past,
to newly recognizing myself as
simply a middle-aged mother of two,
rounding the corner of my best years –
It appears I need to do some healing.
In the meantime, I am to be gentle with myself.
you are to be gentle with yourself.
Because we’re just trudging through this human experience the only way know how.