Friday, June 5, 2009

In my cupped hands

In the fall of 2007 R had surgery on a cluster of slipped disks in his lower back. He had been on military medical leave for a month prior to his scheduled surgery. Sadly, the procedure was unsuccessful. His recovery was slow and offered little relief from the shooting pain he experienced as a result of these disks pinching nerves which directly supported his lower extremities. His income had supported both he and I for the duration of my time in Buffalo, and I had no reservations providing the extensive care he required following this failed surgical procedure. From October of 2007 to March of 2008, I assumed the role of a nurse in our home.

R recovered, gradually requiring less attention/aid for his more basic needs. Before he had recovered to a pre-surgical physical status, he began playing drums with a local band. While I supported his social conquests, I was resentful of his failure to follow his doctors orders. He was lackadaisical in other areas of recommended recovery procedures as well. His doctor had advocated the incorporation of simple exercises into his daily routine, and sanctioned that he diet, as the loss of 20-30 pounds would have provided a notable relief from pain associated with his injury. While I was losing weight rapidly, and eating a healthy, all-inclusive vegetarian diet, R put very little effort toward satisfying his doctor's recommendations. We both felt the trauma of insurmountable stress. He was becoming depressed, and I was in deeper than I could handle physically, mentally and emotionally.

March broke my silence. Spring break, 2008. I fled to my Father's house in Fayetteville, New York. Tearfully, I told him I planned to leave R. That things were not working out and hadn't been for a very long time. I spoke of how the guilt I felt for not loving him, despite his most valiant efforts, was feasting on the "good" I could find in who I was. Dismissive, my Father told me I was overreacting, and perhaps overstressed. His reaction came as a surprise to me. Fleeing to my parents home in a state of distress was not typical of my behavior. I had lived in Buffalo for three years, and aside from holiday visits and monthly phone calls for which to report "all is well", this admission of defeat was not in my nature.

I returned to Buffalo bitter and without support. I had no money and nowhere to go. I no longer felt any connection to my belongings. I felt demolition, destruction and a consuming sense of numbness. You had resurfaced briefly during this period with text messages stating that you "needed more" if you were to stay committed to the idea of who I could be for you. This admission, after months of silence, came as a shock, but I was deeply enveloped in my own hard-comings and brushed you aside. My mind and body became separate entities. I was unstable and unpredictable. I wanted to cover your eyes and ears.

I had nothing to offer. I had nothing to lose.

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