Physical Pain -
In November 2011, I started feeling a dull ache in my neck and shoulder while watching TV. Over the next few days it grew until
I found myself in the VA emergency room, completely delirious. They did a STAT MRI on me and found an epidural abscess crushing my spinal cord from
the C-6 to the T-4 vertebra, so they had to cut the outer half of those discs away and dig the infection out of the inside of my spinal column. Over
the next few weeks, I was gone on morphine and Oxycodon but every now and then, a searing wave of pain (I called them ghost pains because I knew
that they were unlike the regular agony I was medicated to deal with)
would settle across my upper back and shoulders, and linger for a few
minutes while I screamed. The pain meds couldn't touch it, but after the first few weeks or so, it slowly dissipated into the normal throbbing pain
that hung on for months.
That ghost pain was like being tortured with a branding iron and I'll never forget how insane it made me. The worst part was that no one knew if it
was temporary or not. It was all uncharted territory at the time, and we were all learning from moment to moment. The prospect of that blinding
white-hot pain becoming the center of the rest of my life was a legitimate possibility, since that infection had been physically crushing my spinal
chord. Bad sh*t.
Emotional Pain -
The very first girl I ever fell in love with never fell in love with me. Even so, we remained extremely close for the next 30
years, and basically learned how to be adults from each other. In 2000, I finally realized that being close with her (still)
was not helping my
own relationships with other women, so I walked off on her for good. The next time I heard anything at all about her was when a friend of mine from
back home (the town where she remained after we split)
forwarded a local news story about her son's schizophrenia and how it was the reason he
beat her to death in the motel room where she and her fiance had been forced to "warehouse" him once he became too dangerous for them to live with.
She'd already been dead for two days when I got that link. No one saw the need to inform me, even though everyone I knew, knew that she and I had been
elbow to elbow for decades until we'd split over that relationship impasse.
The article was pretty lurid, and the writer had gone for a tabloid feel on the piece - describing in detail her shattered face-skull and how she and
that fiance had lived in terror for 6 years before the 6'2" "kid" finally killed her as she brought him food (pasta and roasted red peppers)
the room while her fiance waited outside in the car and refused to take the kid on when he heard the fighting start. It took me five months of kicking
her family's ass (none of them wanted to pay anything for her funeral or burial)
and raising money online to finally get her out of a freezer
and into a proper burial plot, and I don't know what hurt more - the nightmarish nature of her death (and the news media circus it caused in that
or the ugliness I ran into with the people who should've been there for her, but just weren't - even to the point of requiring me to
come back from out of the past to handle her final arrangements and pay for them.
Going forward, I'm pretty bulletproof. I've lost everything at least twice. Hell, right now - because of the bitch ex-son-in-law I have and his
custody battle with my daughter - the State of Indiana won't allow me or my wife to see our grandchildren. We aren't even involved in any of it, but
the other grandparents (his parents)
have our little babies over all the time. I guess that if you have money enough to hire lawyers to file
lies in court, you can have anything you want and hurt as many people as you wish, and for no reason other than because you want to win (and erase
a $2000 per month child support judgment that you don't agree with)
Hell, I can't even feel the loss of my grandbabies. I don't know that I can actually feel anything anymore.
edit on 10/22/2013 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)