Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

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I came across Things I'm Afraid to Tell You via Sweet Fine Day, who signed on through Creature Comforts and couldn't help but think, yes! And then, I should do one too.  And then, oh god, but I'm kind of afraid to tell you.

Encouraged by all of the brave participants and links up on Creature Comforts, and wanting to help make the blogging world have more of the writing that I want to read, I've decided to give it a go.

So here's something I'm afraid to tell you:

Sometimes I think about things I have done to complete strangers that were pretty of awful.  When Alex was leaving the hospital almost a year ago today (May 9, 2011) after being run over by a car, it was pouring rain outside.  It was also around 4:00 in the afternoon and New York has this awful and very un-new-york-like thing called a "shift change" with cab drivers.  This means it is absolutely impossible to hail a cab between the hours of 4 and 5 PM. (I hadn't know about shift change at this point in my New York life yet).

So picture Alex in a wheel chair with a crazy erector set type thing literally drilled into his broken bones (it's called an external fixator), in a ton of pain, and just wanting his ten day stay at the hospital to be over.  We weren't even going home, we were staying at our amazing friend's apartment in an elevator building- since Alex could not get up stairs at all.  And picture me, in the pouring rain (seriously it was pouring rain like how it does during funerals in movies!) in front of the hospital with about 5 other people scattered down the street, all trying to hail a cab during shift change (it's also impossible to hail cabs in the rain at any time of day, so basically all odds were against me).

Here's when my memory get's fuzzy, but I think I thought that I hailed a cab after maybe 40 minutes of trying and that someone a few yards in front of me took it.  But it could have been that he had hailed the cab.  The next thing I knew, I was screaming and cursing at a complete stranger.  As the rain kept pouring down, I was yelling obscenities on 3rd avenue and screaming about how my husband had been in a car accident and was trying to leave the hospital.  I was completely full of hatred towards this man that I believed to be stealing a cab from me.  In that moment, I thought that no one else could possibly need a cab more than I did.

He told me that his wife had just had a baby and that they were trying to leave the hospital as well.

Then itdawned on me that the group of us trying to hail cabs scattered down the street were probably all dealing with loved ones in the hospital.  And although this man was there for a happy occasion, he was none the less dealing with the very stressful situation of trying to get his wife and new baby home.

He then offered me the cab.  I couldn't take it.  I mumbled an apology and then speed walked down the block, crying.  Crying in a way that I had been doing a lot during that ten day period.  I felt ashamed over how I was handling all of the stress.

I'm afraid to tell you that it's been a year since Alex's accident and I'm still scared about the way it has changed my life and affected our relationship.  I'm trying to stay positive, but so far nothing has changed for the better.  All of the changes have been fore the worse.  I lost a best friend from this accident who I have not spoken one word to in a year, and a mobile husband.  A husband who got pure joy from riding his bike around the city.  I am afraid to tell you that it has not been easy, but that I also can't really talk about it. I can't tell you about what we argue about or get sad about or worry about because I don't really want to, but also because I know that everyone wants me to tell them that we are okay now.  Because it's not like Alex lost his leg, or is in a wheel chair or had some sort of brain injury.  It's just a limp, right? It's just some relatively manageable pain.  But it's so much more that that.  We are both still working on the emotional injury that this accident brought us every single day. And I'm afraid to tell you that I don't know if I'm ready to accept the fact that life will never go back to the way it was before Alex got run over by a car.

It still hurts.  A lot.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but sometimes, it is just plain impossible to put a positive slant on a situation.

I'm also afraid to tell you that publishing this blog post was not easy- maybe you already know that- because I care about what you think of me.  But as Jess Constable put it, who sort of started this brave posting trend, "do you want the icing or the cake?" I'd like the cake please, and I hope you do too.

42 comments:

  1. I think it's very brave of you to post these feelings. you are only human and nobody can really judge unless they've walked in your shoes. i hope the two of you can continue to heal emotionally so you wont have those thoughts or feelings you are afraid to share.

    xo

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    1. Thank you for your comment Tskuki and thanks for reading.

