just a breath

Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere. I’ll be walking across the room, making dinner, sitting by myself or driving; it happens a lot when I’m driving, alone…It takes away my breath, literally. I actually have to stop and catch my breath, consciously remember how to breathe. It’s the memories of what is happening in our life, right now and for the past several months. Sometimes I forget, I get busy and it’s not in my thoughts. Then it returns and it takes away my breath. How did we ever get to this place? How could this be happening to our family? We practiced attachment parenting, we let our kids sleep with us, I nursed for years, we had a homebirth and we homeschooled. If they went to school it was their choice and they were free to leave school at will. We eat organic, healthy food as much as possible. I shop at CSA’s and food co-op’s and Whole Foods. How did this happen to us? Didn’t homeschooling and living a child-led life protect us from the darkness? We’re liberals, not just democrats but far left wing liberals, aren’t our kids supposed to be well adjusted? They’re loved and accepted for who they are. We don’t care if they’re gay, in an interracial relationship, with someone that actually has a religion. Our only expectation is for them to be kind to others and happy.

But then it returns and I can’t breathe. If I stop and think about it I can’t stop crying, so I don’t think. I let it wash over me, I remember how to breathe and I try to move past it without thinking. But every time it takes away my breath I’m surprised. Surprised that a feeling, a memory can do that. There are worse things happening in the world but there have not been worst things to happen in our family. How did this happen? When did we let down our guard and let in this darkness? We were happy I know we were, I think I can remember, it couldn’t have been that long ago. But it feels like a distant memory.

I want that life back, that time before, before all this was a part of my thoughts. Before I would just lose my breath.


7 thoughts on “just a breath

  1. I also can remember going through a very black period in my life when the tears would flow at the drop of a hat and I would think what on earth did I do to deserve this in my life. How could I have changed things so as not to let this happen. Then it all passed not in a second or a week or even a year. It took many years for that feeling to stop and for the tears to be under control and for my life to be happy again. I know that what is going on in your life also will pass. Not today or tomorrow but in time. Your are very lucky though, you have many friends and family who will be there for you and help you through this time.

  2. Sheila, I agree with Phyllis that it doesn’t matter how we guard against it, bad things happen to good people. And when I read Phyllis’ comment, I wonder if her children might have put her through some of the same kinds of things you are going through. I know it doesn’t make it any better, but last year I felt that same darkness, wondering if I would have to jump in the car and drive 10 hours to rescue my daughter from herself. If we didn’t love them so much, it wouldn’t hurt so much.

  3. Sheila,
    I too feel your pain and know that feeling of loosing your breath at the thought of the pain I am going through. I don’t know what happened to your family, but darkness is darkness, just in different forms. I will have your family in my thoughts! Please feel free to contact me privately if you need to vent or just cry. I’m a good listener 🙂

  4. I think you are a wonderful mom and have a wonderful family. And honestly the things in life are not always in our control. Kids need structure and guidance as well as the wonderful freedom you have offered them. Life is not just about acceptance and happiness, there is a deeper thing. A mission in life, a belief. Not just in eating healthy or being yourself but in a relationship with God, the only true fulfillment. I believe that wholeheartedly, that God is the only thing that can make you truly happy! Everything good stems from Him, and there is still pain and struggle, possibly even more, but when you are living life glorifying your Creator and Lord there is nothing that can stand against you. He has you in His arms of protection and love! You are in my prayers.

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