My husband has chauffeured the kids around, he’s been cautious about my needs, knowing when to ‘play it down’ when his presence is required. He is respectfully subtle. Juggling work and the kids needs.
He looks tired.
Most notably his patience is thinning. He shouts easier now. He gets fed up. He’s clearly chomping at the bit to get into work and do a full day tomorrow.
The checking in with me has stopped. The watchful eye. It’s a conscious thing. A disconnection. The trauma that is shared privately between us, the pain he observes within me has passed. We have become individuals again. And as the slight changes come from him, I too make my changes. My anxieties I will bury. My fears. My lingering memories, they become mine again. I will swallow back tears and smile and when I’m caught in a moment of disassociation I will flippantly say I was thinking about something else.
Because as a survivor that’s what I must do. My husband has this window where the past is acknowledged. But then it must go. He saw the ongoing so called ‘healing process’ and I was supposed to be ‘fixed.’ Now I have these condensed periods.
For him, I did hold it together well. He barely saw me cry. I didn’t harm myself. I managed to crawl out of bed. The nightmares didn’t render me a screaming mess. I functioned.
Inside my heart was breaking. Inside I wanted to cut my flesh, I wanted to scrub my skin with bleach, constantly make myself vomit all this disgusting vile evil away. At night my nightmares made me wake disorientated, I didn’t know where I was half the time. I wanted to get in my car and drive away and be alone, but I was scared I might mentally breakdown. Things on television that seemed so innocent triggered me. Memories were like bubbles floating in my brain and then popping randomly. Violent, police statements, clinic, eyes, voices, clothes, places. Each burst causing a horrible painful gut wrenching image. Nowhere to hide from it, nowhere to stop it. But always able to carry on.
So now my time is up. My husband is tired of the routine, he needs to get back to his routine and rightfully so, why should he suffer?
I have had my time. It’s time to dust myself off, swallow my pills and carry on.
The anniversary is over. I should be over it.