Posted on | February 21, 2012 | 12 Comments
Yesterday, I underwent a very minor procedure at an out-patient surgery center. It was just an epidural steroid injection, but because I was being sedated, I had to have someone with me to drive me to and from the procedure and sit with me the entire time. I had to have someone there in case something went wrong.
Most of you know that my brother is currently living with me until he can find a job in the crashing market known as the legal field; he was kind enough to go with me to the surgery center and wait with me through the two and a half hour delay and then again through the actual procedure and recovery. And I appreciated him being there.
But as I sat there in the hospital bed, gowned and capped with those strange textured socks on my feet, I couldn’t help but think of how different things were this time last year. I couldn’t help but remember that this time last year, my “someone” would not have left the room when I had to get dressed and undressed. My “someone” would have been there to help me put on my pants… a job that the nurse kindly performed as I was thoroughly unable to do so. Last year, my “someone” would have helped me into the house and brought me food and drink and sat with me while I cried about how bad it hurt and how I wished I could rewind time and not go through all of this. Last year, my husband would have been my “someone.”
There are so many things that change when you get a divorce, so many strange and subtle things that you never actually expect to haunt you. Only they do. When forced to list your emergency contact on a piece of paper you suddenly draw a blank… you’re thirty-four years old and the closest thing you have to a “someone” is your mother who lives two states away. And just like that, another dagger shoots into your heart and you wonder why this is happening to you; you wonder why this has happened to you.
I have gotten used to writing my mother as my emergency contact. I have grown accustomed to checking “single” or “divorced” on medical documents. I have even stopped feeling the urge to instantly explain that this status was not my choice, not my “fault.” But sitting there in the surgery center and yelping when the IV was inserted into my arm… I realized I was still not accustomed to not having a “someone.”
On an every day basis, I am okay. I go through the motions. I work and cook and clean and parent to the best of my ability. And I do a good job; I know that I am doing the best job I possibly can. And on the ordinary days, I can pat myself on the back and know that things are getting better… that I am getting stronger. But it is these extraordinary days when things fall apart. These days when I wake up post-procedure and wonder whose arms I can cry in, whose arms will hold me up when I can’t stand, whose hands will be there to wipe away the tears. It is these days when I am out of pain medication and barely functioning; these days when I show up to daycare in pajamas and slippers just praying not to see anyone else. It is these days where I feel fragile and insignificant, broken beyond repair; these days when I wish that just for a moment, just for a day… he could be here with me. That somehow, he could sit here and hold my hand, tell me this will all go away… tell me he will be my someone again.
And then the clock chimes and I realize time has passed, time is passing, and I am still here, still on my own, still breathing slowly but surely.
And I wipe away my own tears, slide back into my slippers and slip out the door; off to pick up my child and begin again.