The Unimaginable

I cannot begin to understand why things happen as they do, or how my expectations and hopes become so crossed and confused with reality. Life is marvelous one moment, and then you are struck with a burden impossible to bear.

6 months ago if you had told me of where I would be now, I would not have believed you. I would have thought you cruel to say such things.

Yet here I am.

Life is too rich to copy and paste into a blog post. I could write until I died and still not begin to convey experiences as they stand.

I will lightly write. Just know that the words here do nothing to justify the suffering.

At the end of February I could feel myself running from, but not outrunning the fog of encroaching depression.

On March 2nd I went to the doctor and told them I needed help. They told me the soonest they could get me in was April 26th.

On March 5th I was pulled out of my home by firefighters and policemen while Jordan answered questions and neighbors/friends cared for my three children.

And that was only the beginning.

I found myself in the emergency room. With a convicted murderer to my right, and a deeply suffering woman who screamed as she relived her gang rape to my left.

I was transferred to a mental hospital.

My beautiful life was now miles away. I was left alone, terrified, confused, and wandering the hallway while patients begged to be unchained from their beds. I thought the worst had happened.

After a week I was released. I attended two weeks of Intensive Outpatient Therapy, then one week of Rapid Recovery. I had two new bottles of pills, a psychiatrist, and a therapist. I received an official diagnosis – Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Anxiety.

I didn’t want this. I felt I had been locked in a cage that had nothing to do with my real life. I was a prisoner in another woman’s nightmare.

In the middle of April there was an inquest by a foster care agency. But they told us everything looked okay and that if we continued to follow my recovery plan there shouldn’t be any problems.

Then on May 3rd a new judge assigned to our case, who did nothing more than read my diagnosis, without taking a minute to even talk to me, labeled me as dangerous and unpredictable. I was ordered to move from the home. I went to live with a friend who stood by me in the most tremendous way.

I was only allowed to see my children under direct supervision from a county official.

I did everything they wanted. I filled out report after report. I spent days waiting in the courthouse. I let them into every corner of my life to prove I was still worthy of the title “mom.”

I was sick. I had gone through an illness. Couldn’t they see this wasn’t me? That I was still the woman who walked her kids to school, took them to the park every day, baked cookies with them and tucked them into bed?

I fought hard to stay above the pain of all I was going through. I crawled my way through panic attack after panic attack – sometimes multiple times a day. I held onto reality with everything I could. I battled the disassociation and that cracking feeling in my chest.

For weeks I begged God to save my family.

And then on May 29th they took my baby away from me.

In three months we went from turning in our final adoption placement paperwork, to watching them drive away with her.

It had come to that.

I had lost a child.

The unimaginable had reached our doorstep.

I hear my other kids laughing and I listen for her squeal. I sit at the table and wait for her to crawl onto my lap. I do the dishes and crave the feeling of her head against my leg. I tuck the older two into bed and then am not sure what to do with myself, I should be holding a baby, watching her eyes slowly close.

People keep saying, “Your kids are …”

And I think, “Those aren’t my kids. Those are Jo and JJ. But that’s not my kids. I have three kids.”

Everything I do. And everywhere I go. I feel a loss. I cannot escape the emptiness as I walk without a little hand in mine.

I cannot believe that this pain is survivable.

Everything hurts. If I walk through a store and see a woman with three children I feel that my chest is caving in. If I glimpse a baby swing at the park it becomes hard to breathe in all the way. Blueberries remind me of her eyes and I remember the afternoon I watched her eat a whole carton, giggling at her luck the whole time.

And yet I am expected to live my life like this. People keep telling me time will heal. And maybe that is true. I suppose that it is. Women before me have lost children and pressed on.

But how to keep moving for another minute is beyond me. I fall asleep and know that pain is waiting for me in the morning. I wake up and know that pain is waiting for me throughout the day. I watch my oldest two dream in their beds and know it is time for me to cry alone.

I moved back to Minnesota. I just couldn’t be surrounded by the places I shared with her. Jordan will join us in a month when he’s finished his semester.

I wish for a lot of things. So many things. But mostly I wish for one more day to love my baby. To hear her say “Mama” one more time. IMG_4124


7 thoughts on “The Unimaginable

  1. Jessica Havican says:

    Words cannot express how much I love you. I am so so sorry. I am coming to Minnesota in July and would love to give you a long and deep embrace.

  2. Jessica Stringham says:

    My heart breaks for you Kayleen. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. I cry reading your words. I pray for your health and for your family. I have dealt with personality disorder and depression as well. Though I do not suffer from anxiety. I feel for you. It’s rough. I hate that they took your baby away. I am so so sorry for your loss. My love to you.

  3. Jacque says:

    I love you so much and this breaks my heart that you guys are going through this. I just think the world of your adorable children and would have loved to have met your third. She is so loved I can tell. Prayers and hugs sent your way.

  4. Lynette Barlow says:

    Kayleen…I know that I can’t possibly know how you feel, but I do know how much it hurts. We will all feel a loss in our hearts for a long time. You had May in your home at a time when she needed you the most and your family taught her how to love and be truly loved. I believe she will always carry that in her little heart wherever she goes. I continually pray for you and Jordan, Jo, and JJ. They love you and they love May, and I know they are grieving this loss, too. I hope you can find comfort in each other and your hearts can began to heal. 💔

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