It has now been 16 days since the crash that derailed–or at least seriously redirected–the summer in the Wisnia house. So much has happened in that short span to shift my thinking about my life and the people in it. For the most part, I have been overwhelmed by the positivity and love that surrounds us. We’ve scarcely had to cook given the frequent delivery of delicious meals. The boys haven’t missed a single activity thanks to the many who have so graciously descended to give rides here there and everywhere. We’ve had help with shopping and cleaning and occupying the boys so that they don’t feel like they’re missing out even though there’s much that their mommy can’t do right now. Most moments are filled with love and joy and gratitude.
And then there are the other moments…the moments when I feel completely castrated…the moments when all I want to do is climb up into Oscar’s loft to tuck him in or comfort him when he’s had a bad dream but I can’t. There are moments when I think about all that I COULD be doing since I’m home like vacuuming, washing windows, organizing the boxes of accumulated junk in the garage, even simple things like knocking down cobwebs–and then I remember that I can’t. Even something as simple as getting a glass of water is a complicated task these days as I hop on one leg, try to manage crutches, navigate awkwardly around our tiny, cramped house. Some days–other than the obvious reason of escaping my own stench–I am left to wonder why I’m even bothering to bathe. There is nowhere to go, very little to do. These are hard facts for someone like me who is always going, always doing.
There have also been a few demoralizing moments when I have found support sadly lacking in surprising places. It’s hard to feel supported when navigating the bureaucratic purgatory of so many confusing forms and convoluted processes required to get paid, maintain benefits, obtain accommodations. On more than one occasion, I have been made to feel like I am somehow making up or embellishing the truth of my condition to get special treatment. In these moments, I just feel icky and hopeless and shocked. As someone who has been sucking it up and soldiering on my entire life, I am beyond insulted by the implication that I am somehow doing anything short of what is physically possible for me at this moment.
I am terrified that I may never run again. I am heartbroken to hear Boris say that he wishes he had a mommy who didn’t have a broken foot. I am deflated when simple things that used to take seconds take minutes, hours, or worse–aren’t even possible to accomplish right now.
I am bolstered by the fact that I WILL get better. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for the many many people who must face the truth that their particular accident has caused damage that can never be repaired, will never get any better. As stated–for the most part I am nothing short of grateful for all that has happened since I’ve been laid up. I’m grateful it it was my foot that was smashed–not my head or my neck. I am grateful that healing is possible.
Still, the not-so-fluffy moments are real and important to acknowledge and remember too. I think that this time will help me to have so much more compassion going forward. I have been forever changed both by the immense love we have experienced and the few bits of indifference/lack of compassion we have experienced. I will forever remember how I definitely DO and definitely DON’T want to make people feel in their moment of need. At times like this, there is enough darkness to overcome in one’s one mind. Nobody who’s truly hurting should be made to feel like they have to prove the extent of their hurt to anyone. Nobody should be made to struggle to feel valid when they are convalescing and already struggling against their own feelings of invalidity.