Tobias wasn’t planned. What follows is the first part of the account of how I found out I was pregnant with him.
Garrett and I were separated. The world had exploded with the news of what was going on behind the scenes in my marriage. I didn’t know if I was staying and going was looking better and better with each new disclosure of what he had been up to. My anxiety was at an all time high and for some reason I couldn’t stop having panic attacks. I attributed them to the stress I was under. Garrett lost his job because of porn, had left for a week intensive for sex addicts, I had attended a spouses of sex addicts workshop, and my mind was reeling from all the information. People were talking intervention, 12 step, abuse, control, and divorce. I arrived home from the conference for spouses of sex addicts in October and my body didn’t feel right. “Stress!” I thought, “this stress is going to do me in.” By November 16th I was having panic attacks daily. I was facing the reality that five years of marriage had been secretly laced with affairs: the internet, the phone, the workplace. I had a moment where I thought, ”I don’t have to deal with this. I can just die. ” The moment after that moment was a piece of clarity. I immediately called Springwoods Behavioral Health and left to be admitted.
I explained to the nursing staff and psychiatrist what was going on in my life. I explained my past of sexual abuse and trauma, my history of PTSD and depression, and that I was feeling like dying was a better option than living with all the pain I was experiencing. “The panic attacks are too much,” I wailed. “I am NOT this strong… I can’t do this, why are the panic attacks back! ” The psychiatrist put his hands on my shoulders, he was familiar with me and had provided for treatment me for Postpartum Depression, “Jasmine you are strong… I don’t think this is stress related. You have endured more than your husband being an asshole. Lets takes some blood and make sure there isn’t another cause.” I wept as the nurse drew my blood. My body was shaking and my mind was spinning. That night I went to bed in a room with another patient. Our doors were required to be open, just in case we followed through with our plans for suicide. She was there for Major Depression… she wrote me a note, “I can’t talk. I haven’t spoken in a year.”
The next morning I shuffled to the breakfast table. I was seated across from a man who was so thin I wondered if he suffered from Anorexia. Another woman leaned over to me and spoke like the skinny man wasn’t even at the table, ” He hasn’t eaten solid food for a long time. His wife died and his family admitted him because he refuses to eat.” I looked at him. I was shocked that she was looking right at him and telling his story like he wasn’t even there. He was staring with glassy eyes at his breakfast plate, untouched. “I think he wants to die she said half at me and half at him.” I began to slowly eat. Reconstituted eggs were not doing the trick for my hunger this morning, so I put my fork down. “What are you here for?” she asked me. I began to answer but she interrupted, “I am Borderline, they say. But I don’t think I am Borderline. I think people can’t handle my honesty and my ex is a fucker. You just can’t stab people nowadays.” I struggled to keep from laughing and I smiled, “sounds like something a Borderline would say.” She winked at me and we finished our institutionalized breakfast in silence.