I am nervous about this post. I will be putting myself out there in a way I never have. I might lose followers. Or I might gain them. But I've decided that I'm going to lay it all out there. The past that I have referred to. My "mistake" as I have called it. To be totally honest and open. This is pretty lengthy but I ask you to stick with me. I'll throw in pictures for some relief. So there you go.
I talked about Lisa Welchel in a previous post. She spoke about her difficulties making adult friends because of the walls that she had put up around her heart. She spoke of hurt and pure naivete as reasons that those walls arose and how she has decided to come out from those walls.
Then I remembered something I had heard. If you don't emerge from your protected zone, how can you truly shine? How can you fully live in Christ? Have you truly given yourself to Him? I can say with utmost confidence that I have not.
As a child, I experienced mental and other forms of abuse from a family member on a steady basis from the time I was a toddler until I was 16 and stopped seeing this person. You build walls when you are being abused. You push it all down, go to school and try to be as normal as possible, but hold back. You protect yourself from more hurt. Bricks begin to build.
I graduated from my Residency and started working as a Pediatrician. I am a good doctor. I loved my families. But my partner hated me, and to this day I don't know why. Another cycle of mental abuse started. You'd think when I found out that I was his 5th partner I would have gotten wise and left, but I stayed in this twisted relationship for 8 years. Until I was forced to quit and the major wall building began.
He had migraines. Terrible, smash your head against the wall wishing you were dead migraines. The last two years that I was working, I couldn't afford health insurance for my family. My income had decreased by more than half of my starting salary and I had no benefits. Just more of the office badness. Without health insurance and frequent $800 dollar visits to the ER, we were going broke. I did some research and found a non-addictive, non-scheduled medication that helped Tim's headaches.
He would let me know when he needed more and I would write a prescription. Trouble was, I wasn't keeping track of how often he was taking the meds. I was so stressed out at work and I trusted him, so I wrote for the meds.
I remember that May afternoon like it happened yesterday. I had come home from lunch and we were sitting on the couch, just looking at each other. I was thinking how lucky I was. But I had to go back to the office.
I was informed upon returning that there were 4 policemen waiting for me. I had no idea why. Then they started to question me. I was a goody two shoes. I'd never done anything, ever. I tried to walk a walk that Christ would be proud of. I was so naive about the police that I answered every question that they asked me in cooperation. And I found out Tim and I were in a lot of trouble. You don't know how often the thought "if only I had gotten a lawyer" has entered my head. I trusted the police. They were out to get me.
I had written many, many prescriptions for Tim. Many more than I should have. I had also written for Robitussin with codeine for my son for a severe cough (not unusual at all) and was accused of writing the meds in my son's name for Tim. I also found out that Tim had stolen prescriptions from me and gotten more meds. I found out he was an addict.
I was also pregnant. It was determined that in addition to severe stress and several years of mild depression, I also had depression of pregnancy. After I left the hospital I started bleeding and was put on bed rest. A week later I started having severe right sided abdominal pain and ended up back in the hospital (this time in the sane unit!) to get my appendix out. I was told to take at least a month off of work.
Fast forward a year. All investigating had been done. I had a new baby. And Tim went to trial and was sent to prison for three months. He was strapped to a table when he was detoxing. He received no meds to help him through it. Standard practice, I have learned. I was alone raising a new baby and two very hurt children. I went through all of the stages of grief but ultimately decided that I had committed to this man that I loved and would stick by him. He apologized from the depths of his heart. He joined AA in prison. He has been sober for 3 years. Nonetheless, steel reinforcements to the wall.
I was so bitter. I knew and accepted that what I had done was an ethics violation. I figured my license would be suspended and I'd have to go through some counseling with the Medical Board. I had accepted that what I had done was wrong and in poor form. But now I was a felon and felons can't have medical licenses. I signed my license away forever. A lot more tears and a lot more bricks.
Were it not for my in-laws, we would have lost our house long ago. We use the food pantry and are on Government health care (like so many other people these days). We get a small sum each month for my step-son as his mother was a veteran.
I have learned to live with much less and appreciate what I have all the more. I am grateful for everything that I receive. And my relationship with Tim has become stronger as his sobriety and church involvement have increased. He is a new man.
All of the legal troubles happened three years ago. In that time, I've come out of the depths, become closer to Tim and my children, and started a blog that has opened my life up in ways I could never imagine. My faith journey is still strained, but I believe that God loves me and that I am his forgiven child, his beautiful daughter. And that he forgave me the moment I gave myself to him so long ago. It's more difficult to forgive myself. That is a work in progress.