Sunday, 19 August 2012

Dear Alex, turning pages...



Some of the things we've been up to this Summer holidays...Monty on the river swingy rope thing....





August 19th 2012

Dear Alex,

And suddenly, tired (finally) from a day out having fun in the sun, the kids take refuge in sleep. It’s then, in the quiet when I do have time to catch up on all I have to, that the flashes of the day remount. Couples leaning on each other, dads playing chase with their kids, people going home to their house, their comforts, their lives…and I find at the moment, I fight hard to push back the resentful feelings.

If we hadn’t had such a week of ordeals, I know I’d be feeling stronger, more at peace with our situation, but thorns of how things used to be have woven their way around this week.

Your frustration seemingly at an all time intensity, causing you to have angry episodes, fighting out, an hour or so later on one occasion, I couldn’t get through to you, the kids didn’t know what to do, I knew that me, the kids, we bring that reminder of where you are, what you can not do. That desperation to break free, shout ‘why this? Why now? Wake me up now.’ But words and expression in this way is not possible, and the nature of the injury doesn’t just impact your mobility, it damaged so much, that at times I wonder if any of this side of things will be healed?

I can look on from the outside, I can live and delve for hope, have faith, I have the ability to challenge my thought processes…but the damage for you runs so deep that not even I could calm you several times this week.

It leaves me feeling helpless, useless, redundant as a wife, a confidant, your protector and best friend. It takes away all these from me, strips me of my position, feeling that I, when all else fails, I can get through to you. Only I couldn’t.

I see the implications I bring with me, and the ordeal for you that you are reminded of by my presence. One particular day friends we have not seen for a while come to see you. There’s nothing easing your pain, no comfort I can offer. Our friend asks if he can talk with you. Minutes later, you’re calm. And I realise, I am not always the right person, because you actually need friends. You want to express the anger and frustration you feel around not being able for me, not being here for me and our kids.

Saturday night was different. I haven’t seen you this alert and happy for nearly a month, looking back. You talk, it’s clearer. We chat, we sing, we share in laughter and tears. I ask you if you get angry with people from the outside looking in and telling you ‘it’ll be alright, you’ll get through this’ I ask if it makes you feel like screaming ‘you have no ******* idea!’ You search for me with your eyes, you say clearly ‘no, it helps.’ And a little later on, you say in reply to me ‘at least I am still here…’

To see you this way lifts me, but it also breaks my heart. To hear you say, in your position ‘at least I am still here’ is probably the most humbling thing I have ever heard anyone say. And I just want to magic all the pain, the sadness, the fact we are forced to live apart, that you can’t be a dad to your own kids, you can’t be there to look after us and protect, provide for us. For you, baby, in your situation, which no one needs me to explain what the reality is, to say this, has me awestruck.

I need some of your courage right now, I need to not be missing you so much, longing for the days we once lived. I need to not be so empty without you...

...To be a couple in each others’ arms, wading through a stream together, leaning over a bridge looking into the river, walking down the road, just being. You tell me yesterday, ‘I always miss you’ holding me into you tightly. Sometimes it feels so cruel being apart, why aren’t we just together, just parents sat in the garden watching the kids play drinking a cup of tea? But I know that these questions lead only to dead ends, to lost energy, to resentment, to gaping holes in your life, and there’s already enough without you!

Taking out the bins tonight, struggling with the cardboard, telling kids to stay inside, the dog running out, the tidying, the washing, the feeding cats, the preparation for tomorrow, the things I am trying to put in place for you…I have moments when I feel I could, and I would actually like to just flip. But this is not an option I will ever take, so I have to force myself consciously to decide to give thanks for all I am doing at that moment. That I have arms to carry the cardboard, legs to bring out the bins, a voice to tell the kids to stay in, an alley way down the side of house, the only way you can home visit, we’re a terraced house, and the chances that we are the only ones with that alley are remarkable! I carry on my internal thanks, and something lifts, a slight lightness, rather than a heavy burden.  An opening, rather than feeling so intensely everything closing in on me. Because when we see what we have, we’re not so focused on what we don’t.

And tomorrow, you’re here for the afternoon! I have that to plan and look forward to.

Yet again, a new page, I just wish there was a gust of wind to blow them on faster!



Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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