“No one is going to hug you like that!??!!!”
You want to know what “THAT” looked like? It’s Mom sitting up in her bed, sobbing, knees drawn up… yelling in a husky voice that reaches for words, finding partial syllables, stammering again and again,
“Please somebody hug me. Oh God help! HELLLP MEEEE!!!”
“No, I don’t understand.. I would NEVER tell someone – “I don’t want to be around you right now! Why would you say that?” Mom question questioned, Mom demanded.
Standing around her were the members of her family minus the youngest who was sent to bed for the night a little earlier. Dad was there frustratedly moving about the bedroom looking for keys, shoes, and his wallet. He had said Mom CAN’T be like this and HAD to leave for a hospital where crazy people go. He repeated over and over, “C’mon, you gotta go. Let’s go. Suzanne, let’s go. C’mon – get up. Let’s go. You aren’t staying here.”
TJ joined the melee. He put his arms around Mom. But she immediately felt his arms were meant for transport,
Not for collapsing into,
Not for holding compassionately,
Not for comforting his terrified mom.
His grip on her arm was white knuckled. Not an ounce of tenderness was present because that wasn’t the mission. He had touched Mom to move her-
Not allowed in his space. Mom was an intruder in her home. Her frenetic triggered PTSD wasn’t welcome.
The unhuggable “like that” was going to have to go.
So, the realization that there wasn’t a soul in the house in which she resides who had the strength to stay through the flashbacks or even let her stay in a her place of safety.
Since PTSD had its diseased fingers in every part of Mom’s life, she was included in the desirable departure of its disruption in our family’s life.
Everybody but Mom has “healed”. Repression and stuffing emotions far be beyond reach were well honed skills among the family. We had very literally moved on… The selling of our home in the Farms and moving into a fully furnished beach condo trumpeted, “All is well!”
Everyone wants to think geography heals. Everyone wants to believe all is well. Within the family and out.
An Instagram post of smiling family faces gets the most LIKES. But a post an about the long road of coping and triggers and therapy… Then there is possibly 3 likes. As little as 1. Just scrolling through I double tap my friends pictures or words. . I’m acknowledging and saying:
Then there is the Family Consensus -“Get over it”.
“OKAY!” pleadss Mom. “But please tell me how. I’ve never done this before.”
How does a human paralyzed by fear move on?
How does a man blinded by terror see?
How does a mom hear “LOVE. SAFETY. SUPPORT.” when the people surrounding her say “it is time to go”?
How does one stop spiraling downward from rejection when words like I DON’T WANT TO BE AROUND YOU come out of the blue and are repeated with reasons she can’t understand but the delivery of those gunshots validates with his thoughts of her?
How does Mom scream for a hug to three different people in her tribe only to find out they aren’t her people… Not when she struggles with PTSD.
Some, MOST, can’t handle the hell she lives with, the multiple traumas of abuse she has been shattered by.
Mom is going to have to get her shit together if she wants to be a part of this family.
She’s trying. But alone it is much harder.
When God alone hugs her with his invisible arms, she must learn to lean solely on Him when terrified. Expecting her biological family to hug her when crying and screaming seems to her reasonable yet, in their journey, they each have jumped on a cute beach cruiser and ridden away…
In the opposite direction.
Who will understand severe PTSD and all its manifestations of fear and terror? Unfortunately Mom doesn’t know anyone.
Abundant trust and faith will be required… To lift the weight of her trauma alone is nearly impossible.
“Why won’t my family just hug me?” Asks mom..
Just as I am.
Accepted – not rejected.
Invited in – not abandoned.
Mom is dying to be accepted and invited in even with PTSD.
[Because I share with tremendous transparency, some might judge my family. They are amazing. PTSD is not. Trauma has wrecked me, and them, and who doesn’t want to just get over it? I how I long for that reality. I am working hard everyday to get over. Today I called my therapiat for help.]