Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Forget Wonder Woman

I've been seeing a lot of Wonder Woman lately.

You know, the Amazon princess chick with the magic bracelets, tiara that doubles as a weapon, and the strapless, superhero jumper that hugs her flawless curves in all the right places. (It's a wonder she keeps that thing in place as she fights off the bad guys!)

She seems to have made a resurgence in popularity as of late. I see her images on cleverly-worded graphics on Pinterest. I've even seen things like checks, notebooks, and wallets all featuring her likeness.

And I've also heard her name as someone you shouldn't "try" to be when you're in a situation like I am - caring for a loved one.

Don't try to be Wonder Woman and do everything yourself - ask for help.

The asking for help part, I certainly get. And like many, I've had to build up to that. And I'm still making progress in that area.

But the rest of that sentence - Don't try to be Wonder Woman and do everything yourself - seems to imply that Wonder Woman would be able to do what I do.

Now it's been a while since I've watched the old TV show from the '80s, and I have to admit I'm not a comic reader. But if I'm not mistaken, I don't necessarily recall that Wonder Woman knew how to change a catheter. Or knew how to recognize and alleviate the symptoms of Autonomic Dysreflexia. Or simultaneously managed her husband's injury-related issues, her daughter's kindergarten schedule, and her own full-time job.

On the flip side, I'm also sure she didn't have setbacks of serious sadness at a life she was forced to leave behind, or times of severe frustration at an injury that has bullied its way into her home and affected all of her family members, or even daily bouts of self-doubt on her ability to handle everything in her life.

Clearly, I am no Wonder Woman.

And I've come to the realization that that's okay.

Yes, my daughter hates vegetables, and she's had more fillings than I care to mention. But she's happy, and healthy, and her smile melts our hearts.

Yes, my house is more often messy and unorganized than it is clean and tidy. But it's our home where we are rebuilding our life and learning to live again.

I know I'm not the only SCI wife facing these issues. I've met so many other women who are in my situation - who find themselves in that lonely no-man's land trapped somewhere between being a wife and being a caregiver. Who are living in a world where household chores that used to be divided between two people now fall squarely onto their own shoulders. Some days we're defeated by the weight of this strange new world, and other days we rise above it.

We may not handle the daily struggles of our lives with the grace, strength, and poise that Wonder Women does. But the point is, we handle them. For me, it's often through tears, tantrums, and sometimes more than a few swear words. But also through love, determination, and lessons learned along the way.

So forget Wonder Woman.

I'll have to settle for just me.

Besides, I don't think I'd like flying an invisible jet anyway.

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