“The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight, Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time, I’m still waiting though I still have my doubts, I am damaged at best, like you have already figured out”—Lifehouse
My second year at CCHS started out much differently than my first. There was new leadership, which always brings with it change, which is hard, even if the change is good. I taught the same classes as the year before, I was still teaching 3 chemistry classes, 2 anatomy classes and 1 college level business course. The kids were awesome, but that was something that didn’t change and those kids are still some of my favorite people in the world. I loved teaching them, I loved interacting with them and I loved teaching science. The schedule though, the schedule was relentless. I still say that it was the most difficult job I have ever had. My first class started at 7:45, meaning I had to be at a staff meeting at 7:15.
Sleep was (and still is) my biggest issue. Every time I would fall asleep, I would wake up, terrorized. I could go for days at a time but eventually it would get to me and I would finally fall asleep, usually on the weekends and would sleep for 20 hours straight. I had managed to see a counselor in Tampa just a few times during the first year I was in Clearwater, but it didn’t really help. My reality was pretty rough and at times it just was more than I could take. When I moved in with Crissy she suggested her counselor in St. Petersburg, I saw him one time before the giant crash.
“The broken locks were a warning that you got inside my head, I tried my best to be guarded, but I am open book instead. I still see Your reflection inside my eyes, they are looking for purpose, they are looking for life.
I am falling apart, I am barely breathing, with a broken heart, that is still beating, in the pain, is there healing?” Lifehouse
I walked into Dr. Petit’s office one afternoon after school. I barely remember the day. I know I sat on his couch and spewed 35 years of trauma on him like I was giving him driving directions. There was no connection to the words and the deep, deep pain of my heart. I agreed to see him on a regular basis, drove back to Clearwater to commence with my life, as sleepy as that often was.
When I could not go to sleep, I would often turn my laptop on and write. Here is an except from my blog on October 20, 2008 at 1:19AM:
The blog was just entitled ANGRY
I am angry and I am working on a way to let it out. I am angry…. at God, where were you, where are you now? I am angry at him, you took who I am from me and made me insecure, untrusting and a bunch of other things I can’t even list here. We could have been something beautiful, yet you monopolized on my good traits and exploited my fears. Unless God decides I will never be that person again. I thought you were my redemption, a chance at a good life, and you took that all from me. I am so, so angry.
I am shocked when I look back at it now that I was able to identify that emotion. It wasn’t one I had ever identified as an appropriate emotion, but apparently there was plenty of it. He had not managed to leave me alone and it had been almost two years. He would, very much like he does now, go away for awhile then show up in some big way whether it was having my car repossessed because he failed to pay or some toothless law suit claiming I was doing things I wasn’t. Then there was the IRS audit. There was just no rest, and I was so, so tired.
“I am hanging on another day, just to see what You throw my way, and I am hanging on to the words You say, You said that I will be ok” Lifehouse
I was settling into Crissy’s nicely, I felt safe. I felt less alone. I still would come straight home from school, sneak into my room, and stay there leaving only to go the bathroom. And as the days piled on top of each other I began to feel less and less like I had a grip on any of it. It was so weird and I was so hard on myself as the time I had given myself to move on had long passed. Why now, why is it all crumbling down on me now?
Here is another excerpt from my blog during those first few weeks of that school year:
I can’t sleep. I am living in somebody else’s house, my world is spinning as I truly set myself up to live the rest of my life. And I am good with that, but I want to be careful not to try to do it all on my own, because I know that will be like a crazy person running in place. It is my sincere prayer that God will meet me here and that He will help me not do this on my own. It is after midnight, I am getting tired…
I ended that blog with “Is all this pain for nothing? God Forbid, God, please help it to all make sense, or take me, take me now”
I am not sure how I ended up in the Principal’s office the next day. But on that day I told him I did not want to be alive. The night before, I took an anti-anxiety pill for every time I saw the clock change. We figured out it meant I took 9 of them over a 7 hour time. As it turns out, it wasn’t enough to be dangerous, but we didn’t know that. The bell rang and I went back upstairs to teach my last class of the day. As I left the school that day my boss called me in his office. My friend Cheryl was sitting there. Apparently, we were on our way to the hospital. I did not fight them. I was completely at the end of my ability to fight. I was just so, so tired.
“She turned her head as if to hide, there was just nowhere to go, cause standing tall on every side the mighty fear of letting go, she said ‘My God I am so ashamed, I still believed he could change’ but he pulled me down like gravity. He broke my will, but it’s deeper still, deeper still….the Love that heals me is Deeper Still” Bebo Norman