While I’m speaking the truth, an internal part of me is afraid.
As I sit and write these stories, week after week, each time I put pen to paper, I think to myself, “Am I going to get yelled at?” While I’m speaking the truth, an internal part of me, a big part that had been hiding for many years since the start of this disease, makes me afraid. Afraid I’m going to get yelled at like I used to. Afraid that I would feel an emotional hammer come down on me, making me feel inferior, wrong, or bad.
While my husband was sick, he told me time after time, don’t tell anybody. Don’t share, this is a secret. Not only was it him, but also intimidating people that would make me remain hushed, not to tell anyone.
I had nothing to say- even though I had everything to say.
Now, as I sit here writing my truth, there are still pieces of me that make me hesitate to talk about the tough stuff, the real stuff. But then I think about the day, it was mid morning, and I was getting out of the shower. It was right at the beginning of meeting this disease.
I was totally neglected and isolated, told to speak to no one about this, even my own mother. The window shutters were sealed tight, only specks of light shining through. The children were at school, and the bed was unmade. My friends were at coffee, but I didn’t want to go because I had nothing to say- even though I had everything to say.
I remember closing the glass door of the shower, cold and naked, and falling to the floor. All I did was weep. And weep. And weep. I could not get up. It was around the time Katy Perry had released the “By the Grace of God” soundtrack. This song began playing in the background, or maybe in my head. I don’t even remember. But I do recall the words, and limb by limb, I raised myself off the floor, staring at my cold, wet self in the mirror.
I promised myself I would keep going, not just for myself, but for my children.
I want people to know they are not alone.
As I begin this important work, I often ask myself, “ Why do you do this? Why do you share such personal things?” My answer: “I do it for that person like me on the floor. I do it for that woman, man, and child. I don’t want anyone to feel as isolated and lost as me. I want people to know they are not alone.” And then I remember. And then I put pen to paper, and continue.
So, as I write, I attempt to create a new track in my head. Yes, the fear of getting yelled at pops in from time to time. But then, I remember my purpose, and who I’m doing this for, and I keep going.
If you also suffer from trauma or PTSD from your experience of a loved one with this disease, become a part of our community at VoicesInCourage.com.
Here you will find a safe place to share your story, and find a platform for your truth. Join our movement, launching Fall 2021.