Thursday, 26 April 2012

Invisible Weakness

I'm not sure where to start really, I don't want to talk about it so I'm writing it down instead. It's a situation I've been brushing under the carpet for too long and now I realise I have no choice but to face it head on. I've never been sympathetic; always wanted to be an optimist and hope bad news never comes my way. My dad was the same. I guess I take after him. I just wish I had his strength, too. I don't want to be scared about something that is classed as 'routine', yet is thought of as 'has to be done'. But I am. I'm absolutely fucking terrified. I don't deal with illness very well, and death just reminds me of the worst day of my life when my dad passed away. Why does the human body have to be so fragile? I can't imagine what The Farmer is going through because he hasn't talked about it much to me. And as I don't want to talk about it either, I end up listening to him talking on the phone, telling friends about the operation he will be having next week.

I clam up. I'm pathetic. I know life isn't a bed of roses; I learned that when Amy was diagnosed with autism. But I know The Farmer is worried. He made a will, something that he knows should have been done years ago yet has taken a routine operation to spur him into action. He's 62. He had a heart attack about thirteen years ago and though this operation is nothing to do with his heart, it's still an issue when he'll be under anaesthetic. It seems like there's always something; something to deal with that isn't your average every day stuff. And I don't know how to deal with it. I've buried my head in the sand, all the while knowing how concerned and anxious my husband is. He knows I'm worried but I'm trying to be brave; I'm trying to pretend that I'm not nervous about him being out of action for six weeks, about him being a hospital inpatient for at least four days. I've got just under a week to get my head out of the sand and act like a grown up, and a wife. Right now I feel like a frightened little girl, wondering if life will ever be the same. I want to say I can cope and I want so much to say everything will be okay. But inside I'm breaking up. I want to stop thinking another man in my life may leave me. So you think I'm being melodramatic? Try living in my head where the sun always shines and meadows beckon me to twirl round to heavenly music. I'll stay optimistic. And I'll keep telling myself that my romantic notions have worth; then I'll fall asleep and wake up to the sound of life beside me.

When dawn breaks they ask me how I am; I say, "I'm fine...you?" Why do I say that? Why don't I say, "look into my eyes, how do you think I look? I feel like shit but I'll tell you I'm fine because it's easier." That way I don't need to talk about my fear. Sometimes, when The Farmer holds me, I feel frightened to let him go just in case I never get the chance to hold him again. I want to stop missing my dad every fucking day and I want to stop crying when I look into his eyes. My Farmer may one day not be here either and that scares the hell outta me. But I'm fine. Just like everything else, I'll get over it and move on. One day I'll look down on my life and see only the good bits - the bad bits will be yesterday's fish and chip paper. I'll hold onto those memories, the good ones, and I'll say, "look at me, I'm fine." And I will be.

32 comments:

  1. Oh I'm sorry and will be thinking of you - for me it is easier to say I'm fine when really I should say no I'm not - hoping that he is ok, that you are ok and that you can get someone to give you a hug and help you out

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  2. If positive vibes and good wishes can make a difference - you have all of mine. Hold onto him and treasure every moment you can. There is only one moment - now - and right now everything is okay. It is difficult to understand that worrying does not change anything in the future - all it does is spoil the now moment.

    I think you are doing the right thing to try and distract yourself from your fears rather than to verbalise them. Maybe if you tried to concentrate on how every moment feels from an observational point of view as if you are writing it as a scene in a book - but focus on actualities and not feelings? It might help?

    Touch, texture, scents, colours, heartbeats etc.

    I wish I could give you a hug. I hope this will be over with soon and you will both be out the other side well on the way to recovery xxx

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  3. Oh, Kathryn, my thoughts are with you, they really are. This must have been such a difficult post to write, but I can understand totally why you needed to write it all down - sometimes that's the only way we can actually get these things out in the open and stop bottling them up inside.

    I hope that everything goes ok, I really do, just remember that there are people out there who are thinking about you and what you're going through. And if you ever need to talk or chat about anything, I'm here. And I mean that.

