Have you ever read something where you suddenly realized you were holding your breathe...
He's screaming again.
I can hear him from my bedroom, "Dad! Dad! Dad!" I run to his door, Sister not far behind but I stop. If I wake him again, he realizes what he is dreaming is real.
He looks like someone took the bones out of him.
He slumps down in a pile. "I'm fine Mom!" Whatever the question, the answer is always, "I'm fine Mom!" Yet I know he's anything but fine. Funny how the word "fine" generally means anything but that. Everything about him towards me is harsh and angry. As if I were the one who pulled the trigger. I know he doesn't hate me but the only emotion he can show me is anger. If I wake him he might swing at me again not realizing, so we sit there in the doorway, or at the foot of his bed not knowing what to do because "he's fine". Sister whines for him. Sometimes she just sits there with her paw on his bed without making a sound. She knows he isn't fine.
The thing is, now it's my dream and he isn't even here. I dream I hear him screaming. Now there's no sleep even when he's away. I wonder if he has the nightmares when he's not here. I wonder if my daughter does. I dream I see him walking up to his father's body laying there. I try to stop him. To keep him from seeing but it's too late. I see my son standing over his father screaming, "Dad! Dad! Dad!" The truth is, we've all been "fine" since that day.
All I know is I have to be strong for them. I knew their lives would never be the same. I knew I couldn't take it away. That night though. A roller coaster. My son. My sister-in-law. My nephew. Then, having been rushed to the house from School in Troy, my daughter. The pain. I could see it. I could feel it all the way through her. It was like remembering the most dreadful home-sick stomach ache I'd ever had multiplied by infinity.
Their father and I were divorced. I felt I wasn't allowed to mourn him because I didn't want to be married to him. It was my job to be the backbone. Take care of everything. Be there for everyone but one day, I finally broke. I mourned him. I cried. I was sad for him and what brought him to the point of the unthinkable. I was angry at him for doing this to his kids. We have been fine for over four years now. I still get angry at him but now I know there was nothing left of the wonderful father and person he was the day this happened. He was not making a conscious decision. The physical and mental pain had won. He always said he was fine. Like so many, we all thought he was fine. It was a shock. Which is why my stomach hurts every time I hear someone say they're fine. Especially my own son. I want to say, please for the love of God, be anything but fine.
I pray for our family every day for strength and healing. My son especially because I so worry about what sort of man he will become. I know he needs counseling and he went to someone for a minute when this first happened but he needs more. We all likely need counseling but I have no idea how to make that happen because he doesn't want to.
The positives are when he says, "I love you too!" When I see my daughter living a healthy, happy life. When he lets me see him laugh. When I remember to structure a question in a way he can't say, "Fine" and he actually engages. There are less and less fine days. Which makes me happy because we aren't fine. We are better.
Submitted by: Cindy Crew
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Cindy. You are such a brave and inspiring person and mother. Much love to you and your family. Thank you for sharing a story that I know affects so many people and can be so difficult to talk about.