One year ago today, I sat in my home and wondered what I would do. I felt overwhelmed to the point that I could no longer function. I felt that I had been used up, that whatever had been pure and beautiful had been taken from me. Part of me saw the hopeful, delightful child I had been. Another part of me saw that people I loved had used me in horrific ways. I could find no way to fit the two parts together. This had been going on for several days, complicated by the fact that Therapist had moved away and I felt I could not contact him for help.
One year ago today I felt very strongly that the only escape I could find from this was through death. I wanted to die. It felt logical, peaceful, and right. I thought about it for several hours. My children and husband were occupied away from our home and I was alone. As I began to think about how I would accomplish my death, I looked at my bedroom wall and saw a picture of my oldest son at three years old. He was smiling and sweet, and in my heart I knew I did not want to leave him. So, I called a suicide hotline, hoping for some help.
At this point my poignant story becomes ridiculous. The lady on the other end of the hotline answered. I tried to explain my predicament--but--although she came through loud and clear, she could not hear me. I found myself screaming through the receiver, "THIS IS THE STORY OF MY LIFE!!" and I hung up the phone. I sat numbly on my bed, trying not to laugh and cry hysterically. Then I got up, walked to my dad's house, went into his office and said, "Dad, will you take me to the hospital? I need help right now."
So, I ended up in the psyche...er...mental health ward of the hospital, in a room walled with windows facing the desk so that people could watch me at all times. And I spent a weekend doing puzzles, watching therapy videos, and wanting to go home.
There were good things that came of this. Tests were run. It was determined that I have no chemical imbalances and that I'm not depressed. Apparently, one can actually be sad and overwhelmed without needing medication. I was mourning the loss of a wonderful therapist, and I was experiencing delayed symptoms of PTSD.
As soon as I got home I began my newest research project. I learned everything I could about PTSD--and it didn't take very long because not a lot is known about it. In the past year I've often felt I was in Hell as the symptoms became more acute and frequent. Apparently, as I allowed myself to begin feeling and remembering all that I had suppressed, the latent PTSD was given a pathway to manifest itself. And as I coped with the crappy stress and anxiety of that, I wondered many times if I had done the right thing. Life was much easier when I lived in denial.
At that point in my life I had made some rather wonderful friendships. I watched and hated myself as I sabotaged them in paranoid bouts of anxiety. I reconnected with Therapist, driving 800 miles round trip to meet with him, and he tried to give me tools to overcome the feelings which drove me away from people and made me wish to isolate myself indefinitely. I have no idea if anything worked, but I tried with my whole soul to overcome things.
And now, I'm just tired. I'm tired of wishing my life had been different. I'm tired of accepting it was not. I no longer wish to die, and I recognize that my life has beaten the odds repeatedly. But inside I keep thinking that one day everything will relax, and I'll rest, and I won't be afraid anymore.
Today, when I was running it smelled wonderful and alive--grass and dirt and wildflowers--the air was lovely. I'm going to be okay.