My husband and I have become like lepers. People move away when they see us. They try to edge us out of the door, or they try to move us on to some other place. It happened at the hospital this morning. The doctor we saw was more helpful than most of his kind but he could smell failure and pain on us. And so he talked to us for a while and then slipped away, without really concluding our meeting. He passed us on to a nurse who briskly filled out forms. She, also, wanted to be somewhere else.
It used to make me angry that people treat us like that. It still does - sometimes. But in truth how can I blame these people? If I could walk away, I would do. My husband and I have been longing to walk away from our own lives for three years now. But unfortunately we are inside our skins, inside our heads, and there is no way out. We live inside such a small room and it has no door.
Friends look at us and I can see it written on their faces, 'Thank God it wasn't us.' I'm glad as well that it wasn't them. I don't see why it should have to be anyone. But somebody's card was marked and it turns out it was ours. Somewhere - perhaps round a corner, over the brow of the hill, beyond the end of the road - there is another life which we could be having. But we cannot find our way to that other place. I doubt now that we ever will.