Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The mental side of resurrection...

I wrote this in January 2012, but never published it.  This gives you a glimpse into the mindset I was beset with:

The mental side of this experience has put me off balance, almost like I have some sort of vertigo in my brain/thought process.  I am easily flustered, easily discouraged, easily distracted by thoughts of the tornado or "worst case scenario" in whatever it is I am doing.  For example, I was driving part way across the country with my kids in December 2011 and had to fight to keep my mind from "seeing" us in a horrible auto accident and then picturing how I would save all the kids.  Then the thought pops up, "You can out-live all the disasters in the world.  Eventually one of them will kill you and your children."  I've been in earthquakes (thank you, California childhood), mild hurricanes (thank you, Florida panhandle college years), and my house in OH was struck by lightening last year.  How much more can I expect to survive?

Coming out of hiding

So, I discovered an interesting side effect of recovering from a tornado in this modern social-media age: over exposure.  I felt so over exposed with all the details of our destruction and recovery.  EVERYTHING was out there: our ages, our clothing sizes, our life history as people from our past shared how they knew us and what they thought of us, our injuries, our fear and sadness, and our happiness, too.  It was all out there.

I was so amazed by the way people we had known from birth to 2 days prior to the tornado came together to support us.  So many items, notes, and checks made their way from all over the U.S. to our doorstep.  People emailed or wrote or called to see if we had received what they had sent and to see how we were doing.  The goodness of their love and generosity made processing the trauma of the tornado very difficult. I wanted to be happy and was happy for all the support, but couldn't escape the fear, sadness, anxiety, and anger that was apart of the tornado experience, too.

I felt very confused and too known and needed to hide.  That's where I've been--hiding.

I'm ready now to continue to share our story.

Thanks for your patience and for the kind notes of encouragement I've received since my last post 18 months ago.