Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Blue Angels (Repost from 8/14/10)

Back in 2006 the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, known as the Blue Angels, were scheduled to dart, bob and weave over North Beach in San Francisco during their annual show-stopping display. It was a performance I had seen many times before, simply walking up to my apartment rooftop and gazing across the magnificent San Francisco Bay, enjoying the rush of excitement and closeness to the frenzied action as the planes thundered and nose-dived on top of me, pulling up and away at just the last second of safety, or so it felt. My husband, sadly, had not been so lucky. Our years in San Francisco were harried and intense for him as he pursued 2 finance bachelors degrees full-time while working full-time as well. He was very busy and missed most of the uniquely San Francisco weekend experiences due to fulfillment of his hectic responsibilities. But he had now graduated and we had moved to the Peninsula, and despite my mounting mystery sickness had scheduled a chiropractor appointment in the City with a leisurely afternoon of Blue Angels viewing and city-hangin'.

But I just could not do it. Just attending the chiropractic appointment took every ounce of energy my Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-racked body possessed. And as we left Pacific Heights and headed toward North Beach tears sprung from my eyes. I could barely move, and I knew how excited to finally see this magnificent display he was, and how badly he needed a day of fun to mix up his long work days and stress from my increasing health woe's. There was not 1 ounce of anything I could pull from myself to proceed with our plans, and as I sobbed out my needs I visibly watched the life drain from his body as he slumped over the steering wheel and set his jaw in a tensely-bound square. The guilt radiating from my body matched the despair shock-waving from his as he turned the car toward home. I knew I was ruining his life and was powerless to stop it. I begged and pleaded with him to understand, get in my head and see how bad off I was, not giving him the right to his own feelings of anger and frustration he was so badly due.

This is but 1 of the countless multitude of times my health problems screwed up our plans for life. But the memory is so acute, so pointed. Such a glowing example of what these diseases rob from you and yours. The people we depend on so desperately to get us through, shelter our sick and throbbing bodies from the harshness of the outside world. It has taken me years to get out of my own head and begin to let him feel his feelings. Feelings he compressed deep inside and shoved out of the way because it was just not practical for us both to fall apart at the same time, not possible. I did him a major disservice, but believe I did the best I could at the time. As my health returns and light and laughter and springing steps once again envelope our union, his tightly-wound and deeply suppressed emotions are rushing forward. And I must deal with them. I must encourage him to talk about it, tell me how mad he is at me for getting sick, knowing it was not my fault, and then feeling guilty for his anger. I must listen as he pours out his frustration and sorrow he was forced to bottle up inside for so many years because everything was simply about me. I must listen with compassion and grace and understanding and NOT OWN THIS, not get defensive or feel guilty or take it personally. This is simply and truthfully what happened to us, and we must process and move on. For it is in living and rejoicing in the now that we can heal the past. But I have not forgotten what I owe him, a Blue Angels nose dive on top of his head, and one day soon I hope to replace that painful and missing experience. Do the Blue Angels come to Arizona?

Thanks for joining,

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