House of Cards

There are times where life can be a teetering house of cards, one careless or clumsy move will send the whole thing tumbling down in a mess all around you. 

Two people taking turns setting up the cards, two cards set at precarious angles to each other.  One card that makes another card wobbly, unsecure and unstable, it makes the rest of the house unsettled as well.

The last few days I could feel the house collapsing all around me.  Suffocating.  Making me ill, sick to my stomach, and making my head pound.  Making my heart skip multiple banging beats inside of my chest.

As I write these words on the screen, I have come to the conclusion that I am actually a horrible verbal communicator.  The words come to my brain, then my lips, but when it is something uncomfortable, or something that can hurt me or someone I love, I have a very hard time extracting the words getting them to roll off of my tongue.  They are painful, and I don’t do that well.

In this, I think that I take after my Dad, as he is a word swallower too.  Rather than make waves he will go with the flow of things until he can’t take it anymore.  Usually this would end up in a melt down of some sort.  No one knowing that he had been feeling the way he had until the words were exploding from his mouth, spilling it all out.

Two years ago, right after Mack left for college, my husband had a stroke.  It was mild, the doctors assured us that he would go on to lead a healthy life for many years to come, so long as he continued to follow-up with his physician and take his medication.  Even with this information from the doctors, for the last two years, I have convinced myself that he was going to die. 

Horrendous nightmares, where I am left with five kids (I know that four of the kids are adults, my mind is just not that rational sometimes), five grandkids, and no husband.  Where I don’t know what to do to even begin planning his funeral.  These just keep coming to me in my sleep, night, after night, after night.  After I wake up, there are some days where the nightmare will following me in waking hours through the better part of the day.

Shortly after the stroke and after the nightmares began, I went to my doctor and was put on an anti-depressant, and an anti-anxiety medication.  It has helped some.  I can get through days without crying.  I could have some fun, some of the time.  Mostly, I could enjoy my days.  I could be “normal” for my kids.

My husband was another story.  I started to shut myself off from him.  Emotionally, physically, even just our friendship was suffering.  I truly think that there is a part of my brain that actually thought that if I did this, that it would hurt less when he died.  I wouldn’t be such a mess.  I could be stronger, because I had prepared myself for the very worst.

Then I discovered that he hadn’t been taking his medication.  I did try to talk to him about taking his meds.  That he was scaring me.  He tried to talk to me about me closing him off, we both would try to do better for a time, and then it would go back to this awkward trying to be civil dance we were doing.

The love?  It is still there.  From both sides.  Of that, there is no doubt in my mind.  I love this man so much it can make my heart ache and cause tears to run down my face at any given time.  When I let myself.

Yesterday, I wrote my husband a letter.  I explained the nightmares, the fear of him dying, how much I loved him.  I told him about going to the doctor for the depression and anxiety, which I hadn’t told him about before then, I was afraid of admitting that I am not super woman. 

I told him that all of this is fixable.  I just pray that it all is. 

There are things that have happened. 

He came in after reading the letter with tears in his eyes and said that he loved me.  That we would get through this.  That he needs to be around to see his youngest daughter grow up.  He had thought about what would happen to us if he wasn’t around.

The house of cards fell.  Destroyed in a game of Fifty-Two pick-up.  One too many cards not set up in a secure manner.  From both sides of the game.

All we can do is start over, take our time placing the cards ever so carefully so that we can rebuild this house we live in.



5 Comments on “House of Cards”

  1. This is incredibly beautiful writing, Kelly. Raw is beautiful, though my heart aches for the emotional pain you’ve suffered. I tend toward the same thing that you and your father do – hold it all in and go with the flow until I can’t take it anymore and it all comes exploding out. It’s a HARD habit to break. I hope and pray that you and Robin can fix your house again. Your relationship is SO worth it. I’m happy that you two are really talking. Please know that although I can’t do much, I’m here. *hugs* and much love

  2. KimN says:

    I’m sorry you are going through such a rough time. I know first hand how scary it can be when you have a good reason to believe you might lose your husband. Its interesting that your coping mechanism is to shut him off….because I had to fight myself not to do the same thing with Ben during his cancer. My instinct is to preemptively cut him out, just in case. Not the best way to cope I know.

    I hope things get better and you two reconnect again. If you need to talk to someone, I’m always here to listen, even if its just over the internet.

  3. Jen says:

    This is a great post Kelly. I’m glad you told him and that he heard you. I’m also glad you went to the doctor and sought help. (hugs)

  4. 3catsandababy says:

    I am so glad you talked. Things can definitely get better from here with open communication. I’ve been thinking of you.

  5. libbylogic says:

    You are much nicer than me. I would have slapped the hell out of him and then forced the pills down his throat like a cat. I would have put them in butter first though. I’m not that mean.

I like thoughtful comments!

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