Here’s something I never thought I’d say: the longer my husband and I live together “post accident” (it’s been 18 years) the odder it seems to say that there’s something wrong with him (e.g. traumatic brain injury). For the most part, I no longer feel or think that way. This is a good thing. And it has taken time for me to get to this place.
In looking back, I think what happened with me is that I finally decided to put down the sword of resistance I had been brandishing lo these many years. As I’ve mentioned in many of my previous posts, I realized that embracing what’s so was a heck of a lot easier. And…I wasn’t ready to do this until I was ready to do this.
There was a time when I beat myself up for not getting it before I got it. But, quite frankly, I don’t think I could “get it” before now – I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to release the death grip I had on my personal sword of “being right” about how I wanted things to be. I had to wallow in that place and experience how it wasn’t working for me. I finally saw the light and made the shift.
As I’m now beginning to walk with this “light” I’m seeing all the areas where I have been holding him back from being completely okay just as he is. For instance, Michael was known pre-accident for his innate, homemade bread-baking skills. He made the most incredible artisan-style breads – no recipe – just pulled together whatever was in the refrigerator and cupboards and joila – fantastic bread. Since his accident, he has shown little interest in doing this. I fought this for a long time and tried to figure out ways to interest him in doing it only to be disappointed each time. I missed the person who loved to do this. I finally let it drop and then something flipped within me. I realized I had been trying to get him to do something from a past concept vs allowing him to be who he is now. I accepted the present person just as he is.
For Christmas this year, it came up to give him a book called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. He loved the book and decided to make this fantastic French bread the day after Christmas. It had that true “artisan” touch that only a bread master could give it. In a word, it was perfect. The funny thing is, I don’t know if he’ll ever bake it again. It doesn’t matter. It felt like a completion of sorts (for both of us). And it is okay with me if all he ever does now is flip through the pages of the cookbook and oohs and ahhs over the recipes. If that makes him happy, it’s okay with me.
While I may sometimes miss the “pre-accident” person, I’m happy with this person now. In many ways, I don’t see how he’s all that much different than any other – male – husband :). We all have our strong days and our “needy” days. As I’ve come to peace with myself, I’ve come to realize that all I want is for him to be happy. He is and actually has been for a long time. Michael has simply been waiting oh so patiently for me to climb aboard the happy train with him. Okay. Got it. All aboard! I’m on now.
Happy New Year everyone. May 2012 bring you peace, contentment and prosperity in all aspects of your life.