I don’t know what to say to all of this. I remember how I felt right when this all happened. I remember pacing in my apartment in San Francisco, talking to my friend on the phone. We were discussing the fact that I was supposed to go fly to see my brother’s baby being born in 2 weeks and I had no idea how I was going to do it. I know I could make the flight, but watching his daughter who was one at the time? I had no idea. She would want to run, and jump … and have me pick her up.
The worst part?? I wasn’t at my worst yet. This time 3 years ago, it was just the upper back ligament tear. No lower back involvement yet. I could still drive. I could still sit. With as bad as the pain was, I had no idea how much worse (much, much worse) it was going to get.
I can not wrap my brain around how much pain I have been in and for how long. Day in and day out. Constant. No relief.
What I wouldn’t give for one day off. One day where I could manage my life. Get on a plane, move someplace that was cheaper. Everything just involves so much work because there is so little that I can actually do.
I think I want to give myself a little credit though. It’s been so long, I really don’t know how I have coped as well as I have. I know I don’t always cope as well as I would like to, but overall, with the shit that has been thrown my way? Seriously, not as bad as I could be handling it. I have lost my marriage, my house, my friends, my dog, my job, my city … and on top of that, I’m in constant pain.
I feel like I could be angrier. I’m pretty angry, but I know I could be raging mad right now. I could see how I could let the bitterness overwhelm me. Bitter for all the things I lost and all the things I will not have. I’m mad at my family for being so unavailable to me. They are so selfish and so uncaring. The irony is, if you asked them, they would say they care a lot — just as long as they don’t have to do anything about it. I’m pretty sure I will have to be absolutely homeless for them to take me in. Forget the loneliness and the pain and just wanting family around when you need them most. That just simply doesn’t compute to them. I will need to be penniless for them to help me. Then, I’m fairly certain it will crush me to have to take their help. Does that make sense? If I took their help a few months back, I would not have felt so demeaned. The thing is, if it’s when I have no money, it’s because they will have to. That’s what will be crushing. They certainly will not help me out with emotional support.
I only have my brother. Both my parents are dead.
As for friends, I’m not super angry about that. I get that people have their own lives. I’m fairly comfortable with that.
I’m sad I will never have a dog of my own again. Maybe, if I got married again someday, they could manage the dog. Even if I had my own house, how would I pick up the inevitable messes dogs make? I wouldn’t. So I’d have to wait for a husband. Considering I’m home bound, I really don’t see that happening.
These are the things that make me shrug after 3 years. It was fine to be somewhat delusional the first year — even the second. I kept having so many setbacks I kinda left a flicker of hope that my eventual return to health was simply delayed by all the setbacks. But, it’s been 3 years now. Now, this is just the reality.
I think it’s hard on my few remaining friends to fathom that I’m not getting better. It’s just a back injury — lots of people have back injuries. Why am I not getting better?
I don’t know.
I’m just not.
Mostly, I’m sad. I often think of my death bed and looking back at the life I could have led. I’m sad for my niece. I wish I could be the aunt I was before I hurt myself. I’m sad I’ll never be able to adopt. I’m sad that I won’t be able to watch my career grow. I’m sad for all the places I won’t see. I’m sad to realize my brother and his family are assholes. I’m sad because I actually liked my life before this happened. I’m just sad it all had to stop. All of it. No adjustments … just everything. Everything stopped.
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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at . Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com