It’s the start of the spring school holidays here, and depression seems to be trying to descend upon me which feels ridiculously inappropriate because its finally warming up, trees are growing leaves and there are blossoms everywhere. This means I should be happy now, doesn’t it? But the black cloud is thickening and I am trying to fake it till I make it, resisting the urge to just lie in bed binge watch seasons of “Love Child”.
Mr 11 seems to of inherited his temper from his mother, which is unfortunate for him and very unfortunate for our glass sliding door. In a momentary fit of rage on Sunday night he kicked the old plate glass sliding door shattering it and sending shards of glass into his bare toes.
The emergency room visit triggered the hell out of me, I hadn’t considered the fact that that might happen when we decided who would take him to the hospital, I was preoccupied with my bleeding child and just drove there. But as I carried him through the doors into the waiting area it suddenly hit me, the white walls, the smell of antiseptic. The last time I was there was back in 2015 when I was forced to declare, out loud, that I could no longer stand being alive and needed to be locked up for my own safety and I almost never came home again.
We were sent into the triage office, the same triage office where I had previously been rendered mute with anxiety and fear of judgement, where I had looked around furiously for anything I could use to end my life right then and there rather than face the torment of being hospitalised for my own safety, forced to live against my will. I stepped into the little office, took a deep breath as the sensations and memory flooded over me and tried desperately to push them down, back into their box in the back of my mind, to become a problem for a different day.
I managed to explain the situation at hand and the smiling nurse quickly ushered us to the only available bed, the bed, of course, was the same one I had been placed into that day two years ago, the one that is in a separate room with a lockable door, a video camera in the ceiling and nothing you could use to hurt yourself. Every hair on my body was raised as I tried to force closed and lock that little box in the back of my mind as I felt myself disassociate slightly, now wasn’t the time.
I brought myself back to the present using the ‘5 things’ technique and concentrated on talking to Mr11 and trying to get his mind off the situation. He chose that moment to suddenly notice my semi-colon tattoo for the first time and ask it’s meaning. I have had it since April and it’s not exactly hidden, I swear my kids are so unobservant. I deflected and said I’d explain it later, I couldn’t cope with talking about it in that setting at that moment.
Mr 11 got 3 lots of painful local anaesthetic injections as shards of glass were removed and 6 stitches were put into the awkward underside of one of his little toes, it must have hurt like hell, but he was very brave. He has always been a stoic child even as a two yr old I remember him walking up to me calmly saying “Can you take this out? It hurts a bit” pointing to a pulsating bee stinger stuck in his finger. Miss 8 on the other hand screams blue murder over a slight bump.
When I was signing the paper work to leave Mr 11 asked me how much this visit had cost and I was thankful to be able to answer $0. I told him how lucky we are to live in Australia and that in America the government doesn’t pay. He nodded, then said “but in America, if they don’t pay for healthcare, doesn’t that mean all the people who are sick can’t work? If they can’t work, then they aren’t paying taxes and they are getting money from the government for being too sick to work? Wouldn’t that end up costing even more money eventually?”
If he is 11 years old and he can figure that out, I sure hope that one day the American government can eventually come to the same conclusion.
He is now learning the pitfalls of trying to get around on a pair of crutches and a valuable lesson about kicking inanimate objects but it’s a shitty start to the school holidays for a kid that likes to build forts and play outside. I managed to face my fear a little and put my anxieties back in their box so I could be there for him when he needed me, so I guess that we were both kicking down doors that day. Now that I know I still have some unresolved feelings about being at the hospital, I can start to work through them with my therapist along with some healthy coping strategies.
How do you cope with flashbacks?
Do you kick things when you’re angry?