Staying Home with Mental Illness
The extended stay at home order filled me with additional anxiety. Another month confined. It’s not that I don’t understand the need to protect the vulnerable. My mental health is fragile, and for some reason I couldn’t understand, this has gotten to me.
We go all winter forced to be at home in Colorado. Blizzards last a day or two, and off we go. I am now a month into this, and it is different. I spent half this time very sick, so it was no big deal. As I healed, things escalated. Why?
I fell asleep very early last night, and this was the first night in a long time I’ve slept well. I woke up considering my lousy attitude and found my answer to this reaction.
Abused- My first stay at home order.
As a young girl, I was forced to stay in a house filled with evil. Without warning, my memory flooded me this morning with reminders of my imprisonment. Hiding under my bed, locking myself in the bathroom in a cold tub of water pretending to bathe, begging to visit all my friend’s homes to escape. Then, there were the moments of being abused, threatened, and touched inappropriately. There were nights I left my body to hide somewhere among the clouds.
I lived this forced confinement until I was 17, graduated early, and left for good. When I moved into my first home, I confined myself. I rarely left during the day. Freedom only brought on self-isolation, especially after the monster found out where I lived and showed up one day unannounced-just to torture me with his presence.
He continued that sick joke at every apartment I moved to. My children and I would hide away until he left, sometimes hours later. It took years to realize I was living in the same fear I did as a child.
Something snapped in me at being asked to stay home. We are in a stressful time in the world, and my house. So this order left a bad taste in my mouth. Other than quick trips to the office to pay bills and complete some essential tasks, I’ve stayed put. I have shopped twice in a month. I have done my part, even if I stayed angry through it.
As I start this new day, I am grateful for my memory. I hate what I remember, but now I have a better understanding of my feelings. This situation is not that of my childhood. I can let the anger go and embrace this time as a prayer warrior, not an abused child. I can go outside, take walks, and breathe in the fresh air.
As hard as I try to forget the past, life has a way of reminding me. I hope the following days are filled with calm resignation. It helps to see the full picture and to comprehend my fears. The mind is a mystery, but God is faithful. He is here and ready to fill the void of uncertainty. I stand grateful.