Today was my hubbys appointment with the neurosurgeon regarding his grape sized herniated disk. I don’t know why I got my hopes up that we would get good news that they could fix it?
I had this vision in my head of him and I leaving there hand in hand with a solid plan of how to get him out of so much pain. We would go out to lunch, enjoy a peaceful meal without kids, laughing, talking, enjoying each other’s company and making dreams for what we could do when he felt better. But instead every single one of those things failed to occur- every last one.
Instead we walked out of there side by side (ish) me angry, sad, holding back the tears, getting more furious by the second. In the parking lot I told hubby I wanted to scratch my arms up really bad. We got in the car I looked at him in the back seat (he had to lay down the whole ride because of his back) and I told him that I had scratch- he got out of the car and walked away. He couldn’t watch me hurt myself.
I ran my nails as hard as I could down both arms several times. The burning sensation as my fingernails raked their way down the soft skin of my inner arm released some sort of chemical in my brain. I did it over and over. When I was done I told my husband he could come back I was done. We didn’t talk about it again.
I left the hospital turning into traffic eyes stinging with tears. More tears running down my cheeks I didn’t think I would ever stop. I cried shoulder heaving cries. Cries for lost hope. Cries for the fact that my husband will most likely have to shut down the business he’s built. Tears for the dreams we had for that. Tears for all the things we probably won’t be able to ever do. Because we won’t be able to afford it, because his back recovery will be long (up to 12 months they said) and he’ll continue to re herniated it since it’s the same one he’s herniated before, and because of whatever else it is that has been plaguing him for the past 3 years. Tears for me. Tears for my kids.
I saw a rest stop and stopped. Parked as far away as possible and used my keys to continue scratching my arms. I didn’t get as much relief from using something other than my fingernails. Maybe this is gross but theres something about feeling my own flesh build up under my fingernails that makes it even better.
My husband told me today he wants me to go to the Crisis Intervention Unit. What I heard- you’re really messed up and need the looney bin before you go bananas. What I’m sure he meant was- I care about you, I can see life is overwhelming you take a break, rest, find some peace.
See when someone says something I always hear it the way that my brain can best twist it into something negative and awful about me.
Hubby and I have also been talking a lot about what we would say if we could write letters to our younger selves. Would we tell ourselves to avoid situations? Not accept that job? Not say that thing that can’t be unsaid?
On the way home I came up with a lot for my letter:
Dear Younger Me,
I know your life sucks now. I know dad is cruel and the kids at school too. I know that boy you are crushing on doesn’t like you (pssst it’s not just you, he’s gay so don’t feel bad). First, the good news- you get the guy. The awesome haired, gorgeous smile, hockey player. He adores you, he saves you from your dad. He’s a super hero in hockey skates. He makes you a better you. He’s your best friend. You get married and have a wonderful relationship- there are some ups and downs but the ups make the downs way worth it.
And you do have kids. 2 gorgeous kids a boy first and a girl many years later. It’s a struggle full of heartbreak and sadness. And even after they’re born there’s more heartache to be had. You don’t deserve it, and neither do they, but they are worth it. You are trying hard not to screw them up the way you were, but I’m not so sure you aren’t screwing them up in other ways.
Now on to the bad stuff. 90% of your dreams will not come true. When your are almost 40 you’ll be poorer than you were when you were 25. You’ll never escape Dad, not really. As of today (less than a month till you turn 39) the echos of words from the past haunt you, define you, and you won’t be happy with yourself. You are still fat. After being thin then fat then thin again than fat. The labels you have given yourself as you are reading this are the same labels you still have for yourself.
You may never escape yourself. You may be a prisoner in your body forever.
Don’t get me wrong there are good days, but the black cloud days really do overshadow them sometimes. I’m working to fix that. I’m on meds, I’m seeing a counselor and I’m praying. Yes- praying. If there’s one piece of advice I will give you that you should change (because there are sooooo many decisions I could tell you to do different – but I worry the kids or hubby wouldn’t be here and they really are my life (our life) and my (our) purpose- it would be to accept Jesus into your heart. Become a Christian- not a Catholic based on guilt and being good enough- become a Christian now- believe Jesus died for YOU. Because He loves YOU. Accept this by grace, through faith. And who knows maybe if I had done that sooner things would be different. But know YOU are the daughter of the king. Cherished and loved by Him. (I’m still working on accepting it too)
An Almost 40 year old version of you.
PS There is one other thing I’ll tell you to change to avoid something catastrophic – on your honeymoon tell your husband to just buy the hat at the first resort. Going back later brings nothing but catastrophe for the rest of your honeymoon. Just trust me on that one.