Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thick Skin

Everything is so different now. Before when Fred would get frustrated, I would tell myself, it's not about me, let him work through it himself and be there if he needed me. Now I feel the mother hen side of me wanting to protect him and intervene. I think the reintegration into normal life is going to be hard, on me especially. It's so hard to find the balance of getting back to normal and taking it easy. Fred wants his life back, and generally speaking, he has it, but the taking it slowly part is very foreign to him. I vacillate between wanting him to have it back and wanting him to stay in a bubble. It's so hard to let go of control, but that is life. I have joked with Fred that if he does this again, he has to find a new wife because I can't go through this again. The reality is, I've grown from this experience a lot, and even though I don't want to go through this again, I know life continues on. Hopefully Fred won't put me through a similar experience, but I know I'm probably not done with my share of tough times because I want to have a long life, and I'll take the hard times to also have the wonderful times. Although, between my Dad committing suicide and Fred's accident I am hoping for fewer traumatic experiences in the rest of my life.

It is really hard being back here at the hospital. We are so fortunate with how well Fred is doing, but my skin is not thick enough to be here for too long. I know we have gotten through this stronger and closer, but it is so hard to see other families suffering through even more life upending traumas. I was in the elevator today with a woman whose son is here at Craig. She was a little discombobulated and very briefly told me about her son having a hard time and taking it out on her. They do warn you that the patients take it out on the ones they love the most, and I had very few moments of Fred getting upset with me through this whole ordeal, but this trip, I feel like am being hit over the head with grown kids that are in rehab getting upset with their parents. Today there was a teenage guy walking down the hallway getting mad at his dad for trying to hold on to his arm and help him keep his balance. For me, it brought up when Fred was at that stage and thought he was fine to walk on his own, and it is also heart wrenching to watch a parent try to keep a child safe when a child is trying to become an adult. It makes me realize how much I have to let go of because I have no control. I cannot guarantee that Kalyn, Fred or myself will stay safe every day, so I just have to be in the present moment with them because we have no control over the future.

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