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  2. I love you lots. Regarding Alex's accident-- I know you are a strong person, and the fact that you even think about stuff like this means that you are way ahead of the game, compared to others who deal with these kinds of shitty situations. It's obvious you're really in touch with your feelings, even if they don't always make sense or you struggle to deal with them. Alex is so lucky to have you for his wife. xoxo

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    1. Thank you Ben! Love you lots too.

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    2. Totally agree with Ben. Most people are probably afraid to admit those feelings to themselves let alone to others. It's not brave to be a martyr. It's brave to admit you're human because then you make room for other people to do the same and then no one has to hide NORMAL EMOTIONS.

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  3. I somehow stumbled on this post and as a person who got run over by a car and had more than a limp when I left the hospital (broken things and brain injury) it does get better. but, more importantly, please be gentle with yourself. you and your husband have suffered a trauma...and it takes time to process all of that stuff: fear, loss, grief. And I apologize (sort of) for my next comment because you might not be ready to hear it; but, i found that along with the crazy suffering and the struggle and the fear and sadness and everything else...there WERE gifts that came ...get yourself to a place where you can see them. Good luck to you and your husband.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment- I'm so glad you somehow stumbled here. You are so right about it taking time. Glad to hear that you have recovered from your accident and thanks again:)

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  4. I mentioned in a recent post on my blog that I wasn't doing great with my mom's death, but needed to get back to life, back to writing because writing is therapy and I think I need a lot of therapy. That statement is even more true for you. You are passionate about writing and it helps you make sense of your life and your emotions. I am so happy you started a new blog. You NEED this. Keep writing, Sarah. It will help you, as will comments like the last one... A complete stranger who stumbled across your blog and had something really worthwhile to say. Its comments like that who help you through your therapy. Its the tough moments in life and how we handle them that shape who we are. I need to follow in your example and write from my heart too, not just the icing on the cake.

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    1. Thank you Kate! Yes, I am completely blown away by the comments I am getting from this post, they are meaning so much to me. Including yours. xoxo

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  5. I have tears in my eyes Sarah. I think it's incredibly awesome that you shared this. I also couldn't agree more that sometimes, it's just impossible to put a positive slant on things. I get it. And I know how you feel.

    Love,
    Melissa

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Melissa. After reading comments like yours, I'm so glad I did share this post. xo

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  6. When my husband and I had been married for ten days I woke up in a hospital having just gone through major surgery. I was in for a long haul of therapy. It was surreal, traumatic and frightening. I remember how much he cared that I was hurt and I remember how much that mattered to me. Let's just say I wasn't a pretty new bride at that point and we got to know each other in ways that I don't think some couples do until they either have kids or get old. In the time it took for my injury to happen, which was mere seconds in time, I lost the dreams I had of what our newly married life was SUPPOSED to look like and more. In it's place was pain, loss of dignity because I couldn't take of myself, the realization that there were already some things I would never be able to do. It has been 15 years since that time. In place of the dream and even expectation that I had of what my life was supposed to be like, is reality. My husband took care of me then and he still does today. We learned to be there for each other. Now it has been my turn to take care of him. It is very, very painful to watch someone we love suffer. I lost a lot from that experience when we had only been married for ten days, but because we learned to love each other, and be there for each other, I gained more than I lost. I am hoping that what we have lost this time, when it became my turn to be the care taker, will be for our benefit again. I am sure that there are more thoughts and fears that you didn't share, ones that if you did might hurt someone else and your post eloquently avoids that. I really respect that. The truth is that you won't ever be the same again, I'm truly sorry. Just know that something better than what was before or what was going to be, or what was expected, is very possible. All my best to you. God Bless. p.s. I like cake.

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    1. Wow Cara, this is the most amazing comment I've ever received. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, it really means so much to hear your story and still recognize positivity in your voice. Thank youo so much, I think I'm going to go back and read this comment often.

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  7. Wow, this was incredible. You are so so brave for sharing all this with us and I appreciate your honesty despite still being in the mist so to speak. It's true: life is life and no matter how much you want to paint a pretty picture some things just suck.

    I'm glad I got to pop in and check out the other fellow courageous bloggers who took on this challenge.

