Growing Up In Spite of Myself
The picture of you and Jason above was taken in Woodbrook. It was a lovely apartment and we were there for six years, I think.
You’re wearing one of your favourite shirts: you like when they are so old and thread-worn that they’re barely there!
You had Feldenkrais with Mark today for an hour, and then he and I walked to the car park. During our conversation I said something to him that I wasn’t aware of feeling up to then: that I wasn’t at all sure I liked some of the changes in my personality since your injury.
You’d probably like them – would say I was too soft and easy-going, but I think that’s also why you love me. Of course, I can be a wagon like anyone else and you know that better than anyone, but it’s strange how others perceive things. For instance, one of the staff in the Royal was teasing me, saying something like ‘I bet you had Bob terrified of you’ – something like that. I looked at our friend Pattie and she and I smiled. I said that you were the only man I ever met who could put manners on me, and you took no nonsense from anyone, including me.
This part of our relationship drove my mother mad, because up ‘til then, I only did what I was told on the surface. She’d say ‘you’ll do what he tells you!’ and I loved that. Yeah, of course I do what you tell me (most times) because I want to.
You took such a lot of responsibility off me in so many ways: you like furniture (and lamp!) shopping and would come home, haul me off to see it and it was always the right thing. It was brilliant, you did all the organising of that kind of stuff and I’d do other stuff.
But now I’ve nobody to rein me in and I’ve identified a previously-unexperienced emotion: fury. I’ve never felt that before. It’s hard not to dislike the person you can become when that kind of anger is in your heart. Having a focus for it is all I can do to control it.
Not really soft and easy-going anymore, darlin’. At least, well, I probably am still but not so much. I can also be unforgiving, and this is alien to my nature, or was. There’s probably only a few people I feel resentful towards, but that’s a few more than before your injury. I would like to not be that way but why kid myself.
So few of the people in our lives – hundreds of new ones over the last two years – were unkind or thoughtless, and possibly that’s why those who were stand out so much. We’ve been lucky in our friends, family and professionals and so, those very few who pissed me off… well, let’s just say they’re aware of my feelings. Or should be – I did try to leave them in no doubt, my darling.
It’s like I can sense negative energy, and I back away as fast as I can. The few times I haven’t, I’ve paid a price. I follow my instincts and it’s standing me in good stead. Now I don’t go anywhere I don’t want to go, I won’t waste time on petty issues, and I will not take nonsense from anyone.
I’ve always been a bit like that but now I’ve two of us to prop up I’m getting it down a bit more. Practice – you’ve always said it! Practice is the only way to get it right.
Miss you every day.