It is after midnight. There is no one to call at this hour. I really should open my Bible or do a meditational prayer like a Rosary or something. But, instead, I felt drawn to write in this little internet space of mine. Writing has the potential to bring me peace and that is what I'm asking for in this moment.
Before I let it all out here, I would like to thank those of you who continually come back to my blog and offer me words of encouragement, thoughts, and especially your prayers. I covet your prayers. I need your prayers.
I keep telling myself to look into a counselor and I'm not sure why I haven't yet. Perhaps I'm afraid of what he/she will have me talk about. I'm currently experiencing a lot pain and I know it is unhealthy to not be proactive in ridding my body and heart of this pain. Truth is, I don't know how to rid myself of it. This pain is nasty and it is taking the joy out of my life. I'm constantly feeling sad and sometimes angry. With no warning, I'm finding myself fighting panic attacks and crying fits - many times unable to find real control. Sure, I can get my breathing regulated and the crying to subside, but I still feel on edge, with no peace. And I'll say it again, I desire peace.
After Reed's accident, we have all been adjusting to change. The change of Reed before the accident to Reed after the accident. For a while, I felt as though I was living with a stranger. This person came home from the hospital and had to relearn how we do things. Simple ways of life were gone from his memory. Things like knowing how to dress himself or the children were gone. These simple, every day experiences had to be relearned. It was strange to be answering some of the questions I was answering from my brillian husband. But with some time and patience, Reed came back to us with all of his intelligence, logic, sarcasm, humor, kindness, most everything... except one thing. One thing that is difficult to write about.
He came back with everything except his desire for physical contact. Before the accident, if you were to ask Reed what his "Love Language" is, he would answer "physical touch." Now if you were to ask him the same question, I don't know that he would have the same answer.
In marriage comes a physical and emotional intimacy that only a married couple understands. It is an unwritten, unspoken language that only you and your spouse speak to one another. It is made up of body language, looks, voice volume and tone, touching... specifics that go beyond a simple list. That intimacy doesn't happen over night, it takes time to cultivate. With that intimacy comes predictable behavioral patterns. These behaviors are like reinforcements to the bond you have with your partner.
I had that intimacy that I'm attempting to describe, with Reed. I had him. I had this connection with him. We had each other - our intertwined hearts and words and emotions. We had an invisible, magnetic force that held us in a state of deep love with God and each other. It was beautiful and strong; more than I ever imagined having.
But that intimacy was ripped away from us. It was stolen. It was thrown out and left only little traces of its once glorious existence. It is unrecognizable by either one of us. Unrecognizable by Reed because he can't see what once was and compare it to what IS now. Unrecognizable by me because what I once knew is gone.
Imagine that today, Monday, your husband/wife is eager to express their physical love - they reach for your hand, embrace you in a hug, touch your arm in passing, give a kiss, or other simple gestures. Imagine that today your spouse is eager to offer an even deeper expression of love, the ultimate physical expression of love between a husband and wife. Imagine your joy.
Then imagine tomorrow, Tuesday, your husband/wife has suddenly forgotten to express their physical love. Imagine in each anticipated moment, where you might expect them to reach for your hand, give you a hug, touch your arm in passing, give a kiss, or offer their whole self to you, imagine they don't. Imagine they never do. Imagine the pain and disconnect that results.
I'm suffering that pain and disconnect now. I'm suffering along side my husband as he recovers from the most traumatic injury of his life. And the worst part is that neither of us has the know how to connect with one another in order to understand each other's suffering. Neither of us have a clue. It is yet another disconnect that we must endure. It is pain and suffering that we fight through alone. Both of us forced to repave a path to one another, in hope of finding that joy, peace, and deep everlasting intimacy that was so unfairly ripped from our marriage.
We press on, in the good times and the bad.
My therapy session time is up.