I Have a Secret

If you’ve known me long enough, I’m sure you can guess what my secret is. Although I try to take things as they come, am grateful for the blessings that tiptoe into my life, struggle to find a good side to any setback, the truth is, I hate this.

I hate that I fell and destroyed my arm and wrist so badly I won’t be able to do everything I once did. I hate that I am in pain and that from now on might always have to deal with pain. I hate that my arm is deformed. I hate that after almost five months, I am still struggling just to get through the days. I hate that getting the fixator off didn’t really change anything except that it catapulted me into a new and vastly longer time of pain and rehabilitation. I hate that Jeff is gone — somehow it seemed to me that after all the agony of his death, I would live a charmed life, because shouldn’t such a terrible thing be offset by an equal amount of joy? I especially hate that that particular conceit didn’t turn out to be true, and I now have to deal with not only his absence but also my increased vulnerability.

I tell myself all the things I’m sure you are thinking. I tell myself the injury could have been so much worse, and that is true. The force of the fall was so great, I could have broken my back or my neck or my face.  I tell myself I will get used to all of this, and that also is true — I will get used to it . . . eventually. I tell myself that just because we survive one horror in our life it doesn’t mean we are safe from other horrors. I tell myself that I am grateful for this time of healing, that I don’t have responsibilities clamoring for my attention. And I’m grateful for the friends who helped me in my need, for the readers who have offered support and comfort, for the doctor who tried to put my mushed wrist and shattered bones back together.

And yet, tonight, none of that seems to matter.

Luckily, there are only so many hours in one particular night, and soon this night will be over. I don’t suppose tomorrow will be much different from today, except for perhaps gaining the strength and courage to go on.

That, at least is one thing I do not hate — the ability to keep going despite the traumas that sometimes bow my back.

Here’s hoping will all have a good night and that tomorrow we’ll wake refreshed and able to shoulder the burdens — and joys — of the new day.


(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”) Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “I Have a Secret”

  1. Sherrie Hansen Says:

    I hate that you’re having to go through this. And amazed at the strength and persistence you’ve shown in the midst of a very trying, very depressing situation. You can do this. You’ve already proved that dozens of times over. Keep looking up. Hugs and prayers.

  2. Wanda Hughes Says:

    No platitudes from me girl. It’s a hateful thing that happened to you. Yes, others have suffered more, worse injuries but that doesn’t offset what happened to you. You know you will get over it to some extent, will heal up to some extent, will regain use of your hand and arm, again to some extent. But that don’t matter a hill of beans when you’re dealing with raw emotions. You’re an experienced hand at dealing with your emotions,really feeling them and giving them the attention they need to dissipate into the fresh light of morning.

    I admire that about you. I even will go so far as to say I’m a bit jealous about that skill, for I don’t have it and I am having to develop it. My ‘old handedness’ is to stuff those feelings down, tamp them tight down into a small space and clamp a lid down on them, fastened with big heavy bolts. That I can do and have done for more years than I care to speak of. It’s a coping technique that helps a person get through really tough time they aren’t equipped to deal with at the moment, like a small child and heavy abuse.

    The trouble comes later when the need arises to deal with emotions and not finding any skills to do so. So, from me to you, dive into how you feel, wallow in those feelings if needs be and show us all the way to come out the other side, intact and ready to do battle again. I know that you have folks telling you to get on with it, get over with it, you’ll be fine, it could have been worse and on and on. All true but also, not relevant to the moment.

    I’m here, a phone call or a text or whatever away to offer a shoulder, an ear or even silent support. From my heart to yours a gentle healing light flows. Oh, and love the way your talent with watercolors is progressing, growing and changing and showing your ‘true’ colors.


  3. Terry Allard Says:

    In one of the grief posts during your first year, you said “I don’t doubt I can survive…I’m just not sure why I would want to”. I totally related to it, especially in light of the fact, there may be more awful crap yet to come. Sometimes I feel less afraid of everything because the worst has happened (my husband’s death) , other times I feel more afraid because I can no longer trust that “everything turns ok”.

  4. rami ungar the writer Says:

    That’s a nice painting. I’d hang that one up on a wall.

  5. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    You’re stronger than most people I know. Not that that sounds comforting, but you are.

  6. paulakayep Says:

    Love your picture. It says it all!!!

  7. Cicy Rosado Says:

    Hey Girl you are becoming a good artist!!!I like that hand and an easter egg?

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