It is not that I’m not caring. It actually the opposite; I am very caring. It hurts me to hear about how the woman I love more than life was brutally treated. My commitment to her is to support her in dealing with the emotional and physical scars she carries. I don’t need more information on what happened to help her carry the horrible load.
But sometimes things come out and I have to hear something disturbing. I don’t go running from the room with my hands over my ears. I don’t remind her that she agreed not to tell me more. I let it go and hold on for what I know will be an emotional ride for me. When she slips up, I think the best I can do to support her is let it go. It doesn’t happen often.
We agreed to sit down Monday evenings and have a chat. Whatever is on our minds. Work, the kids, the grandkids, how we are feeling and the emotions we are experiencing. This isn’t the only time we talk; we can ask for each other to listen to us whenever we need to, but this is our time. No electronics. We sit close, without lights behind us so we can see each other. Sue is good at not interrupting me. I work hard to just listen and not fix the problem.
Sue was reading some of the things she writes in her journal. She’s a great poet and very creative. This last Monday she was reviewing two lists: one where she notes her progress and another where she has a very long way to go. She has a lot of self hate. She is very discouraged that she can’t take care of herself. She can’t get herself to brush her teeth. She said she knows her teeth are rotting out of her head because she can’t stand to have a toothbrush in her mouth.
I just listened. It’s not my job to ask why. She was quiet, then looked up at me and said that one of her abusers stuck her toothbrush up her vagina and then forced the toothbrush into her mouth.
What the hell am I supposed to do with that?