Saturday, February 16, 2019

When your hero has to go to jail

In high school I had a teacher who was someone very important and special for me. I often didn't feel emotional support from my home, and this teacher somehow was able to fill the vacancy for that emotional support I lacked. Yes, I took his classes (physics), but much more than that, I sought him out after school hours and talked many things out with him. He was always there for me, honestly.

After high school was over, I kept in close touch with him. I graduated in 1986, and to this day I am still in touch with him. While he was still living on Long Island, each time I went there to visit my family, I'd always make a point to call him and go out for dinner or something, to catch up face to face. There were always emails in the interim. He was one of my heroes, for sure.

The other day, I got a Whatsapp message from my brother. He received it from a friend of his who went to our high school. It was about this teacher. It was a short article, with my teacher's mug shot, saying he has been charged with nine counts of child sex crime charges.

I gasped loudly
I screamed "noooooooooo!!!!"
I clicked on it and read the article
I fell into the couch and cried.
And cried and cried and cried.

Here I am, going through this life-shakingly difficult path in therapy about my own skeletons in my closet, from my childhood sexual abuse, and THIS?!?!!?! One of my heroes, to this very day, brought up on charges of child sex crimes? My world shattered a little bit more that night. I was shattered. I tried to imagine him in this light, and it didn't compute. I couldn't let it be real, but it was there in my face, as real as....life. Maybe he was framed, I thought?

I could barely get myself out of the chair. I could barely catch my breath from crying. The kids were home with me, Robert was at work. I vaguely explained what I was crying about, but the kids didn't know him. They gave me hugs. My kids don't know what I myself am going through at the day center at the psych hospital these days. They know I am getting treated for PTSD, but they think it's from my hospital traumas and having had NF. We are letting them think that. I don't want this seedy underworld stuff in their minds. Not in relation to their mother, anyway.
(and no, they don't read my blog, even though I told them they can)

That night I was plagued with flashbacks from my own young life, it's like a film loop once they get started, I find it almost impossible to stop them. The medicinal Cannabis helps with that. So I got pretty stoned that night. And I took maybe one or two more pills than the prescription directed, so I could get to sleep. When my PTSD is up, as we well know, I don't sleep. As it was, with all the pot and extra meds, I still didn't sleep much that night, I listened to an audio book all night. That is one of my ways to stop the loop of flashbacks. My alarm did wake me up though, so at some point I did fall asleep.

Immediately in the morning, I remembered about my teacher, and the awful feelings.
When I got to the day program, I shared in group therapy what had happened. I looked like I'd been through hell when I showed up (with puffy eyes and dark circles under them), so my group was waiting for me to share what it's about. I briefly said what happened, and I said "why do good people do such bad things?"

It's because it hit me at this very vulnerable time in my life that it hit so hard. I know that our heroes are just people, and can fall just like anyone can. But, being that the nature of the article about my teacher was so vague, I didn't know if he hurt children, or what was involved.

I decided that evening that I had to call him. I had to know what he did. I had to hear it from his voice. And, I didn't know if email was safe to write anymore, being that the FBI probably has his hard drive. I also worried a bit for myself, being that I had just written him emails from when I was in the psych hospital, and telling him why. I was slightly worried that since I didn't mention the name of the perpetrator in my youth, the FBI would read my letter and want to round up another pedophile along the way. Was I ready to press charges on him? No, I am not ready, not strong enough yet. It's not a goal I have. What if he would deny everything? I'm not strong enough for that, and I'm not sure about if there were witnesses or not. But that's off the subject (kind of)...

