Some days, I amaze myself. Like today. A good day. Perhaps I’ll only need one temazapam to sleep tonight.
Perhaps. But getting to sleep is the hardest thing. Once I’m there, I’m OK. But getting there is pure torture. Trauma. Whatever.
Fuck. Did you know, would you believe, that I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, for most of my life? Ridiculous. And would you believe that all my anxiety, all my fear, was focused on this very thing happening. Losing someone close to me. Someone I loved dearly. Having to deal with the pain of that. How could I possibly handle it?
What do you tell yourself, when the sense of impending doom proves to be accurate? When your worst fear comes true, and talking rationally to yourself doesn’t help?
You say that you survived the worst. And you got through it. And what the fuck do you have to be afraid of now? Nothing. Anything that happens, I can deal with it. I am so fucking strong.
So strong, that for the first half an hour After This happened, my children knew nothing of anything. So strong, I sheltered them in a neighbours backyard, talked to them normally, about every day things.
I never fainted. Never vomited. Never had to be sedated, admitted to hospital.
For four days, on and off, I sat by Tony’s side in the ICU, and told him I loved him, I forgive him, that I was strong enough, if need be, to survive this, and get our children through it too.
And I wasn’t lying.
I kissed my husband’s body goodbye, while he was still ventilated, for the purpose of successful organ donation. While the reflexes in his spine were still making his feet twitch.
I stood through my husband’s funeral. I spoke. I held his mother’s hand.
And I am here. Back in my house, slowly, a little bit at a time. Rebuilding, in the very scene of my trauma, the soft and exposed centre of my pain. Because I must. To minimise the sense of change, of disruption on my children.
And because this still feels like home. My house. Our house. Our daughter was born here.
I’m a different person to who I was, two weeks ago. It’s not that I’m any stronger. It’s just that now I know that strength is there.