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  4. Hi Kathryn. A brave post to write. I lost my dad at a young age and live in fear of losing my husband - he's now 56, the age my dad was. I try to tell myself that my fear comes from love, so that's a good thing. We are lucky to have such great men in our lives. My thoughts are with you - it WILL soon be over and you can breath a sigh of relief. Always here to talk. With love, Amanda x

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  5. Life is full of ups and downs and scary at times. You will cope with whatever it throws at you but it doesn't stop you worrying. Sending you positive thoughts and Reiki - I'm sure everything will go well. xx

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  6. You're right to voice your fears - it's cathartic. You talk about the frailty of the human body, yet just the other day I was marvelling how well it serves for many years. Longer than any machine. Automatically carrying out its various functions from the day we're born, replenishing itself and made up of the tiniest little neural connections. OK, it can go wrong, but it's pretty resilient and, as you infer, we have to be pragmatic. Worrying never accomplishes anything positive, and has no effect on the outcome, but you wouldn't be human if you didn't submit to it from time to time. Your optimism is your best friend and I hope all turns out well!

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  7. So sorry you have this looming over you and glad you have got it off your chest by sharing your fears with us. Obviously without knowing the exact nature of the operation and the state of the Farmer's health otherwise, it is difficult to comment, but medicine has taken such leaps in progress over the last two decades alone, so that all kinds of operations are routine now and no worse than going to the dentist in terms of risk. Yes, there is a very small risk with every anaesthetic but that is far outweighed by the millions of successes. I am sure the Farmer will be fine and you will go on to spend many more years together. I am a bit of a fatalist - what will be, will be. The Farmer has more chance of dying underneath his tractor than he will on the operation table. This time next week you'll be able to tell us how he's progressing nicely.

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  8. Life isn't a plain, set out plan that we can always depend on I'm afraid. And we do have to face some hideous stuff. We'd just rather not face them or dwell on them, and that is fine because it's human nature.
    But you are allowed to feel scared, and you are allowed to be emotional. Being optimistic all the time is just impossible and unrealistic.
    I suggest you allow yourself some time out for you, so you can let it all out. Not on here in writing because I feel it will just whirl about in your head. But perhaps go somewhere that you like, and let it out. Whether it's crying, shouting, laughing, or just sitting quietly, it's for you.
    And when The Farmer holds you, just let yourself be in that moment. Let nothing else matter, just be there.
    You may be a mum, a wife and a woman, which are all expected to be strong for the most, but you're as fragile as the rest of us. Allow yourself some emotion, and then remember all the good that is there for you and just remind yourself of that.
    Something I used to do with my children was this, when saying goodnight, I'd ask what was good about today. And we'd always find something. No matter what the day had been like.
    Try it. It works. And it makes you feel nice.

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  9. You hold on to the Farmer for as long as you want to. And the next time he asks, "How are you" tell him all your fears. You have to share them with him, just like you shared them with us. That way he can hold you, and tell you, "everything will be fine."

    Prayers and thoughts are with you.

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  10. I liked Jen's advice, Kathryn. It's good being an optimist. Maybe it helps your husband that you are! He loves who you are, after all. Doesn't hurt to admit you're scared though. Show him your blog, one day. This is a big part of who you are, too. Best to both of you, sweetie! :) xx

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  11. I love how honest you are here, what's the point in life if we're not going to be 'real' with one another from time to time. I think we all hide behind things a little a cover up our true feelings as we're scared of rejection, scared of revealing too much or admitting that sometimes we are out of our depth and need help - especially us 'capable' mums. Honestly really does make a relationship though :)

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  12. I don't know what the surgery is so I can't really help you to understand it better so you're not so afraid....but I "feel" all will be well.
    And Yes, you Should speak the truth to Farmer! Tell him how you're feeling so that it may open up His opportunity to speak about His fears. Face it head-on sweetie...If he chooses not to speak, then you'll always know You tried...
    ((((HUGS))))

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  13. Wow. Beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing. I'm even happier I made you smile now.
    I feel scared too. Life's supposed to be I reckon. It reminds us how to love the people who make it special. Wholly. Completely. With total abandon.
    It doesn't need to be said. I can feel it in your post. He will feel it in his heart.x

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  14. ((hugs)) this is hard...there is def fear in having to go through surgery and not knowing what the future holds...i will def pray for the hands of the doctors and for your peace in facing this...

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  15. I am glad to see you wrote about your fears and I hope you felt a bit better afterwards. Deep breaths until The Farmer is out of surgery then I bet you will need a good rest yourself. Let yourself have it so you can be strong for the recovery time. Good luck to you both.

