Healing a broken heart.
If after reading the posts I have written about how my life began and why I left the life of being a Stay At Home Mom than you might get a glimpse of a woman with a broken heart. Most people might think that I have moved to Ethiopia permanently. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but I am here just visiting and working on getting my feet back on the ground. This is my story about why I had to heal.
During the summer of 2012 I had hit rock bottom and realize that the life I was living was not for me. I was in an unhealthy marriage that I had hoped would change. Yes I left my husband without anyone seeing it coming. I was tired of being unappreciated and wanted to feel whole again. The only people that could do that… was my family. I had turned my back and moved clear across the country just to try it on my own. I thought his family would help me through the post-military life. What I learned was that if I couldn’t live up to their expectations than I had to fake it. That was exactly what I did for a year and a half. It finally took Independence Day for the mask to finally droop down and reality to race into my life.
I remember my mom and her friends trying passionately to convince me that moving to Arkansas was the worse decision of my life. My son was about a few months shy of his first birthday and I was exhausted from the sudden decision to leave the only community that I knew. I remember the choice stay in Washington or move to Arkansas. I was still shocked with the idea that he lost his job. I should have known better than to choose him over my own needs. Where had he been when I was exhaustedly going to my obstetrician appointments or birthing classes. I wanted to scream, “Don’t tell me you were too busy.” The final straw was telling me that the money we supposedly had was paying for our lifestyle. At that point I was tired, stressed, and too weak to really argue much. Funny thing how that could have been seen as Post Partum from the first year. All the smiling and faking took a toll on me. Those days when I wished I could sleep in and he could help with our son were just a dream that could never come true. I gave my life for my son to feel happy and safe. I smiled and agreed to several things that just made my skin cringe. I began to lose myself and become a robot. I was slowly remembering my mother’s advice. “Molly it is time to take care of your son and you.” Funny that was what my counselor was suggesting when I saw for the emotional stress of pregnancy.
So the nights before my son and I flew out for Washington I saw the final signs of stress and anxiety. I was having dreams that God was telling me that I wouldn’t need to worry anymore. All the fighting and stressing would soon be over. It was if a peaceful feeling overtook my body. Interesting I later found out that my mom felt that whole thing was an eerie scene in my life. G and I had flown out of Arkansas on May 1, 2013. We were ready for a vacation that included reunions of all sorts with our family and close friends. Nobody knew what was about to occur after we arrived.
Now I am a very talkative person. Normally after a two-stop trip with a toddler I would be able to discuss my flight and how I had been lately. Strangely that was not what happened. We arrived when things were dark in town. I was so nervous about our flight that I hardly said a word to anyone. When we arrived in Dallas I was too nervous to miss our next flight so I forwent our normal stop at the airport food court near our terminal. It was not like me at all. So when my mom’s best friend saw us come down the escalator I was reluctantly quiet. I did recognize her and knew right away that my son and I were in a safe place. It must have been strange because my aunt took us to the nearest McDonald’s drive thru and got us our first meal back. My son and I ate silently and immediately fell asleep in the van. I remember holding my breath as we drove through the tunnel near the way away from the airport. “I wish that we were safe and sound.” Went through my mind those few moments. I obviously was not myself at that moment.
I woke up May 4 in a room that I couldn’t recognize. I tried to remember anything from before awakening in this mysterious room. I remember going through a hall that made me think about both my own birth as well as my son’s. The next memory that came to my hazy mind was my back surgery that occurred in the summer of 1992. After that everything went black. Suddenly a strange theory came to me… I was an angel that had fallen from heaven unsure of where she was.
I pushed a button that was connected to an intercom. I remember a voice saying that someone was coming. “What day is it?” I asked confused. “It was May 4th.” Answered the voice through the intercom. Now why would I be here, wherever here was, on my birthday? The mysterious figure told me that I needed my rest and left as strangely as they came. That was exactly what I did fell back asleep not knowing how I came into that strange room in an even stranger place.
It turned out two days after I arrived in Washington my odd activity got stranger. I was telling my mother that God was coming soon and we had to get ready to go. I kept clinging to her because I couldn’t figure out where I was. I just knew that being near my mom was the safest place and my son’s father couldn’t get to me. Yes I was still thinking that he might come after me and take our son away. The really weirdest thing was that all the clothes that I had packed for our trip (our suitcase was very heavy to put into my friend’s car the day we left) suddenly disappeared via transit. This included all the clothes I had packed particularly for my son. That can stress out any parent. With all this weirdness happening my mother had to make a decision. I was voluntarily checked into the nearest hospital for a breakdown.
Now to this day I can’t remember any of these things. I was that stressed out. Apparently they thought I might have had a stroke or some kind of breakdown in my system from the stress and anxiety I had been through the last year or so. I had been taking a whole lot of medication to help me through everything. Eventually they had to take me off some of it just to help me get over my condition. I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD from the stress and anxiety. Talk about scary situation.
While I was in the hospital I spent my time trying to figure how exactly I got there. Did my friends know where I was? Did the rest of my family know? Most importantly where was my son and was he okay? Remember I was afraid of losing him to his father who was shocked I even got full custody of him in the first place. According to my mom and her friend who we stayed with during this time of calamity I was telling them that “S” was coming to get me. He would do anything to take our son away. “If you leave with our son it would be over your dead body.” So I had to deal with a mind that blocked out a lot of events from the past year, a stressed out body, and a fear that nobody could imagine.
The nice thing about the hospital atmosphere was that it was peaceful. The staff made sure that I felt comfortable and at ease. I remember wanting to write so I could at least keep a record of what was happening. The writer in me felt the need to remember things even though the rest of me couldn’t. So with a crayon (because I couldn’t have anything sharp, but I found out if I did better I would be promoted to a pen) I began writing anything I could remember. I wrote down names of my friends, family, and whatever could come to my mind. It is very difficult when you feel like you have amnesia and the thoughts in your head are a bit swirly. When I could communicate with my mom and extended family I would continually ask them what happened to me. It was like waking up from a dream and not knowing who I was. The thing was I was waking up from a traumatic situation and couldn’t remember how I got there in the first place.
Remember how I thought I was an angel dropped out of heaven and not sure how she got on Earth on the first place? Yep that is exactly what went through my mind those few days. I did my therapy (which included various non-painful exercises) and took my medicine which they had adjusted so they could see if it could help with my condition. It wasn’t until we did an exercise for our minds (which had a whole group of us listening to music and trying to guess the artists and song title) that my love for pop music finally emerged. It was as if my mind was waking up from a long nap and I was slowly remembering my first love of listening to music. I had amazed the therapists and other patients guessing a majority of the songs correctly. I even shocked a few people with songs that were older than I was. I had my mom to thank for exposing me to the classics like Peter, Paul and Mary, The Beatles, and a few others that are numerous to list. I was living up to my name “Mahlet” that means melody.
It was soon after that therapy meeting that I discussed with my mom and the doctors about my progress. Not knowing about what had caused me to breakdown I felt like I need to be discharged and began on the next level of healing. They (the doctors) showed me the notes that lead to my going into the hospital in the first place. It was like reading a science fiction novel. I did not sound like myself at all. The thing was I was not sure who I was after the situation.
I was diagnosed with PTSD and suggested to see a therapist and support worker. The scary part was soon after I was discharged the hardest part of my healing was about to begin. I came out a woman who was angry, bitter, and couldn’t trust anyone around me. It was as if my whole life was erased and all I could remember was that I didn’t know whom to trust. I was very skinny and a ghost of my former self. The days of happy go lucky Molly was gone and what was in its place was a very different person all together.