in late july of 98 i packed up all 5 kids and with lots of unsure feelings, drove up to manassas, virgiania to spend 10 days with my parents.
no, lets back up a bit... when daniel drowned (november 30 1995) the depression that i fought all the time, got too much. within a few months i was a total mess. sleep was a joke. i couldn't get thru one night without a nightmare or without suddenly waking up and having to go make sure daniel was breathing. wound up being told to take a six week leave of absence after telling a live caller during my radio shift at a christian station, that you don't ever give your address out on the air because some of the 35,000 people listening just weren't wrapped tight. some schmuck got offended and started a campaign to get me fired (because 'he may not be wrapped tight but he's wrapped tight in jesus'. an example of why christians have such a bad name) so the GM of the station compromised and told me to go take time with my family and forgive myself for what happened to daniel.
i got thru that but not totally. when i was pregnant with john i decided to leave the station to stay home with my kids. the stress of office politics and other problems were taking their toll and i was afraid i'd lose the baby if i didn't quit.
at this time, my primary coping tool was shopping and crochet. somehow they just helped to fend off the growing confusion and desperation. when john was 6 weeks old he got pertussis (whooping cough) and we spent more than 6 weeks living with the helplessness of watching our child cough himself blue 2-3 times an hour and knowing we could do nothing but wait it out. including the six weeks after he was born, it was more than 3 months before i could sleep more than 45 minutes at a time.
by the time john was better, i was active in the worship team at church and anything else i could get involved in and sinking deeper and deeper into the worst depression i'd ever experienced. i started hearing voices again which i was not about to tell anyone because i'd convinced myself by that time that i was probably schizophrenic and terrified to find out.
by the time we made the trip to see my parents, i was running on fumes. couldn't remember anything from day to day and knew it was only a matter of time before i fell apart. something i *couldn't* allow to happen because i'd been told my whole life that i was hopelessly ill and would never live a normal life. doing whatever necessary to prove *them* wrong was more important than anything. i couldn't take the failure of admitting what was happening... again
charlie couldn't make the trip because he had to work. i allowed myself to be pressured into going without him and it was the trip to virginia that was the catalyst for for the next 2 years of hell.