Monday, July 7, 2014

Anniversaries and Life Changers

I have been having a hard time putting into words how I have been feeling. Hell, I have been having a hard time feeling about how I have been feeling!

This past weekend was the anniversary of a couple of significant things:
1) A year ago today/last night Stephen broke his back - a complete fracture of the T12 vertebra
2) A year ago this past Saturday, I almost moved out.

After dealing too long with his self-destructive downward spiral, I was setting up a plan to move out of our house. I felt I was getting better while Stephen was still reeling from various things - most significantly his divorce... and most astonishingly (to me) his alcoholism. We were aware of the former, but I (and maybe he??) was in denial of the latter. That is, until July 5th when, especially with the 4th of July holiday, it all just came to a head for me.

I can't say exactly what was different this time, just that there was finally something in me that said, yes, he is an alcoholic, yes you are enabling him, and yes you have to do something about it for you. 

So I prepared myself to move out, knowing that I needed my own space for my sanity, especially because I still loved him and didn't want to leave him... just the situation. I also knew that this could very well mean the end of everything. He could easily take it as an act of aggression - an all-out act of war - and continue to do things that would make it so that I had no choice, but to walk away completely. Still, I had finally come to the point that I accepted the possible outcome of my move. So it was with wobbly steps that I went forward, trying to procure a place to stay as part of my first.

That Saturday the 6th he took me to dinner after he finished work, the conversation laying a good foundation for what I thought could make for a reasonable talk the next day. I hoped I could explain that I was moving out and why, without him calling an end to it all together. After dinner, he suggested we stop to see a friend's band play... which is where all the rest happened. Once at the bar, a bike and the boyo down later, we were on the way to the hospital maybe 30 minutes after we had left dinner.

I remember being so angry. I was angry because I didn't know what had happened, didn't know how badly he was hurt, and I was especially angry because, at the moment I was resolved to take action, something like this comes along and happens. What was I supposed to do now?

When I found out that he had completely fractured the T12 vertebra and that he could have been completely paralyzed with one wrong move, I was both horrified with how badly he was injured and thankful that he was still fine. We weren't all clear yet, though - surgery would tell the tale. He needed to get his spine fused, having surgery done where they used rods to fuse the T11 and L1 vertebrae to secure the spine. Depending on how surgery went, would depend on what the future held for him.

I was angry for a week after that, knowing I had to make a decision on whether or not to leave, whether or not I wanted to see if and how things would change, and whether or not I wanted to stick this out with him.

I decided to stay.

It's now a year later and I can tell you that I have been dealing with a bit of the fuzziness of how the accident and decision worked out. There are still reactions in me that come from long-gone actions and ways of being. So much has changed, but a little has stayed the same. Those little things still bring about knee-jerk reactions, so I spent this weekend mostly at home - thinking things out, weighing differences, checking my feelings, and mostly trying to avoid any triggers. It's not always possible, but usually the less I have to deal with, the easier it is for me to work with the triggers instead of reacting to them.

I survived the weekend with little mental discomfort, anxiety, or anguish. In fact, I made it through this weekend feeling like I've learned more about my relationship, especially how much we've both put into it and ourselves to make us work better. It's amazing how sometimes one walks away from something life changing a whole lot stronger, when the outcome could have been so devastating.





2 comments:

Amanda Guerra said...

I'm glad you stayed but would have completely understood if you didn't.

Ceci said...

I am too, luvie. I am, too. :D