Monday, July 16, 2012

The Anatomy Of A Trauma-Versary (Or My New Life As a Circus Mom)


The governor of the great state of Michigan legalized fireworks this year. Yippee! Somewhere around the first thanks to a friend’s FaceBook post I had realized, knowing the family directly across from me the way I do, that I had BETTER start watering my “hay” as my kids had taken to calling my front lawn while they pretended to feed their toy horses.

On Wednesday The Fourth we had walked down the block, around the corner to watch another neighbor’s well organized well planned fireworks display, which CoCo, my sensory kid HATED and Mad my anxious kid toughed out. Since I was in the house with CoCo I wouldn’t know, but I am pretty sure the middle kid was wishing she could be the one lighting them off…they all came here with their own personalities.

As we made our way back home, rounded the corner and saw fireworks being launched over our still brown grass and another neighbors roof I made a remark about having not seen such an irresponsible use of fireworks since the 4th of July we spent in Miami Oklahoma as kids. (My brother who was around 11 at the time (under supposed adult supervision) decided to put a whole gross of bottle-rockets in a coffee can and light them all at once. They started going off, the can tipped sending bottle rockets flying just above ground level towards all of us and into the open trunk of the car where the rest of the HUNDREDS of fun-time explosives were being stored. It was just like a scene from some war movie as we were all running around screaming looking for cover (there was none we were in a rock quarry) and the brother of the guy my mom was there to see (who looked amazingly like Jesus) climbed into the trunk and managed to dig out the light bottle-rockets before the whole car exploded. Good times!)

(That by the way was more or less just another funny family story. Since I had spent most of my childhood watching my brother gas things, set shit on fire, damn near killing me and being pretty sure that one day he would, that was more or less just another day in the life, as a opposed to a traumatic experience. Thank goodness with the adult brain comes some impulse control. Some of my scariest/funniest childhood memories begin with the phrase, “I wonder what would happen if I …”)

Anyhow…we came home, put the kids to bed and during the middle of the night a storm rolls through and knocks out our power in the middle of a heat wave. UGH! I woke up hot, frustrated and irritated Thursday, on the verge of tears Friday, depressed and relieved that I had to work in the air-conditioning Saturday, Sunday RAW, the power came back on but the kitchen sink was backed up and flooding the basement, Monday with my skin crawling, having bouts of uncontrollable sobbing and the overwhelming urge to get in my car and drive until I ran out of gas, money or hit an ocean.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows, crying just isn’t my thing. I am way more likely to shed a tear for someone else than I am for me. We foster kids have the uncanny ability to let life’s physical / environmental discomforts roll like water off a ducks back. So it was clear to me that what I was feeling was in all honesty disproportionate to what was actually going on around me…even though it truly did suck. There had to be something else…

As I lay in bed Monday, trying to figure out how one runs off to join the circus with three kids in tow, I realize that this was crazy…I mean crazy…as in bat-shit crazy and I had better figure out what the heck this was about because, with her gimpy leg and lack of coordination CoCo is absolutely not cut out for the circus. This has to be connected to something else this MUST be some kind of trauma-versary, it is the only thing that could make sense. What the heck happened in my past around the fourth of July that could possibly have me so rattled? I started going through the list.

· My mom left? – No

· Patti, my nannie left? -No

· My mom took us back? – Na, right time of year, but it doesn’t feel right

· I went into placement? -No

What the heck?

And then it hit me



Not the stupid fireworks thing. Not that at all!

It was my sister!

Oh. My God!

We left my sister in Oklahoma!

To be continued…

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