I don't even know how to start this blog. I have sat here staring at the screen for 20 minutes. My head so full, my heart so heavy and my soul bursting with a pain so intense I find it hard to breathe
If I were to say " We found out my mom has diabetes", there would be an outpouring of sympathy and support. If I were to say, "We found out my mom has a degeneratize disease", again many would offer support. If I were to say, "My mom had a heart attack or stroke", the response would be overwhelming. If I were to say, "They found Cancer and my mom is dying", our family would never have to face this alone.
I am thankful that my mother has none of these things. I checked my mother into the hospital last night. We arrived at the hospital at the prearranged time. I explained we were here to check into the Hope Center. We waited, and after signing in, we trudged past the stain glass windows of the Chapel, down a corridor, into the elavator, along with the sympathetic looks as we went to the second floor. You see, the only thing on the second floor is the psychiatric care units. We have been here before. My mother is severely bi-polar and has spun into the well of blackness in her mind that leads us here.
I am asked to check my purse and hers, my dad to give up his cell phone and keys as we are led to "the unit". It sounds like a millitary term doesn't it? It should. The lost souls here are battling for this precious thing we all call sanity. The battle is fierce, long and often lost. We are asked to stand outside in the hallway as my mother suffers the indignity of a strip search for safety. She is adorned with the bracelet of "high risk" which means she is on suicide watch. I looked into the eyes of the other women on the unit. Acknowledging that I see them, that they are worthy of being seen as I am waiting in the hall. I receive sad smiles, relief and empty gazes from these lost souls.
We are given a schedule of when we can visit, a code-this code allows the hospital to acknowledge she is there, phone numbers that we can call to talk with her, between treatment and groups. Everyone speaks softly, calmly, like you would a wild animal. That is okay because that is what it feels like. You are trapped, trapped in this nightmare. The walking wounded. I have long learned when you explain that no, you can't visit her in the hospital because of where she is, to expect the dropping of the eyes. I know it is to hide the horror, the embarassment, the pity. God how I hate the pity. I wonder is that pity for her or me? Do they wonder if I am ill as well? Do they wonder if it's only a matter of time before I am? I often wonder if they are afraid it's contagious...
And then, it is time to leave. You see, this is the only place in the hospital where you are not allowed to stay with your loved one. There is no "ICU" waiting room to receive regular updates. I have the painful burden of requesting a drug test for my mother in front of my father. You see when she is unstable, she self medicates. We get our things and trudge back downstairs, past the stain glass windows of the chapel, and into the parking lot. The family of the walking wounded.
I try again to have the conversation with the big burly Irishman I call my Dad, that she has a sickness in her mind that is never going away. This is what we will have, times of instability. That there is NO cure only maintaining stability. That he needed to check the bank accounts, and what did he want to see happen.
I come home to The Man, who understands that I smoked. That allows me to smoke as I begin to call various family members. Who finally sits in our chair and bids me come. I crawl in his lap and tell him that I need him to make the decisions for a while. He holds me and strokes my hair and then tells me to get my swim suit on. We walk to the pool at 11pm and I swim and walk and work out till my legs are so tired they feel like rubber. I sing hymns and swim and cry. He brings me inside to the shower, and gets in behind me and washes my hair. He tells me that he intends to give me relief from thinking about this for a while.
This Man of mine, he spanks me and rubs my back and spanks me, and rubs my back. Only ever using his hand, always telling me how much he loves me and I am his and he is mine. He offers me the comfort of his body and I forget for a little while.