Going Under

Not sure if that is a reference to the overwhelming tidal wave of everything I'm experiencing right now or what.  But I am definitely experiencing.

I am in agony.  Let me count the reasons:

My back is hurting so bad and I can't get into a specialist until next week--after I bit the scheduler's head off with a "I cannot live like this until the 22nd" diva moment.  I'm literally being stabbed in the back by my back (strained ha ha).  Today I had an fairly long and rough first day back at the office (been working from home since last Friday) and by the time I sat through rush hour traffic I could barely get out the car.  I basically hobbled my way into the living room holding a pair of socks and sobbed as my fiance put them on my feet because they were cold and I couldn't bend down.  Pathetic.

I think R hates me, and it's barely controlled at work.  Like hates me more than I can bear to consider.  I don't think I've ever been the object of so much misunderstanding and hate.  And I don't know how to cope because I don't hate him back and never will, and I've never had this kind of enmity directed at me.  It is very distracting and painful to my soul.  We just couldn't make it work and even our efforts at being "kinda friends" ended in disaster, again because he just doesn't understand what is really at the heart of everything, and because I can't seem to articulate it him (and I'm a freaking talker).  He'll never understand how everything I do is motivated by love for, and the desire to protect, those around me.  It makes me so sad and I miss my fluffy Iowan baby.  Pathetic x 2.

I am having surgery in less than 36 hours.  Two procedures at once, an unexpected turn of events.  I thought it could happen in March, but did not anticipate going in for a check-up last Friday and going under the knife the following Friday.  And even though I know what to expect medically and am totally at peace with the physiology of it all, it is bringing up a lot of buried emotions.  Like a ghost reaching out, I am now haunted by what has come before and what lies ahead.  And in spite of the general routine-ness of it all, I am plagued by morbid thoughts.  Doing my best to joke it off, but I have a feeling something is going down this Friday.  Maybe I'll just check out the light and decide it's too bright and turn back.  Times three.

I am not prepared for all this and my once fabulous talent of locking away feelings now completely escapes me.  Seriously, it's all I can do to stop playing "For The First Time" by The Script and prevent the tears from welling up (been on repeat for at least 90 minutes).  "She's all laid up in bed with a broken heart."  I am becoming soft in my old age.

And in the midst of all this, I can see the coastline.  Like that beautiful loggerhead in Turtle: The Incredible Journey, I think I just may make it to shore in spite of being pounded off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Those rocks are trying to crack my shell, but I'm not giving up.  One of my co-workers says she is impressed by how I always manage to find something positive in the face of sad or difficult events.  I guess it's because I've spent so long fighting to make it that even when I want to quit I manage to keep swimming, or at least floating until my strength comes back.

My shore is my fiance--calling to me, a horizon in the distance that promises refuge from the storm.  Honestly, I don't know how he manages to coexist with me.  Sometimes I think I'm in the ocean, and other times I think I am the ocean.  But the man is spectacular in his fortitude--he basically rescued me from the abyss of the R aftermath.  He sat with me every night that I stayed up crying (which lasted an ungodly long time) and never pressured me for anything more than open and honest conversation ("just now got the feeling we're meeting for the first time'").  He doesn't judge because he knows nobody is perfect.  He turned his life (and house) upside down to bring the kids and me into an environment suitable for us, for what I thought was a temporary arrangement, and then proposed.  With the exception of my special uncontrollable brand of internal torture, he keeps me focused on things that are positive and champions anything that makes me happy and well.

And even with all the medical challenges I've faced the last few months, and what is surely to come, he remains by my side.  He doesn't get hung up on the personal limitations it places upon me, and never makes me feel like being unwell is my fault.  He only wants for me to be at my best, whatever that is at the moment.  I keep asking him if he wants out, because it's always calmest before the storm, but he is all in.  I know my issues are painful for him as well, but he does not take it out on me.

He is gentle with my feelings, and teases me when he thinks I need a laugh or a reality check.  He takes excellent care of my furry children, and gives them all the attention they need when I cannot, which means more to me than I can say.  He understands they are my priority, my tiny loves, and doesn't even question my love for the faraway baby I can no longer see (not to mention the stockpile of gifts I hope to one day mail).

That is what it means to care about someone unconditionally; that is real.  Complete understanding that, at least for me, I need every memory that has come before because it has shaped who I am.  And not trying to erase what matters to me, not exploiting my greatest fears, because that is the fastest way to hurt and estrange me.  It is the kind of care that deserves unwavering and reciprocal loyalty. 

"Oh these times are hard, and they're making us crazy.  Don't give up on me baby."


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