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    1. Thank you Dorkys, I'm glad you got to pop in too. Your comment means a lot to me.

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  8. I think the most inspiring thing I have ever heard was this:

    There is no 'should'. There is just 'is'.

    This is a very inspiring set of blog posts. Bravo, you guys. Bravo.

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    1. Thank you so much Jennifer, and yes, so true. I hope I can let go of that word "should."

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  9. Hey now, even if he would have lost his leg it wouldn't have been the end of the world. I know that's really hard for normal people to believe but it really is the truth. I don't have a hand and still can do everything I want to. Don't think I'm getting mad at you though, sorry this comment was probably completely inappropriate, but it just makes me feel bad when people act like they'd rather be dead than lose a limb.
    That being said, I COMPLETELY understand your anger in this situation. I would have been mad too! Don't be too hard on yourself about it, I think the man you were getting mad at probably would have understood too.

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  10. Shoot my comment sent without me finishing it. I just wanted to also say that I really admire you being open and clicking submit on this blog post. It's really refreshing to hear that not all bloggers have this perfect life that it sometimes seems like they do. So thank you for being brave and posting this. I really appreciate it and I'm sure all of your other readers did too.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Haylee. Not inappropriate at all, in fact pretty inspirational. So thanks so much for taking the time to comment :)

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  11. This is beautiful in all its honesty. I'm so sorry about your husband, and I admire your bravery both in sharing your experience and dealing with it.

    And I agree with Hayley, I'm sure the man you yelled at understood that the cab situation wasn't the reason you were that upset. He's human too, I'm sure he has a similar memory in which he was the one cursing. And that's probably why he offered you the cab.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, that is a comforting thought- I wonder how he remembers the incident.

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  12. Thank you for sharing. It's so raw, and heart-felt; beautiful even though painful. I am a stranger who came through Creature Comforts.

    I don't know anything about his break, or pain... but I had an accident over 3 ago, and I am just feeling like my normal self even though the injury site is not 100%. No more pain (only sometimes), walking, running, hiking, biking... it took a long time, lots of physio, adjusting and hard work. I couldn't work for 6 months because the pain was so bad, I was on all kinda of pills, and totally out of it. I would writhe in pain all day long, hoping I would die, and even starting to think of suicide... We lost all our savings we had for a house, because I couldn't work, and I had to do so much physio, so many appointments, more surgery... it was draining and no one understood it. At all. I felt so alone, and unloved by my friends and some of my family. It was so hard. It was every day.

    I would never have healed emotionally if it weren't for the love of my husband, who took care of me as best he could. He worked full time, but did everything for me. I don't know how he did it, but he never complained, and I will never forget how loved he made me feel. I felt all the love I needed from the only person who mattered. But it wasn't easy for him. We lost most of our friends, because we were no longer able to drive around to see them. It's one of the most heartbreaking experiences I've had - learning how important you are to others. I felt so alienated.

    It changed my whole life, because for 3 years I couldn't grow the new business we'd started, or start the family I wanted to, and now I might never be able to. But I promise you, things get better; things become normal; you learn to thrive; you learn to love & change. Our relationship grew, even though it took a while. I felt like we were fragmented, not really a couple, until things started to get better physically. Whether that was actual change, or acceptance of the new way of doing things.

    I pray you two get the big things out of this experience, and grow together. I know it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your kind words. Hearing your story really, really helps, so thank you for taking the time to write that comment, especially as a stranger who just found my blog.

      I'm so glad to hear that things are getting better for you and your husband. Take care. xo

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  13. So brave to post this. Thank you for doing that. I just became a new follower via Blog Lovin' after I saw your blog on Bubby and Bean.

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    1. Hi Lauren! Thank you so much. Glad you found my blog:)

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  14. My friend Monica was run over by a car when I was 12 years old and she died two days later. I didn't really know her well, and I watched the whole thing without suffering any physical injuries. It's been about 5 years since it happened, but some things in life you can't completely move on from.

