where do I begin
Life has been not what I expected to happen the last two years. I expected as my daughter entered elementary school I would be the mom that was so excited to see her first day of kindergarten. But that was not the case. The closer and closer the school year came to starting an overwhelming fear began to brew in my body. The feeling of being vulnerable to all the world had come.
Anytime I would question my fears, all hell would break loose inside me.
But let me tell you what originally started what I now feel was a complete breakdown of me. My grandmother had passed earlier in the year. Overwhelming sadness and depression had set in but life had to keep moving. The last time I had a significant death I was not a mom yet. I didn’t have someone else’s sadness to be concerned with.
In dealing with my own grief I found myself bottling up my sadness because I needed to move on for my daughter’s sake and family. I needed to care for her feelings and emotions with her first major death. It is so hard to explain to a child what has happened to a love one. One day your love one is here and the next moment gone. She was just beginning to understand God and heaven so trying to explain both made life more complicated and more difficult to deal with myself.
No one taught me how to take care of a child that was grieving. There was no mention of this in my parenting books I had been given. My family tried to help but I was so numb with the death of my grandma that I wasn’t comprehending what I was to do. I felt lost, alone and struggling to push down my own grief that would rise when she was sad.
Flash forward to her first day of kindergarten, I think we as human beings try too hard to be that “perfect mom” and all the firsts for our child should be expected to be this amazing thing. I wanted that so desperately for my life and for that day. But all expectations went out the window the morning my daughter woke up, instant fear in my heart. I could not function. You know that fight and flight function that our human body has. GONE.
Everyone in the house was moving around and getting ready. Me. I was stuck in bed having what I now know was a severe anxiety attack. My chest hurt. Tears rolled down my face. On the day my daughter was to be excited she was worried about her mommy. I didn’t even get to go to the school to drop her off.
Instead, my dad took me to the doctors office to be seen. He was worried. My blood pressure was high. He was worried. My doctor was concerned, he never saw me in this state though he had prescribed anxiety medicine for me before for me flying issues.
I broke down. I was in tears. Sadness and the dark feeling of depression came to light. He gave me anti-depressants and some other medicine to relax me more that the previous medicine. I was still numb. I feared for my daughter’s well being at school. I was so sad I screwed up her first day of kindergarten, a day that I would never get back.
We went to the pharmacy, got the meds. But before I could even take one, my daughter was back home and I was in bed having yet another anxiety attack even though she was home. All I could think was WHERE ARE YOU GOD? I NEED YOU! My chest pains became worse and I told my dad he had to call 911. I prayed that I wasn’t going to die. It felt like I was going to die. My left arm hurt like I have never felt, my heartbeat was so fast I could feel like jumping. My mind was a fog. All I knew was I was in trouble and I needed medical attention.
I heard my dad call 911, I heard my daughter cry because she was terrified at the time that if you went with the paramedics you were going to die. How scary for a five year old to even feel that about her mom. I felt like the worst mom ever that day. The paramedics came and checked me out. I am pretty sure they thought I was crazy. All my vitals checked out except for my blood pressure. They didn’t want to bother with me. They tried to have my dad just have me take the meds and sleep. But I knew something was wrong with me, what that was yet to be determined but I had to go. They finally agreed to take me to the ER but it was not the ER I wanted to go to.
As a human being who has had medical treatment you know which hospital takes the time to take care of you and ones that don’t give you the time. They told my dad they didn’t want to drive to hospital I usually go to. So I was forced to go to a place I feared making my anxiety even worse. My dad and mom came to the hospital and took turns with my daughter and being with me. I remember telling both of my parents I don’t want to die, don’t let me die.
Like clock work the doctors, residents and nurses came in multiple times to ask me what was wrong and why I was there. It felt like no one would listen. Drugs…they gave me drugs. I have no idea what it was but it relaxed me. Besides feeling numb emotionally, they made me physically numb. I could not comprehend what they said, what we were being asked. I remember the head doctor asking if I wanted to hurt myself multiple times. I swear he thought I was trying to hurt myself. I kept thinking in my head as foggy as it was where are you God? Please let him hear me.
Next the psych came in. Time for an evaluation of myself with all the questions leading up to how depressed I felt and was I a threat to myself or my family. Now I was beyond fear and vulnerable. All I could think of is I need my husband and my daughter. Don’t take me away.
Well I must have proved to them I wasn’t going to hurt myself so they let me go with more drugs. Anti-psychotics and anxiety pills. I was just prescribed some that morning, different ones. All I could think of is what the hell, this is how people who are crying out for help get. More drugs. Where is my God?
Little did I know, He was sitting next to me every minute that day even though he felt soooooooooooo far from me.
I went home. Took just one anxiety pill and fell asleep. I refused to take the anti-psychotics and depressants. The warnings scared the hell out of me. All I wanted was to talk to my husband.
The next day
Well it was better than the first but still fear overwhelmed my body. This time my husband was home with me. This time I told him I have to go to the ER. And it was a good thing I did. My blood pressure was way too high and I was sending my body into a downward spiral. I stayed in the ER for about eight hours. They took care of me. They ran tests, they made sure I was talked to and wanted to find the best solution to help me deal with this mental breakdown.
I found out that not only was I experiencing severe anxiety but that I had several other health issues that would cause my body to become overwhelmed and feeling sick. They took the time to care for me when I could not care for myself. If this happened the day before I am sure I would have made it to my daughter’s second day of school.
That day was a turning point. My dad came to the hospital and my husband left to pick up my daughter from school. He brought her to the hospital and the they let her see me. I will ever be grateful to that nurse that was retiring that day for letting me have her with me. She hugged me so tight that day on the hospital bed and just laid with me. I needed that. I needed that hug so bad. I felt like the worst mom ever and here she was hugging me as hard as her little body could to make sure I knew I was loved.
All the hookups in the hospital frightened her but the nurse made her feel secure that mommy was getting better so I could take care of her.
When I left the hospital that day I knew I needed God and I needed therapy. I may have to take anxiety pills but I really was looking to be near to God.
Written July 18, 2016 — sitting in drafts until published now