Guilt, Frustration and Who I Am

An interesting thing occurs when one is reliant upon others for silly little things: one realized their own insignificance.

The other day I started the day feeling really pretty well. I took Ezra to school and came home to feed Nathaniel some toast. I even got the dishwasher loaded (though not started) – a huge accomplishment for me, espessially first thing in the morning (it usually takes all day to do that without killing myself). At 10:00 I had physical therapy. Nathaniel and packed his backpack with a couple of diapers and some toy cars (so he’d have something to do), and headed out. I did pretty well going into the doctors office. I only had to stifle one panic attack being in the busy lobby. We went back and Nathaniel contentedly played with his car and fire truck while the physical therapist checked me out.

It was my first appointment here, and he needed to see what was going on with me. Apparently my pelvis cants so bad to the right that my right leg is almost 2 inches longer than the left. At any rate, he had me do 3 or 4 “exercises” (read: pitiful stretches that any normal human would not even consider stretches). After we were done with the therapy session, we gathered up Nathanael’s things, and made to leave. As we left the room, exhausted from the effort of the session, my body gave out and I collapsed. Little Nathaniel, in a reactive and protective action, reached up and grabbed my hand to try to keep me from hitting the ground (like mommy does). The therapist asked if my falls were usually that graceful (I almost got to lower myself down with my cane). The answer is sadly “no,” as I usually hit the ground with much more force.

The thing that stood out was the 2 year old trying to act as a physical support to the 30 year old (rather than the opposite). If I’d have fallen on him, it would have really hurt him, and yet he rushed forward to help.

I spend a lot of time dwelling on the things I cannot do. It’s not that I’m brooding, per se: more that I realize the things that I can’t find solutions to. For example: the boys love their LEGO and have them spread around the house. I’d love to not step on them, but I can’t pick them up (because I can’t bend or squat). This means that, we’re it not for others, this task could not be completed.

Oh, LEGO are the boy’s responsibility anyway, but the laundry, garbage, sweeping, mopping, toe nail clipping, toilet cleaning, etc. are my responsibility. I can’t really do any of them. I joke (less out of humor and more out of desperation) that anything that falls below knee level is as good as lost.

The result of my incapacity is that Julie has much more housework than she can handle (espessially with very long hours she’s been subjected to lately). The boys are left ¬†with much less playtime than little boys should have.

The end result is a significant amount of guilt for me. Being the broken dad makes me feel bad for my wife and kids. It leads me to feel that they would be better off with a whole dad or husband. Then I get frustrated with myself, because these are things out of my control: this is who I am. I have to accept me. And my kids don’t need a perfect dad, they need THEIR dad. My wife doesn’t want another husband who is more whole, she wants me (though she would love for me to be whole).

At the risk of being preachy, I take some relief knowing that these trials are temporary. Oh, I’ve no doubt that I will deal with most, all, or more than I currently deal with, for the rest of my life; but it won’t always be like this. I have a Savior that has cleared the path for my resurrection to a perfect body. He’s made it possible for me to be with my family forever: and we’ll be whole and complete; free of these mortal trials. That will be nice.

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