I was able to support my family using all my strength and capabilities. My pride was taller than me and my stubbornness could test the patience of a saint. I refused to ask help from other people. I hated it when people criticized me. I disliked the feeling of being vulnerable. I’ve never shown my real feelings or told my real thoughts and dreams to anyone.
My struggles made me strong. I’ve become robust enough to the point where I’d no longer recognize what I truly feel. I’ve pushed my emotions aside; every feeling was buried down to the trench of my oceanic memory.
I’ve shut my feelings down and without realizing it, I already have made my own fortress. The wall was so sturdy that nobody can climb, break or even shake it. There wasn’t a single being that could penetrate it. I hid my real self and I kept people at arm’s length. I pretended that I don’t need anybody in my life; but actually, I was just frightened of getting hurt.
All of these changed when I met my husband, Ian O’Neil. He wholly accepted me. He loved everything about me. And piece by piece, he broke down my defense. The barrier which I carefully built for more than thirty years was destroyed. I’ve let my guard down. I opened myself up and shared my life with him. I’ve learned to depend on him. My trust was restored and my pride- if not gone was lowered. I was not worried about getting hurt again, because I knew he’d always be there for me. I knew then that I’ve changed; he actually made me a better person. No, I’ve become a new person because of his love. And for once in my life, I was truly happy and contented.
Unfortunately, the Holy Angels took him back to heaven on March 04, 2015. My protective defence was gone and I was left open. All negative emotions poured at the same time. I saw myself being engulfed by darkness. I was shocked, lost, vulnerable, wounded, and weak. Grief was unbearable.
When he died, I died along with him, but I had to be strong. The wall that was once established and destroyed was then rebuilt in a matter of seconds. I immediately raised my shield up to prevent from further anguish. I was again expressionless. I neither cried nor smiled.
I became lifeless, an empty shell. I’ve begun to regress. I felt my husband’s disappointment with what I’ve done with myself.
My family, friends and the whole Couples for Christ community were all praying for me. They’ve supported and helped me carry on since day one. But I knew that they too have their own lives to live. I cannot burden and oblige them to be with me every waking hour and listen to my forlorn story. I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself. I had to force myself to get up and take control of my life again.
And then one blessed morning came. I woke up. I picked my tattered self up and decided to start my journey to recovery.