Never Ending Thoughts
Sometimes I blurt out my thoughts without stopping to soften my words or make sure I am not stepping on any toes but I never intentionally plan my words to strike with pain. I never purposely use my words in place of a sword to spear anyone in the heart but alas, I am sure it occasionally happens.
I read a post on Facebook today that left me wondering about the opinions we are all so eager to share at times. This particular post stated, “Marriage is a union created for procreation. If you can't have children you shouldn't get married.” I wonder if the person who wrote that statement has any idea of how many infertile couples there are in the world and how many tears have been shed because couples haven't been blessed with a child. I tried, when my children were still under my care, to teach them about ignorance, the cruelty one human could inflict on another, and prejudice. I wanted them to rise above these things. How many women would know they were incapable of conceiving until they tried to conceive, which is normally after the marriage vows have been taken? I am not sure how this post was meant but I can assure you it caused many women who saw it to feel unworthy and hurt.
I have also had a dream on my mind all day. I dreamed it last night and many other nights previously. I was trying to fold my mother’s wheelchair and get it into the back of my truck but I wasn't able to lift it. No one seemed to see me as they passed by chattering about where they were going to eat after they left the doctor’s office or which mall they were going to visit later in the evening. I felt nameless and faceless and when I looked at myself in the side mirror of the truck I realized I was no longer the woman I used to be. I have this dream many nights but the truth is I often feel like an actress playing a role because I am not doing much of anything for myself.
Somewhere along the line, while standing in line at the pharmacy, consulting with doctors, crying myself to sleep at times, and sometimes falling asleep in a chair and waking up with a stiff neck, my steps have slowed and I have started to roll out of bed and jump to active duty without so much as running a brush through my hair. I am no longer a woman standing out in front of the crowd and directing others. These days I am living more in the shadows of my responsibilities.
Most of the time, if someone should ask how I feel, I respond “Fine, thank you.” I say this even if I have only had two hours of sleep or my joints are all throbbing like a toothache. I reply that I'm okay even if my feelings have been hurt or I feel tired and alone. Even when I feel like crap, mentally and physically, I say I'm fine to spare the feelings of those I care about. But if I slip up and say, “I feel like I've been run over by a truck and it kept backing up to run over me again,” I have made someone else feel bad because I admitted I am not fine.
You know, it’s not easy to watch someone you love in pain every single day. It’s not easy to be tied to the house because you're afraid no one else can take care of them like you do. I can take Ibuprofen for the joints that ache and the headache that threatens to make my head explode but there are no drugs or numbing agents to help with the day to day struggles that come with being a caretaker.
I spend my “free time” trying to run errands, making phone calls, making sure all the prescriptions have been filled for an entire family, preparing food, sometimes dropping off food, worrying about my pets, my neighbors, my extended family, insurance forms, paying bills, and often answering the same questions over and over again.
Maybe someday I'll have the time to finish all of the work I have in progress. Maybe someday I'll stop dreaming about eroding like a sculpture in the middle of great sand storms. Maybe someday I won't have to feel guilty when I say, “I hurt all over,” instead of saying, “I'm fine.” For now, I'll just go back to being thankful someone bothers to ask how I am even if they don't really want to know.
For the record, I'm doing just fine.
©Dianna Doles Petry