After reading the letter my father had taped to my steering wheel while I was eating dinner, the damn that had been protecting what was left of my barely functioning and fragile psyche finally broke. I finally had the nervous breakdown I’d been fighting SO hard not to have for too many years to count. By the end of that night and into the wee hours of the next morning, I’d been shipped off to and admitted to The Meadows” in Wickenburg, Arizona, to be in-patient treated for the multitude of psychological anguishes and illnesses that had been simmering inside my mind since probably the day that I was born.
Even as I write this, I can still “see” that tragic moment replaying in my mind as though it were happening right this minute, and can “feel” the visceral reaction I was having that day as my nervous system was being flooded with unfathomable, raw emotions and rendering me fucking mad. I literally couldn’t breathe, but could feel the adrenaline slowly leaving my body as it bleed out through my fingertips. I was crumbling. Then, when I looked up and saw my babies standing in that doorway, I was absolutely fucking DONE!
Without knowing it at the time, as it would be years before I truly understood it, my burgeoning decline in mental health was the catalyst for all of the best parts of my life to come. Still, although I was temporarily and involuntarily sacrificing my own mind for the betterment of my future, it was my children who would ultimately make the biggest sacrifices of all. In many ways, I was their Thanos and they were my Gamora. Like Thanos, the seemingly “selfish” behaviors and choices I’d been making that had led to my insanity were, in truth, for selfless reasons. I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I’ll just destroy everyone’s lives”. I woke up one day and said, “Hey, none of this is working. None of this is right. I have to do something once and for all to try and make their world better.” Even still, the fallout and collateral damage was the same. I hadn’t just destroyed myself … I’d destroyed my babies’ lives as well.
I have always been certain that there were angels present with all of us in that moment, and if it is true that angels cry, then they had to be crying their fucking eyes out as they witnessed what was was happening on that driveway. They literally had to peel my 17 year old son from my body as I was being taken away. He, too, was crumbling, and even as I write this, I can’t recall another time I’d ever seen him cry so much. And my Gia? My precious baby daughter who just needed her mommy to pick her up and hold her? She looked so lost and confused, and I can still see that look of fear in her eyes.
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