As women, we have to learn to listen to our gut. {Even when it’s telling us something we don’t want to hear.} And in March 2010 my gut was telling me one thing – loud & clear – “You must turn this ship around or it’s going to sink!”

I know, right? Clearly, something I didn’t want to hear.

You see, my son was nearly killed in an accident in July 2009 and eight months later, the bones were healing, but I was still broken.  And, something had to give.  I was bending and bowing under the heavy load I was carrying & I had to make a choice. The first choice that would turn my life, this ship, around was telling my husband the truth. I had to tell him of the awful thoughts that would fill my soul and haunt my nights.

I had to tell the man I love how often I had pictured him dead or dying, with our beautiful, innocent, children at his side. I had to tell him of the times I lied and told him I was sleeping downstairs, when really? I was sitting in one of the kids rooms crying. Picturing them dead. There is no marriage course that prepares you for that conversation. No book that tells you what to say when you’re wife is losing her mind.

I am blessed. And he reinforced what my heart knew and my mind couldn’t comprehend when he hugged me and held me and told me that I needed to call a doctor. {I knew in my gut that this was what I needed, but it was nice to hear him say it.}

You see, I was dying a slow death at the hand of post traumatic stress disorder. At the time I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that anxiety and fear were ruling my life. I was not living with intent.

Post Traumatic Stress had taken over & changed the woman I had once loved. It had stolen my husband’s wife & my children’s mother. I am a firm believer that life shouldn’t be the same after trauma, I expect that. I accept that. But, I also knew that I was not living and I didn’t want to settle for anything less. When you believe in your heart that one of your children is dying, is going to die, may die…there are no books or blogs or words or friendships that are inspiring enough to settle your soul.

And, even after I tucked my boy away in a bed, EIGHT long months later…safely upstairs, without a wheelchair, after a long day of school and baseball practice, I couldn’t shake my spirit of those haunting thoughts. Those reoccurring nightmares, I had when I was awake.

Nighttime would creep up on me like a thief and steal any sanity I had managed to build up in my reserves for the day. It was always worse at night.

The blackness would slip under the door frame and suddenly I would grow weak under the urge to hold my children tightly and scream into the thick air. The thoughts that filled my head were not that of a “sane” woman. I no longer recognized the woman that replaced me when night fell. The fear of losing my loved ones began to grow…and grow…and grow…

I didn’t tell the therapist everything right away. But after a week of visits, I let it all go. I told him that I pictured my baby dying of SIDS every time I closed my eyes. I would sit in her room in the dark on the floor and use my phone to light up her face so I could watch her breathe. I would rock in her room through the night and cry. And torture myself with the thought of finding her lifeless in the morning. A thought that wouldn’t let me close my eyes.

The blanket the boy brought home from the hospital would trigger phantom day-dreams that would leave me shuttering. I could hear him screaming in the night, in pain, even after the pain was gone. I would lay awake at night and watch my husbands’ chest rise and fall with each breath. I would picture how badly my heart would/will hurt when he dies, I would think of losing my parents…losing my aunts. Death consumed my thoughts.

I couldn’t drive in my car without sobbing uncontrollably. Every slammed brake or rushed traffic light would leave me in a puddle of doubt and fear. I was convinced someone was going to hit me, hit us, kill my family…

And, I knew this wasn’t right.

There were times when my mind would convince my heart that I was better off dead, rather than face the sadness the future holds. I would pray to please let me die before my children, my husband…and at times, I would even think “before my parents.” I would remember the agonizing pain of the unknown – as my son was air-cared to the local Children’s Hospital – and I would pray that the demon of memory be taken away from me.

But, as I told my therapist of my thoughts & fears…as I spoke of the anxiety that chased me in the night…the fear seemed to find a place where it could lay dormant. And I was fine with that. For now.

It’s been just over one year since the accident. And I still know that the dormant monster is waiting. Lurking…

And, there are times when I have talk myself off the ledge. Times when I feel the anxiety creeping back in. I accept the fact that life will never be the same. I accept the fact that it’s not suppose to. And, I know that with that change comes baggage, that at times will be too much to carry. But I also know I can face this demon head on, with the help of my family & friends…and even my blogging community.

I am working hard to turn this ship around. To make up for the ground that has been lost. To find my way back to the shore of safety and maybe, just maybe, even learn how to live on the sandy, white beaches of satisfaction.