Sounds odd that you can find comfort in the dark unknown.
But I did not attempt to find my way out of the darkness for quite some time. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel but I was not ready to pull myself out. There were questions outside the Rabbit Hole that I did not want to face. I was only 21 years old. And these questions were too painful to think about, digging deep to find the answers was too much for my soul.
My husband had wanted me to live with his mother while he was deployed. I did not question this…I just agreed. But after losing the baby and being left at the airport, living with his family was too much for me. Actually, living with anyone was too much for me. I found an apartment. It was dark and dirty and dingy, kind of like a real life Rabbit Hole. Perfect.
I moved in, cleaned from top to bottom. Cleaning soothed me. It was symbolic. I could not clean up the mess that my life was, but I could clean for hours and not think about anything but the sterilization of my surroundings. I did not have to see anyone, I did not have to answer the phone, I did not have to communicate. I closed myself in and just focused on surviving.
And I was doing my best to shut it down. To avoid it. To lock it away. But it kept popping up, niggling in the back of my brain. It was trying to tell me something. I knew that there were questions that I should be getting answers to, but I was scared. Deep down I believe that I knew the answers would destroy me.
I know that I had conversations with my husband during this time. He was not really pleased with my decision to move into my own apartment, but at that point I really didn’t care what he wanted. He was in California having fun with his buddies, going to work, living his life…as a single-married-man.
He had no responsibilities. I was the one that had to live with the loss, had to pick up the pieces. I certainly was not going out for drinks and hanging out with friends. I could not go back to work, I could not comprehend having to talk to people, or even look at people, I was not ready.
It was a lot easier 25 years ago…
To shut yourself off. Today with cell phone and the internet access, facebook and google…all the answers are at our fingertips. Today, I could have just googled the questions that I needed answered. Such as…is it considered AWOL if you don’t return to base because you have just lost your baby and your wife needs emergency surgery? Or, in military service, after fulfilling your requirement for deployment, would you be ordered on another 6-month tour?
And if we had cell phones at that time, I would have been able to call my husband whenever I felt the need. Whenever I felt insecure. Whenever I needed reassurance. Hubby had moved back to Base after I returned home. Military men and women who were housed in the barracks did not have their own phones.
The only phone was in the hallway, and used by the entire floor of occupants. If hubby was not in his room, or elsewhere on the floor, there was no other way to reach him. I cannot tell you how many countless hours I lay awake wondering where he was or what he was doing…all I knew was that he did not work the night shift, so when I called at 10pm or 11pm or 12am.. where was he… if he was not in his room or anywhere on the floor to accept my calls?
Preparing Subconsciously for Survival…
So, I wrapped myself in the cocoon of the Rabbit Hole, finding comfort in the alone-ness, the darkness, and the solitude. I was not reaching for answers but the answers were reaching for me. Like tendrils of an invasive plant species; they were reaching for me down inside the Rabbit Hole.
It was growing aggressively, spreading quickly, covering everything in its path… and I knew that it would not be long before it reached me. Before I would be fighting for my life once again.
But this time the fight would be waged on my soul.