In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Walk the Line.”
This week I finally admitted to someone about the fear I finally admit to in dealing with my life. It’s a line I never thought I would be able to cross. Opening up to someone, not on the payroll, about what made me who I am. What happened to me then that is affecting the way I handle people now. Knowing that I am forced to walk away from something because it will hurt another person, just the knowledge of that past; it’s the line I can’t cross. I won’t cross it.
When we found out Whitney was pregnant, it came with a added bonus, blood clots. Not out of the ordinary with some pregnancies, but there were other medical concerns that added to the stress on her. And on me. Like most people we were keeping the news to ourselves for a while, let things settle down before springing everything on the family. I was arguing with hers about money, so it wasn’t going to be an easy conversation under the best of conditions.
But fear is a powerful motivator. Not wanting her to ever be alone and scared, I crossed the line the first time by informing one of her roommates from college while we were at a wedding. Just her and I leaning against a table while I fumbled with my phone trying to pull up a copy of the ultrasound. That feeling when Rachel jumped over and just started hugging me, it was fleeting because Whitney asked later what we were so happy about. She was so angry, or at least as angry as she showed me; it would have been a long drive back if not for others in the car.
Later I crossed that same line with another friend. For the same reasons, I didn’t want Whitney to get ill when she was out with the girls and them not know what to do. How to handle the situation, because they needed to know the situation. The entire time she was pregnant, she was never the person to inform anyone; it was always me. And always at some point where I was busting at the seams, wanting to talk about the book I had just purchased on how to build a treasure chest. [by this point we knew it was a girl, so full-on daddy mode!].
Fear kept me crossing the line. Any fight was about how we were going to handle her family, every fight was about how to handle her family. But the one thing we never talked about was why I kept crossing that line. Trying to build her such a huge support system, that all she had to do was say “Hi”, and any number of people would have run over to sit with her. Shop for toys, clothes, diapers, whatever. There was a reason…
Every doctor’s visit with her over the course of ten years had me flashing back to a time when I watched a friend die. Any time the phone call said, “Hey I’m over at the hospital, can you get me?” The trauma of being 16 years old came right back. That trauma was never greater than getting a phone call telling me my daughter was dead. Back to the hospital, tears running down my cheeks, absolute panic taking over.
I never wanted to cross that line with her. But I couldn’t stop my past from affecting my present and now my future.
Sitting in the hospital now, all I think about is not wanting my friends to suffer that same fate. Not having the memory of watching me laying in a bed. I can hide behind my laptop for only so long before I will need to see them. But that’s a different line I’ll need to cross.