I’ve been told than when many people go to a “dark place” in their minds, it’s based on a core fear or horrible experience they’ve had. The healthier ones don’t do this very often (I’m told.)
Well, I fight it off, but sometimes the dark place comes to find me and I just have to be in it for a little while. It usually shows up after a little mental math. Let me explain.
Husband is 51 years old and I am 35. When we were dating, he was turning forty and I was, well, much, much younger as well. Because there were children involved, we took things very slowly and had all the right discussions well ahead of time. It was the responsible thing to do. And we did it.
I knew what the math meant for our life together, but I sometimes had no way of putting into perspective. Only once did my dad ask me to put it in perspective to make sure I knew what I was signing up for in the long haul. I only squirmed a little bit, so, I figured it was okay.
While we were dating and in the early parts of our marriage, we spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with Husband’s ex-wife and mother of OldestDaughter and ArtsyDaughter. It was a very difficult situation that included court testimony, counseling for many, calls to the authorities, many kinds of abuse and more court testimony. This basically meant our marriage was almost solely focused on “battle” and “protecting the kids” than, well, marriage. I even put off having The Swimmy until we got through the brunt of it because I was not going to bring a child into that mess. It was a good decision for us and ultimately for The Swimmy.
But, this delay, while smart, delayed a lot of other things as well and now Husband will be 51 with a newborn and I will be just about 36. And I can say that every now and then this scares the shit out of me.
Essentially I fear The Swimmy (and soon Wiggly) will end up with no parents and little family around them way too early in life. While the thought of ever losing Husband is devastating, I know that we will move through the pain and carry on the best we can. Husband would say the same thing if the situation were reversed.
What I never factored in was if both of us were gone. This episode my mom is going through is causing my head to spin off in many, many ways. I have a horrible medical history on my side of the family and it has occurred to me that it won’t be so much WHEN I get cancer, but WHAT KIND. Or maybe it’s both. Who knows?
I always knew part of my role as wife is “caregiver” in such a situation involving Husband (like my dad is doing with my mom right now). But I never considered it might be me who needs care. And what if it’s just me by then? How will I deal with that burden and keep the kids’ lives relatively stable? Is that even possible?
Some have asked if I would ever remarry if something tragic happened to Husband while I was still “young”. No. I wouldn’t even consider it until after the kids are 18 and in college. It’s too much to ask the kids to deal with and there are too many issues involved in step-parenting. Better to get them “raised” and to “adulthood” before focusing on any major changes in my life. Of this I am certain.
There was a point here somewhere, but I think I lost it. Kind of par for the course in my head these days. Know what helps, though? An awesome combination of a Swimmy hug / snuggle and swift kick on the inside from Wiggly that makes her giggle with surprise and glee.
You can’t stay in a dark place for long with Swimmy giggles floating around. They’re magical.