I was reminded today of how people can feel trapped – trapped in their own bodies, after serious illness or disability strikes; trapped in their situation, as they are cared for or as they care for a loved one; or trapped by their longings for how life used to be.
I appreciate affirmation and physical touch more than gifts. I am so thankful Don is exceptionally good at affirming my worth. However, he usually likes to sit alone in his recliner, and he loses his balance easily when he stands, so he almost never initiates tender touch on his own during the day. I really miss the chance to sit by him and feel close. Both Don and I soak in peace and joy from lying close to each other in bed at night. We can’t see the changes to Don’s body; he can’t lose his balance and fall; and if we just lie there, we don’t miscommunicate. We can briefly forget or ignore that life is the way it is. It’s a little escape from the traps that sometimes confine us.
We also have difficulty thinking of things we can both enjoy doing together. The last two nights we have looked at slides we took back in the 70s. It was fun to remember our adventures, our first son as a baby, our friends and family.
What helps us cope and gives us hope: We make up for our loss of touch during the day by lying close before we go to sleep. We remember old times together in pictures.
Questions for our readers: Do you sometimes feel trapped? What helps you cope?
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