Saturday, March 6, 2010


Things I have learned in therapy:
There are happy memories buried under the bad ones. Once you loosen up the bad (by ranting and by whining, both ick), the good ones start drifting out.  I could hardly remember my husband when he wasn't sick. Now I remember he made me a key chain, a piece of wood he painted bright red, that would never get lost in the couch cushions. It worked, too. I found a beautiful scarf he gave me and wore it to show my therapist.

He gave me his last two dollars once when we were broke. I mean, truly broke. I kept it for thirty-six hours and then gave it back. It wasn't the money. It was the freedom that he really gave. A giving person: yes.

I remember that he was blocked in his career. We talked it over once while he took a hot bath and I sat in a dining chair in the doorway. I gave him encouragement and permission to choose. He worked out what he wanted over the next few weeks and went for it. He made it happen, and it was an adventure. It's the same thing as the two dollars, really. The permission to choose. The giving and giving back.

Stasis starts to go away, once this happens. The will to do things gets stronger by degrees.

I have done therapy before, and get tired of the 'blame the parents' stage PDQ. However, I have decided this stage is about constructing a  picture of MY deficits. It's about figuring out what's missing, starting when parents had the authority. In time the patient repairs those or learns an alternate strategy. In the long-term, it's about fixing the deficit, not fixing the blame.  Since I have done this before, I already knew that, so we are taking it a little differently.

We're going to do a thorough job this time, ranting, bleating, whining, blaming--within four walls--and analysis, strategy, and repair--everywhere. I don't want to start from sub-zero ever again.

No one of my siblings likes to get their picture taken. I have a picture of me and my brother and my sister taken shortly after my husband's death. We have our eyes closed, a funny expression on our face, and our mouths shut. Except me. My eyes are open, looking directly at the camera. Both my brother and my sister are sitting on their hands. We're on the beach. Don't you think we should be relaxed? Only I am. You can see my hands, too. That's because I just came out of the shadow of death. So I look like hell, too, but awake. Battered but untwisted.

Things went downhill after that. I'm still headed back up.

I want my husband back. 

I think, in a way, I will get him back.


Unknown said...

Bravo sister. Way to make a decision to climb out of the hole.

If we keep boosting each other up we're sure to get to the top sooner than later.

Christopher said...

There's poetry in there, but especially the last line.

Ann T. said...

Dear peedee and Christopher,
It's always difficult to write these posts, and yet somehow it makes the progress seem more real.

Thanks for stopping in and making it even more real,

And you know, Christopher, maybe I will put this in verse someday!

Ann T.