My friend Debbie described this time to me by relating it to having a new baby. You never know when the baby is going to wake you up, you’re exhausted, you’re in pain, and frankly, you don’t know yet what to do with the baby to make it happy or get it to stop crying. Bingo. The slightest move in the wrong direction was insanely painful. And most of those moves unsurprisingly happened during sleep. I felt like I was relearning everything.
When the nerve block wore off, I cried. I can’t imagine what the first 4 days would have been without it. It was a long, hard month. I pulled up all my warrior reserves at Physical Therapy and then came home and collapsed.
During an argument last year, Dave accused me of not trusting him. I was shocked. I didn’t think that was true, but it certainly made me ponder it. I came to see, eventually, that he was right. I didn’t deeply believe he’d be there to catch me if I fell off a cliff. Trust is a scary thing when you’ve been in a narcissistic relationship. Those scars heal a lot more slowly than my knee.
Now, for the first time in our almost 20-year relationship, I had to trust him fully. He showed me I could depend on him to care for me, keep the house running, and keep us both fed with delicious meals. I simply closed my eyes to anything I might criticize and said “thank you” often.
Our relationship is different now. Stronger. Slower. Deeper. More vulnerable on both sides.
A nice side effect is that Dave wants to keep cooking most nights of the week. I have no idea why that was so hard to let go of – I’ve been cooking dinner for 40-some years now, and someone who is a good cook wants to do that for me? And grocery shop, too? Why would I say “no?”
Recently, I said “yes.” Wow. What a life. I work, I come home, dinner is on the way to the table. I feel like a 1950s husband, except he doesn’t greet me at the door in an apron with a cocktail.
The most important thing I’ve deeply learned since my surgery is that letting go (of fear, distrust, control) does means having more. This recovery process is still unfolding, slowly moving forward. I wonder what’s next?