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This day is marked by the nation and by the world. It seems the day that changed everything. I look back on my own memories of 9/11 2001 and see the tragedies shared by my nation but I also see it in the context of my own family. You see we had 9/11 but then we had 9/12.

 

Unknown to me at the time, my husband had a mental illness (that later was diagnosed Bipolar). I knew he’d struggled with depression and had seen some of this in our first years together. I too had suffered clinical depression years ago, so I felt compassionate competence in helping him deal with his own challenges. I had however seen other behavior in him that confused me but nothing so extreme that it couldn’t be explained away as stress from his divorce, dealing with his ex, family issues, work, the non-profit we were attempting to set up, a new marriage… life. So, actually when 9/12 came and went, I also explained his episode away and so did he and so did his therapist. In truth and in hindsight, I see that he had a full on manic episode that was triggered by 9/11. This coupled with our daughter celebrating with classmates someone’s birthday only to turn around in time to see her seat partner vomit on her desk triggering such great anxiety in her around food and eating around people, 9/12 also changed everything for us as a family.

 

So those are my thoughts on 9/11. The day the nation was broke open. The day my family was broke open. I am not certain either has risen yet from our brokenness. We have moved forward and we have moved backward. We have carried the stages of grief; but I am not certain there is much acceptance yet. In the nation. In my family. My husband chose to exit last November. So the family, we kind of started the brokenness all over again. I think in a way he thought though that the mental illness was the infection that wouldn’t allow healing in our family and so he removed it they best way he thought possible. I would that he had done so in a therapeutic way instead.

 

This is part of why I continue to make the prayer flags. Oddly right now I am working on “Wonder.” With every flag, I’ve found the prayer/intention manifesting in my life as I sew on it. Sometimes it has been very challenging. Always though very much a gift of many gifts through the process. With “Wonder,” however, it feels as if that prayer is simply a life-support keeping me going as I continue walking through this time in our country. This time of letting go so completely of the love of my life.