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just the two of us

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm not sure how to even begin this post but I have to put this out there - put it out into the universe, as they say.

Do you ever have conversations in your head? Discussions you imagine you're having with a person(s) but you know it will never happen in real life? Y'all do this, too. Right? Right??

A little back story - one year ago yesterday, the Captain had his accident. For reasons I'm sure you can guess, I can't go into too much detail. What I can tell you is that after the accident, he was left with 8 ruptured discs in his back and a torn ACL and a pretty banged up body. Needless to say, he's not been a very happy camper these past 12 months. But, we're truckin' along & doing what we need to in order to get him healthy again - and get our lives back on the track that was dealt a detour.

Fast forward to last week...I was having this imaginary conversation, no it was more of an argument...or an "i'm gonna rip your head off" from me towards someone else, a close family member. During this mind-game, I said/thought about the fact that the Captain almost died. Could have died. Didn't die. But the reality is that the kind of accident that it was - the potential for death was there. That was the first time in 12 months that I'd even let that word swarm my brain. Perhaps, as a friend said, it's because we've been in survivor mode...just trying to make sure that he is getting the care that he needs and is comfortable and able to maintain some sort of dignity throughout this ordeal. Sounds like a logical enough answer, so that's the one I'm going to reason with because I don't really want to dwell on it, obviously.

After this "realization" happened, I couldn't escape it. The "what ifs" started creeping into my head nonstop. And I started thinking about how things could've been different. The problem with all of this is - I am not that person. I am not (generally) one to go back and try to find the different path that should've been taken. I make it a goal of mine to be present where I'm at and deal with what's right in front of me at the moment. So this whole going back in time thing was driving me insane. And I refused to give into it.

So for 5 days, I delved into a book series and read all 4 books(future post). I kept myself closed off from my own mind but also from the Captain. He can tell with one look on my face when something is wrong and I did not want to, was not going to, tell him any of this. But then I was done reading. And I was left with nothing but my own thoughts - which can be a health hazard, I've decided.

My thoughts lead me to one huge conclusion and at a loss for how to share it with my husband. But I didn't have time to really think (see above: imaginary conversation) about how the talk would go down b/c it just hit me like a brick. I knew that when I woke up Wednesday morning, I wasn't right. I knew I was off. I knew I should have never even attempted to go into the office. And I knew that I wouldn't make it thru the day. And I didn't. And by noon, I was on my way home trying to figure out exactly how I was going to tell the Captain about what the hell was going on inside my brain.

My biggest fears were denial and rejection. I was afraid that when I told him what I was thinking, what I wanted, what I needed to happen going forward, that he would try to sway me a different direction and/or that he would outright reject me. I was reassuring myself that both of those things are completely out of character for him but you just never know.

He met me at the door, after he heard my car pull up into the driveway. And was immediately asking me if I was ok, was it work, what happened, what's wrong, why are you home? And I said yes, no, I don't know, nothing and give me a second to change my clothes because we need to talk. So at least the hard part was done, right? At least I had put it out there - we needed to talk. And you know whenever you hear "talk" from your spouse...it's not always a good thing. And I recognized that almost as fast as it had come out of my mouth, so I followed it with - nothing bad, just a discussion. Whew.

And this is pretty much how it went:

What's going on, he asks. I tell him about my wild imagination and my crazy fantasy conversation. And he reminded me again and again that he's not dead. He didn't die. He's still here. And it's plain silly for me to start thinking that way now. And he was right, and I knew that, so at least we were on the same page at this point.

But then came the hard part. The part that had been weighing heavily on me for a couple of days.

I told him that I basically felt cheated out of the last year. That 2008 was a farce. A year stolen from our marriage, from us. A time we will never get back. And it's only going to get longer...2008 may run into 2009 or 2010. I don't know. But I want it back. I want the time that we lost back. For all the things that we couldn't do, didn't do. For us. I need it back. After all this mess is over, I want to have a do-over. Frankly, I think we deserve a refund.

Ok, he says. (which meant that he had no idea what was coming next)

And then I told him. I told him the most selfish request I have ever had. I told him that I was done TTC. For 2009 and possibly longer. He didn't say anything but I saw his face turn a different shade of white. So, I had to reassure him that I didn't mean never. Of course, I still want to have a child(ren). That hasn't changed. But what has changed is that I need my time back with him. For us to be us again. To find some sort of normalcy again after all this shit has come and gone. I also submitted to him that I would understand if he didn't agree but that I wasn't in a place to compromise on this right now. And that I didn't know when I would be in that phase (TTC) again. That after almost three years of being in the TTC game, I was emotionally spent and the pressure had reached it's breaking point, I said. And that I just can't go diving into it again, head first, when all this fiasco is over. I can't and I won't. And I don't want to even talk time lines...no dates, no calendars, nothing, I finally finished.

