So the wedding approached and our life became more and more about creating a safe bubble to retreat to for protection. We found a marriage counsellor with experience with TBI and chronic conditions, and we found a church where we could be honest. I took extra introvert time each day, hanging out at the beach alone in the fall, to build up reserves for what would surely be a hard weekend. I poured over Brene Brown books and my bible study and eventually even confided in some women and asked advice about facing the hard stuff that was coming.
Jason dealt with it more often by ignoring what was to come. In the daytime especially he could move through life without worrying. Listening to me talk and work through various responses to the inevitable questions but never really understanding where I was coming from with all the worry. Sometimes, late at night or early in the morning he would lie awake worrying, possibly the worst response for him with his TBI.
And then it was wedding weekend.
Wedding weekend was hard. It was hard to see my husband cry and hard for me to hold myself together. It’s hard to hear that my husband has no memories of our wedding. It’s hard to see the people that hurt us. By the time the wedding came I was too tired to fake anything well and so my goal was simply to show up and not steal the attention of the crowd by looking like a hot mess. We succeeded enough. We made it, we celebrated for my brother and sister in law. My in laws showed up with such genuine kindness and love they gave us the courage to get through the weekend. They hugged us and held space for us and told us we were strong when we felt anything but. Our hearts hurt like crazy but we did the hard thing and that was reason enough for us to celebrate.