Saturday, July 23, 2011
Have a little faith.
When life throws an unexpected curve, it's hard to shake it off and move forward. I would be dishonest if I said that I was shitting rainbows at the thought of having special needs children, more likely, I was shitting bricks.
I had helpful friends and family suggest seeing a psychiatrist. "You'll need an anti-depressant at least and maybe some anti-anxiety drugs too. Hell, I would."
There may have been some truth to that. I probably could have used an anti-depressant, because the truth was, I was depressed. But I'm a tough little bitch that will wait to see a doctor until a limb is hanging off at a funny angle. I'll fight tooth and nail not to see a doctor and the only appointments I go to are made by my husband.
I needed to find my way. Daily I woke up sad and overwhelmed with the kids needs. I needed to take care of the fact that I was constantly dizzy from high blood pressure. 'Try meditating."
My constant replays were, "When? How?"
I dealt with the stress in the only way that I knew how. I ate all day. Any time something bothered me, I ate toast, anything. I stuffed down my emotions. It wasn't a good way to live.
I needed help and normally, usually I would pray for peace. But at this point in my life, I was rip-roaring angry. For the first and only time in my life, I faltered in my faith.
"If there was a God, this wouldn't be happening. I pray every fucking morning and every fucking night. For what? To give thanks for a life of no peace? I'll never die peacefully knowing that they need help. There is no God. Fuck going to Church. Fuck it all. I'm done. He has forsaken me first."
Just saying the words made my heart beat fast. My body revolted against what my mind was saying.
When a traumatic event takes place, everyone needs an outlet. I was no exception.
I believe that to grow as a person you have to face true darkness in order to appreciate the beauty that is surrounding you.
I needed a break, my husband could see it and suggested that I go grocery shopping to calm down.
That's when it happened. I found God in the meat section of Pathmark.
I was looking at reduced chicken-it was the only type we could afford. I was so angry that I couldn't afford to buy the chicken breast that is my favorite. I picked up package after package to make sure that the meat wasn't off. I settled on one that was $2.94.
I walked past the fresh vegetables-another favorite and walked down the canned food aisle. Beans go farther than other proteins. I can't stand beans.
I angrily loaded the cart with the sale canned vegetables. My next stop was the baby aisle. Time to pick up diapers and formula. One can of Neutramigen cost $34. I reached for the diapers and saw that the price had gone up. They were $22 instead of $19. I couldn't afford it.
I looked in my cart and the reduced chicken was mocking me. I turned the cart around. Ready to cry, I added the diapers and walked over to the meat section.
I put the chicken back and straightened my shoulders. "It's just chicken." I thought to myself. We needed $160 for doctor visit co pays that week and $294 for my husband's train ticket so he could work. We weren't going to have nearly enough. "It's just chicken."
I slowly turned away. So angry with the world and proceeded to slam my cart into a woman standing behind me. It was 12:3o in the morning. Why was someone so close? I started to say something really nasty and looked at the fool that was invading my personal space. I made eye contact with a nun.
A nun-at 12:30 in the morning-in Pathmark.
"Why are you so angry? I can see it on your face."
I snorted. "If you only knew, Sister."
"What?" I'm losing it, there is no way that a nun is in Pathmark at 12:30 am. Don't they have a curfew?
"My child, you've become jaded and hardened. What is wrong? Unload your burden and you'll feel better."
"Sister, my life sucks. I can't afford a piece of fucking chicken because I have to go to four fucking doctor appointments with my four Autistic children and what sucks more is that I could have fit in two more doctor appointments but I can't afford to bring them. I worked my ass off to have a good career and I walked away from it to help these children that don't speak, rock continuously and slap the shit out of themselves. I've lost myself. I'm so fucking angry and where the fuck is my God? Like an asshole I went to Mass every week, for what?"
I stood in front of the chicken and looked at her expectantly. I was daring her to tell me that it will be okay.
"I have no answers for you. You've been given a heavier load than most. I'll keep you in my prayers. God makes no mistakes. He's in every breath and every thought, every smile and every tear. Have a good night. Peace be with you."
I was spent and more than a bit embarrassed. There was a stock man looking at me strangely-more than likely because I cursed while speaking to a nun.
I walked to the checkout defeated. I paid for the groceries and had 12 cents left over. I loaded the car and went home.
The house was quiet when I arrived. I unloaded and started organizing the kitchen. The kids would get so upset if the cans didn't line up perfectly. The last bag was especially heavy. I looked down and in my hand was a fresh chicken breast.
I closed my eyes. "God, forgive me. I'll never doubt you again."