April 29, 2014

Bumblebees and Stoplights

We are on day 2 (or more, if you count the days I didn't know about it) of Tucker's infection in his eye socket.  His energy comes and goes, along with eye pain and headaches.  We are three doses into this kick-A antibiotic, and he is expected to make a full recovery.  If this infection will stay the heck away from his optic nerve, then we're golden.  But all we can do is wait.

I can feel myself shutting down a little bit. Or shutting down a lot bit, but I can only feel it a little bit.

Apparently there are two responses to life-changing crisis and trauma. On one end of the spectrum, a person becomes fearful and catatonic. If it happened to them once, then surely it could happen again. So they clothe themselves in bubble wrap and refuse to risk or feel or fall.

And then there is my kind, we who are falsely secure in our invincibility. We who think, the worst has happened - how much worse could anything be? I'm a rock. Nothing can take me down. Bring it on, Life - haven't you learned your lesson? I. Will. Win.

The first approach is filled with coping mechanisms that keep one tied up in knots and afraid of bumblebees and stoplights.

The second approach has its own coping mechanisms that mask fear quite differently. It brings a tired mom to rub her son's back, measure antibiotics by the percentage of wellness, listen to his breathing, and thank God for the last eight years just in case it's all there is. It's a whole different nightmare, when her mind is so stubbornly anchored in this moment that she begins to think another loss would feel like nothing.

It's hard to explain. And I guess it's all very normal.

5 comments on “Bumblebees and Stoplights”

  1. Thanks for posting this today. I can't explain, but I needed it. Glad he is getting better.

  2. Trauma changes us fundamentally. It's a miracle we are still here at all after it. That the earth didn't swallow us up. That we keep on going, numb, but still going, when triggered again is a wonder. But we do. Keep at it Brave Mama.

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