Collateral damage – It is what it is.


Late last year when it all hit the fan – how we learn to see situations for what they are, finally reaching acceptance and the courage to rebuild your life, sometimes not the way you want it, but the way you need it to be.

“I cannot heal, move on and grow if I do not remove myself from the garbage.”

Was how my life parter commenced his sentence. Seven years on my part of trying to keep it all together for him, burst at the seams yesterday after the realisation and perception that things are, the way they are and may always will  be. “So enough with the excuses, the defences, the psychoanalytical bullshit and the platitudes – this time, I’m done, enough is enough, I have had to put up with it my whole life and I’m moving on and taking care of me – end of story.”

I have come to learn the hard way if there are fractured perceptions in fractured minds, inevitably there will be a fractured picture.  Like a broken plate, sometimes you cannot put all the pieces together – the collateral damage of Bi Polar, neglect, poor choices, years of hurt, abandonment, indifference and secrets.

The visibility is at zero, or perhaps a clarity is at 100% depending on which side of the fence you sit on,  that things will not change, expectations need to however whether one is prepared to alter those or is indeed able to, is another matter.

As a wife with a husband who has a mental illness, and as a wife who also suffers from a mental illness, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to stand, watch and let it go after trying to keep the plates spinning for so long, because at the end of the day, its not your choice to make, its not yours to rationalise its not yours to fix.  The past needs to be confronted and resolved before one can welcome in the future.

With every ending, there is a new beginning.  Perhaps now the authentic healing can purely begin, the confrontation of issues in its rawest forms can be bought to light and like  a tired, beaten car, with caked on dust and years of emotional cobwebs, can be finally towed into the car wash to be wholly cleansed.  Perhaps after all the muck has been chipped and buffed off that relationships can be reformed. Maybe, maybe not. That is the collateral damage.

It takes courage to look in the mirror and face the demons that are staring back at you.  I watch my husband do it every day and wonder how on earth he does it sometimes.  Yesterday he took a stand, to declare that one of the major issues that he has been dealing with, relating to events and people in his past needs to be confronted.  He has decided to take the power back and indeed to be empowered.  Not expect and rely on external events and people to fulfil his needs.  Sometimes he is clumsy with it and not always rational, but he has a standing ovation with resounding applause from me for trying the best way he knows how to finally commence the healing journey.

But I too know, it is always darkest before the dawn and a dark cloud has descended into his mind and his heart as the demons of his past open up the wounds and the cracks just that little bit more.

Its with one foot in front of the other and one day at a time we return to the land of the living, to carve out our own piece of mind and to breathe another breath and live to see another day.

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