This picture above looks very conveniently like a tattoo I have on the side of my hip. Two little birds sitting together on a branch. I saw this and like many quotes, it really spoke to me on a lot of different levels.
First, I considered my sister-in-law Annie and what she went through earlier this year. I consider how there was never anything I could do to make her feel better because there is absolutely nothing that would make her situation any better short of bringing her baby back to life and I consider what I did. I sat there with her.
I consider my old friend Huy who gave a Ted Talk about how people really only ask you if you’re okay as a means to check off a box and make them feel better about themselves for asking. That if they really wanted to take the time to help, they’d sit with your silently and let your have your grief and just be there for you if you needed them (I am sure I will delve into this so much more later).
I consider how impossible I make it for people to be there for me in highly emotional situations. I think about how I make it impossible because I don’t want people to think of me as anything but strong. I consider how that affects my marriage and how that must probably hurt my husband that I NEVER let him in on situations like this. I think about how it literally takes me like six months to process anything or get sad, which is why I am just now feeling anything about all the people I lost this year.
I also consider how all I want in situations like this is to just have someone sit next to me. To leave me alone, I don’t want a conversation, but I want presence. I want company. I want to be able to bury my head in someone’s shoulder if I need it. I just want someone on deck if I muster up enough courage to let them see me like that.
I also consider 12/26/16, when I spent almost 10 hours at an understaffed hospital alone in a hallway telling people I was fine. Telling people they didn’t need to talk to me, I was going to be okay and not telling some people at all. I think about how I told Ryan to stay home and he listened to me because I was so adamant and because he trusted me that I knew what I needed. I did know what I needed, but I didn’t want to admit it. I consider all the times at that hospital that I had to move around from one room to get undressed only to get dressed again and go sit back in the hallway. I think about how alone I felt surrounded by people. I remember my phone dying and then really, really being alone. It was cold and my heart was hurting and I had no one with me and that was my own fault. My own doing because I work so hard to just be by myself and not let other people have to deal with my issues.
How selfish is that? When people WANT to be around you and you push them away. When they WANT to care for you and help you, but you don’t let them. I’m working on it. I have a long ways to go and considering this is 25 years in the making, I don’t see the progress coming on super quickly. It’ll be difficult, but I am trying to let Ryan especially in on some of the stuff that I am thinking about so he can understand. He wants to understand and I need to let him understand a little bit better. We’re doing much better in the talking department now that we don’t both work 100 hours a week and things are starting to get back to the way they were before we took a giant plunge and let our marriage dangle in the mix. It’s progress. Good progress. 🙂