I called my teacher that night. He was shocked to hear my voice at the other end of the phone, almost as shocked as I was to know that he answered, that he was indeed at home, not in jail (yet). He asked me if I'm out of the hospital yet, how are things.... I skipped right to the point. No small talk.

me: "I saw the article about you; my brother sent it to me, he somehow got it from a different friend"
him: "Wow, all the way to Israel people are seeing that article."
me: "I need to know what you did. I need to know exactly what you did and what the charges are"
him: yes, I can understand that, being in the situation you yourself are in, trying to heal the fallout from childhood sexual abuse"
me: "so?"
him: "you deserve the truth Sarah. I've always been truthful with you".
me: "that's certainly the impression I was under, but I don't know what to think now"
him: "I never touched or hurt any children"
me: "go on"
him: "I have a problem, I am in therapy for it, but the police caught up with the problem before I had enough therapy to stop it"
him: "I look at child pornography. There was some sort of flag embedded in an image and the FBI caught up with me by tracing it back to my computer"
him: "I know that the pictures are child exploitation, and I know I took advantage of someone else's exploitation of that child, but somehow knowing I wasn't directly hurting the child somehow made it ok in my mind." "I was wrong"
me: "what now?"
him: "awaiting sentencing, I think. There are people who do real rapes and real awful things, and their jail time is less than what mine is probably going to be"
me: "I guess. It's all bad though." I think I said "how could you?" Or maybe I didn't say that but I wanted to.
him: "Sarah, I never hurt any child, ever"
me: "I believe you".

We went on to talk a bit about how my kids are doing, how his kids are doing (he's divorced), life's ups and downs. It was a pretty short call, maybe 15 minutes, half hour, I don't know.

After I got off the phone with him I had another wave of tears... for my fallen hero.
When my therapist a few months ago asked me "Sarah, who supported you?" I said this teacher. He was my support system in those tumultuous years. When I told this teacher of that conversation with my therapist, and thanked him for being "my person" during those hard high school years, he wrote back and said of himself that he was just a bandaid for me. But he was a lot more than that. He was a stability of support and acceptance that I craved, not getting it from my home. I got support in my home when it came to my music, some of the time. That I was clearly successful in, so I got acceptance and approval for that from my parents. But little else that I did in my life amounted to anything positive from them.

Anyway, that was then, this is now. I could have never imagined I'd be in this position at 50 years old; finally dealing with my demons from so long ago. You know what? It's hard to go to "work" (the day program) and battle your demons every day. I'm exhausted emotionally and physically every afternoon. I cry every day. I have to push flashbacks and "that space" out of my head when my kids are home. It's not simple in the slightest. I have been recommended to another program in the psych hospital for parents who are dealing with emotional/mental illness while living with their children. I tell you, there are so many programs in this hospital, I am incredibly impressed. I never knew all this was available. And it's all free, thanks to socialized medicine.

I am still working the program that the Rav who I am learning from has on-line for his students. It helps me so much to connect with G-d and live in that positive space more. And it fills a void for me-- it's actually exactly what I need at this time in my life.
And I am still going to the gym semi-regularly to work out and get fit. It's hard when I'm in a sad/heavy frame of mind, but sometimes I give myself a break, and don't go, and sometimes I push through and go. And I started up Tai Chi again, thankfully.

I'm reading a book now called "Close to the Bone", life-threatening illness as a soul journey.
It's very different than my book; much more philosophical, and I'm enjoying it. (thanks, MM!). I will end with a very appropriate quote from the beginning of the book, page 10:

A life threatening illness brings to end a phase of life, as it may to life itself. A life threatening illness has the impact of a stone hitting the still surface of a lake, sending concentric rings of disturbance out, as feelings, thoughts, and reactions radiate out from this center. It impacts relationships, it stirs the depths of others, it potentially brings the patient and those who are affected "close to the bone" into a proximity of the soul. Soul questions arise about the meaning of life when the mind is ill or the body is ailing. Healing and recovery may depend as much or more upon a deepening of relationships and connection to one's own soul and spiritual life, as on medical or psychiatric expertise. 
(Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of "Close to the Bone")

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Darkness leading directly to LIGHT

You know, the human body, and psyche, has an extraordinary capacity for healing. I mean *extraordinary*.

