The visits to the attic continued. As did the anxiety attacks. I would hide in the powder room from my son and my husband. I hid from my son to protect him. I hid from my husband so he would not see me so weak. The previous owners of the house had put an ugly beige wallpaper on the walls. It had vertical lines and horizontal lines in dark brown upon it. I’d lay my hot face against the cool walls trying to calm myself. This brought no relief. I felt like I was going crazy. As the anxiety intensified till I was filled with fear I would run my fingers up and down the vertical lines on the ugly walls. And pray. Pray not to end up crazy. The attacks seemed to go on forever but probably lasted a half an hour. I would emerge from the bathroom exhausted but with my mommy face in place for my son. I had practiced smiling and imagining seeing his face before I left the room. Within moments he would greet me enthusiastically having missed me.
“Heh, Sweetie.” I heard myself say to my child, my dream come true.
“Hi Mom-mom. I made you a picture of a dinosaur.” he said as he held up his latest creation.
“You did! Lucky me, let me see.”
While I looked at his stegosaurus and he pointed out details he wanted me to notice I would think about how much I loved him. How I wanted to be a good mom — not a crazy one. I didn’t know then that I was going to be both for a long time.