For the last several years I have had an aversion to Thanksgiving. Okay, that's a lie. I hate it. I hate Thanksgiving with a big fat fiery passion from hell. Mephistopheles. Ahem. Sorry, random.
Anyhow. I hate Thanksgiving. And I had no idea. All of my memories of Thanksgiving are memories of family get-togethers and lots of good food and all of us kids playing outside. It doesn't make any sense to me. I don't hate Christmas. I love It. So what's the difference. There practically is none as far as my family is concerned. One is almost as equally important as the other. So what, in my mind, is the deal with Thanksgiving??
2 years ago I remember it hitting me like a ton of bricks. My parents were here. They had just moved here, and we were having Thanksgiving at our house. It was my first year 'hosting' Thanksgiving, and I was excited about cooking all of mom's dishes and such. I felt like such an adult. And then the day came. And my parents were there. And I realized that it was quite possibly the very first Thanksgiving I had ever spent without my brother. And I had a monumental freakout. I remember locking myself in the bathroom, crying and shaking. I remember vomiting, washing my face, and going out to the living room like nothing was wrong. The lies were all still carefully constructed then. I had to keep it all hidden. Oh how much time has changed things. And oh how many things are still the same. I cried. Then I dried my tears and went on about my day trying to figure out why Thanksgiving sucked so royally.
As most of you know the last few weeks have been insanity in this house. Right before he got sick thought, my depression started to get really, really bad. I was going through memories, sorting things, trying to deal with things, trying to remember things that didn't make sense, etc, and it was taking it's toll on me. I was laying in bed for hours on end, just staring off into space, thinking, remembering. I didn't want to move. I didn't want to take care of the kids, I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to lay there. Just lay there. And I did. Until he got sick, then I had to turn it off. I had to turn it off and take care of him and the kids and now I didn't stop to think why it was getting so bad. And Eric was in the hospital and a week's gone by and all of a sudden.. it's two days before Thanksgiving.
I usually have therapy on Mondays. She couldn't see me yesterday, so I went today. It's funny how these things work out. Maybe my brain wasn't ready before. Maybe now God was ready for me to see this. I don't know. But I had therapy two days before Thanksgiving. Today. And today I'm a mess. I'm such a mess. So maybe it was good that I had therapy. Anyhow. I sat there in my chair with my knees curled up to my chest and I rambled on and on. I was crying, which I don't do a lot of anymore. Inevitably, every week, without fail, she asks if I'm thinking of suicide. And this week I said you know, there are days that it is just in the back of my mind. It's lurking there, you know? And then there are days like today that it's everything. Every other thought is about cutting your wrist or shooting yourself or throwing a chair through a window or smashing a mirror with your fist. It's raw and acute and you can't control it'. And she asked if I had a gun. My answer: 'No, but Mom does. I can't tell you the times I've wanted to walk in there and just shoot him. In the knee. I don't even want to kill him. I just want to shoot him in his bad knee. Ohh.... shi.... '. And my mind wandered off to places it hadn't been in a very, very long time.
I had forgotten about this, but when I was 13, he moved away. He moved 12 hours away and was staying with our Uncle and Aunt. It was over. He was gone for months. And for months, I wasn't being abused. Either way, age 13 was by far the worst year of my life. My friends chose that year to abandon me. Who wants to hang out with a severely depressed 13 year old girl, anyhow? I was teased every day, and I hated school, but I was safe. And that was enough. Then on the day before we got out of school for the Thanksgiving Holiday we were playing dodge ball in gym. I remember feeling equal that day. Funny, the things we remember. I was dodging the ball, and someone stuck their foot out. I remember who, too. I don't know if she stuck her foot out intentionally, but out her foot came, and being the Bella that I am, I tripped over her foot. As I tried to stop myself from hitting the ground I stumbled forward. And there was the concrete wall. I threw my arm up over my face, and cracked my elbow. Mom came and got me and we went to the ER. I don't remember much more about that day. They put a half cast on, wrapped it up and sent us on our way.
Turns out, 12 hours away, he was having his own graceful moment. Except he fell speed skating and broke his knee cap into 3 places. And my world came crashing down.
On Thanksgiving day we drove 12 hours to get him, and bring him home. And all of a sudden, it wasn't over. I wasn't safe. He was home. It got worse, in ways. More twisted, more manipulative. And my reprieve was over.
Until today I hadn't made that connection. I hadn't remembered. In fact I had completely forgotten. Completely. I had totally blocked this from my memory. I just hated Thanksgiving, and really had no clue why. And Now I'm sitting here going 'well that makes sense', but what do I do with it. This knowledge has thrown me back into memories dark and powerful. It's dredged up so much nastiness that I'm not sure how I'm going to get through Thanksgiving this year. There is so much hurt, so much pain. So many things that I had forgotten. It hurts. Tonight when my husband had to go out for a little while (yay he's getting better) I literally layed in my bed for 3 hours. I played music for a while, and chatted with Jen and texted Stacey. But the whole time, I was thinking about slitting my wrist. (ya'll please don't think I'm going to off myself, I'm just being honest) But I held on. I layed there and I opened up Bible Gateway to 2 Samuel 22:3 and just meditated on it until he got home.
And God is good. And God is faithful. And when he did get home he held me and let me talk, and he shared his nachos with me, and he let me lay my head in his lap. And I felt better. And then I talked with some of my most amazing friends, and it got even better. And now, just now as I type my mother randomly IMed me and asked if there was anything she could do for me. I don't think that has EVER happened. And God is good. And God is faithful. And I will find a way to be thankful this Thanksgiving, even if it twists my insides. Because God is good.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.