A few months ago, I was relating to my wife how far I have come in my emotional work. We had gone a few months without any “blowups” or problems.
I was feeling healthy in my interactions with my wife and children with no emotional mishaps.
Since I am Catholic, I spoke to God about my growth and how I was a little concerned that I was not progressing. I was becoming stale. I asked for something to push me in my emotional growth.
At this point, I should point out about 10 years ago I was in a major car accident driving down the road with my wife and 2 year old first born. This accident totaled both cars involved and the officers at the scene were amazed that nobody died.
In an attempt to not hit the car that was flying sideways from the oncoming traffic, I hit my brakes as hard as I could. I’m sure we slowed down a bit, but this also meant all the impact went into my right leg and shattered the bone. I was knocked out for awhile. When I did regain conscience, it was only limited since my brain was shut off due to all the pain in my leg. I only remember waking up in the hospital hours later.
Now, back to the present moment (or I should say last month). During dinner as we lit our Advent wreath and I read from our Advent book, I suddenly looked up with a start and fell over.
A few hours later, I wake up in the emergency room having suffered a seizure where I dislocated both of my shoulders. I’m awake because they gave me something for the pain. Then they say they’re going to re-set my shoulders. Three days later, I’m back at home with both of my arms locked down for 3 weeks for one shoulder to heal and 6 weeks for the other shoulder to heal.
I am completely helpless.
We have no Christmas decorations up we are looking at moving in a few weeks and I lost the use of my arms. What is a man/husband/father without his arms? A man/husband/father who cannot hold/hug his wife/children. A man/husband/father who cannot provide for his family.
I am completely helpless.
Now I have to deal with my feelings of being helpless. I have these feelings of when I was young and needing help from my mother and father and not getting what I need. Those feelings of helplessness I have to deal with.
Now, I have to break down and ask others to help me with simple tasks. I have to ask my 10 year old to tie my shoes. I have to ask my 11 year old to help me put on my shirt. I have to ask my wife to help me put on my belt.
I have to give up all my control and ask others for help. That is a blessed curse.
Curse in that I am so helpless. Blessed in that I’m learning to ask others for help. Blessed in that I’m forced to “step out onto the ice”1 and chance that I might be rejected by those who love me. Blessed in that those who love me are willing to help me. Blessed in that I finally learn that others do love me.
1 get link This phrase “step out onto the ice” is a phrase I got from a therapy group. It should represent a frozen lake between you and your loving home. A person is deadly afraid to step out onto the ice for fear of falling into the freezing cold water and die. Except his loving home is on the other side. It’s a choice to either stay in the freezing cold outside or risk stepping onto the ice and cross to your loving home.