Friday, December 28, 2012

I am broken, yet beautiful

It happened again.  Another PTSD freak out.

Last night I heard a loud crash and turned around to see Ryan screaming from underneath a tv.  It was one of those old tvs, you know - the heavy ones that aren't flat screen?  It was medium-sized, but more than heavy enough to really hurt, or I thought kill, a toddler.  Somehow it had fallen over (I think Ryan may have pulled it down off of the coffee table accidentally).  The tv completely covered Ryan's head, torso and part of his legs.  All I could see were parts of his arms & lower legs.  Screaming, he was screaming for me to help him.

Terror.  Another one of my son's is going to die.  I quickly lifted the tv off of him and was sure I would see a bloody mess of cute Ry underneath.  Screaming.  Screaming for Josh to come and help.  He did.  Ryan somehow wasn't visibly bloody but I was sure he had internal bleeding somewhere, that his brain had suffered serious damage.  Josh took Ry and this screamed out of my mouth.  "Is he going to die like Ethan?" 

Hyperventilating.  Sobbing.  Josh said Ry somehow looked to be fine.  I collapsed onto my knees, hood over my head and sobbed.  Josh told me to get myself together or leave the room, as I was alarming the kids.  He was right.  All I could manage to do was stop screaming.  The tears flowed incessantly   Breathing was anything but calm.  I knew that I should leave the room, but I couldn't.  Ryan is going to die and I will never forgive myself for missing the last moments of his life for a selfish reason.  Really, that is what I thought.

Slowly, very slowly I entertained the idea that Ry might live.  It took me until this morning to realize that he was going to be OK.  When I woke up to him on the monitor this morning I was relieved he didn't die from a concussion somehow.

I am broken.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I studied it in graduate school.  I treated it for years in residential programs.  Now I now it from the inside.  I don't walk around constantly worried that something bad is going to come out of nowhere and strike my family.  But when something bad did happen, I clearly expect the worst outcome.

So I am broken.  Yet I am beautiful.  God made me human.  He made me capable of being broken, yet capable of healing too.  I am at peace with being imperfect.  Course I hope the PTSD stuff subsides, as it is quite uncomfortable for me and those around me.  But for now, it is OK.  It is allowed.

We all are broken, in some way.  At times more so.  God doesn't expect us to be perfect, so why do we?  Embrace the imperfections.  Embrace the healing journey.  Embrace God's grace.

My good friend Kathy titled her blog about this.  Beautiful, Broken Me  Check it out, she's real, imperfect, a Christian, a mother, beautiful, and hilarious.


  1. you are a beautiful person Annie Gray.

  2. I'm so sorry sweetie. I've had that exact type of reaction with my girls. My oldest fell in the dry creek the other day and I heard screaming my husband had to go get her because I was TERRIFIED to look! I KNEW she was covered in blood ad dying. She was fine btw. Just couldn't get back up the hill.

  3. I totally understand! one night, Julia was crying and wouldn't settle down - she didn't have a wet diaper (after only 2 hours of a diaper change) and in my mind, I had her having kidney failure, needing a transplant, not getting it, then us having to bury another child! It was crazy PTSD on top of lack of sleep with a newborn - not a good mix.
    You are right - we are all broken - just some of us more than others. Prayers for a better day tomorrow.


  4. This must have been so frightening! I would have been terrified even without the trauma you've faced. It is right and good that you're finding ways to be patient with yourself and to allow healing to come in its own ways. Praying that you continue to feel and see healing.