I'm only now beginning to realize something so profound, it's hard to digest.

I'm beginning to think that all the horrific illnesses I've had, over these past eleven years (actually 13 years if you count how I needed an emergency c-section to deliver Azriel), was my body trying to deal with the tremendous untreated trauma within it. Each illness took my emotional attention away from the difficult inner healing work that was never done. I honestly feel these days, now that I'm in treatment, that I've been keeping my head just right above quicksand for a long, long time.

At this point in my life, I can say I am not suffering from hard chronic pain (it's not gone, but it's not as hard as it used to be), and no illnesses are looming over me. Well, I have a lingering bronchitis from the flu almost a month ago, but I get that every winter. Maybe this winter will be the last, though...? My migraines are VASTLY reduced, it's shocking, actually. That could also be due to significantly changing my diet over these past six months-- no gluten, no dairy, low sugar, no nightshade vegetables. The migraines could have definitely been because I have Ciliac and it was undetected. But there's more to it, I believe.

This work I'm doing at the psych day clinic is intense. And HARD. And I'm tired every afternoon.
But I have a quiet level of almost relief feelings going on in me that are saying 'finally my childhood traumas are being addressed'. It's coming from a quiet voice deep inside me. I'm finally in a place to honor that voice, and heal the hurt. But it's sometimes quite overwhelming. But I'm in the right place. It's really a wonderful program they have there, I have to say. I am in a group of about 12 people, all with PTSD. The group sessions that start out every morning can be very intense. Yesterday, one of the guys who has PTSD from watching his friend get killed right in front of him (and he himself getting injured during the same military operation) while he was in the army, was so depressed yesterday, he said "pass" when it came to his turn. I see the grief and hardship in his eyes. Today he spoke, so that was good. I often bounce off what someone else said... there are so many angles to PTSD, and how we got here everyone has a different story (I don't know everyone's story), but there are similar threads of emotions and results between all of us. I haven't yet found my voice to actually open the group therapy circle with a subject, but I speak when it comes around to my time. It's like a salve when I hear other people who feel how I do. And the therapists coaching the sessions are very good- they catch on to nuances of words we are using, and help us dig a little without pushing.

The pushing is more in the private therapy sessions, of which we have two a week. Everyone has two therapists; a psychiatrist, and a psychotherapist, who is often a social worker, sometimes a psychologist. Those sessions are harder for me. I don't yet see a way out of the mud. There are so many instances in life where the trauma leaks out. In hindsight I can see how much of my decision making and situations I got stuck in were really because of my childhood stuff. It's just that now, as an adult, I don't want to use those tools, borne out of trauma, but it is so ingrained in me that I can't see a way out. I know I'm being vague, but believe me, this is the most revealing I have ever been publicly, and it's still pretty uncomfortable.

What is clear to me, though, is that Hashem orchestrated this whole thing... the trigger that happened that threw me back into flashbacks 24/7, loss of sleep for two months, accidental overdose of pills because I was desperate to sleep, checking myself into the psych hospital because I saw that things were not as much in my control as I thought they were (and my doctor strongly encouraged me to do so), spending a month as an in-patient to cool down a bit, change sleeping pills to something non-addictive, getting me off old meds that didn't work anymore, and step back from life and take stock. Then being transferred to the day program with the PTSD group... it's all actually amazingly perfect for me, I just couldn't have planned it this way if I tried.

Along side with these things, I am growing in leaps and bounds spiritually, also. I have been listening to the teachings and classes of Rav Doniel Katz, (you can learn about him and his programs here, here, and his You tube channel here). I find them very educational, inspirational, and uplifting in every way. I am also working out at the gym again (!), and believe it or not, instead of listening to my boppy song list I always listened to while I worked out, I am now listening to his classes! It's so enriching, I can't get enough. Once a week I work out in the state-of-the-art work out gym room in the psych hospital. Believe it or not, it exists! We are allotted one hour a week there, but if one has free time, and the gym manager is there, you can go work out anytime you want. It's great. But I still have my gym membership, which was in disuse for these three months, but I just started to go back, thank G-d.

