Following on from ‘Over The Threshold’ (posted October 2013) the story continues.
For the few days I was at home, before having to return to hospital, everything seemed so ‘alien’. I would look in the mirror each day, barely able to recognise myself, and just cry. The house haunted me, I couldn’t relate to it as home.
The strain was having an impact on Laura as she would enter into conversation with me, talking about all manner of events, but I couldn’t remember any of them. When I tried to answer, I’d get halfway through what I was speaking about and stop.
My own mind was now my prison. I couldn’t remember foods I liked, drinks I liked, the football team I supported, friends, family, how to drive, bank details, how to do my job and in fact, I couldn’t even remember where I worked.
The list of things I could not remember was the only thing I could remember, well apart from the hospital and the staff that had tended to me. Hospital was my home! Despite having my son and wife with me, the three days I was allowed home were the hardest.
I found every passing minute unbearable, the tears, the thoughts I was thinking, the anger, the rage, the uncertainty of everything just hit me. I’m not in control, I can’t do anything.
Simple tasks like boiling a kettle, setting the washing machine, switching the television on and even finding my clothes, were challenging. It was all so embarrassing.
There I was, a 28-year-old man having to rely on a woman I didn’t remember, to help me to be a man again. It was traumatising, it was humiliating and degrading. I thought I’d experienced utter despair when in the hospital, but my despair had reached new levels.
I remember waking up on the Saturday morning at 3am, I sat in the lounge and just kept repeating to myself over-and-over, how can I be lost in my own home?
Returning to bed an hour later, I stood in the bedroom where all this has happened, staring at ‘the woman’ lying in the bed and scanning the room looking for something, anything, that could get me out of this nightmare.
I found no respite from the trauma, I found no peace in my mind, I saw no light at the end of a tunnel. Much like the room I was standing in at 4am, I found myself shrouded in darkness. I saw no hope, having thought coming ‘home’ would give me renewed hope. But, it wasn’t to be. I was in this house in body, but my heart, mind and spirit had left this place.
What was left was a void, a chasm that could not be filled. The world talks a lot about identity, but at this moment in time I did not have one. Every time I looked in the mirror, what I saw staring back was emptiness, a blank expression. I might be home, but it’s not where my heart is!!!
I’d like to go back to the hospital now, please…