It finally caught up to her last night. She returned from working in New York City after her train was delayed for hours getting into Washington, D.C. (because of the crazy women who rammed a police car and continued her rampage toward the Capital). Her head was pounding with a migraine. She gets them when she is beyond tired or under stress. In this case, both conditions were in play. She told me it was the worst ever. It was so bad that she was unable to sleep at all last night.
Ah, another sleepless night…
Her life never gets any easier. Think about it. She works a full-time job that is high stress. Then she returns home, to another stressful and full-time job, to take care of Ryan. She never gets a break. Ever. It’s a life where a constant level of stress — one the teeters on the breaking point — is always present. Home in no longer a refuge.
It’s filled with reminders of the past. A time of unimaginable joy in her life. Oh, how the past hurts so deeply. At the same time our home torments her with all that has changed. Medical and therapy equipment everywhere, constantly humming… Alarms beeping… Nurses and doctors coming like we have a revolving door… Privacy is foregone… Intimacy is not appropriate… Insurance and medical bills packing the mailbox every day… The lack of remorse and accountability… How the attacker’s families treat us… And our boy, who means the world to her. It’s all too much!
So, the only thing she could do is cry.
I knew what she was thinking and feeling. She’s said it so many times before when the despair is too much. It’s simply, “I want the old Ryan back.”
There’s really nothing I can say to her to make the reality of our situation seem any brighter. It hurts to see such a strong woman, my amazingly beautiful bride of twenty-seven years, the love of my life, hurting to the core. I can actually feel the hurt coming off of her. I want to fix it. Make it all go away. I can’t. All I can do is hold her hand. I can offer my shoulder. I can keep the tissues coming. I can ride out the storm with her and let her know that I’m there for her. It’s not enough, I know this, but it’s the best either of us can do. She has done the same for me.
Last night was her turn to cry.
Interested in getting to know Sue? Be sure to read her posts, Wife’s Turn.
FYI: It was one year ago today that Ryan was discharged from the hospital for the surgical removal of his baclofen pump. Can you believe it?