Weeks ago I had some hospital Truama come back to my mind and body. Trauma is an interesting thing as our minds know something happened in a way that it shouldn’t have, and so our mind and body want to keep replaying it. I remember this so clearly right after coming out of the hospital when Enoch had died. Although I was sitting in my room looking around and seeing I was in my bedroom, all of my body and mind felt like I was back in the hospital giving birth to him. I remember saying to Tim “I don’t want to leave him,” and in my mind I felt like I was leaving my son at the hospital. This happened over and over for weeks and months, sometimes more aggressive than others. Praise God for a good trauma counselor who helped my mind file that terrible story properly so I didn’t keep replaying it.
I hadn’t experience this hospital scene for a while. About a month ago it started again, and I’m still not sure why it came back in my mind. For about a week every time I closed my eyes I was in the hospital, and I was desperate to get out. I asked my counselor for an emergency appointment to help me. She was amazingly fantastic and gave up some lunch hours to get me in. After some really intense appointments, my mind was back to normal. I had successfully gotten out of the hospital.
Then yesterday I needed to take a trip to City Hospital. I haven’t been back there since Enoch was born. That’s been intentional. I didn’t want to trigger any of those awful memories. But yesterday was the day Brea had surgery, and I was not going to let City Hospital stop me from seeing and caring for her. She of course would have understood, but I needed to go! I did well. I went in a different door on a different side of the building. I was very aware of my surroundings, reminding myself that this was different. I was in and out no problem. Until I wasn’t.
As I left I was feeling like I had won. I had time to stop for coffee, was going to make my next meeting, and my mind was only minimally spacey from going back there. As I was leaving, I paid for my parking ticket at the pay station by the elevator and proceeded to my car, only to realize I didn’t have the right ticket to get out. I had the reciept, but not the correct ticket. No problem I’ll hit the call button and tell them to let me out, but then the call button didn’t work. I backed up and went to the next exit and that call button didn’t work either There is no one there to help me. So I head back into the hospital to see if I could get out of the hospital. This is where I start doing less well. I’ll spare you the details, but I had to keep walking in, four times to be exact, and nobody was letting me out. I couldn’t get another ticket, I couldn’t pay for a lost ticket, I was trying every trick in the book to get out of the hospital, and I literally couldn’t.
As you can imagine, at this point I’m freaking out. My body and mind feel trapped like I did almost two years ago in this same place. And although that time I had to give brith to a dead baby and this time I do not, my body doesn’t know that. This is what you call a trigger, and I was TRIGGERED! After almost an hour of back and forth I was simply sitting off to the side waiting for a security guard to come let me out, and then one of my all-time favorite people happen to be driving out of the parking deck, Hannah Nitz! I love seeing Hannah on a good day, but there are no words for how I felt seeing her in that moment. She realized I wasn’t doing well and then hopped out of her car and hugged me until I was able to compose myself well enough to tell her how I was trapped in the hospital and couldn’t get out. She got it. She knew my trauma and my story and so graciously gave me her ticket and offered to wait for the security guard. FINALLY, I was free! (Don’t worry we figured out a way to trick the system to break her out too).
Not only did she help me escape, but she then bought me a cup of coffee brought it to the car so I could pull myself together a bit. AND we both had a meeting at the same place in the afternoon, so she used Uber Eats to order me lunch, delivering it in the middle of my meeting.
Hannah was my hero that day! I’m confident God sent her to me… that day and all my life days!