A late Valentine’s Day-ish post. Hope everyone had a great day yesterday.
There were times, especially when I was in for long appointments, I was asked questions that I didn’t mind giving up answers for. It was easier to take from trained medical personnel. I didn’t feel like a freak sideshow. After we got ‘what happened’ out of the way, Scott came up, the boyfriend who didn’t leave. This was what grabbed people, that he was still here.
One morning I had returned to VGH to see the Occupational Therapist to have my pressure garments checked and to take a look at how my skin was faring underneath.
“So, you’d only been together six weeks?”
She mouthed w-o-w.
I knew what was coming next. It was said a lot.
“It’s amazing he stuck with you. What a great guy!”
I nodded. “He’s a good guy.”
She shook her head. “Amazing! Does he have a brother?”
He didn’t. “Nope. He’s got an older sister.”
I laughed because I was supposed to. While she was struck by my good fortune I was irked by the picture her words created. I should be grateful for his sticking around because who would ever want me in my state?
I didn’t want to be with anyone that felt guilt-ed into being with me. It’s true – I would have been a tough sell to any guy in his right mind, but I was bothered that he was a hero in this scenario, like it had nothing to do with me. He swooped in, a knight on his horse, and rescued me, as if I didn’t live this every day.
I didn’t care for fairy tales very much, even as a girl, believing that girls were strong enough to get themselves out of their bad situations. Come on Cinderella, stop scrubbing the floors and leave your Stepmother and stepsisters. Drop your broom and walk out that door with your head held high! Snow White, you’re really going to take a bite out of that apple from a crazy, ugly old witch that appeared from nowhere? Really? Use your head.
I was still laughing when I said, “Actually, I’m pretty great. He’s lucky to have me.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean that you weren’t…”
“I know you didn’t. It’s just that it gets said a lot and he is a great guy, but I’m a good person,” I offered as explanation, wanting for her to see it. I smiled with conviction.
I felt relieved at having said the words out loud. Scott liked me before this had happened. I was still that person. He was someone to point at and proclaim, now here is someone special. He deserved to be praised. He was my hero, not because he was my knight in shining armor saving me from disaster, but because he stepped into the disaster with me. He looked past what was ruined and saw me.
We were honest with each other and, luckily, not easily offended by it. If I asked Scott for his opinion I got it, uncensored. When I asked him about all the scars, my hands sweeping through the air over myself to emphasize all-the-scars, he said, sure, they’re there, but so are you. He wasn’t here out of obligation. He was here because he wanted to be and I was worth sticking around for.