When I decided to start blogging, it was for two reasons. One, was to act as the valve doo-hickey that releases built up pressure on a pressure cooker. Two, was to share the beautiful, yet bent, BLESSED life that the Lord has given me. One thing I promised myself from the beginning was that there would be no masks. Preston agreed and has always supported me. Many stories, I’ve sought his approval on before ever publishing because they do expose the ugly side of this yo-yo life that we have.
Most of you have something I envy.
I don’t have the ability to fight back with a loved one during a disagreement. It all started with losing Joseph. You can’t take back words once they are spoken. His death left me haunted with memories of ugly things said in anger. When Preston and I met and later married, he understood that about me. As I’ve mentioned before, we had a code word that would shut any conversation down before hurt things could be said. We always respected that. I can honestly sit here and write that until his brain aneurysm, he had never, ever spoken an unkind word to me.
Preston’s brain aneurysm and subsequent brain injury changed our perfect little set-up. He does not have the ability to control his emotions. He can be a beautiful ray of sunshine one minute and at the flip of a switch turn into an irrational stranger in a rage. It’s very hard to explain. Preston’s intelligence is off the charts, so he understands what is happening and even why. But he can’t stop it. We work closely with his doctors looking for the perfect cocktail to keep it at bay. Let me be sure to add that there is absolutely no physical violence. The best way I can describe it is a 6’5 giant having a two year old temper tantrum.
Normally I can calm him down, but not always. Sometimes I don’t want to calm him down, I want to lash back. But the fear of saying something I can’t take back always wins. Always. Most times, I’ll go back and look at pictures of Preston 1.0 and focus on the many, many wonderful times we’ve had. I also know our custom marriage vows by heart. Trust me, I’m no saint. Preston 2.0 has gotten ripped to shreds in my thoughts. The struggle is real.
Yesterday was a bad day. It came after a few weeks of Preston already being on edge. In the calm after the storm, I broke down and let him see me cry. I usually hide this, because he honestly, legitimately can not help it. And his own behavior devastates him. But I’m tired. I’m weary. I had reached out for help 2 weeks ago only to feel like I was blown off. I won’t beg.
In yesterday’s aftermath, I asked Preston if he could tell me and express to me what his thought process was. He was brutally honest. He said he doesn’t have anyone else to vent his frustrations to. He’s stuck in a house, living as an invalid. Day in and day out. Summer has ended and the kids are back in school. He doesn’t have that interaction with them. He is at the mercy of other people 24/7. Preston can count all of his faithful friends on one hand (and they are much appreciated!). The finger count is even smaller of his biological family that takes the time to call or come see him. It hurts him. I can’t even imagine. I’ll add that Preston can’t initiate interaction without prompting. It’s a wire that has never been reconnected in his brain yet. So he does not have the ability to call Chase up and say “Hey! Wanna go fishing? Come get me.”. It leaves him in a state of loneliness that even I can’t comprehend.
Hurting people hurt people.
He indirectly casts his wrath on me. He’s hurting. I in turn, want to hurt those that choose not to see what a wonderful person he is and how much he still has to offer this world. We are all worth investing in and want to know that we matter. That’s our human nature.
Last night, at prayer group, the Lord reminded me that hurting people hurt people. We have to lift them up and love them more. When they are the ugliest….. that’s when they need our love the most. We prayed for so many hurting people last night.
And I went home and prayed again for the hurting man that I call my hero in the bed next to me.
Until next time,