When Fred came home from surgery, I pretty much melted down. Typically with emergencies, I tend to be clear-headed, calm and decisive and move purposefully. Then when the emergency passes, I become emotional and volatile. I get VERY tired, remember the events in a distorted timeline, and second-guess my decisions. Basically, I melt down.
With the bombardment of emergencies that I’ve experienced the last ten years, particularly accelerated the last three years, I’ve found that my level-headedness during crisis is disappearing. I’ve become prone to feeling lightheaded, and sometimes completely panicked. But for Fred’s cerebral cavernous malformation diagnosis, I reacted differently, returning, temporarily to my clear headedness. The diagnosis gave me a focal point outside of myself, my parenting, and my feelings of lack of control. My mission: get surgery for Fred. It took me seven months, took all my time and all my energy.
And then the meltdown. Not just from the crisis of the diagnosis, but from the disclosures of sexual abuse, from the betrayals, from supports crumbling, from losing my way of life, losing my financial, physical, mental and spiritual security, from having my eyes being pried open by the sheer enormity of realizing that I nurtured a sociopathic rapist in my home, and the gravity of the damage he inflicted; from learning that there were no quick fixes for us, that some of us had permanent damage and life-long disabilities. Denial was no longer an option, but boy howdy, running away sounded great! Maybe I could run faster than the pain. Just leave Boe with the boys and disappear.
Boe along with a dear friend and my therapist proposed an alternative, just check out for a month and focus completely on myself, my healing. My therapist would give me some assignments and keep up with me via Skype. After the month I would be able to better decide how to proceed.
I learned so much during that month. But mostly, I learned it was time for me to grow up, to stop looking for saviors, heroes, sugar daddy’s, and benevolent benefactors. My parents work was done, and no amount of grieving, bargaining, or looking for substitutions would return to me loses from my childhood. My childhood was gone, forever. (You would think this would have sunk in a little sooner, but better late than never, I say!) It was time to save myself, and by doing so, I may be able to facilitate healing for my family.
This idea is very different than my previous belief system, and it’s taken me a while to come to terms with it. It created a great paradox. The interesting thing is that I was already living in a reversed paradox. Before, I believed only God could save me, if I proved worthy enough. Now I believe only I can save me, because God gave only me the tools to do it.