Things fell apart in a huge way, and are starting to come together also in a huge way. Nothing in Sarah's life is mediocre, eh? That's just how I roll, I guess. But I know as strongly as I know my own soul, that I need to do this work, and it needs to be now. I think I can remain healthy physically if I get healthy emotionally. I never before really saw the correlation, although I read about it everywhere. Until you are ready to take in a lesson, really take it into your soul, it won't go in, no matter what. I even wonder if I would have gotten NF if I had worked through this childhood sexual abuse long ago. But, no sense in wondering. The path we go on is the one laid out by G-d. All I know is that I see so clearly now, clearer than I ever did before.

But there is still a lot of hard work to do. I still haven't told my psychiatrist or psychologist of the details of what happened. We are still working on a day-to-day basis, for me to gain trust, and to build a base for the trauma to come out and not break me again. It's gonna get real hard one of these days...weeks... who knows how long. But it will be finite. And I'll be a stronger me afterward. I dare to say, there will be no stopping me. With the help of G-d.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

define luxury...

It's tiring having a "job" to get up for and do every day. How do y'all do it? :)

I haven't had a schedule in so many years, getting used to going to the day program every day is tiring me out. It's also pretty heavy work, emotionally, so that also factors into it.

It's very interesting. I mean, this is it. This is what I've needed for many, many years. Almost all my life. It took a crisis to get here, but doesn't it usually happen that way? At least with trauma it does. I have tried other trauma therapies before, to a lesser or greater success, but this, what I am doing at the day center at the psych hospital, this is the road I need.

We are still in early stages, of course. We are deciding what and how to proceed. It has to be handled right. It's like needing a root canal on an infected tooth; you have to take down the infection carefully first, then proceed gently to do the root canal. This trauma that has been stuck inside me for most of my life wants to come out, but if it's not done right, if it's not unpacked properly, I'll be left with more of a mess in my soul then there was beforehand. I need to learn tools of how to deal with it. How to deal with the flashbacks I get very regularly these days, how to deal with the hard, hard feelings that surround the trauma, and basically I have to learn how to keep myself safe before we go unpacking anything. That process began when I went into the ward at the psych hospital over a month ago, just with figuring out what medicines will get me to sleep safely, and keep me from freaking out during the day (dealing with flashbacks is not for sissies).

I am now sleeping well every night, Thank The Good Lord!! It's truly amazing. The medicines I am on are not addictive, and I can take less or more according to timing, and how I feel. It is really a miracle for me to be sleeping well. For such a long time I didn't have that. And I have the hope that it won't be forever; that these medicines can be cut out of my life when I feel I'm ready. But I'm nowhere near ready now. It's good the way it is.

The psychiatrist at the day center wants to switch the type of Cannabis I have been using (which I haven't used much, because, miraculously, my migraines have *drastically* gone down). She wants me to be regulated with a different type, one that will calm the nervous system but not stone me. The one I have now stones me, but works for pain. This is part of the "laying the groundwork" for my work in CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder). It is a safety measure of sorts. It will help me stay calm and continue living sanely in the world when I open up and dump out that Pandora's box which was sealed tight for so long. At the moment, I start tearing up immediately as soon as we approach anything to do with that trauma. So, it's all a process. I have to get the new type of Cannabis, try it out, go slowly with the therapy (which is twice a week).

