my husband hates to hear me even mention that i ever feel like this, but he says he know i must feel like this, because he would be much much much much much worse if this had happened to him. he says sometimes he’s sure he would just hide at home, not come out, not talk to anyone. i tell him no, but really i’m not sure about that.
sometimes are better than others. this week has been a particularly difficult week, for no reason that i can pinpoint. maybe it’s worse when i do get out more. maybe it’s more apparent that i don’t matter anymore at all, because the only places we go are my husband’s school, and church, and the grocery store, where everyone recognizes him as the teacher. they only recognize me as possibly his elderly, handicapped mother. and they ask him “is his your mother?” like being old has robbed me of the ability to speak or something. and it’s not like it happens rarely. oh no.
but it’s not just him it happens with. it happens with friends my own age. they get asked “is this your mother?” i never get asked “is this your daughter?” maybe that would be worse, i don’t know probably i’d throw up or cry or something.
the accident was three and a half years ago. i was a teacher in another community. all the kids that i taught are out of school now and we are never there.
i go to school with my husband in the mornings now occasionally, when someone is picking me up, because our road is too muddy for my ride to come down it and get me: i wait in his office before and after for a couple of hours. his students stare at the elderly lady on his couch with the blanket draped over her, curious. my cane is by me ready and waiting for me to hobble up the hallway.
i am disappearing. i am not a person anymore. my children call him for advice, with their problems, with their joys. i am no help at all. i cannot come and pick anyone up. i do not figure into any logistics. i am a nonperson. i can barely do anything without major help, and sometimes nothing at all. i try not to cause extra work, but most of the time that is an epic fail. i try not to complain, to be cheerful and smiley and pretty and fun to come home to because that is the least i can do for such a hard working man who sacrifices and does SO MUCH all the time, but most of the time i even screw that up. people, out of the goodness of their hearts, load me in their cars, make sure i have all my stuff, my purse, my blanket; hold my hand and help me out of their car; practically carry me across parking lots and into buildings; our elderly parents look after me like i’m a child again, and they’re both in their eighties.
sigh. it’s hard. but i can’t even feel sorry for myself because that makes these people and my husband frantic and they try to help me immediately. EVERYONE tries to help me immediately. they’re all terrified i’ll commit suicide, sink into a deep depression, or something even worse. but i promise i won’t. i would in a minute if it wouldn’t absolutely kill everyone around me, but i’m only too aware of the pain that would inflict. so i don’t. i won’t. i just keep on surviving as a nothing. probably it will get better tomorrow. or next week. or the next week. or next month. i’ll still be a charity case, though. nothing in the near future will change that.