Chapter 2: Karen discovers who she is and how much not remembering can hurt those around her
I'm now in charge of the bedtime routine.
Steven thought it would be good for me -- to do the things I did before. We both want things to be as normal for Julianna as it can be, so bedtime was a natural place to start.
The first few days I had to be helped.
Julianna had to show me where she kept her pajamas and which drawer held her toothbrush. She patiently led me to her room to show me where she slept and where I would sit to read her a story.
She has stopped looking at me with the hurt and confusion from the first few days and has now moved to looks of pity and resolve. I'm not sure if pity from a 5 year old is something I'm happy about, but it has been a little less painful for me.
She is still a daily reminder that I am not whole.
It is getting easier to be me. Easier to be in this house, but it still seems not quite right. I'm not quite right.
The other day, I was able to find something in the kitchen without being told where it was. Steven's face lit up like it was Christmas morning. He is sure it is a matter of time before I start to remember something, but I'm not so sure. I just thought about what I wanted to find and where it would make the most sense to find it.
My deductive reasoning has fooled Steven a few times now.
Steven has returned to work a few hours a day. While Julianna is at kindergarten, he goes to work. When she is home, he is home. I don't blame him for being careful. I am aware of the uncertainty of my mental health. If we don't know what has caused it, we don't know what would make it worse. Or, for that matter, what could make it better.
There has to be something to make it better. I don't know how long I can go just waiting to see if there is a change.
Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives. Steven's parents have gone home. The visitors and well-wishers (let's be honest, the looky-lous) have stopped dropping by. The doctors visits are less and the days keep going on. Even Julianna is going to school and having play dates.
I sit and wait to remember.
I had a job, I know. I was an accountant for a small firm. I can't do my job now, so I am on extended leave. I am told my job will be there when I am ready to return. However, this is said with the gentle assurance of someone not ready to break bad news just yet.
I am frustrated with this woman I am now even though I can't remember the one I was. I am frustrated at the lack of action this woman takes. I feel the need to do something - anything! - but have nothing to do to take off the edge.
I think the woman I was would greatly dislike the woman I am right now.
I'm not too fond of her either.
Karen and Steven return to the grocery store to aid in her memory return.