Sunday, May 6, 2012
Up on the Hill
We had appointments last week in Portland. Two pre-ops, and a follow up for Joel's eye surgery. On the first morning up at OHSU, I managed to lock my keys in my car, and then after being rerouted to another building by the staff, forgot where I was parked.....long story short, I had to meander through 3 parking garages with a tired toddler and a heavy diaper bag before the security guard could get me back into my car. As I finally buckled a sleeping Joel into his car seat, I sat down and cried. I called Adam and told him how much I hated this campus. And I meant every word.
We met up with some friends of mine, had dinner, talked, drank a little wine, and our kids played together AMAZINGLY. Slept well, and woke up the next morning with a new start. Drove back up the hill to the same campus that had defeated me the day before, and felt the same heartache.
Don't get me wrong, I know I've been spoiled with Mary Bridge. I love it there. They were my family away from home, and I mean that. Even the valet guy got one of our Christmas cards. They KNEW us, and it felt great to be apart of a 'community' within the hospital. We fit in there.
But that wasn't it. It wasn't until I drove back down the hill and remembered this, that I knew my hatred was much deeper rooted.
I have memories here. An old boyfriend went to school here. Not just any boyfriend...THE boyfriend. The one I swore as a teenager I was going to marry. The one my parents feared and hated. The one who was pivotal in my destructive years. He was the spin in my tornado. I can remember YEARS of thinking of this very hill as a desired attraction...'If only I could get to that hill, we could make it work....' He occupied six years inside of my heart.
And I'm not going to get into details that I don't want to relive, because to be honest, if you knew about my past, you'd probably crap your pants. It's shocking. So, I'll leave it at: I was heartbroken. By a boy who is now a dentist. And it led to a landslide of retaliation and addiction.
Obviously I'm not heartbroken today. I've met and married the man God intended for me to be with. We have kids and a life that is incredibly hard, and incredibly rewarding,... but Adam and I have had to work IMMENSELY hard to keep things together at times, and I can almost always derive my unhealthy behaviors in our tough times back to when I learned them first. From the boy on the hill. People learn things when they're under emotional stress. I learned bad habits from that relationship, and without guilting myself to death (which I do,) there's a mess to clean up years later. I made a mess in the love-part of my brain, and time hasn't really healed that....God had to.
It's no surprise that looking back stirs up sadness. It always does with me. But I really want for OHSU to not remind me of the actions I regret. I know God didn't intend for my husband to have to deal with my baggage from past relationships, but as it is, he does. Thankfully he's patient enough to stand by my side while I work through my 'exfoliating.'
You know, I'm gonna have to go back up there in a few weeks for Joel's next surgeries. I'm going to bite the bullet, and NOT cry this time, and be that strong mom that I was in Tacoma. If you're reading this, and you pray, be thinking of us. Joel will be getting his stoma closure and hernia fixed. I'll be looking out of a window, over a beautiful city.