PTSD or Something Like That

I moved into our house with neither a functioning kitchen nor bathrooms.

Correction, I had a toilet. One lonely toilet in the kids’ bathroom.

This is the state in which I found the house when I zipped over to beat the movers. Embarrassingly, I admit that we (i.e. Keith) hired movers to take the big stuff 10 houses down the street.

The kind movers didn’t know what to do with me. I wavered between crying fits and staring blankly at the walls. The younger one kept asking what was bothering me so much and tried to assure me that whatever it was would be okay. Poor guy. He didn’t know what he was getting himself into.

I was having a nervous breakdown because I felt I hadn’t adequately cleaned the floors before putting furniture on them. But look at what I was going to have to move just to clean them. You’d have a nervous breakdown too.

Plus, I have issues. Mostly about the cleanliness of floors.

I’m also going to blame PTSD. Or maybe there’s some diagnosis that would explain heightened emotions on the anniversary of a traumatic event.

It was 2 years prior that armed men showed up to our house in Ethiopia looking for the founder of the ministry we worked with. Armed, meaning big machine guns. And men, meaning about a dozen lined up in a semicircle enclosing our front door.

And 4 days later that infamous call from Keith that said, “We’re leaving.” And I had 3 hours before a van would be there to take us to the airport.

Bon voyage, dear Ethiopia.

Our cook Birkea didn’t know why I was hysterical as I hugged her and sent her home for the day. I miss all my Ethiopian friends, but I really miss Birkea. She loved my kids so well. Always hugging and kissing on them like a grandma. Making their favorite dishes, despite my meal planning. And, every Friday afternoon around 4:00 she’d come upstairs to my room, which doubled as our homeschool classroom, and serve us popcorn. It’s like she was saying, “Okay, Mom, school’s over for the week.” The kids would cheer and beg to start Friday Family Fun Night a few hours early. I’d usually cave because somewhere way deep inside I do have a heart.

So, moving into a house with no kitchen or bathroom (or clean floors) isn’t the worst that could happen. Definitely not the worst.

And, in the 11th hour, Keith and his dad installed a sink so that I could brush my teeth like a human, and not like I forced the kids to do in the backyard before tucking them into bed.

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