Confessions of a Hard Man

How did I find myself here, the simple answer is that I didn’t do my best to be my best.  The last year has been filled with such loss that you just can’t describe it adequately.  Losing everything you have ever hoped for just removes any ability to find solid footing for moving forward.  Some was beyond my control and other things were well within my control.  Maybe that is the origination of the problem, trying to control too many things when I can only truly control the things I do.  And from that point of view I failed.

I wanted to help her so badly that I forgot to help myself in a healthy manner.  Needing to find a way to understand everything that had happened with the loss of my daughter sent me looking to people who only had some of the answers to a portion of my questions.  They were well-meaning and during the times I spent with them a great source of comfort.  After that I would go home and try to utilize some of those same tools trying to help her.  The result was disastrous.  We kept trying to move forward but neither of us could deal with those questions that were left hanging.  You look for what you could have done differently, how you could have saved a child who never had a chance to see the world.  In trying to pull her tighter because I felt so guilty about not being able to save her or our child, I only slowly recognized that I was squeezing so tightly she slipped away.

The power struggle waged between myself and her with regards to how to move forward become the unending battle we fought.  I forgot about why we were hurting and became consumed by the fact I was hurting from her absence.  Those quiet times when I needed her to be there and she couldn’t, for whatever reason, became the only topic we dealt with at points.  Needing to know why she hadn’t been there took over those times when she was there.  So then we spent time apart so as to not be hurting anymore.

For my part I should have been more honest with her about things going on around us.  I never wanted her to see the side of me that made hard decisions that sometimes hurt people, I feared the look on her face when I tried to explain.  So I stopped telling her about those times.  I stopped trying to involve her in situations where she might have better understood why I didn’t talk about work and only was interested in how her day went, only interested in how I could make her day better.  Our combined life became two paths.

Her family felt betrayed because I didn’t hold up my end of an important agreement, something I feel immense guilt about.  Loving a group of people as much as I still love them only adds to the depression I have been feeling.  Knowing that I should have marched into the room with them and told them everything going on around us added to their sense of betrayal when things hit a head.  Some of the time I let her solely decide the course of things, even when I knew the result was going to be bad.  But I couldn’t force someone to do something they weren’t ready for, might not have ever been truly ready for.  It added to her stresses and mine.  Having had the finger pointed at me and told I am to blame for all of her problems, that they solely originate from me was hard to hear, caused me to walk away because there was nothing I could have done or said that would have meant anything.  They’re right about some of it, she wouldn’t have felt her own loss without our partnering.  I caused her to feel like she couldn’t tell her family everything, although there was plenty of that going on before we had extended family issues.  Not knowing how to help her only made the situations worse.

I wish I had been able to protect her better.  I wish I had done things differently, gone to the therapist with her rather than feel like I was intruding on something that should be a safe place for her.  I wish I had known how to better handle the relationships with her family, with my family, with our friends.  I feel guilty about needing to lean on them during a time I was so scared about how life was unfolding.  At a time when I needed friends I retreated because I was frozen with how to proceed.  Hopefully they know how grateful I am for the help they provided, know that I can never properly thank them.  I hope they know they are in my thoughts and that I treasure them.

I’ve avoided trying to talk with her for weeks now, but I wonder how she is.  I would have done anything she asked, still would; therefore the radio silence.  It’s raining right now and that used to be our time, she always joked about how she brought the rain.

What she brought was life.


One thought on “Confessions of a Hard Man

  1. Your writing is soulful and touching. I hope you are able to forgive yourself, because although we are unable to change the past, we can learn from it. And it sounds like lessons abound there for all of the players. I wish you peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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