Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our House Guest

Our family has been in upheaval for a couple of months now. On top of the usual problems that just happen in a marriage and my husband and I trying to find our way back to each other, we have the added stressor of a house guest. A young man that my husband has been mentoring for about 4 years (both professionally and personally) was seriously injured the day before Thanksgiving. He fell in a stairway hole and fell 26 feet to the concrete basement floor, hitting scaffolding on his way down. MJ suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for about a week. That was in November. In January we opened our home up to him so that he could have some "supervision" and not have to live alone while he recouperates. MJ is still dealing with the residual effects of the head injury - mainly re-learning how to control the right side of his body. All the doctors have agreed - it's truly a miracle he survived the fall, let alone has made such great strides in his recouperation. But it is hard for him. He's 23 years old, can't drive, can't work, has to continue to take seizure medicine, has difficulty walking, can't live on his own. Each day is full of it's own trials and tribulations. It's been somewhat of a culture shock for all of us. It's a work in progress, trying to meld a young bachelor into a home with an "old" married couple and kids.

We came to a mutual decision this week. Since MJ moved in with us, he's been sharing a room with our 8 year old son, and our 2 year old daughter moved back into our room. We decided this week since we really don't know how long MJ will be with us to take one of our rooms upstairs, clean it out and utilize it for MJ. He is at the point that he can handle a flight of stairs, and would actually be good for him. We're hoping this will be a good transition for all of us. MJ will have his own space; our kids will go back to sharing a room; we can really transition our 2 year old to a bed of her own; and my husbad and I will have our own space once again - another step into us finding our way back to each other. So bring on the cleaning!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only Time Will Tell

It's been two weeks since my last post. Two counseling sessions for me and my husband. They've been two emotional weeks. But they've also been two insightful weeks. I think we're both getting something out of this, and want to continue. For me, it helps having someone to talk to. Someone totally unbiased that can provide insights into my feelings whether they are critical or supportive. Someone that can "see" our individual points of view while helping us to each understand the other. Above all she reaffirms to us that our situation is not unusual and we can be "helped". It feels almost like after 11 years of marriage we've lost our way a little bit and she's helping us try to find our way back to each other.

Our lives have been in such an upheaval for the last 6 months or so, that it feels like a little bit of the weight and stress has been taken off our shoulders by just finding someone to talk to. Yes, you say, but you have this blog and you both have friends and family. But it's different to go and just talk to someone for an hour - no judgements, no sides being taken - and get critical feedback about your situation. There have actually been a few nights that I slept without waking up and having a staring contest with my bedside clock.

We've started to make some positive changes. When we talk to each other, we aren't being as sarcastic as we have been. We're being "nicer" in our tones of voice. We're both trying to be more patient with each other. For my husband's part, he's trying to not be such a slave to his business - taking some time to really enjoy being home with me and the kids and doing things with us/them. This past Monday was actually a day off from school for our 8 yr old son and my husband ended up not having to work either. The four of us snuggled up in our bed after lunch to watch a movie and ended up all dozing off. Those are things that mean a lot to me and to the kids. It was a great day.

We decided this week to utilize a spare room we have as a guest room and have our friend move into it so that our 2 year old daughter can move out of our room. (Long story and fodder for another post.) Having our own space again is essential to trying to get our marriage back on track on so many levels. These are small steps but at least they are steps, and I am so glad we are making them together.

The big question is, Will all this work? Will we be able to find our way back to each other? Will we be able to continue on as a family? Only time will tell . . . but I think we're off to a good start.