using my words

At this particular moment in time, I’m more scared than I can ever remember being.

Ed is sick. He’s been sick for a while now. What started out as a cold lingered, turned into bronchitis, then the flu. He’s had a rattle in his chest for months, and extremely painful lymph nodes. He’s pretty much in discomfort 24/7, and there isn’t a hell of a lot he can do about it.

It could be anything. He might have an infection, or a nasty case of strep throat, or even tonsillitis. Maybe he really did swallow some golf balls, and forgot about it. Maybe our imaginations are running away with each other, and it’s a silly minor thing that’ll be cleared up quickly.

But maybe it’s not.

That last maybe is unbearable. I’ve been tense with worry for weeks, and today it all came to a head – I am freaking out, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to show how scared and worried I am, because Ed needs me to be calm so HE doesn’t freak out. I had a good handle on it – sure I can’t sleep or keep food down, but I kept things light hearted and superficial. Today, though. Can’t get through today. I want to scream and yell and cry and swear and throw things and make an awful racket to drown out the things in my head .. but I can’t. Have to stay calm. I want to be comforting and soothing, but I don’t know how – I feel brittle and sharp, like I’d shred your flesh if I got too close. There’s a giant wall of fear and worry and I can’t see through it to be what he needs, and knowing that is making it worse – I can never be what he needs. I am bad at everything.

He has an appointment tomorrow morning to discuss test results. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s something, but minor and easily fixable. Maybe by the weekend he’ll be feeling better and we can look back on this terror and laugh. Maybe I’ll figure out how to set aside a lifetime of living inside my own head and learn how to say the right thing; perfect words that’ll make him better. Maybe there’s something on the internet that’ll teach me how to be a better wife.

It better not be on YouTube, though.

How do you deal with crushing fear? I’m fairly certain the answer is “do the opposite of what you’re doing”, but I can’t shake it. I held it together for so long, but tonight I’ve lost it and I feel like the worst person ever and I can’t get past my own freaking out to be what he needs and that fucking sucks so hard.


5 thoughts on “using my words

  1. Here’s what helped me (though maybe not in your case): biting the head off anyone who said “you shouldn’t worry about something you don’t know”. First you have to know assholes who would say that sort of thing, though.
    Hope Ed’s got golf balls. <3

  2. I have no idea what you should do. All I know is that you are being honest and that to me is the best you can do. I think trying to be something else will never work. I know when I was sick the hardest thing was to have to worry about my partner. All I wanted was just for both of us to say how we felt wheather it was helpful or not.

  3. Oh Kim, hugs to you both. Hoping for non-scary news this morning. Let me know if you need comfort food cooking tonight to unwind (and baby smiles for Ed, assuming he’s not told he has super-infectious SARS and needs to avoid babies, old people, and unsavory types) . We miss you :(

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