When I had broken my ankle last year, I had learned many lessons about myself & relationships, in a short amount of time. Sadly the biggest lesson was the lack of self trust. I wrote this and had touched up on a few lessons that were learned along the way.
Now for a 40 something woman who slips on the ice, and hits and breaks her ankle and leg, one would think this is no big deal. Wrong. This is a big deal. This is a huge deal. It may seem that since this happens everyday, so why is it such an issue? It happens to toddlers, elementary school kids, men, woman, seniors. They all seem to get along just fine. But not me!
As a single mom of two small girls at home and an adult child who lives nearby, a home owner, tho unemployed, a very busy woman. Very independent woman, who was looking at taking a completely new risk at a career change. I was faced with the moment of being anything but sure, while trying to figure out life, and it's newest steps, this was certainly a show stopper. I had been struggling with life and the direction I want to go, the direction I felt was my destiny and what I want. I literally had been defying my calling and questioning the powers that be, asking "Why should I care?" As I lay on the ice and I looked around in pain, knowing I needed help, I looked at the person who watched me fall, as we made eye contact, they looked away. I said "I need help". I noted, as no one came for a moment or two, this is why some one needs to care. Ok God, I got the message! Thankfully, help did come, and no, not by the one who watched me. But as soon as the first helper showed up, then there easily came more.
In this moment I was completely dependent upon strangers to help me from stabilizing my leg, finding my children on the ice, I was able to make a phone call to have the help to get the momentum started to get me to the hospital. I am an over achiever and my brain goes miles a minute as it is. So I had understood, I needed to make plans. I had the temporary stuff taken care of, ride to hospital, children taken care of, and truck transported home. Sweet. Couple more hours I should be on my way home too. Situation handled!
As I waited in the hospital, I was trying to figure out the worse case scenario in order to be prepared. Literally after 3 hours of waiting my comment was "Ok, my attention span for this is about done. I'm ready to move on to the next item of the day". Dr comes in and informs me how bad the break is and they are waiting for a call back from a nearby hospital as I need surgery, the sooner the better as the break can not be stabilized. Oh shit......this was not in the worse case scenarios that I have planned out. Well maybe surgery, but not out of town. New plan means more help. Oh boy, I don't like asking for help, for anything. I am the one who offers help, I am the one who buys flowers for a friends, I am the one who will sit and talk until they are back to good. I don't ask, I do.
So I arrange a ride to get to a the hospital over 2 hours away, I made plans for my kids to be taken care of, planned rides for them to get to and from their activities, plans for my youngest birthday that was two days away, plans for snow to be shoveled & animals to be cared for. So off we go. I'll admit the whole experience was anything but organised on the hospital side but at least I was there. We joked later it took 4 people to do what I would normally do in a week.
As the idea of being laid up for 6 weeks or more started to settling in to my mind, so did a lot of frustration. The idea of what I can and can not do plagued me, the extra appointments I now needed to make, the extra paperwork for the insurance. How am I going to do this? What about getting my little girls off to school? I cant even stand to cook? I had a trimalleolar ankle to the left leg, due to swelling I went home with a splint instead of a cast. I had never been on crutches before and I live in a 4 level split house, with a sunk in living room on the main floor. Yippee. I might not have been so anxious about it, had I not fallen my first time out on crutches. On the way home we stopped for a potty break. My friend helped me to the washroom door, I said I was fine. Once inside I went to open the stall door and fell backwards. As I laid on my back on the bathroom floor, I waited to feel if there was more pain, then I cursed strongly, thinking they didn't teach me how to get up off the Fucking floor. I roll over, crawled to the sink dragging my crutches, and reach for the sink. I go to pull myself up, and the sink is not stable. Perfect. Just perfect.
To me this was more then a broken leg, it was adding anger to the anger I already had. It added to the "what now" frame of thinking I was already combating. Every thing changes, the way I wake my kids up in the morning even changes, I actually started having to plan a time of day to wash my hair because at this point, I can't do it myself. I know there are many more out there who are in way worse situations, I'm not down playing that at all. This is a big kick in the pride for me personally. I had to become fully dependent upon any one who was willing to help me, in the moment I literally wanted to push people away. I have not taken lightly to this. I actually had an outburst that I was not proud of, and it stemmed from not being able to take control of my environment.
At one point, I had thought that it is either 1) I don't let my children think for themselves and push them to do more of what I always do for them, or 2) no ones else's brain works like mine. I can think of and be prepared for 5 different scenarios in one action. Forward thinking into all situations. For the 9 yr old to be able to take out the garbage, the can needs to be clear of ice and snow, and the lid not frozen down, and actually turned facing the proper direction so she can get the lid up. Am I the only one who thinks like this? Why did I have to explain to my 25 yr old that in order to expect the 9 yr to take out the garbage, things need to be in order? We still need to make sure that everything is done, so others can get things done. There is a process.
So the idea of not being super mom, and letting go of control, and making my children learn how to put out an effort in what they do, is needless to say, a battle. In all of this, there is a much bigger lesson, as I was being shown how to climb stairs with crutches, the realization was, I don't trust myself. This explains the constant urge for controlling my surroundings, the excessive planning, the over achiever in me that proudly shines threw. That I know how to excel when I have a measure to use. Such as in Quality Control, it's all about measure, I can exceed at this easily, as I have an outlined form of measure.
Self trust is not something that I had acknowledged before this time. I do not have a list ready of encounters that I can recall to say, I failed me here and here and with that. Tho, all of a sudden self trust was ringing loud and clear every time time that I was faced with that top step. I was good going up the stairs as there was a railing to hold onto as I made my way up. But that top step, I had nothing to reach up for to use as stability to pull me up. I was as far as the banister went. Facing that top step time and time again, with the anguish and frustration and fear of falling again & encountering more pain. As in the form of measurement, I had nothing left. Self trust was starting to show it's own measure. Do I trust myself to get myself to hop up a step? Do I trust myself not to fall again? Do I trust myself, not to hurt myself again? Do I trust myself not to have an accident that upsets my life?
The truth to those questions is No I don't. And here is why, the physical lesson is the emotional status. I do not trust myself not to jump into an experience that maybe I should have thought a little more about. But if I had, then I would have talked myself out of it. I do not trust myself to not fall in love again, and try. I do not trust myself to know what is best for me to do in the moments of butterflies and wonder. I do not trust myself to guard myself from heartache and pain. I do not trust myself to have a calm, uneventful like. Even tho, I would like that, I want a guarantee with life.
If ever there is love, joy, excitement, you will be met at some point with heartache, trials and disappointment.
The emotional wheel of opposites is no different then the concept we can not have light with out dark, we can not have day without night, we can not have love without pain, we can not have acceptance without rejection, compassion without indifference. Even when we know we will regret this in the end. We do it anyhow. Truth is, I don't trust myself.