Emergency Contacts

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.


12 Responses to “Emergency Contacts”

  1. Mrs Trophywife
    February 21st, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    I cried reading this. Your honesty and openess is beautiful, Karen. I know this is a hard time, but I’d imagine there are hundreds of women out there right now thanking you for helping them through a very similar situation.

  2. Law Momma
    February 21st, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    Thanks, lady. Being transparent about divorce is hard when “real life” friends and family are reading, but ultimately if it helps even one woman or man know that they are not alone in how they feel… it’s worth my embarrassment.

  3. Kristinayellow
    February 21st, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

    HUGS. I can only imagine how much this sucks. Then again, perhaps its better than having a someone who you can’t count on.
    And I was thinking–you do have a special someone. He’s just too young to drive 🙂

  4. Law Momma
    February 21st, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    Ha! True… Though I’m trying very hard not to use him as a support system. He needs to be a child, not a crutch.

  5. Andreatajak
    February 21st, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

    I don’t think it’s HIM you are really wanting there but someone who loves and supports you like he should have. Marriage has expectations and these expectations are things we want. He didn’t and that is devastating. Even when you think you’re doing so well moving on, it’s still devastating. Thank you for being so open and honest about your feelings. I only know you through your words but there is such power and emotion here that I wish I could press the reset button for you and you’d have the things your heart needs.

  6. Law Momma
    February 21st, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    Yeah… You’re probably right. It’s easy to color past lives rosy, isn’t it.

  7. MamaHudd
    February 21st, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

    I’ll be your emergency contact 🙂 I’m only a town away!

  8. Abigail Gorton
    February 21st, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    The next ‘someone’ will be an upgrade.

  9. Elizabeth
    February 22nd, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    I’m one of those women you’ve helped along the way. And your transparency – even now as we’re both getting stronger and the sudden pangs are less frequent and less harsh – is still so wonderfully refreshing and reminds us all that we’re not alone.

    The other day I drove up to eat with my mother – she asked how I was doing, and for the first time in months the tears pooled in my eyes. She told me that she looks at me and knows now that I’ll make it, no matter what life throws at me, that I’m strong enough now to take on the world. I knew in my heart that she was right, but all I could say was, “Yes, but it was such a high price to pay…” Such a high price. I imagine that it might be that way for you, too. We all love you, here, and if apple could just invent a “transport to Georgia” button for our iphones, we’d all be your “someone!” Because you’re just that awesome. Love, love, love sent your way.

  10. MaconMom
    February 22nd, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    I feel your pain, and I have a someone (he’s just not great at being that someone).

    I can only imagine what a release it is to write all that you’re feeling.

    You are helping many people…divorced, single, and married.

  11. momma23monkeys
    February 27th, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    what a lonely road you are walking but you will stronger because of it. I am not divorced but my husband lives 1230 miles away right now and I know what it feels like to have no one there for you. My family lives a few hours away. The day to day I can handle it’s the curve balls that suck the life outta me. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  12. Amanda
    June 19th, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

    This is a good one. Very powerful.

    Amanda Hill

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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