I am still working with my counselor who I was working with before any of this started. He's the one who Robert & I started seeing last year in the middle of my abdominal pain crisis. With all the meetings we've done with him with various members of our family, or just Robert & I many times, at this point the work with him is pretty much just me & him, also twice a week. The day center isn't so happy that I have an outside psychotherapist, but I've told them I do not agree to cut him out of my life. I trust him completely, and have a good thing going together with him with the therapy. I can't be expected to automatically trust whoever they give me, and lay it all out there in a new setting. So for now, until I feel the need to change (if I'll feel that), he's still in the picture, too. The day program is only for three or four months, then I'll go on to either this organization called Inbal (free therapy for women sexual abuse survivors, but again, another new person), or just keep going with this counselor-psychotherapist- who I have known for quite some time and have excellent trust with.

Point is... it's getting worked on. It's a relief, even though I'm not even into the process yet, it's a relief that I am not suffering from keeping it all inside anymore. I really wonder if my migraines were attached to this trauma. Since I went into the psych hospital, I've had ONE (count them- one) semi-bad migraine. That's IT. Down from two to three a week. Of course, I've drastically changed my diet as well, so it could also have been the gluten, the dairy, or the night-shade vegetables that were giving me the migraines.

I finally feel like I am getting to a stage in my life where I'll move... out of health problems and...well... away from the inability to move on. Not that the health problems have disappeared, I still have some important decisions to make about the reconstruction surgery, and a few other issues, but I don't feel that I'm stuck anymore. I didn't even realize how stuck I felt, until I realize how *this* feels. And my chronic pain is way down. If you remember where I was at this time last year, I was a wreck, with the horrendous abdominal pain, and deep, deep depression. I also haven't written my book in about a year. Now, I feel ready to start up again. I think I was stuck with my writing the book because I was stuck with the trauma. It is integrally related to my NF experiences, I just couldn't write about it. Now, somehow, I feel I can start writing around the trauma from childhood, saying enough so readers will understand, but without unnecessary (and possibly triggering) details.

And I am talking with my therapists about my horn playing too. That's also been stuck. My hope is that it won't stay stuck. I have to work on my perfectionism with the horn playing, and to go easier on myself, and maybe, just maybe, me & my horn can reach a compromise. I'm dying to play again. They are so supportive at the day clinic, I think I will get there. I am amazed at how life feels with this level of support; it's really kind of a luxury. For me it came from a hard crisis, and it's necessary, but from a sideline point-of-view, it's a luxury that I have this much support to work on these issues finally.

The Hebrew prayer for someone to have their health restored to them includes blessing them with healing for their body, and healing for their soul. The two components are on the same level. I've had tremendous challenges for my body to be healthy for the past 11 years, and now, by some miracle (and well-placed steroid shots) those challenges are quite a bit fewer, thank G-d. Now it's time to work on my soul healing. And I'm so grateful for this time. I'm grateful to be given the open opportunity to heal my old wounds, old traumas, which are still very much alive in me. The people in my group at the hospital are all dealing with PTSD from different things. I'm connecting with a few of the girls. I'm the second to oldest person in the group, most are quite a bit younger, unmarried. A soldier with very hard PTSD from his army time, other men who I haven't spoken to yet, but I mostly stick with the girls.

We are doing art therapy, yoga & movement, nutrition, music therapy, and a few others.
It's a very special program with some very caring people. I pray I'm off to a good start. Where this will lead me, only G-d knows. But it's a gift. A precious gift, born out of desperation and much hardship.

I don't know when the tide will turn, when I start doing the real work on the CPTSD and the traumas themselves, if I'll still feel so grateful, but hopefully that will be fleeting and dealt with properly, and I will come out healthier than I ever was before. Please G-d.

Monday, January 21, 2019

I have a dream

My dream is that one day there will be music again in this house.

Before I got NF, there was always music playing... you could find any genre, any style playing on my stereo at any given time. More often than not I was either singing with it and dancing in my kitchen, or conducting with the classical choices, bringing out the horn solos when they happen. Dancing with the kids was a prominent feature in those early days of mothering, also.

Then.....quiet.
I needed so much quiet, even my small children's voices were amplified in my head, from the effects of the PTSD. It was "shhhhhhh, it's too loud" constantly. I didn't put on the CD's anymore. I just needed quiet and more quiet. Noise actually hurt.

