Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects everyone differently.
This is her story:
I’ve been suffering, silently, for going on eight months…I guess. And, I’ve needed and wanted to write about it. But, I’ve been afraid. Mostly, I’ve been afraid of the emotions that come flooding back to me when I think, talk, or picture the experiences that led up to this day.
Actually, I don’t know when it started. But, I finally said something last week to Mr. B and my Momma.
This suffering stems from an accident, on July 19, that involved my 7-year-old son.
Bubs was in a golf cart accident with his grandfather. The 800-pound cart, fell on a 45-pound baby and drug him on concrete for quite a distance. Bubs was air-cared to the local Children’s Hospital. And I, well I was 39 weeks pregnant. And, I fell when I saw him. Literally.
I fell because my son, my first born, and my best friend was trapped. Under a machine. He was covered in blood from “road rash” and he was broken. everywhere. He suffered with a dislocated hip, broken femur, butterfly fractured femur, crush-fracture of his foot, dislocated toes, puncture wounds and road rash all over his body and a removed quadriceps muscle. When I stood from falling, there he was, screaming for help and frantically searching for his mommy. And my heart couldn’t take it. It was broken.
In that instant, I was changed. Forever. I can’t forget the pain of driving to the scene. The soul crushing fear that flooded through my body the way I imagine Hurricane Katrina taking over New Orleans – engulfing your body with no hope or relief in sight. The fear and pain took me to a place that had not existed prior to this accident. And now I can’t seem to find my way out of it.
I still remember the scene like it was a dream. There were people rushing all around me, ambulances screaming to the scene, a helicopter circling overhead, paramedics asking questions…about him…and about me, paramedics taking blood pressure, police officers begging me to go to the hospital. I was swarmed but still felt invisible. All I wanted to do was go back in time. Just 20 minutes earlier. To make this moment disappear. All I could think about was this “never happening” and how it “couldn’t be happening” to us.
I am ashamed to admit…but, I didn’t care about the baby inside of me in that moment. Because the boy who had my heart first was seriously hurt. More serious than I even knew or wanted to know in that moment. More serious than anyone was willing to “tell the pregnant mom.” It was hard for me to consider the unborn child. I “knew” right where she was and I “knew” she was okay. All I knew was I heard words like “internal bleeding”, “head trauma,” “internal damage” and “spinal cord injuries” being thrown around…regarding my baby. MY baby. It was as if I was having an out-of-body experience.
I still remember the paramedic who took me to the hospital. His attempts at consoling me, while my son flew overhead, were heroic. He was kind and gentle and was a true professional. There are no words that can describe these moments. No words created by man that can put your thoughts and fears on paper to describe the instant you think you may lose your child. It’s a pain like I’ve never known. A pain that was sharp and reckless and it had no concern for me or the perfect family I had built.
And now, it has been replaced with fear.
As I sat in the hospital waiting room, waiting for his six hour surgery to be complete, and cried. I cried for my unborn baby, who would be born into a world interrupted. I cried for me. Because I was afraid and exhausted and broken-hearted. But mostly, I cried for my baby boy. Because I didn’t know what the future held anymore. 10 hours prior, I knew. And now my world was crashing in around me. I couldn’t breath.
See, Bubs and I started on this journey alone. Mr. B was our answered prayer that came four years later. For four years it was just us…and nothing will ever match those four years for our small family. Nothing will ever match the bond we built. He is my best friend. My confidant. My companion.
I am suffering silently with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am struggling every.single.day with constant fear and irrational thoughts. I become overwhelmed with illusions, memories and possibilities…which all hold me back from living. These fears consume everything I do. Everything I let my family do. And, they consume every thought I have. I catch myself living in a world of “what-ifs” rather than just living and loving life. (Loving the life that God so graciously spared last summer.)
And, even with Bubs upstairs sleeping in his bed. Even if we made it through 12 weeks in a wheel chair and two weeks in a walker and one week of God-fearin’, earth rattling pain and torture…I still can’t shake the memory.
I still live in fear of losing someone. And not just Bubs now… Mr. B, Bubette, my mom, dad, step-dad, cousins, aunts…it is growing. And, for that reason, I have decided to talk to someone who knows more about this than I do. A professional….which makes me feel like a nut job.
Because prior to July 19, I lived in a beautiful world where horrible things happen “to other people.” and now…well, I can’t help but think that those horrible things “could happen to me.”
…because they did.
And I can’t seem to find my old self again.