A PAIN THAT'LL MAKE YOU, BREAK YOU (OR MAYBE BOTH)

Ruth Ridgeway

A couple of years ago my man was in an accident. He was left paralysed

You'd be forgiven to think the not walking part would be the hardest to live with, yet it's not. It's the pain. The daily, ongoing pain.

The pain of feeling like you're being stabbed with a knife. Sometimes of a screwdriver twisting through your kneecap, or your tendon being ripped out, or of your skin being peeled off while salt is poured onto your open wounds.

The pain so bad it sometimes almost causes black outs (and some other unmentionable things), it's the worst.

I'd try to put into words what it's like to watch your most loved go through such pain, most days and nights, but I can't.

There aren't words adequate enough to describe that pain.

Because each time his pain comes, your heart breaks into thousands of tiny pieces, each of them wanting nothing more in the world than to make it stop. To make it go away and for everything to be ok again.
 

AND YOU'D GIVE EVERYTHING YOU OWN FOR IT TO STOP, EVEN JUST FOR A MINUTE. 
 

But you can't.

Or even to just find the right words to say, to make it just a tiny bit more ok.

But you can't.

The pain is there until it - not you, or he - decides to go again.

And as wrong and cruel and as fucked up as it is, as much as you'd trade everything, give anything, crave the 'right' words...

You can't. It just is. And it'll make you or break you.

Sometimes both all at once.

So I'm simply there, with as much love as my heart full of tiny pieces can manage.

Sometimes with pizza or chocolate or tea, always with as much patience as my own tiredness allows, offering an ear to listen to how fucked up and cruel and wrong it is.

Because it is.

With an ear to listen how unfair it is, how it is what it is, how you won't let it break you, or stop you or ever define you.

I can be there, and hold you in my arms for as long as you need. I can stroke your hair, run my fingertips down your arms, giving a small piece of a good sensation in an attempt to distract from the bad.

I can hug you gently. I can hug you hard.

I can just be there, listening, nodding, agreeing...

And I can be there again the next day.

And the next...

And the next day after it...
 

I can't find the right words because there aren't any.

I really would have said them if there were. I would have found them, wherever they were hiding.

But I can, and will, be there. Here.

The good pain days. The bad pain days.

With love... Always.


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