I was discharged with an Rx for decapeptyl depot. Translation? A series of shots: once monthly for a six month duration. The medication was to suppress my hormones by putting me into early menopause. Hot flashes and all.
I left the hospital with a sore belly, a sore ass, and a handful of paperwork I couldn't read. They don't teach you that kind of vocabulary in Immigrant Community Language School.
My husband was at work with his head and his heart buried under a stack of worksheets. My retired mother-in-law was "not available" to come and get me. My MIL's best friend picked me up and took me to her house. She put me to bed, made me as comfortable as she could, and gave me tissues when I cried.
The next few weeks were a blur. My recovery at home was not easy. I had no visitors, and every day I spent at home were days I lost clients in my consulting job. I went back to work well before I was healed. Lugging textbooks on the trains of metro Stockholm to see business clients who were whiny and pitiful regarding homework I had given them was disheartening.
Even more painful was the chasm between my husband and me. We had both shut down. He couldn't communicate how he felt, and I stopped asking. I couldn't take care of him because I couldn't take care of myself.
To say I was on a path of self-destruction is an understatement. I wasn't the same person my husband had married barely a year before. I felt like a ghost. No one saw me. I wasn't of any substance to anyone. I could go in and out of the hospital, and no one cared. I could go to work or not. I was replaceable. They aren't called substitute teachers for nothing. Even my husband had replaced me with his job. I understood why. I just didn't matter anymore.
I shattered into a thousand pieces of glass that cut everything around me. I was unlovable. Wasn't it obvious? What was there to love?
So I left.
I went back to the States to figure things out. I needed a break. I needed some space. I needed to feel seen. At least my dad would cook me dinner.
I left because it hurt more to stay. I felt we were at an impasse, and I took the juvenile path back home to mom and dad. I needed to lick my wounds. I needed to heal. I couldn't bear to see the pain and sorrow in my husband's eyes.
There was nothing noble about my decision. I left for every selfish reason you could name.
I packed all my medication with me despite the fact the shots weren't doing their job well enough. My dosage had been upped to every third week instead of every month, and that was further proof to me what a fuck up I was. Even after major surgery my body still couldn't get things right.
I couldn't hide for long. I had another surgery in January to figure out what the hell the medicine had done to my body.
Author's Note: I want to clarify that this post was my truth at the time of these events. It reflects the way I felt but in no way represents how other people viewed the situation. At the time I felt unlovable. Was I? No. Did my husband feel that way? No. It was my perception of the world at that time.