Monday, January 26, 2009

Sometimes I wonder how two people can experience the same thing, yet process it so differently. A bit like the joke about having 5 people involved in an auto accident and the police receiving 6 versions, our memory and experience are so easily colored by who we are and where we are in life. I know that, and yet I still sometimes have struggled with how my husband has perceived the last year...longer than that pregnancy and Joseph's life so far. There are times we talk about what happened and I find myself wanting to yell, "you were there, how could you not know/remember/get this?" A lot of that boils down to his wonderings about why certain things didn't get done or why I'm still recovering. I'm sure, too, that a lot of it has to do with my tendency to minimize how sick and in pain I was. It doesn't help that never once did I say, "I can't do it." I just DID for the most part.

I've been frustrated, feeling like he's handled so much of what happened better than I have. He doesn't have flashbacks or moments when it seems his stomach is caught in his throat. Why? Am I just so poorly equipped to handle all this, that I'm failing miserably while he is not? It seems so unfair. Where is that strength in me? Where are those bootstraps I need to pull myself up?

Occasionally, however, there is a glimpse. A glimpse that maybe at the time he did get it, that maybe he's still processing some of it too.

On the night before Joseph's birthday, I had a horrible dream. One that even now I can't talk about. I can't type it, I haven't told anyone, I just know the root of the dream is tied to all the days of fearing we'd lose him, the times we came close, everything we went through. The next morning, my husband said, "I had an awful dream."

It wasn't the same as mine in detail, but the root was the same. So very tied to our fears and the realization that he's ok.

I would have never wished a nightmare on my husband, but in hearing his expression of fear there was some validation of mine. A reminder that yes, he was right there, gripping my shoulder until it bruised as we watched them work on our son. A year ago today, we were so naive. We had no idea what we were in for, and I'm glad because we had those few days of peace before our world became a very scary place.

Sometimes I wish for strength, but other times I'm ok with settling for the knowledge that these emotions weren't mine alone. Sometimes I think maybe it would be good for us to go to a counselor together...though I know it would be more for my sake than his, and sometimes that seems unfair.

I just know I'm ready to put some of this behind us, move on, and stop feeling like I'm dragging the weight of these emotions with me.

1 comment:

Emma B. said...

Well, there were really two car wrecks -- the one that happened to you, and the one that happened to Joseph. Your husband participated in the latter, but only watched what you were going through secondhand, so of course he handled it better.

I'm not sure counseling wouldn't be a terrible idea. I'm considering it myself.