Newsflash: I’m human. I mean very human. I’m imperfect and flawed in ways I don’t even fucking want to talk about.
And every day, this situation brings them up and slaps me in the face with them, highlighting them in ways I never imagined. I stand exposed and emasculated at my million little failures, seeming to dance a vicious and taunting ballet of shortcomings and mistakes.
Often, I begin to retreat into myself. “I shouldn’t even try”, I curse to myself. “I should just serve and shut up, not even try to communicate or deal with her socially. It’s the only way to avoid being misunderstood and inadvertently hurting her feelings.”
Of course, I know that it is only by constantly communicating and engaging her that I have managed to pull her out of her shell, to engage parts of her brain as she regains access to them and to energize and excite the healing process, thereby accelerating and optimizing her usage of that most amazing tool she was born with.
I know these things, and I am beyond committed to continuing on course.
But still, I feel so small, so horrible and cruel when I make her cry. It was certainly not intended, and seeing her in pain (especially when I am the cause of that pain!) tears the heart from me. But I should know by now, right? I should fucking KNOW how easily a remark can be misheard or misunderstood. I should god damn well be able to predict and prevent most of these incidents.
Could it possibly be that some small, vicious part of me is doing this on purpose?
Fuck, I hope not. I hope I’m not that person anymore. I’ve worked so fucking hard to not be that person anymore.
On a much brighter note, there is more and mounting evidence of her undeniable improvement. Yesterday was shower day. You may know that I have, since approximately last March, taken complete responsibility for showering Jacquelynn. She essentially stands there, trusting me without question as I wash her hair, get her all cleaned and primped, and dry her off. Then she sits calmly as I comb and dry her hair, doing what I can within my (very narrow) limits to brush and style her hair as best I can.
This is our common and very familiar routine, as this process has evolved over 3 or 4 showers every week since last February.
Until this last week.
Gradually, over the last two or three showers, Jacquelynn has begun taking a more active role in her showers. She’s twisting herself into position to rinse herself more effectively; taking a towel and working to dry herself, especially her hair; even running her fingers through her hair to measure moisture as I work to dry it.
Honestly, Jacquelynn’s courageous and miraculous journey amazes me every day. I took her aside this afternoon specifically to make certain she knew how indescribably proud of her I am. Her incredible strength and bravery in facing this illness inspires me every day to strive to be all that she needs me to be. As I stated above, I inevitably fail, but I will never stop trying, and I will never abandon her. Nor will I ever trust her care to anyone else.
Yes, we cry. We both occasionally hurt one another’s feelings. We get angry and we calm down and make up.
We are married, after all.
Such is life, and we are completely succeeding at life and at love.