The sun broke free of the clouds.

A letter to my husband:

He once told you that I feel trapped. And I feel like it’s the biggest disservice he ever did us.

There was never ever going to be me convincing you otherwise because his word was gospel. So while I never argue the point, I never agreed with it either. I know at the time I said I didn’t agree, but any time you’ve brought it up since, I’ve let it be. It felt too big a thing to put my energy against. Because that’s what it was. Energy against. And not energy into.

Pouring energy into something is positive and constructive. Pouring energy against something is just…insanity.

So I let it be.

This morning a wave of depression crashed upon me. Yesterday was more than I could take after last week. Then this morning when the tire pressure light came on again and I was driving on empty it all got really big. I still went about life anyway. Kids needed to be taken to school. Dishes needed to be done. Life goes on.

But just now as I was washing the dishes, a snapshot of a text conversation flashed in my mind. I was in the basement doing laundry. There was a suggestion to do something fun because it was my birthday. The insinuation that I could go elsewhere with elseothers. “Go out and do karaoke.” I would like that, I had replied. “So go now with Chris.” It’s not the same, I replied.

It’s not the same.

That one line. That one line caused someone else to form the belief that I felt trapped.

He told you I felt trapped. The assumption was always that it was about you and our children. That was the lie I haven’t been able to undo.

I see it clearly now. As I stand here with half-washed dishes behind me. Because this just couldn’t wait. I had to type this out right away. Because I couldn’t squander this moment of clarity. This opportunity of having all the right words.

I said it wouldn’t be the same doing karaoke with you. It wasn’t a slight against you. It wasn’t because I felt trapped by you. I felt trapped within myself.

It wasn’t until just right now, while I stood under a shroud of heavy depression that I could better recall that night. A night filled with depression. Months of depression. And when I said I would love to go out, it was the image of escaping me that filled my head.

I would never go somewhere and sing in front of people. That sounds terrible. But I wanted to be the person who could do that and think of it as fun, just so I could get away from me.

I wanted an escape from me, for just a moment. The thought of a physical escape from being trapped inside myself was appealing. Desperately appealing. For just that moment I needed the illusion of escape.

If anything real existed in that illusion, it would break. So, if you–the most real thing in my life–came, it wouldn’t be the same. You would have broken the illusion.

I never felt trapped in this life with you. I felt trapped in my own head. He didn’t think to differentiate.

I’m sorry I didn’t have the words until now. I’m sorry I felt so small and that that conversation gave way to a misunderstanding that was so big. I don’t feel small like that anymore, not even today under the weight of…all the things. I don’t feel trapped inside myself. It would mean everything if you’d believe me that I never felt trapped by you. It would be everything to heal this part.

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Some kind of light at the end.

I’m not going to eat tonight. I’m so tired from making decisions I shouldn’t have been making. I’m so exhausted I could cry.

I’m so exhausted I didn’t realize I was already crying.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to catch up from the last week. I don’t think I’ll ever try. I think I will just blank slate it. And I will just sleep instead. And maybe sometime tonight my skin will pass by Chris’s skin and he won’t shudder. Because finally finally he has found his way back to me.

What it all comes down to.

Wednesday I was going to write about my son’s birthday. And how when you turn 12, you request to light your own candles. (And that at 15, you request to light said candles for your brother, and your mom giggles at you that you still can’t work a lighter.)

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I was going to say how grown up he suddenly looks. And that cinnamon cake is the best cake.

Thursday I was going to say that birthday week always backburners all my regular mom things and that I finally got to clean out the fridge (only a week late) and that I never felt bad about myself for the delay. Just joy that I could have a nice time with my family. And a taaaad bit of regret that we didn’t finish those vegetables and the elderberry syrup.

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Friday I was going to tell of the sad tale of Harley killing a rabbit in our yard at 5am. (No picture.) And of skillful (read: accidental) pancake art.

And more tales of the dog being so. incredibly. dog.

