The decision was made without my input. My husband and my parents and perhaps his parents made the call that I was to go back and live with my parents where I could receive 24/7 care for what I was dealing with. I felt betrayed by my husband and was scared what it would mean to live with my parents again at 32 years old. I was going home again and I didn’t like it.
My dad flew into New Orleans so he could drive my car back with me in it. We stopped off in Austin to stay with my brother for a night because it takes 17 hours to drive between where I was coming to where I was going. I was still rail thin and remember the meal that my brother made us for dinner that night: grilled brauts with grilled cabbage. It was good and it felt weird to eat an actual meal. I remember taking my medication and looking at my brother and he was shocked in how my eyes looked after I had taken my meds. I guess my eyes dilated or something when I took my anxiety medication. I don’t know. I was treated with kid gloves.
My dad and I got up the next morning and packed up and made our way up to the Texas panhandle. It’s really flat there and there are no trees. You can see a thunderstorm rolling in from miles away. Sometimes I miss being able to see the weather roll in like that. In New Orleans, there are too many trees and houses to really see anything roll in before it hits you. But, I digress…
I arrived back home to my mom who was so worried about me. Of course she was. She had come to stay with me a few times leading up to my final return to Texas. It turned into a fight between my husband and her as to who knew better how to take care of me. I still don’t know who won that argument. Me?
I slept a lot when I first arrived. I didn’t have much to contribute to what was going on in the household and my mom let me be. I appreciated that. I was in no place to worry about laundry and dishes and chores and all that I was supposed to be doing as a resident of that household. She just let me sleep.
I fished out my old library card and started going to the library weekly checking out a handful of books that I could escape into. I picked out books that I didn’t know anything about and books that I loved and books that I had been meaning to read. That’s actually where I found the name of my blog. I read the “Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver. She has a line in her book about the river being a “slippery crocodile dream” and I just changed it to alligator because I live in New Orleans and that is what we have here. That book was a brilliant read for me and I would recommend it to anyone.
So, I spent my time sleeping and reading. My mom tried to get me to go to the grocery store with her and I couldn’t even manage to do that because I was so overwhelmed by the outside world. I reconnected with a few old friends, one of which flaked out on me, but that is another story entirely. I had one constant friend who I still have to this day and is one of my biggest cheerleaders. I love him immensely.
I was still reading into the cars and the radio. I found a new psychiatrist and a therapist. I would go see him I don’t remember how often but I would see my therapist weekly. I liked my therapist alright, I just didn’t like my psychiatrist. He would maybe take 10 minutes with me and he always had med students in our appointments with him. I get that I was going to a teaching hospital but I wasn’t of sound mind enough to be able to handle their presence. If I had been, I would have asked them to not be in our appointment, but I just endured the time I had with him so I could get my medication.
My husband and I were pretty estranged at that time because of me cheating on him and him trying to wrap his head around what was going to be the new normal. We still spoke daily but it was short and tense. I know he wanted me to get better but wasn’t seeing results and that frustrated him. I don’t really know to this day what he went through during that time. He tried to stay in touch with our friends in New Orleans but they eventually dropped him/us. It’s funny how those things tend to happen. Major crisis and the rats go running away…
So, Texas was proving a slow process. I was just barely functioning and going through the motions of existing. I took walks, read books, and slept. Not much progress was going on during the first month and a half that I was there. I was still paranoid and emaciated. My mom was cooking for me and made me eat avocados every night. Not that I complained about that, because avocados. But, things were slow moving. My parents were doing their best to hold their tongues and just let me be. I think that is one of the biggest gifts they have ever given me.
More Texas soon…