It’s been months since my ability to walk and work became cripplingly compromised. Going from a physically demanding lifestyle to a sedentary dependency has been one of the most difficult transitions of my life. My days are little more than one continuous cycle of sleep, TV, social media, eat, and repeat.
One unexpected side effect of this new version of life is that my words no longer hold the same weight as they once did. Almost immediately after it became clear that I could no longer work, I was suddenly being talked over by my wife and daughter. I could be in the middle of telling a story, explaining how to do something, or musing about a news story I saw, when either my wife or daughter would interrupt with something unrelated and derail my narrative.
After repeated derailments I conceded to not attempt to return to what I was saying to just gauge whether or not it truly mattered to my small household audience. After a month of consistent interruptions with no real efforts to return to what I was saying, I began to realize my words, my only strength, were less impactful than a broken nerf gun. To cope with this new “normal” I took to blogging where I could finish my thoughts without interruption.
Blogging has helped me get the jumble of thoughts, rants, and insights out of my head. However, a new paradigm has emerged at home. I have been told to stop criticizing President Trump because they are sick of hearing it. While I didn’t feel like I was over the top or particularly wrong in my assessment of the job he is doing, I no longer speak of politics or general news in my home. Problem solved right?
No. I was asked if there was anything I needed from the grocery store last night. I thought for a moment, then replied “no”. Wife persisted in asking, as I looked like I wanted something but did not say it. So I explained that ice cream sounded good, but given my expanding waistline, our shrunken bank account, and extremely limited freezer space caused me to decide against ice cream. Her response was bewildering in that moment. Essentially, I was told that I used way to many words to explain why I did not want her to buy ice cream.
She went off to the store with our daughter, returning with pet food and pizza. I only spoke when spoken to and offer only the essential response to questions posed directly to me. Perhaps this is just a fit that I am throwing until I grow tired of this “game”. I don’t know how this will proceed but it will certainly become a fight where I will be vilified for going to the extreme.
It kills me to not be able to go to work. It kills me to not be able to take care of things around our home. It kills me to not be able to contribute to our household in any meaningful way. All of those things are pretty much expected when physical disability crashes in to your life. As devastating as becoming physically crippled has been, being silenced is far and away the most painful and damaging.