So I have a dream to bring the music back into the house.
But I'm certainly not yet ready.

I was released from the ward after an entire month there, on January 9th. On that same day I saw Shifra preform a skit she is working on in her acting classes, then took the (3) kids out to dinner afterward. It was a celebration of me being out of the hospital, and of Shifra's first skit with this group, and because I was going to take off early the next morning to go up north to the Galilee to spend Thursday, Friday and Shabbat with a very special group of women, led by a very special Rabbi.

That was the perfect place for me to "land" after the month I had. I needed the reconnecting with spirituality, and this rabbi is the perfect one for me to do that with. We delved deeply into our connection with G-d, and how to strengthen those bonds. This rav is into Jewish meditation, and learning his techniques really helped me feel so much stronger in my emunah (loosely translated as faith, but there is a lot more to that word than "faith"). For me, it was the exact right thing at the exact right time. It was a tremendously wonderful Shabbat, but I missed my family. Well, I missed Robert the most. Remember, I went on this retreat after not being home hardly at all for an entire month. But it was perfect for me.

If you are interested, the rabbi's name is Doniel Katz. He has a you tube channel, I suggest you just randomly click on videos, and you'll get a taste of what he does. He's the real thing.

Sunday it sort of continued, but in Jerusalem. A bunch of us ladies from the retreat went to "Emunah Day" at the world famous Aish HaTorah yeshiva in the old city of Jerusalem. We heard other famous speakers on Emunah, as well as Doniel Katz again.

By the time I got home on Sunday evening, I had lost my voice.
By Monday it was full-fledged flu. And it stayed that way all week. It was a nasty one. But somehow, I knew I needed that down-time. After a month in the hospital and three days traveling and being involved in very intense activities, I needed that down-time. So, I stayed in my pajamas and in bed pretty much all week. Lots of coughing, fever up and down, other lovely symptoms as well. What is left now, a week later, is still pretty bad coughing. No fever anymore, but the coughing is keeping me up at nights, just after I had gotten my nights straightened out at the hospital. It's all messed up again. The medicines that worked in the hospital do not work against this bronchitis at night. Not even together with Tylenol with Codeine. Last night Robert gave me some concoction that worked nicely on the cough, but gave me a bad case of the runs today, unfortunately. It was almond milk/Turmeric/cinnamon/ginger, and I'm not sure what else... all heated up and quite tasty actually. But not good on Sarah's tummy. I'm going to have to get some strong sedatives if this goes on much longer. It's just insane coughing every night.

Today, after a week's delay because of the flu, I started the day program at the hospital. It will go for three months, five days a week, from 8-1 every day. I met the staff today, they are still not sure who will be my therapist, so I don't know yet, but I met all the options. There will be group counseling, of course individual counseling, art therapy & music therapy on alternate days. I love the art therapy- it really works to calm the nervous system. They also keep track of vital signs like blood pressure/temp/heart rate every day. Cuz, why not?

I am kind of nervous about how this is going to be.... meeting all new people, starting with a new therapist. I have a hard time trusting people, especially therapists. I really don't want to go through it all again, but truthfully I never really went through it all with any therapist... the time has come to "unpack" that carton I have been carrying around with me for so many years. If it's done right, it will stop interfering in my life in such drastic ways. At least that's the theory.

In the meantime, I still have physical body stuff to deal with also. I had a mammogram yesterday; my first one ever. Today they call me to come in tomorrow to do an ultrasound. I understand that it is almost standard procedure to do this, so I'm not going to waste energy on being worried.

Thursday this week I am re-doing the MRI that wasn't done to specifications in Jerusalem. This time I'm going private, and the insurance will pay for it.

And I have to look into this constant mid-spine/rib pain that never goes away.

