Breaking the Silence
It’s been 5 months post trauma, 4 months of grief, 4 months of unplugging from reality at times, 4 months of recovering, and 3+ months of silence. To say this has been one of the most difficult seasons of my life would be an understatement.
I think the thing that gets me the most about trauma, is it comes from nowhere. You go about your days, and Bam! It smacks you in the face.
Rewind to last March, when it all started. It was a weekend of traveling meant for business and to attend board meetings. A weekend to embrace my newer role as a board member and meet other board members for the first time, while nerves were high, not knowing what to expect. Going to a location nearby some family, it only made sense to go a day early to get some quality time with the ones I loved.
Expecting a warm welcome, the joy of seeing the ones you love for the first time in months, and being embraced with a large hug; you know the usual sights seen at baggage claim in an airport. After taking a red-eye and being up all night, utterly exhausted, the welcoming party I was hoping for was no where to be found. I went back to the main lobby to find the bathroom, splashed some water on my face, tried to wake myself up, and was passing time, not wanting to be surrounded by the warm reunions, as mine was not in sight. I decided to wander back out to baggage claim. It was then that I saw the one to greet me, sitting on a chair, and my heart sank. I was sick to my stomach, I knew deep down in my soul, something was wrong.
The reunion felt superficial and fake. Trying to assess the situation, wondering what was making me so uneasy. And then it started to unravel. “This place is going to explode, there are bombs, and every one is trying to kill me. We are unsafe. They are all after us.” Responding, as one would only know how, while trying to tone down the thrills of terror and fear, “We are in an airport. You can’t say that here. What would make you feel safe? How about we leave and go get some breakfast?” Only to be turned down, refusing to lose their seat at baggage claim, afraid of people, afraid of the sun, afraid of cars, afraid of everything. “How about I go get you some water?” A moment passes and I can excuse myself, every fiber inside of me is screaming to get away, why can’t you get your self together! I need backup, so I search my phone and send frantic texts to others that I love. “I don’t know what is happening, she is acting crazy. Maybe she’s on drugs.” I come back, and offer my water bottle. Trying to be polite, not to cause anymore-extreme outbursts, I quietly ask: “Are you by chance having an allergic reaction to something? Did you take any medication?” When then the truth comes out. “Yes, I have a problem. I need help.”
A taxi ride, a rehab center evaluation, an ambulance ride to the ER, followed by 4+ hours of confessions of drug abuse throughout the last 10 years of my life. Then another cab ride taken back to the rehab center to get checked in, where goodbyes were said abruptly.
Stranded in the lobby of the rehab center with my suitcase, I’m in shock. I’ve been up for almost 30 hours; I don’t know what just happened, my mind couldn’t comprehend the loss and crushing of expectations. Uber came to the rescue and brought me back to my hotel where I crumbled. Alone I balled my eyes out. Every fight, every argument, every disappointment, every celebration missed, every twisting of my words, every verbal abusive bashing finally made sense. The person we’ve been fighting with has been on drugs; they weren't in their right mind!
I pull myself together; to go to the board meetings I came out to attend. Trying to be social, keeping myself collected, but I’m a zombie. I do everything I can to get through the meetings, so I can go back home to my husband and my community. I just wanted to get back to my world, where everything I knew was safe.
A week later, my presence was requested again, so I flew back across the country. The plan was to help move from one rehab center to something more long term and pack for a move consisting of a 10-hour car ride. At this point I’m with my sister, I couldn’t imagine doing this with anyone else. I go through the house, looking through all of the belongings to find any remaining drugs to dispose of. Rummaging through closets, coat pockets, dresser drawers, leaving nothing untouched. Hundreds of empty pill containers were collected. And again I’m reminded how out of control this has become and how easy it must have been to get so many prescriptions. What in the world is the matter with our health care system? Why does one person have this kind of access? It’s becoming a huge epidemic. Celebrities have died from the same prescription concoctions, and many others in the death count from much smaller doses. How in the world is she still alive? How am I disposing this much medication from someone still breathing and how has she not OD’d?
But there is HOPE! Even though Hope is one of the most petrifying things to muster up inside. The terrifying thing about hope is what’s on the other side, the immense fear of another betrayal or relapse. Would all this be for nothing? Will they just relapse again? Will our relationships ever be healthy? The fear of the unknown makes hope a challenge. There seems to be less disappointment if you never allow yourself to hope. But HOPE takes courage, it takes bravery, and it takes an insane amount of trust. Trust that those you love will get healing, deliverance, and freedom from a lifestyle holding them back from their full potential. Trust that they will one day be able to be the parent you had always hoped they’d be. Trust that they will one day make a great grandparent and hope that they will be patient. Patient to allow you space and time, as healing takes place. Hope and Trust go hand-in-hand.
But the reward is worth it. After 5 months of intense rehabs, counseling sessions, and loving encounters with Jesus, we are slowly recovering. I’m getting back on my feet and my family is slowly pulling pieces back together. We were lucky and I am grateful. I pray that others will get their freedom before it’s too late.
I forgive you. I’m proud of you. I’m thankful that you’re alive. I’m hopeful for the future. I know this wasn’t easy, but you are an overcomer. You are brave. You conquer hard challenges and most of all you are loved. So SO deeply loved. You are Jesus' beloved and He couldn’t be more proud to have you as a daughter. He delights in you. You are His favorite You. I pray that you will always know that, that you won’t forget the things that matter the most, and that you will always feel the love you need, in life’s most stressful moments! I love you.
Love always, Megs