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The house

Jun 06, 2012 - 2 comments

I had a really severe anxiety attack from the PTSD yesterday, right in the middle of my work day. That was convenient.
I spoke to my therapist today about it, and was made to think back at what triggered it the panic attack. It was a mental image of her house that came to mind. Thinking about that house hurts almost as much as thinking about no longer having my mom. Until I can get it on the market, which will hopefully be very soon, the thought of it sitting vacant, the sun going down and darkening the inside and rising again the next day with no one inside to wake up, to walk around and live in there anymore--it tears me apart. She loved that house. It was like it was built over 200 years ago for her. When she bought the house, people came to see the property before her realtors and her showed up, and as they were leaving, my mom and her realtors were arriving. They told my mom's realtors the lock box was jammed and not to waste their time. My mom wanted to see the property, so they stayed for that, and figured they'd try the lock box, just to see. It was jammed, but it came undone and unlocked after a moment. Mom said when she went inside that it was like she had lived there her whole life; she even seemed to know her way around. My sister, who was 9 at the time, wanted a house with a balcony--she thought it was a romantic idea. The house has a balcony. I was hoping for her to get a piece of land with a pond. The land has a pond with a cute wooden dock. So really, it was all our dreams come true.
I moved around a lot with Mom in my childhood. Between my infancy and this home, we'd lived in eight homes before she bought this place. In all the homes I've lived in with her, this is the place where she looked and seemed "home" more than anywhere else I can ever remember. It's like she was a part of the house.
She wanted to go home to die there but never made it. She was too weak to leave the hospital and would have died probably before even getting into the ambulance to take her home. So she passed away at the hospital. She was okay with that. I do know that, because I was able to ask if she wanted to try to go home and risk it, and she said no. But I still feel disappointed that she couldn't have that chance. I wanted that for her. It's like cancer stole so many opportunities away from her, including her life. I hate cancer.
So the thought of the house that randomly came to mind set my anxiety into high gear. The therapist says it's because I associate the house to her life, and not being there, living there, visiting like a way of neglecting my mom. Hence the struggle with knowing I need to sell it as well. I want someone to live there again, someone to love the place like she did, a family that will appreciate it. But it's hard to let go. I want to keep it, but it's not my life. It's not my passion to live in that location, to maintain a historic home, to try to BE my mom, in a sense.
So many conflicting emotions.
The thoughts of the vacant house sent me into flashbacks--back in that hospital room. Having flashbacks is like getting transported into an alternate reality. It's not just a memory. It's an experience. It's...real. In a flashback, I can sense everything as if it is there, real, in my presence. It's reliving the nightmare. I hear the beeps, the oxygen flow, the smell of the oxygen in the room, her raspy breathing. I feel the bed sheets, I feel her hand in mine. I feel her emaciated shoulders as I lie down on the bed next to her and wrap my arms around her. It all plays out, over and over in my head, but in front of me and there's NOTHING I can do.
This normally happens in the middle of the nights. But lately, it's been happening during the daytime, which isn't good. I go into a deep depression when the panic attack and flashbacks are over. I feel hopeless, helpless, disappointed, guilty, a failure. Everything that everyone says I shouldn't feel but I can't help it. Everyone says I'm strong to go through this, I'm handling it well. I don't feel that way. I am at the weakest point I've ever been in my entire life. I feel vulnerable, lost, useless, scared, and unmotivated.
The kind of stuff that makes you want your mom. mom, my best gone. I'm on my own and have never felt more alone. As far as female friendship and companionship, my mom was really the closest person I ever had in my life.
Anyway. Just rambling. Apparently journaling is supposed to help in some way over time, so that's what I'm trying to do.

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973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Jun 06, 2012
Oh honey.  I so understand this.  I never lived in my mom's house she resided in when she died.  But she LOVED that house.  She painstakingly decorated it and it was just 'hers'.  I wanted nothing to do with seeing that house.  I didn't want to 'clean' it out. I didn't want to even go inside.  Too much for me to handle.  I have an older sister which handled a lot of it.  THEN, we put it on the market and sold it.  I hadn't been there in 9 months!  It was one of those things that when it was mentioned to me, I'd break down and cry hysterically.  I was just so resistent to it.  

Well, much happened at the very end------  and my sister went out of town for a week and I got left to handle moving things out as the house had sold.  I couldn't ask my sister to cancel her trip after she'd been handling everything.  So I went.  Oh, it was hard.  AND, I had to stay over night.  It was a night I still remember so many years later of laying I think half awake and half asleep alone in my misery.  I listened to her answering maching recording over and over.  

But Audrey, believe it or not, facing that situation and being forced to sit in the house and 'deal' with all of my feelings was therapeutic in some strange way.  Kind of like facing your fear (or horror in this case).

I just wanted you to know that I so understand.  

Your loss brings back a tidal wave of feelings and memories for me.  I'm much much better now.  Time does dull the pain.  

It will dull yours.  I promise.  Journaling is very special at this time.  It is a tribute to your love for your mom.  I go back and read my journals then once every couple of years (I don't want to feel the pain as they take me right back to when it happened . . . but it is good to go there every now and then).  

Well, I've probably not helped one bit. But want you to know that I'll say more prayers for you and to give you hope that your pain will lesson.  Hang in there.  do nice things for yourself.  Hug your kids.  Peace

377493 tn?1356505749
by adgal, Jun 06, 2012
I do think journaling is therapeutic.  It always is for me anyway.  I hate this feeling of having no words of wisdom to offer.  But I am always happy to listen and am continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.  Love ya girlfriend.

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