I’ve been told I am a strong person. I’m told I can handle anything. I am unbreakable. LIES. I can put on one helluva show. Truth is I am weak. I am nothing more than a coward.
I’ve spent my life trying to cope with things beyond my control. I lose a little strength each time something bad happens. Truth is I don’t have very much left. I’m fresh out of bravery and courage. I’ve long since crumbled. I now hide behind a smile.
A year ago I felt myself weaken more than I thought possible. A series of events left me a shell of who I once was. I didn’t have anything left to give. I couldn’t pretend I was strong anymore. I had to admit I couldn’t take anymore pain. I left people to fend for themselves. I am ashamed of my weakness. I hate myself for becoming this way.
I lost my dog on a Monday. I was sick with grief. I never saw it coming. Next came the guilt. I was already preparing myself for my beloved Granny to leave this world. I was so broken that I couldn’t watch her go. I saw her that Tuesday after Jiminy died. She woke from her comatose state. She knew me and my boys. She was thrilled to see the boys. Her speech was jumbled. Sometimes she spoke clearly like I remembered. Then the pain came for her. I was sick. She was made comfortable. I couldn’t let my children see anymore. We said our good-byes. I knew it would be the last time we ever saw my grandmother alive. I could feel myself die a little as I walked out the door.
I couldn’t bring myself to watch the end. That Friday she was made comfortable and given medication to make the transition easier for her. I grateful she wasn’t in any pain. The few minutes I saw her suffer killed me. I was angry that I wasn’t there when my Papa left this world. It took me eight years to realize the universe was kind to me that day. I would not have ever gotten that out of my mind. I knew that if I watched my Granny take her last breath that I would be forever haunted with that image. I didn’t have the strength. I let her down.
I finally went to sleep that night. I sat straight up in the bed sometime after 2 am. I was gasping for air. I knew she was gone. My youngest woke up crying a few minutes later. I didn’t call anyone to confirm. I didn’t have to. I felt her leave. I know that some will never understand why I wasn’t there. If they could see the movie in my mind then they would understand. Every single horrible thing I’ve been witness to is burned in my mind. I’ve heard and seen some horrible things in my thirty-eight years. Every person I lost on a 911 call lives in my mind. All the people I could not save live in my mind. It’s crowed in there. I couldn’t see her like I see them. I’d never get it out of my mind.
I lost my best friend and my Granny in the same week. One year ago I lost control of my life. Two weeks later I’d had enough of the way I was living. I decided to take my life back. It’s not been easy. I still have terrible days. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed or leave the house. I do the best I can. I don’t know if I will ever be a strong person again. I can only hope to find strength when I need it.