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  16. Aren't we all scared of loosing those we love? I have been tormented with the worst dreams of loosing my children or husband. Once OH was so ill doctors didn't know if he would live and I came home turning the music full blast and singing at the top of my voice , just not to scream. Woke the kids of course and couldn't explain so said "all is fine darling , go back to bed" Did they believe me? I doubt it, and were they left alone with their fear? I suppose so. Learned to talk about fears since then, but boy that was a rocky road. But it was worth it and very therapeutic. Courage dear friend. Will hold you in my thoughts and prayers xxx

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  17. Blogs can sometimes be therapy, can't they? And I hope writing it all down has helped.
    Wish I could say for sure everything will be OK. There's a good chance it will, and he'll get the best of care.
    But in the next week, I'd suggest you tell The Farmer at least a bit of how you're feeling and how much he means to you. You can be a comfort to each other, rather than suffering in silence.
    Good luck to you both. Sure this time next month you'll be laughing about how worried you were. xxx

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  18. Our prayers and thoughts are with you as you get ready for next week. ... and you have a good talking to The Farmer that he better behave on the operating table and come back to you and Amy in even better health or else! (Humour is my way of dealing with tough situations like this.)

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  19. Oh no, I am so sorry... so scary when someone you love has to have an operation. Sending you lots of positive vibes. x

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  20. Kathryn, you tweeted that this was a depressing blog post, but it's not depressing at all. It's about how much you love your husband, and how precious he is to you. It's completely normal that you're worried and don't want to lose him. Not everyone gets to have that kind of love, which is sad because no matter how much it can paralyse us with worry, it also makes a life richer in so many ways. So here's a hug for you, and wishing you both strength for next week and many years of happiness ahead.

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  21. Crystal.... I am very like this too. I worry over all my family even when they aren't having operations! I often think that having a vivid imagination can really go against you at times as you can always picture the worst in your head.
    Please try to relax. (Mad to say that, I know but do try.)
    62 isn't old! You will be given the strength to cope until he gets back on his feet.
    Who is looking after the animals? That would scare me to death..... all the responsibility!
    I am wishing him well and a speedy recovery.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  22. I completely relate to what you are saying, both with losing my dad when we were both still young (him and me) and the fear of losing my OH through his two recent spells of DVT. I had to call 999 for him not so many weeks back and its like I went into automatic pilot on the outside and I was crumbling on the inside. Difficult times but I'm sure all will be well with the farmer and it will soon have passed. much love xxx

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  23. It's not melodramatic, it's perfectly logical that you'd be worried about the outcome. I know that doesn't really help, but just wanted to send virtual hugs and will keep my fingers crossed for you x

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  24. You're not being melodramatic, you're being human. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us all! I will definitely keep you, Amy, and the Farmer in my prayers. Love you <3

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  25. It's so hard when you're scared for someone else. Sending you hugs and hoping all goes well.x

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  26. This is so hard, you are only human. Sending love and hugs to you all xx

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  27. Its always difficult when a loved one has to have an operation, and it's completely natural that you might want to keep busy and not think about it, just so that you're able to do all the daily things that have to be done. Wishing you all the very best xx

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  28. Without knowing what the problem is, it is difficult to give advice but I am sure that the Farmer will be fine. Be strong for him.
    CWx

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  29. Tell what you must where you must. And I guess I feel that only you know what will make the words "I'm fine" be relatively true. Fear and optimism can and often do live together. You can be afraid of the worst but refuse to expect it. There's nothing contradictory there. And I guess I feel only you know what to tell your beloved Farmer and when. All I see is a world of love that emanates from you. Thank you for writing what clearly is so honest, so hard to write, hard to acknowledge. So this stranger here in connecticut sends nothing but light your way, and I'll hope it helps. Your Farmer AND you, together.

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  30. This may be totally not my place to say, but you and The Farmer don't seem to do verbal communication very successfully. Not a criticism, trust me, but certainly the impression I've got over the time I've read your blog. However, your written communication is startlingly honest and thought-provoking. I know you've said in the past that he really doesn't do computers but, just for once, why don't you pretty much insist on it. Put this blog post up on your screen, ask The Farmer to come in the room, sit him down in front of it, kiss his cheek and leave the room. If you can't say it in person, then you need another way to get him to understand. He might read it and talk to you. He might read it and never mention it again. But whatever happens, he'll read it.

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  31. You're not being melodramatic at all, your self preservation is kicking in. I did the same when my dad passed away, I looked around me and the people I loved in fear that one by one they would leave me too. You're preparing yourself for the worst and frankly I do exactly the same and its an awful time your going through and my prayers are with you and your family. xxx

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  32. Sorry you have this big worry facing you.
    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    (((((hugs)))))

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