Starting over.

The past five weeks have been snatched away. I am left tumbled and breathless. I met my husband at seventeen years of age. I had no intention of marrying. Studying and become a learned single woman were on my radar, not a bloke. He came up to me, and said “hey beautiful,” and I ignored him, wandering off. We became great friends, without a hint of romance until after I turned eighteen. He was supportive, rarely drank, and could always be counted on. The little boy he once was had never left, nor receded. He was ever-present, as was a hint of naiveté. It was endearing, seeing life through this child’s eyes. An appreciation of wonder and a soft spot for those in trouble and for animals. Qualities often neglected in adults, and then they wither. Slowly, he changed. The pressure of retrenchment, slap-bang in the middle of fertility treatments was the opening scene. Ticktock, ticktock. We were on a clock, and time was running out. Pressure mounting. You can’t stop mid-way through such an epic journey. Every week, there was a new bill for a fertility treatment in the thousands. Sperm extraction, theatre costs, anaesthetists, specialists, storage, drugs, etc. By the time our daughter was born, he had receded into the shadows. We were visited by this phantom-as though we had contact with the dead- and he came alive whilst interacting with our little girl. Then, back to the shadows. We have spent a fortune on alternative therapies to help retrieve his broken spirit and mind. I would have given anything to see him well.

Just over a month on the new medication, and my husband is eating regularly and healthily. He is sleeping more, and communicating. He isn’t restless, taking off at parties, unable to be found. He is hanging around, standing by my side. He is making great decisions, both for himself and for the benefit of us as a family. When I see glimpses of agitation and frustration, caused by everyday life (dealing with Telco’s, for instance), my muscles tighten and my heart thumps. He is able to retrieve himself from that space, and our life continues. He is healthy and looks better than he has in a very long time, despite currently being on a job where he is working twelve-hour days and travelling a few hours on top of that. He wanted me to make our story public. He wants partners to know they aren’t alone, and we wants people like him to know the same. I commend him for this. We are starting over, tremulously, nervously. We are starting over…

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