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.