    I hope you and Alex can get through this, I do. I hope there are happy times in between the fights and I hope that as time goes on, the happy times overcome the wounds. However, if for some reason or other it doesn't, I want you to know that there is at least one person out in the vast world who can tell you honestly that it's okay. Things happen, horrible things, and they make us monsters sometimes and it sucks, but it's okay in the long run.

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    1. Wow. That is a very tragic story. Thank you so much for your kind words they really mean a lot to me. :)

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  15. my husband alex got in an accident last year and broke his leg. he had an external fixator in his leg too. seriously. this is all true. except we lived in seattle, so the rain part isn't as dramatic, since it was always raining.

    i was reading this and remembering all the people i bitched out while he was in the hospital, like his nurse who, after i told her he was running a fever and maybe he had an infection, brushed me off for days, until he had a full blown infection and had to be isolated in a room and people had to wear little plastic gowns and gloves and booties and masks when they went in to see him. and i bitched at her a million times because in my mind, if she'd just checked for an infection, they could have caught it and treated it, and not stuck us with a $50k bill for the time he had to spend in the hospital getting his infection treated. i was mad at EVERYBODY, and i was probably mean to everybody. and i feel bad sometimes, because nurses are woefully overworked and underpaid sometimes, and because maybe she HAD believed me, but someone else told her not to worry about it. and there were other people in this part of the hospital who were burn victims and dying children, and i was mad that my husband had an infection. sometimes putting things in perspective is humbling, but i think that the way people act under stress isn't always beautiful and it isn't always kind. people understand. especially other people waiting outside a hospital.

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    1. Wow, crazy similarities Lauren! Thanks so much for your comment, yes the feeling of not being a able to trust anyone in a hospital is so unbearable, but you are right about putting things into perspective. I hope your husband is feeling better. Thanks again for your comment.

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  16. This is an incredibly brave post. Please be comforted in the knowledge that everyone says and does things they regret at some point or another, and the stress you were under absolutely explains your actions. I'm sure the man understood. I know I did. I can't even imagine how this has affected your life, but I know that you must be a strong women, if only from the understanding of the strength it takes to share any real emotion with strangers. I'm sure you both will move forward from this together.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Tin. It's really comforting to hear these kind words from a complete stranger. So thanks so much!

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  17. oh, so glad i found your blog via sometimes sweet. my name is sarah too.

    love your layout.

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    1. Thanks Sarah! So glad you found it too :)

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  18. It's the first post that I read from your blog. Picture this, I'm in Sweden, working in a Gym, waiting for the time to pass, and I find this post via sometimessweet .... Your post touched me to the heart because it reminds me a situation that I know... From my parents. Please continue to be brave, you seem to be an awesome person. I'm maybe a stranger, but I send you all my support and my love.

    Ps: I'm sorry for my very unperfect english, I'm an expatriate Frenchie in Sweden !

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment Brenda, I'm so glad you found my post. You seem like an awesome person to :) Thanks again for your comment!

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  19. Wow, such a brave post. I have been fortunate enough not to have to deal with something so difficult at this point in my marriage yet but this is one of my biggest fears. My hat is off to you, you courageous and strong-willed woman! Keep fighting and I bet your relationship will get back to where it was and even surpass it, be BETTER than what it was before that-accident-that-doesn't-define-my-life-anymore. =]

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    1. Thank you so much Sara Bell. I think that BETTER is achievable, it's just going to take some work :)

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  20. first time at your blog but I appreciate your honesty. sometimes the "icing only" blogs make readers feel a little bad about their lives...like why can't ours be that perfect too? but this is a good reminder that they have the bad days too...they just choose not to share those. thanks for opening up :)

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    1. Thanks for reading Kaela! I really appreciate it.

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  21. I just stumbled upon this post and although I don't understand 100 percent what you're going through, I understand somewhat. My husband was hit by a car before we met and a couple of months ago (10 years after the accident), he was diagnosed with Epilepsy. The seizures traumatized us both because they came out of no where and we too are mourning the life we had prior to the seizures. Take as much time to heal as you need and be encouraged because you're not alone! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Lauren. It really is encouraging to feel like you are not alone. All the best to you and your husband as well. xo

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