Monday, May 13, 2013

I Named Him Jonathan

I usually do not write on Sundays and Mondays. My husband is off work and I try to spend as much time with him and my children on on those days, but today in my google plus group we are discussing agoraphobia. I was agoraphobic for about three months and I would like to write about it but my story is too long for a comment and too much pain is held within that I thought I would just make a post.

It was January sixth, my grandmother's birthday. My ex husband and I had been married for around four months. We had rented a trailer in a tiny town that consisted of a post office and feed store located in the same building. January sixth is the day I stopped teetering on the cliff of insanity and plunged head first into to it. I stepped off of the cliff and was unable to stop my decent. It was the day I became insane.

The day started of fine enough until night time. It started. I had extreme abdominal pains and bleeding. I had been three days late for my period and this was more than just cramps. I was sweaty and weak. The pains came in intervals like contractions. I knew something was really wrong. I am not going to go into extreme detail here; those that have experienced this, know exactly how this works. This was the night I lost my child.

I had not known I was pregnant although I had been desperately trying to become pregnant for almost six months. I was only about a month along. An E.R. visit was vague. I was given a catheter and tests. I was told that I was not pregnant but my gyno had stated that it was a miscarriage and that often times the hospital will lie to you. They can not stop a miscarriage and protocol is usually to say it was a bad period so as not to traumatize the woman. Too late. I already knew. There are things that are different than a regular period and I was aware of what was going on.

My issues were compounded by the fact that my ex had convinced me that I didn't need medication or a psychiatrist for my OCD. That I should just take St. John's Wort. I was unmedicated, away from my family, and not receiving any treatment for my mental illness. All I needed was a push to come undone and this was it.

I was devastated, full of grief, and angry. The anger had seeped so deep into my soul that I could feel it in my bones. It was bad enough that my mind had left me when I was a child but my body betraying me as well was too much to handle. My ex was not affected by the loss of our child. He was indifferent and told me that it didn't bother him. I began to hate. I hated him for not caring, myself for loosing the one thing I wanted so desperately  and hated the world for allowing things like this to happen. I specifically, hated  my body whom I deemed the ultimate betrayer. I hated and hated, and hated. I was slowly going through the motions of life. Flowers had lost their heavenly scent. Food had lost taste. Music had lost the ability to touch my soul. I was unable to feel anything but rage, hatred, and pain so deep and raw I could feel the whole where my heart used to be. The final blow was my ex's father telling me I didn't need a child anyway. Something inside me snapped. I actually heard it snap in my head. I felt it snap inside my body. I had completely become broken.

I found a stuffed baby toy in the store and I bought it. I had picked it up and was unable to put it down. It was like I had something to represent what I had lost. It was all I had to show for what my body had flushed away. I held it while I cried hysterically.  I held it when I sat in the dark letting the numb overcome my senses. I held it while I slept fitfully. I held it when my ex took me to the mental ward and tried to have me committed. The  lady processing my mental state tried to touch it and  I flinched away from her. I had been institutionalized before and anyone familiar with the system knows what key words to use to get in and what words to avoid to stay out. I heard the large metallic lock click behind me and I started to panic. I talked my way out of being admitted. I was convincing and told her I just wanted to go home and think about it. I never went back. The mental ward of my childhood still terrifies me and I was unable to take being put back in a ward.
  I became agoraphobic. Leaving the house was impossible. It got so bad that him leaving to go to work would trigger me into a panic. I would clutch him and beg him not to leave me alone. I would cry and beg. Scream and beg, and sometimes I wouldn't even acknowledge him leaving. My innocence had been ripped away form me and I now realized that the people you love or the things that you want could be torn from you. Outside was evil and dangerous. To try to go anywhere was sweaty palms and choking breaths. Panic and the world swirling around me until I felt dizzy and sick to my stomach.

There was a wedding coming up. My ex's cousin was marrying his eight months pregnant fiance. I could not go. I couldn't leave and even if I could leave I could not fathom seeing her with her belly so full of life and mine so utterly empty. I hated life. I hated her happiness and my despair.

The only time I have ever been violent was when in my numbness he started arguing with me. I took a large glass of water and threw it at his feet. When it shattered in a million pieces I felt satisfied that finally something could break like I had. That something could shatter like I had shattered. He was unharmed, mostly. The only pain I inflicted on him was that he was now scared of me. Sweet little Nelly was no longer just sweet. I was possessed by my own demons and they were running the show now. He became so frightened of what I would do that he took his guns and put them in his trunk to prevent me from shooting myself while he was at work. Little did he know that the pain had rendered me unable to lift my arms let alone load a gun and hold it. The anger had made me unable to kill myself because all I wanted to do was reflect on the world and how much I hated everything about it. I was not suicidal and yet, I wished all the world would fall away from me like leaves in the Fall. I held my baby toy and prayed, cried, wished, hated and tasted my own tears and drank down my own shame. I named my lost child Jonathan after a ceramic angel I had as a child. I gave him a name because my ex wouldn't. Because he didn't care and it was all I cared about. It was a few cells but they were my baby and I was grieving him. I felt that it was a boy. No way to know because there is no funeral for miscarriages. There are no tombstones to visit and quietly reflect. There are no places to lay flowers and grieve. There is no closure or kind words to say. Just emptiness and grief.

Finally my ex had decided that I needed to see a psychiatrist and we went and I was given meds and someone to talk to. Finally there was a glimmer of hope. I might be able to heal and leave the house. The agoraphobia left me as quickly as it came. The pain of loosing Jonathan took many years. I missed him even after my marriage ended. I missed him until I was blessed with my first child. Finally I got this one right. The pain eased and ebbed away. I still think of him. I always will I suppose. Now, I can think of him and not feel like the scab has been ripped away from a festering wound. My wounds with the help I needed no longer fester with the infection of anger, pain, and grief. They have healed into scars. Scars that will be with me for the rest of my life. I had agoraphobia and made it through. I have OCD, and am making it through. I lost my baby when I was twenty years old and I have made it through. I named him Jonathan and he is never forgotten.


  1. and it hurt for a long time for me, too. :(

  2. Your comment made me tear up. It's so sad we went through this, but it's comforting to know we are not alone in our grief. Thank you Jennifer, your comment made me feel less alone.