Friday, October 11, 2013

Capture Your Grief Day 11: Triggers

My triggers are kinda random and there are more than just these 4, 
but these are a few of the ones that I struggle with the most. 

The Car:
        Just after Joshua died, I struggled with PTSD. In a matter of a few months, I experienced him dying 4 times. Once in real life, and then 3 other times in flashbacks. When I had the flashbacks of him dying, I was right back in that room. I didn't know what was going on, and I didn't know if he was going to die. For some reason, these flashbacks only happened in the car when I was alone or if Hannah was sleeping in her seat and quiet. Still to this day, I have a hard time keeping my mind from going into flashback mode while I'm in the car. I'm thankful for a therapist that taught me how to control the flashbacks and know when they are coming. I don't like driving in the car by myself, even 3 years later. 

Having a Newborn:
        Having Lukey was the most healing experience I have had since Joshua died. He has brought more healing to me than anything else. However, having him has also been the most difficult thing I have done since saying good bye to Joshua. Having a tiny newborn brought out the anxiety in full force. I was always convince he was blue. I was convince he was dying. I couldn't let him out of my sight. I would watch him sleep, not marveling at how beautiful and healthy he was, but because I was convinced he was dead or would die. Moving him from the bassinet next to our bed to the crib across the room from us about killed me (literally- I had panic attacks that left my fingers and toes numb as well as my lips blue from the lack of oxygen due to hyperventilation). It wasn't until he was just about a year old that I was able to relax. He has stretched me and healed me in ways that I could have never imagined, but I know for a fact that I cannot handle the anxiety that comes along with another pregnancy and newborn. I would have loved to have more children, but I cannot put myself or my family through that again. 

Trident Layers Cool Mint and Melon Fresco:
        I am a gum chewer. Always have been. During Joshua's hospital stay, my favorite gum at the time was the cool mint and melon fresco. I chewed it non stop. I will never forget the morning that Joshua coded. I had just popped a fresh piece of gum in my mouth minutes before he coded. When I realized that that time was different than the other times he coded, the gum in my mouth suddenly tasted rotten. That gum was in my mouth when he died. I cannot hardly look at that gum without remembering that morning. 

Family Pictures:
       One of my biggest regrets with Joshua was not getting a family picture. We don't have a single picture of the 5 of us together. After he died and I realized that we had nothing of the 5 of us, I cried for almost a week straight every time I thought about it. However, when we have family pictures taken of Shane, myself, Caleb, Hannah, and Luke all I see is a giant hole where a 3 year old (or however old at the time the picture was taken) should be. It's like a slap in the face to see the empty spot and all of our smiling faces. I don't think it will be something I enjoy doing ever again. 

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