Anyway, these next three months are going to be intense. I pray that Hashem sends me the right people to do this work with. And that I have the courage to do it. I have to... this is the time. If I can really be free from this "carton" I've been carrying around with me? Imagine.... many things might be able to change and grow.

I'm already seeing a new direction for my book, which has been stuck for a long time. Unwittingly, the Dr of Chinese medicine who I used to see said something to me that effected me greatly. I looked into it with this Rav Katz who I worked with last Shabbat, and then looked into it more with the sources that the statement came from. It is leading me back to my writing. Finally. I have been stuck for a year, with the pain crisis last year and the depression, I couldn't write, and I couldn't feel the direction of the book anymore. Now, I think it is going to be jump-started again. With a new angle, exactly what I was hoping for.

So, new horizons, new beginnings. Moving forward, B'ezrat Hashem (with G-d's help).

Monday, January 7, 2019

Day 26 of healing the soul, nearing the end.

Of course, the title only refers to the time I've been in the psychiatric hospital. Healing the soul will continue when I'm out of here. I've been here to relearn how to sleep, and have a break from my regular life...because things were kind of falling apart. That's what happens when you don't sleep for a few months. I'm much better now, thank G-d. I am sleeping consistently, with pharmaceuticals, yes, but non-addictive ones. I am also taking something that basically keeps my nervous system at a low hum throughout the day so that I can sleep at night. That, I hope to drop out slowly as time goes on, but for now it is working. My blood pressure seems to remain sort of high, and I'm not happy with that, but the docs here don't see it as high. I do, because I know what normal for me should be. It's going to take a while to get into my own groove.

I hope to get a release either today or tomorrow. I've spent two Shabbats out of the hospital (this passed one was wonderful and simple, and very restful, with my dear friends), and one whole afternoon at home, yesterday. My doctor here says she feels there is not more that they can do for me here, my medicines are balanced out, and I am sleeping. The big work will be after I get out.

It is looking like that organization I was hoping to work with upon release from here doesn't have a therapist available for me until a few months from now. I obviously don't want to leave without support, so my doctor has recommended me for a day program here at the hospital. It is also for women who need to recover from sexual abuse, and it is all encompassing as far as group sessions, individual therapy, art therapy, and medical doctors overseeing each patient along the way. It is actually much more encompassing than I would get from the other organization (called "Inbal"), which is only one therapeutic hour (50 mins) of therapy a week, and the rest you're on your own.
The day program here is from 8-1, so I'll be home afternoons and evenings, which is wonderful (especially after having been gone for so long now). I'm not sure how many days a week it is, but I'd be willing to do 5 days a week if that's what it is. The "hard work" has to be done. Pandora's box had it's lid blown off, and it can no longer go back on. It's not going to be easy. But it's time.

Yesterday I was happy to report to my therapist (and also my husband) that I hadn't had a nightmare in 10 days. That is a record since this relapse began. But I shouldn't have said anything... had a big bad one last night, nearly woke up the whole ward. :(

But soon I will get back to my home and my family. I have greatly missed them, especially Robert.
I will get back to my Tai Chi, back to the gym, and try to regain some semblance of normalcy.

Oh, and I still need another MRI. ...Ya.
And my right rib and center of spinal cord consistently hurt, no matter day or night or anything. Gotta get that looked into.
And the million other things that need to get done that I haven't been able to take care of because I'm here.
I'm not sure what state of mind doing this day program will leave me in. I hope I can be productive. But I am ready to accept whatever will be. No choice.

One thing I am looking forward to is drinking my tea in my own cup, not a purple plastic cup anymore.

And having my own bathroom again.
And my deliciously comfy bed.
And my children. There is going to be some hardship there, I've been gone for a long time. I pray we all have patience and understanding for each other.

And my husband, who is so tired, but still so emotionally strong for me.

Please Hashem, keep Robert healthy and strong of body and spirit, and please give my children the depth of understanding and resilience they need to grow up in their own specific circumstances.