Saturday, April 14, 2012

No Quarter

As I sit here tonight, things are shifting around me. A normal state of affairs in this three years and some change. One thing that hasn't changed is that I am afraid. I've been afraid forever it seems. 14 years. When his disease hit high gear in 1998 I became afraid. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a bit of a control freak. My control went out the window in 1998. But since he's been gone, I live in a constant state of paranoia and sheer terror from day to day. So I suppose this could be a horror story. But if you know me, you know it won't be that for very long.
About a hundred years ago, I was afraid of the dark. My brother would slip out his window, not off to do any nefarious activities, oh no, simply to scratch on my window in the dark. My parents weren't known to comfort us of our fears. Crying in the night generally produced a "Shut up and go to sleep." So a scratch in the middle of the night, around 10pm at that time of my life, would send me under the covers. Around the age of 12 or so, I decided I would meet this demon on it's own ground and lay it low. So when we walked into our favorite bookstore, I proceeded to go find the worst, supernatural, super scarey, uber horrific book I could locate. Demons called up in a court of law because some dude beat his girl friend to death with a crowbar whilst possessed. A real piece of trash. But I read a chapter every afternoon for a bit. Then I got involved and finished it all. I still love horror novels of all kinds but I fear nothing in the dark that might even think of scratching on my window. The darkness eats all things. I became more comfortable there than in the light.

When the first signs that the demon diabetes was not at bay began to appear, my life became chaotic. Would he go blind? Then his blood-pressure went off the rails. The kidneys fell in line. I became quite the scholar of the endocrine system. I cannot fight something that I don't know what it can do to me or mine. I strapped up every day frightened out of my mind. That disease leaves no stone unturned. It gives no quarter. There is no mercy. I never knew what would happen during the day when we were apart nor in the night whilst I slept. So it became a matter of keeping watch. My nerves were drawn like the strings on a finely tuned violin. I have the TMJ to prove it. But I am a fighting machine. I fought everyday for another day. But I wasn't there when the calamity befell my beloved. The cold hands snatched him from me when I wasn't looking it seemed. The fight ended without me ever throwing in the towel or conceding the race. I was left speechless and in shock when the bells rang. I began to seek sanctuary but there was none to be found. Hot tears chapped my skin in the winds. Yet there I stood. It takes more strength to bend than to be so hard one crumbles.

Then I was afraid of everything. I had panic attacks in public places. My heart pounded my ears when I closed my eyes. I was afraid to sleep. I was afraid to go outside alone. I was afraid of what people would think of what I did or didn't do at any given time. I was afraid of what they might think of what I said or didn't say to any given person. Everyone around me was talking but it was all just noise. I couldn't concentrate well enough to decipher the code of a language I didn't speak. Now to my credit I am a rather stoic person at times. I can be quiet for days. I'm a professional at making myself small and staying out of the way. In the end of that mess, I quite literally turned and walked away. I found a quiet place to hide and heal. To regrow my skin. To lick my wounds. To find the way. I sat my feet on the road and began to move. Some days I gain a little more ground than others and some days I have to be happy to stand my ground. But there is no quit in me.

Now I'm just afraid of everything else. I'm afraid to be alone. I'm afraid to be with someone else. Afraid to give my heart but afraid to hold it close. But it's a hopeful fear almost. I am standing at the precipice of a new life and it scares the hell outta me. The stress is unbearable at best. There are days when I cannot even fathom the nightfall. He says that I have a strength that amazes him when he sees me at my weakest. He understands my scars and my fears but he believes in my hopes and dreams. He was gentle. Tentative at times. He is man enough to know that I am who I am and love me anyway. He fought my fears to get to me. The least I can do is meet him half way.

So here I am afraid again. Fear is a friend that keeps me sharp. But I am tired. I am so sick of being in a constant state of terror. So I'm going to meet this demon on it's own ground and again I will defeat it on my own terms. Last time the weapon was a book. I won't need to pick up anything this time because my strength is my weapon. I believe in me even though the tale of the tape says otherwise. I'm older and wiser. I have some of the worst under my belt. I survived it all. I used to fear the things that went bump in the night, but now I am she. Fears blood will run cold on the concrete before it defeats me this round. I would never say I will never be afraid again. I'm not much on superheroes, but I do believe I am done with this shit once and for all. No quarter given and none asked.