Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vulnerable

When Daniel and I fell in love, I felt what it was like to have complete happiness and know that I had a partner whom I could depend on. After years in a horrible relationship, I discovered what it meant to love someone so completely, selflessly and honestly. We faced health obstacles, but we persevered through our sense of humor and knowledge that we would always be there for each other. Marrying him cemented that for me and while on one hand I felt like we were unstoppable, I also was keenly aware that I never wanted to lose him.

Shortly after our one year wedding anniversary, we found out that we were expecting our first child, Zoe. In those nine months of carrying her, I worried for her well being every single day. And then I met her. I held her in my arms and looked in her eyes and I felt this over powering love for this little being I'd helped create. It was love at first sight, I was meant to be HER mom.

There is no way I can compare the love I feel for Daniel and Zoe. What I can do is tell you that when we she came into the world, I became fiercely protective of our family and I suddenly felt very vulnerable to all the horrible things that happen every day. Fast forward nineteen months later to Finnegan's birth and that protectiveness increased exponentially. Now I had these two little beings who depended on Daniel and me to keep them safe and healthy.

After Daniel and I met I knew I'd finally met the love of my life. I had no idea that I would be so lucky as to have THREE loves of my life. My worst nightmare is to have anything happen to any of them.

When we had our accident almost three weeks ago, I was sure I was going to lose them all forever. And typing those words literally hurts my heart.

I'm not going to detail what I felt in those moments again because frankly, I can't. In the days since, I've been trying to let it all go. I've been trying to forget it all, but I can't do that either. As much as I'd like to just pick myself up and carry on like we were never in the accident, I just can't. Now that we've had the accident, I feel like we are all even more vulnerable than before. I don't feel safe. I feel exposed to all these dangers. Rationally, I know that we're physically going to be alright. Zoe's scars will fade. Eventually my physical pain will subside. But the feeling that something horrible might happen again when I least expect it nags at me. I'm afraid to drive. I've been behind the wheel once since the accident - two weeks ago - and I had panic attacks and cried the entire way home. When I'm a passenger, my entire body is tense and it somehow finds a way to get even more tense when we have to go through an intersection. Every vehicle coming in our direction seems like it is speeding towards us. I brace myself for an impact multiple times in one trip and flashes of the truck that hit us come at me. The fear is not just with me when we're in our car. I'm afraid to be home alone. I jump when I hear a noise. I rush to my kids if they make any noise out of the ordinary. I've convinced myself that danger will come again when we least expect it - like it's out to get us because we are not alert enough or we're too happy.

I know I'm supposed to just be grateful. I've been told I need to get back to driving and let it all go... but something is holding me back. I do not feel like myself anymore.

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