Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wife and Weakness

The first thing you read when you get some random illness that has no known cause or cure is that you need to avoid stress.  After four years of being ill this still escapes me.  I will take some of the blame, it is after all hard not to obsesses about how your body is devouring self and laughing in the face of modern science but it does need to be put aside, there is still a life left to live, right?  That being said this post is about the world, you know that thing that keeps spinning and as it turns out my wife might just be my world.

My wife has become the center about which I rotate.  Copernicus was wrong she is the only star I know of.  Sickness is isolating but I will never be alone because my wife lives her wedding vows.  My wife and I still need interactions outside of the marriage, The Turtles were quite prescient when they said two is the loneliest number since the number one.  I have encouraged her to get out and enjoy her friendships and she has a lot of friends after all she is quite likable.  She does not like to leave me alone, it is hard for her to enjoy herself when she is worrying about me.

I encourage her for selfish reasons, if she does not get time away from me despite her love and her vows I would become an anchor or a small black hole. I fight everyday to be a man she can love and is worthy of her love, because for certain I am not the man she married. Over the past four years it has been hard to become someone new and remember to strive to be someone that my wife would want to love.  We both mourn for the man I was but we can not mourn together.   We are mourning the same man but truly we are mourning two different men, it is hard to explain but somehow the man my wife is mourning was a better man than I was, I admire him greatly.

I miss having strength.  Without strength you must rely on people or if I may paraphrase my favorite playwright Tennessee Williams I now must rely on the kindness of strangers.  Now that I am weak I have given much thought to not having strength and at this point I can say that being physically and mentally strong gives you an illusion of security.  When I was a child I never felt safe and I wont bore everyone with my sob story because it is really no different than anyone else I grew up with.  I am sure everyone knows someone who had it rough in the same way I had it rough.  The one thing from my childhood that keeps me going is that one guy that slept with his sister, anytime the shit gets real bad I always say to myself at least I am not the guy that slept with my sister.

My childhood was like an after school special about abuse and as I grew up and became physically strong no one abused me anymore.  I often joke I was raised in a Skinner box but that is an attempt at humor, truthfully in many ways a Skinner box would have been preferable to what I had.  At the age of twelve I had a growth spurt and reached the height of five foot ten inches tall and could pretty much beat the shit out of anyone or at least use my size to make people believe I could beat the shit out of them and the abuse stopped.  It might have stopped because I was no longer a cute kid anymore but in my mind it stopped because I was strong and able to defend myself.  At the early age of twelve being strong and defending myself became a large part of who I am.

Now I am weak and with weakness comes dependance or I should I use a less loaded word and say I am now forced to rely on people.  I beat my head against the wall for four years denying my loss of strength but eventually I became so weak that I could no longer beat my head against the wall.  In more concrete terms I have been sick for four years and three months and during the last three months I have made a cease fire with the reality of my weakness.  Part of the terms of the cease fire are that I must accept that I am no longer strong.  With that there has been some Pink Floyd like screaming and falling down the spiral abyss of depression kind of stuff but those are the last throws of the strong man dying or should I say the strong man realizing he has been dead for four years.

There are days of peace now.  Days I see the beauty in my wife doing things for me and I those words are inadequate to describe the fairy tale like experience it is to see someone love you and help you and care for you and keep the union of our lives together.  You ever see that movie Legend with Mia Sara, Tim Curry and Tom Cruise?  If not you should it is a brilliant movie by Ridley Scott that still holds up today.  Anywho there is a moment that was filmed with a soft lens and some Vaseline and we see Mia Sara reach out to touch a unicorn and it is beautiful and it is a transcendent moment.  There are days in my weakness where I reach out to my wife for help and it is beautiful transcendent moment and we are one.

Side note:  I am aware of the similarities between Adam reaching out to God on the ceiling of that church, it was intentional.

I am not sure that last paragraph said anything or that it conveyed what I wanted.  I want to clarify a couple of points.  First point of clarification there is beauty in being weak and needing someone.  I did not fully appreciate the love of my wife until I became weak, when you become weak and you are willing to accept help you and become open.  When I first admitted my weakness and asked for help with no pretense I was struck down like Saul on the road to Damascus.  I was struck by the beauty of my wife and the light surrounding her love.  This is an inadequate simile but it really can not be described in words, it was a moment of transcendence.  I have learned to be grateful for help instead of resentful, well at least for the most part.  Sometimes people can be a real douche when they are "helping" you but today remember how beautiful it is to have people love and help you.