He just stared at me for a couple of minutes. And I was bracing myself for the absolute worse. I hadn't been crying while I was telling him all of this and I was glad for that small miracle because I knew he wouldn't have been honest with me if I were a blubbering mess. He'd have spared me. And I didn't want to be spared.

But then he said what I was least expecting but had been waiting for him to say for the past 2.5 years as we've gone thru this infertility bullshit. I was beginning to wonder if he'd ever say it but I knew I needed to hear it.

I understand, he says. I understand 100% and I agree...about everything. No more baby talk. No more doctor appointments. More time for just us. And you have got to know that none of it, none of this matters, if it means I can't have you, he finished.

Cue sobbing. Tears. Ever flowing tears. Never ending tears.

He came and helped me off the ground (my knees had buckled from underneath me and I was on the floor) and shared a moment in silence. No talking, just absorbing what we'd both said and acknowledging our new but not permanent path.

And that was that. My mind has stopped spinning. My anxiety has subsided. We are just us.

And I can feel that I'm getting back to my little happy place again...a place I've been away from far too long.

10 comments:

Jen J said...

I'm so glad that you had the talk! I love it when you get that little peace feeling at the end. You know that you're on the right path.

And after all that you've been through this year you deserve this. Dont' set a timetable though - just check in with each other again in 6 months or a year. When the time is right to begin again you'll know!

Love you both!!!

Sarah said...

Dana, I agree with Jen. I'm so glad that both of you had "the talk." From experience, I know that it is so important to feel that both of you are on exactly the same page and have the same plan (in your case, not to have a plan). I so know the feeling of just being done, so I'm glad that you and the captain made the decision that's best for both of you. Also, I totally would have cried at the end of your conversation too! I don't know how you kept it together that long!

Joelle said...

Wow, powerful stuff. Sounds like you guys made a great decision. Maybe it's time to just take a vacation and enjoy life again. Hope you keep writing though!

(P.S...twilight series? books you were reading?)

dana said...

@ joelle - yep, Twilight series. On my way to see the movie now! Cannot wait!!!

m said...

This post touched me in so many ways. I don't know where to start.

I can just picture how anxious your husband was sensing you needed to talk but not knowing the topic or where it was going to go. I can practically see the conversation unfurling. I am so SO glad that you are both in the same place, and that place is a happy one.

I think I already mentioned - I am putting a lot of faith in 2009. I am hoping it lives up to all of our expectations. :)

dana said...

Thanks for all your kind words, ladies. They mean a lot.

@m - yes, the look on his face was truly priceless (not in a good way) and I felt horrible making him wait until I was finished to say anything. He kept interupting me and I kept saying "no, just let me get this out..". Poor dude. But all is well now. And we both commented this weekend that it feels good not to have that monkey on our back...a sign that we needed a break; TTC shouldn't ever be a burden. 2009 is going to be an awesome year for y'all...for all of us...I just know it! :)

tam said...

That is so great, Dana. I hope you can be proud of yourself for this. You did something really strong and wonderful. And of course it's not worth it if he can't have you. It's easy to forget that sometimes, but it's one of the most important things of all to remember.

Enjoy your time together.

Anonymous said...

Dana, I think that this is one of the smartest things that you did (having "the talk") and one of the smartest decisions that the "two of you" have ever made.

jaderade-House of Big Cheese said...

You have to do what you think it is right.I think at this time in your life it sounds like the right one. I know I have one child but after all the mc's I would get obsessed and panicky...I just had to let all that go..if I ever have another great if not I don't want to have wasted all the good times I could have had..kwim?

You can't let the what ifs consume you.


Thanks for the comments on my blog. RCIA is great. I have a great sponser...we are doing the first rite this sunday :) Yay!

The end is near!

And yes I heart my answer bible. I have recommended it to a ton of people!

Brynn said...

Dana,

You know I'm thrilled that you have put this behind you for now. You were putting too much presure on yourself (& Tim).

Know what.......you should start writing and get it published. You're good girl!!

Love to you both!!

Brynn