Something struck me today while having a coffee with a friend. And that’s the effect on other people when I describe what happens in my and MW’s lives. When I’m asked how things are going, I’m often torn as to just how much I say. And I’m never quite sure just what to say. I’m not going to lie about it, there’s no point in that. Everything I say or write has been absolutely honest. Which is my point. It’s honest, but it’s grim. Or, at least, it can be construed as grim by some. Even skimming the surface of things can be unsettling.
If I say that things are difficult, it doesn’t really explain anything. So, I’ll expand on that. Only slightly, mind. MW is deteriorating, she’s losing feeling from the waist down (let alone lost movement). She’s losing upper body strength and sleeps a lot. The need for sheltered accommodation is very real now. In our forties. There you go. What’s that? *counts* 3 sentences? 3 sentences that give an idea of what’s going on but don’t delve too deeply. Trust me, there is a lot more detail that I don’t talk about. But when I say them (or write them) in response to being asked, “How are things?”, I get the impression that it’s an awful lot to take in. And, I guess it is. I see the person I’m talking to imagining how things are and how they’d deal with things in the same position – and that imagining is done in a split-second – and I see the realisation that it really is difficult. I live with these circumstances every day so I’m hardened to them. But I’m sensitive to the way others react when they hear (read) what’s happening here. I don’t want to bring your mood down by telling you things. I’m not going to lie to anyone though.
I’ve started pausing………………………..before answering the “How are things?” question. Because I’m aware that the reply is a bit of an emotional hand grenade. So, if you do ask me how things are, I’m not ignoring you – I’m just thinking of the best way to tell you without ruining your day.