Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dear Alex, Sorry.

30th March 2013

Dear Alex,

I wake, unsure why I'm here again, unsure how long these feelings will last. Unsure as to why they have roused their ugly heart-palpitating, wanting to run, shouting at me 'you're trapped, you're trapped, this is it now...' Voices. But the feelings are here again with a vengeance.

It rumbles in the pits of my stomach and from my chest up I'm taught and feel panicky and sick, and I know I have to get up, try and be a good mum, a good wife, I have to look after you, the kids, feed you all, wash, clean, Hoover, advise, amuse, reward, all day and there is no where to hide I just have to get up and do it.

As if these feelings aren't bad enough I find I lack patience, I have to bite my tongue when you are, at the moment, seemingly so incapable of following any instruction. You call for me all the time, and when I try and understand you I cannot, it's not speech it's noise and you hit out and hurt me, frustrated you are quick to anger with both me and the kids.

And I'm trying to get you home and I feel like, how? How can I? I'm weak and flawed and craving my husband by my side to help me through this, and I'm never going to get that back. So the bitter loneliness sets in too.

And the guilt...

I'm showing the kids how not to deal with a situation, when the carer and I both struggle to change you and you can't do what we need you to do I shouted at you to stop making so much noise and to try, just try and help a little... And then I collapse in floods of tears with kids asking 'what's up mum?' The carer telling me it's ok they understand, with you so in need of me and a me that can cope and deal with it all and be everyone's everything all the time.

And in all this I just need you. The you you were, the you you were to me, that you who cuddled me tight so often, made everything alright with one of your cuddles, big arms, strong chest scooping me into you kissing my head, with your smell, familiar and steadfast.

But I'm never getting that again. This is me. This is you. This is my life. Forever.

I'm sorry, really and truly I am for having these feelings, for being like this. I wish I could just talk to you about it and explain, but I don't have you like that anymore, not to share things with or wait on your advice and counsel.

I just have to go it alone.

I'm so so sorry that I feel like this,

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Alex, Detached.

29th March 2013

Dear Alex,

Your shouts downstairs rouse one of the kids. I gently shush them telling them 'it's just dad, back to sleep now.'

I hear the TV as the carer watches it downstairs and I type letters to you in a separate bed, a different room, in a house where you stay just 3 nights a week...and my world feels strange and I feel very detached from my life tonight.

Helping the carer get you onto the stand to wheel you into bed, you are uncooperative, uncoordinated and scream and shout, not with anger but excitement and I feel no patience, I just need you to listen but you don't ...because you can't. Somehow though that just makes these times worse. I had to get myself upstairs to bed because you wouldn't stop shouting, you were happy to see the carer that's why, but your brain couldn't get you to stop the shouting and after 15 minutes or so of not being able to clam you down and your shouts becoming louder and then one of the kids waking I thought I'd see if me not being there calmed you more quickly.

It's all quiet except the TV now.

Our kids sleep, tired out from a 3 hour bike ride I did with them before you came back today. Rosey cheeked they lay on the sofa sipping their hot chocolates, watching a film and waiting for pizza on our Friday night 'pizza DVD' night, which now you are back joining in on too. Esmie sits on your lap cuddling into you. Since you have been home at the week ends I've noticed the kids adapting, accepting you, becoming more comfortable with you. You no longer lash out and shout angrily and unnecessarily at them, for several long months each time they saw you you seemed to lash out angrily a great deal and they would approach you with trepidation and fear for a long while. Now however, you haven't behaved like this for months and everything seems to have settled for them much more.

I hope you sleep and you sleep well tonight...

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dear Alex, The long awaited news.

27th March 2013

Dear Alex,

'Oh I'm so glad you are here, help me please' you greet me with this tears streaming down your crumpled face, as I walk into your room at the Care Home. Your left arm has got into an awkward position and looks sore, as you cannot move it and your right arm seems to shake so much these days, and because you can't make known your needs, I don't know for how long it'd been that way. But you're crying and won't let go of me, and it is these moments, these moments so often I see, that stamp further, deeper in me why you need to be home.

I do nothing but worry about you when I am not with you, you are heavily dependent on me, for everything, to listen, to interpret, to be your voice, your comfort, your everything. And days like this reinforce how desperately I need you home.

I was late in because the relevant people who come to assess the house and draw up plans to extend the property and say yay or nay to the disability living grant descended en masse this morning.

I finally have the news I have been waiting for, yes it is possible, almost definite yes I will qualify for the grant. I should be happy, relieved, but as I hear them discussing about widening doorways, making a wet room for your bedroom, the reality of it all kicks in like a jagged sword through my heart and soul. I can't explain why, it's simply the fact that 4 people are discussing you and your needs and I just wish it was all back to normal. I wish these people were not wandering round with clipboards and pontificating areas for access and what you will and won't be able to access and where your equipment will be stored and why does it have to be like this?? Why isn't it all just back to normal now? Why can't you walk? Be like other husbands, other dads? I'm not angry with you baby, just, well I feel so heavy and I don't feel grown up enough to be doing all this on my own.

It's not good news anyway as they tell me it will be a minimum of six horrendous long disruptive months whilst they extend and make ready the house. I needed you home a long while ago, and this news sends me crashing. Six more months I have to wait. Six months takes us till October, at the earliest and as I type that and see it in black and white my tears fall again and my heart won't stop pounding, trying to pound out the pain, but it can't.

October will be two years since your accident, two years you will have been away from us, your family, the most precious thing to you in the world.

And I know I cannot do this till then.

So my long awaited news feels like total devastation.

Crushed, I have to carry on.

My heart breaking for another six months or more.

God, please open another door.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 25 March 2013

Dear Alex, A Memory

25th March 2013

Dear Alex,

I didn't mean my sudden quiet gasp to be audible, I didn't mean for those tears to fall, I didn't initiate the memories so pungent, so powerful to rise with such a searing pain that the tears just fell. I tried to talk over them and carry on as we had been, but putting you in the jumper I haven't seen you wear since before the accident sought out deeply buried memories.

Memories of walks with the kids, of a chest that used to fill it, strong and firm, of arms that would lift me up, my protests making the kids laugh.

As you wear it now and sit in your chair, helmet on to protect your head, head drooping down with tiredness and an arm that shakes a great deal these days and one that does not move, I just can't help those tears.

I make out your slurred speech as you say 'what's up?' And then you too start to cry, you can't have heard me, you must have picked up on my sudden change in energy. So in tune with me you are...

But what good is it to dwell? Memories only make me sad and I have no choice but to keep moving, away from memories of where we were and how and who we were. No choice but to keep moving, memories make you stand still, reflect, look back, and I'm not strong enough to do that yet.

And it's strange because its almost as though I have put it on hold, knowing deep down I may have to confront it one day, the other part of me knowing that I am so endlessly grateful for your unchanged love for me and for the progress you make and how our love is still so strong, that I maybe I never will have to confront it?

Then a tiny memory of you as you were flits by...

One day I suppose I will have to.

For now my angel I sit, noise of the tumble dryer, the washing machine and dishwasher disturb, rhythmical tapping if my fingers upon keyboard. And I miss you lying next to me on the sofa, you had to go back again today and its just not right.

I need you here and I miss you.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx