So here’s the thing… (by the way I like saying that, like I have something profound to say..,even if I don’t). I have nine children. One of which is in a Mental Hospital and has been since over 5 weeks ago. She has been committed and will be transferred to the State Hospital soon. She calls me, like 8 x a day, and she is totally dis-regulated….crazy angry, crazy manic…you know like “Real” crazy. Conversations like that everyday can put anyone in a funk. I have to create safe boundaries for myself and answer the phone when I am strong enough. At this point, the crazy ain’t leaving,…so I have to allow it with open arms, yet, not. let. it. Drown. Me.
And then there we eight other children. Seven of which are struggling. S.T.R.U.G.G.L.I.N.G
I took Bugs to see “Soul Surfer “ tonight, while Trev cleaned up the Yard Sale, and fed the littles Pizza. We needed a break…and it was, until it wasn’t.
In the movie, there is a part where right after the daughter’s arm was bitten by the shark, she is headed to the hospital in an ambulance. You watch as the Mother gets the phone call..the phone drops, and you see her shaking, numb face as she enters the car…driving to the hospital, on the road behind her , is the blaring ambulance, she pulls over, lets it pass…and out loud begins praying and begging out loud that “let her please live, let her please be alive”…..
My hands started to shake, and then my body was shivering uncontrollably…as my eyes began to switch left to right on there own…I was taken back to the day, I received a phone call around 4:30 from my sister in law on January 12 2010.
There was an Earth Quake in Haiti, a BIG one
…those words reverberated in the back of my brain, they radiated down my spine, into my whole body as I too began to repeat “let THEM please live, let THEM please be alive”…..that hummed in my soul for 36 HOURS….before we knew if the kids were alive, if the Orphanages hadn’t collapsed.
And tonight in the $2 movie theater, it wasn’t “as if”, I was back in those memories, and feeling those moments, I WAS THERE, I could feel the goose bumps that would not leave on my skin, the permanent lump of anxiety lodged in my chest, how much it HURT to breathe, the glare of CNN on my television constantly on, willing Anderson Copper to show MY children, their Orphanage…I was there tonight, and IT SUCKED.
Once the tears slowed and I could regulate my heartbeat again, and see the movie screen, once again, another trigger over took my senses, Bethany choose to travel to Thailand, on a mission trip right after the Tsunami, lets just say, third world country, natural disaster, here we go again….palms and forehead sweating, the smell of the Earth Torn, people dying, Haiti began to rise in my nostrils…The image of them bandaging heads, and there I was in Central Tent Hospital, in the middle of Haiti watching two small boys bring their Mother who had rags tied around two bloody stumps that once were her legs in a wheel barrow. She was dead, but the boys didn’t know that….my heart broke in half all over again, the bile in my throat just as sour, my brain screaming “why does this happen”…I. was. There.
I could see their glazed eyes looking into mine, dull and full of pain. I remembered handing them water bottles and the Protein Bars out of my bag, the brush of their hands, the feel of their hair as I ran my hand over their heads and asked if they were hungry, the sound of their voices as the said a weak “Merci”, and went to find where the volunteers had taken their mother.
I had not remembered that moment until sitting in this theater. The two weeks spent in Haiti after the quake, are full of those moments, buried under the surface, while I try to help my kids heal…and keep on burring my stuff…until it comes up fighting for air, screaming for attention.
I had a good ugly cry in the safe darkness of the sticky floored, almost empty, $2 theater.
Afterward, Bugs and I did a little walking around, I needed to regulate before going home, also secretly hoping the short people would be asleep upon my reentry.
Having a built in Therapist…is a VERY good thing.
Once I went to bed and woke this morning, I felt purged, and I stop to wonder. When our traumatized kids, have a PTSD attack, a memory so raw, so deep, so painful…even if it is in the womb, being taken away form their birth mother, or a natural disaster, it is NOT a memory, they ARE re-living it…and if, and when those past demons pop up, we are prepped and ready and understanding and empathetic, non reactionary, we can help them process and purge that pain…and the next time it comes up, it will be a little bit smaller, a little less threatening and raw.g\
Every single one of us is in the process of healing something, let us be gentle with each other.