Two and a half years ago…I remember a time where I wasn’t always wondering when the next rug would be pulled out from under me.
It was Thanksgiving. My youngest girl and I had gone to Ohio for the week. My husband stayed home. And. Ripped up all of the carpets. We had talked about it. Wanting to replace carpets with hardwood.
All of a sudden I’m 14 hours away and he’s sending me pictures of his progress. As slowly the rug is pulled up. Taken away. Leaving a cracked concrete floor.
Looking back now, it seems like an omen of what was to come. The carpet that had covered so many flaws, breaks, cracks…it had left while I wasn’t paying attention to it.
All that was left was a concrete floor that had a crack so wide and deep and long…with nothing to cover it anymore. The brokenness of it all was out in the open. It couldn’t be hidden.
Months later and it’s Spring Break, the girls and I went on a trip. The plan was to pick out flooring when we got back. We had googled and pinterested and knew <mostly> how to do what we wanted done. We didn’t want to just cover the cracks and breaks and flaws. We were going to fix them. Then put something beautiful over the concrete. Not because it would need to be covered – the cracks would be fixed – but just to add a layer of protection over the cracks and add a new, updated look.
Two days in and it’s not going as planned. And we had planned. I didn’t go on vacation blindly.
We talked about what my husband would do while the girls and I were gone. Who he would reach out to if he needed help. We methodically listed out the steps he would take if A, B, C happened… We had a plan.
Except the plan hadn’t worked. All of a sudden, 15 hours away, the rug was pulled out from under me. Slowly, not all at once. I tried to stay on the rug. Tried to keep it in place. Then when it was halfway out from under me, I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. The girls and I needed this vacation. This break. These few days away with family, not having to worry about what was going on at home.
So many things I didn’t know. I assumed. But didn’t know. So I sent the girls to an aunt’s and drove home. A day early. With zero idea of what I would find.
The next part of this story isn’t ready to be told. The rest of that day had me feeling heartbroken. Angry. Overwhelmed. Ashamed. Afraid. Guilty. Trapped. More than anything though….Alone.
So let’s skip to following the ambulance from my home to the hospital. Sitting in the waiting room for hours until they finally
made me go sit with my husband told me I could come back to his room. I sat there, my legs dangling with nothing under my feet that I could reach. There was no solid ground for me to stand on. No floor and definitely no rug.
Trying to understand what a blood alcohol level of 4.3 means. Not .43. Not .043. It takes me a minute to google that because all of the default results have the decimal in the wrong place.
They retake it every hour, telling me until it comes down to under the legal limit they can’t even get him on a waiting list for rehab.
It takes forever for it to even start coming down. He sleeps. I sit. He wakes. Needs something. It gives me something to do and my feet are on solid ground again.
A kind nurse starts making calls to find him a bed. Even before his BAC is where it would need to be to get him a bed.
I go home to pack a bag for him. Trying to remember from the last rehab what he could and couldn’t have. Writing the list in my head as I drive. How did I drive. I hadn’t slept in more than 30 hours.
I walk back in the house to get his bag. Not through the garage. It’s weeks before I can walk through the garage without forcing myself.
Again, I see the concrete with cracks and breaks and flaws. I think that instead of putting new floors down, we’ll be spending my bonus on rehab. Again. And I’m angry again. Angry that he’s leaving us again to pick up all of these broken pieces. Angry that everyday I will look at these floors and remember the day the rug that hadn’t even been laid yet was yanked so violently out from under me.
So here we are. Two years later. And I don’t know how I got here. How can life fall apart in so many ways in two years. If I told you about every time a rug was pulled out from under me in these two years, it would read like fiction. There’s no possible way all of these things happen to one person.
And they don’t. The twist is, they happened to our whole family. And in the sharpest twist of all, the rug that was pulled out 5 months ago – the old, threadbare, overused, pulled so many times the drag marks are permanent – looking at it you might think it wasn’t strong enough to pull out from under a whole family.
And it wasn’t really. Because in the pulling, it twisted and tore and there was no neat or precise single graceful pull. There was tugging from all directions. It turns out pulling, tearing and twisting an already tattered and threadbare rug doesn’t result in that rug being pulled out from under you. Instead it tosses people away. It tears families apart. It leaves remnants that cannot be put back the same way by even the most skilled seamstress.
Until all you’re left with is the one piece of the rug that you held on to, trying so desperately to keep at least one part of your life together.
And as you sit alone with that torn patch of rug at your feet…all you can see is the cracked, broken, flawed concrete floor.
And you wonder – if everyone brought back their torn patches, could you put it back together again?
Or are we forever going to be walking around on cracked, broken, flawed concrete floors…