We pass through many fazes in recovery during a head trauma, and it is always important to watch for fear and sadness. I have been ever vigilant with Frank to ensure that he did not dwell or worry about this process - fear can suck the life out of drive, and with his focus and will, I did not want worry to interfere with his recovery.
As Frank has progressed, I have less and less control over what is going on in his brain. He is not always forthright with me on his pain, worries and concerns. Lucky for me, he tends to become chatty as he is falling asleep, and it is in those moments of unfiltered conversation that I learn about his fears for the future, and how I can better support him during his journey.
Frank continues to push to go back to work. Those of you that know him personally can attest that he is a cop, and wants nothing more than to get back to being a cop. He does not enjoy idling away time, and unless he is fishing at the lake, prefers to be at work. Fear for his job, regardless if valid, keeps him pushing each day, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. Although many have reinforced the idea that he has the time to heal, to recover, and there is no pending "deadline" out there, he just doesn't trust us.
Yesterday he got to ask questions of his department and city, and I think he felt better about the future. Knowing how much they support him brought a level of calm to him yesterday, although nothing will relieve it completely until he is back at work full time. As a mom, you always want to protect your children from fear, and hurt, and others being cruel or judgmental. I struggle with applying that relationship on Frank - always trying to buffer things around him, helping him out in conversation, making sure he knows the way, watching out for him, it is so difficult to step out of that role. Frank needs to stand on his own, and work through things by himself without me safe guarding him all the time. I have taken to physically stepping away from him at stores, parking lots, and the gym, and allowing him to figure things out on his own. Yesterday he was on the treadmill at the gym, a MAJOR stress event for me, because I am so worried he will trip and fall ( seriously though, if that happened, it's not like I could catch him!). As he was running, I told him I was going to another machine, and walked away. I ended up three rows behind him, working out on my own for a while.
It was one of the hardest moments I have had in a while, but clearly, he survived without me, and I made myself have a few moments alone.
It was a good thing.
As we look towards summer, and the multiple months of ongoing recovery, I am filled with a continued sense of rightness - being in the right place, on the right track, and doing the right thing. The funny thing about that is that I have no idea what that means. It kind of feels like finding the correct bus route, getting to the stop on time, and now I am just waiting for the bus to arrive. And some days it feels like the bus is late, or maybe I missed it. Or it's not coming? Lots of emotions swarm around my (what I see as ) idleness. Busy and emotional weekend coming up - and next week is filled with lots of activities and events to attend.
Hopefully it will be a fun few days.