Drama, trouble, pain, heartache, stress, disappointment, and fear; the seven dwarf bastards that swoop in like thieves in the night hijacking your smiles and turning calm seas into troubled waters. Recently, my home was invaded by several of these brazen bandits. Though I am directly involved in the commotion; the heaviest blows were levied on my man, Dr. A. After the initial shock of the chaos wore off, I observed Dr. A cope with his emotions. His mind was consumed and our home in disarray by the turmoil of events that were completely out of our control. This was the most beaten I had seen him. My knight in shining armor, my pillar of strength, my Superman had just been buried in a pile of kryptonite. I wanted to leap into action like Wonder Woman, slaying all his foes and healing him with my Amazonian powers; however, I stood frozen. I knew that the best way to be there for him was to stop, survey the damage, and take my next steps with care. I appreciated that he didn’t need to be rescued, what he needed was support in order to see his own way through. I couldn’t save him, stop the pain or even eliminate his enemies…only he could do that. I was there to hold the candle of hope in case his light grew dim. Dr. A didn’t need a super hero but rather a friend, much like a Sherpa who can help him through the perilous territory in case he began to lose his way. I am his partner, his equal, his comrade in life…not his savior. Dr. A was a man who in his own time of need, taught me a valuable lesson about how to support a loved one when they need it the most.
Shut Up & Listen
I let Dr. A vent his feelings without commenting on even the most irrational thoughts. I know him to be a reasonable, intelligent man but his pain consumed him and his raw emotions took over. He had the right to express himself freely, without fear of retribution or shame. I had to shut the hell up, swallow my 2 cents, and hear with compassion. Dr. A deserved the freedom to slay his own anguish; with strong words and intense visions.
Not the time for ‘I told you so”
There were times he spoke word-for-word predictions I had shared in previous conversations; but what purpose would serving him cold humble pie on a silver platter prove? To what end? Slurping my ego back into my throat; I swallowed the desire to be right. Dr. A’s pain was not the goal of sharing my predictions initially; only an attempt to prepare him from possible end games. End games I prayed I had predicted incorrectly.
Offer advice…ONLY WHEN ASKED
The shameless dwarfs of heartache, stress, pain, and drama eventually loosened their grasp. Dr. A began to stand taller, speak more objectively and strategize on how to deal with the problem. I listened with an open heart and an open mind. I kept my 2 cents buried. It wasn’t until Dr. A invited me in and openly asked for advice that I coughed up my opinions. Keeping my mouth shut allowed me to hear ALL that Dr. A had to say. He shared his feelings, perspectives, and hopeful outcomes. With all of this information I was better prepared to help guide him; understanding better where he wanted to go!
Don’t fight his battle
More than anything I wanted to kick some ass. I wanted to fight all the wrong-doers who caused Dr. A unjustified misery with my mythical girl powers. Not that he couldn’t defeat them on his own…I was pissed; not just peeved but mad cow, full blown, bat-shit-cRaZy furious. I had to continually remind myself that my words and deeds could make a bad situation worse. I also had to keep in mind that Dr. A wanted to fight his own battle and didn’t need me poking my bitch stick at the hornets’ nest. He could take care of himself and my temper would need to be kept on ice.
Distressing events have a way of making problems appear larger. There were moments shortly after the ambush where Dr. A’s hurt began to invade and corrupt his perception of otherwise unaffected aspects of his life. At first I listened but if his vision continued to be skewed, I helped to remove the goggles and gently pointed to the view as it was.
Understand the emotions come in waves
After a couple of weeks, Dr. A’s flash of anger and frustration were less frequent and intense. However, even though time has a way of healing all wounds; the scars remain. I understood that although life went on, our house began to settle, and Dr. A appeared back to his old self; the side-effects would be long lasting. There were moments where I saw him lost in thought realizing that a wave of retrospection and twinge of hurt had risen to the surface. And that’s OK. I asked if he needed to talk and if he said ‘yes’ I listened…otherwise I dropped it.
Being there to support my man wasn’t always easy. The feelings of pain, anger, and frustration spilled on me like wine on a party dress but keeping my feelings, thoughts, and actions in check allowed me to support someone I care for in his most vulnerable moments. Despite the attack from the bold dwarf bastards, we survived the battle with a stronger relationship. We are better prepared for whatever storms await us as we sail through life. The seas won’t always be calm but at least Dr. A and I know that we will never have to navigate rough seas alone; providing guidance and loving support every step of the way.