In my previous post, I explained how my life, and the lives of the people I love, were changed forever in thirty seconds.
And, after 16 years, they are tired of it, and think I need to get over it.
With that said, there are some things you can’t get over.
When this injury first occurred, I didn’t want to leave the house. I was terrified of the embarrassment that I would feel if I was standing in line instead of in front of the refrigerator when my body decided that like it or not, it was time to urinate. I couldn’t sense it, I couldn’t feel that my bladder was full. Or my personal favorite, when I had a bowel movement in my pants like a two year old because I could no longer sense that region.
I’m sure if you put two and two together, you can figure out other things I could no longer sense.
Now, on the flip side of all that, there was the pleasure of fire burning my legs. There was the pleasure of knives being repeatedly stabbed in my body. There was the pleasure of feeling those stabbing knife sensations being dragged down my body like I was being filleted like a fish.
That was in the beginning.
Today, 16 years later, I have given up the hope that I will find a cure. I will continue to do the things that work for me. I will go to the grocery store, and I will leave the DMV and come back later. I will wait for the line to not be 3 hours long, and I will eventually achieve my goals. I will do it in a way that I am comfortable with, because I refuse to stand in a line, knowing that I will have to go to the ladies room prior to getting to the end of that line, and holding it, well, as stated above, doesn’t always work out. And well, I’m sure the people in line appreciate the patience and persistence and the working within my limitations.
After all these years, I still have days that I am in absolute agony and all I can do is lay in the bed and cry. Those are the bad days when I question the reason for my existence on this planet. Those are the days when I believe that the people I love would be much better off without my presence holding them back.
But, then I have good days, and I bake cookies, or I plan a garden, or I teach myself something new, whether it’s how to crochet, play a guitar, delve into the deeper mysteries of theology, plan a garden, and so on.
Though I am constantly reminded of my limitations, I try my best to navigate my world.
I didn’t do anything to deserve this injury and my family didn’t do anything to deserve the fall out.
It’s been a hard, grueling process of having hope one day, only to feel completely hopeless the next.
It’s degrading to have to tell your children that they have to help keep the house clean because you can’t keep up with the pace required to do so all by yourself, not that my children were too young to pick up their toys, they were too young to understand. Even now, they can’t.
Nonetheless, I strive everyday to have a good day. I strive to achieve something every day, no matter how small it might be.
I get up every day, I brush my teeth, comb my hair, and I try. Some days, I achieve greatness. Some days, I fall flat on my face.
But, I am lucky. I am lucky enough to be with a man that sees what I try so hard to pretend does not exist. I am lucky that he has given me the tools to achieve the goals I try to set for myself. I am lucky that he will go outside and help me to do the hard labor aspects that, though I try, I can’t do. I am lucky that he stands beside me, and says it’s OK baby, I got this. I am lucky that he gets up every day, goes to work, and pays the bills. I am lucky that he keeps the baking cabinet stocked with the supplies necessary for me to do those little things. Those little marks of success. Those moments when I can stand up all day without tears.
I am lucky that he is patient. I am lucky that he is kind. I am lucky that he is understanding.
And for that, and a million reasons more that I have not listed, he has my love. He has my loyalty. He has my gratitude. He has everything I have to give. And, for whatever reason, I am lucky that he loves me in return. I am lucky that he is kind, giving and understanding.
He’s one of the many voices in my head telling me that I can do it when I am struggling to just put one foot in front of the other.
And, ultimately, he’s the genius behind my success, along with the group of people that have also challenged me over the years (they know who they are).
Though, for most, my measure of success is not enough, it’s enough for me and the people who live in this house.
You don’t have to understand it. It’s not truly possible unless you have walked a mile in those shoes only to end up feeling like a failure because you couldn’t work, and some days, brushing your teeth and hair was all the success you could manage.
And finally, to all the people who have had all their dreams sidelined due to no fault of their own, keep trying. You’ll find where you belong and you will find that though you are not capable of earning a paycheck, you have are capable of offering solutions to the financial problems that exist in something like this. You will have to think outside of the box, but there are options. Ultimately, support, patience and love go a long way.