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But I didn’t get a chance to share those stories this week, and now all I really want to say is that I can’t find my hair tie. Anyone got an extra?

 

 

Anything but empty.

Not much is harder than watching someone you love have the hardest week of their life. He is hurting so much. The medication was tearing him apart while he was on it, but now that he’s stopped taking it, it’s a whole different war. He is so fucking strong to detox this out of his system. So brave. And even still, I see him feeling like he’s losing the fight.

He looks at me and he makes the face of my husband, smiling as if to connect and soothe me. But I don’t feel connected. I don’t feel soothed.

My husband is in that body somewhere. Fighting for his life. Fighting for our life together and for our family. I will not distract him with the pain of missing him. I will not distract him with the things I can handle.  But make no mistake, I am so utterly lost without our connection.

Today, on day seven, he said he was thinking of throwing in the towel. Because it’s so bad and because it’s still so bad, days after he thought he’d be on the upswing. And because there’s only so much a body can take and he has far surpassed that point.

And maybe it’s selfish of me, but damn, if he could just endure another couple days. They say the worst is over after seven to ten days. He could be on the other side of this! And then no more waiting weeks, months, years to be off it again.

But still. To have to look at him today and be completely helpless in providing any real relief–and probably making it even worse to flat out tell him “Don’t do it. Don’t give up.” It hurts. It hurts like dying inside. And I don’t even know if I’m right. There is no guarantee he’ll be over the hump by day ten. I can say I have enough faith for the both of us. But it doesn’t stop any of it from hurting so damn much.

We laughed into the sky.

I have this quiet philosophy. I believe that there are infinite parallel lives where a moment branched and a whole other life is played out differently elsewhere.

I don’t much entertain thoughts of most of these paths. Rarely do I wonder the discontentment of the Jill who didn’t get a divorce. Or the Jill who married the first guy she dated. But it does spark thought in my head randomly.

Last night Chris was on the brink of a grand mal seizure. He updated all the information I’d need for the doctors. He, for the first time in six and a half years, told me to call for an ambulance if he fell out. He felt one coming and we were as prepared as we could be.

I know too tho that if he were to have a grand mal like his last, it’s possible that would just be the end of him as I know him. Nothing prepares for that.

But as I stand here in my kitchen and he shaves in the bathroom, I’m reminded of my philosophy. Because somewhere, some Jill is living her worst day. Somewhere she hasn’t slept or is waking into the nightmare that her husband had a seizure that took him from her. And my heart hurts.

A few years back, I fell down a flight of stairs. When Chris opened the basement door to come after me, because of the position I was in, he thought I was dead. Sometimes I think about that Chris. The one in the parallel universe who lost Jill that night. My heart hurts for him too.

So today, I just feel immense gratitude. And every cell of my being honors the us on different branches, living out different lives, some immeasurably paralyzing, while others blissfully content. And I hope I remember too, in times of great darkness, that some me somewhere else is living out goodness and wishing me well.

Forever your girl.

Three hours ago, it was like this.

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And then the kids came with me to the store! We drove the 12 minutes to Stop #1 and I came to realize I didn’t have my driver’s license or money. So we drove back home and all the while I was thinking, “It’s a really lovely day” even with the kids bickering.

And then I didn’t get stopped by a cop! Because I don’t believe in “it figures”. We made our three stops and I appreciated the luxury of being able to do my own shopping. I drove home safely, while watching the more reckless drivers from a safe distance, wishing them well all the while.

When we got home Harley ran outside to greet us and then wanted to hunt squirrels. I managed to drop my phone and trip over her twice in order to get her into the backyard because it was closer than walking around to the garage. After she was safely inside, L and I walked around to the driveway to be greeted by Harley. Apparently the door to the house was open. And all I could do was laugh at all the follies. Even feeling the creeping blanket of depression today, I can still see all the light.

My super power is my silver-lined optimism.