Here's the scene…
My twin sister is in labor, on our birthday. We are in the hospital along with our mom and her husband. She just got her epidural and things are going beautifully.
38 years ago my mother labored in her hospital room and now here we are all are together as my sister labors to bring my niece into the world. It feels like this beautiful, spiritual gift the universe has given me to be present for this event.
I step out into the hallway to stretch my legs and there is a bulletin board near the nurses' station with pictures of all the staff and it occurs to me, in that moment, that my SIL, one of my H's OW used to work there as a unit secretary.
Just as I think, "wow, it's pretty awesome that she doesn't work here anymore because that would be really awkward and awful…" (she now works in the same hospital but in a different building)
I turn around towards the nurses's station and BAM! she's standing there. She has just popped in to say hello to some of her former coworkers!!!!
I quickly walk, (ok, maybe more of a run) out of sight. My heart is pounding and I am so scared of having to talk to her or maybe my mom or BIL seeing her and having to endure small talk. I hide in the bathroom until I look calm even though I am shaking on the inside.
Immediately I have these crazy thoughts running through my head. This wasn't an accident. She came for a visit because she knew my sister was there. She planned this "popping in" just to terrorize me and cause me even more pain and humiliation. This was no accident.
Thankfully there was still this blessed event going on. I immediately texted my H and told him what happened and how painful it was to be reminded of something so terrible and yucky on such an important beautiful day. I didn't pretend to be ok and minimize it. I didn't avoid telling him at all as not to upset him. I just shared honestly how I was felling and how this affected me.
Hurray for new behavior!!!
Then I jumped back in and was able to be present and fully there for my sister, and a few hours later my little niece came into the world!
The next day at home I got to cry and really feel the hard stuff I had to feel as a result of her showing up. I talked some more with my H and also shared what happened with a friend who knows the whole story already.
I'm really proud of myself for not letting her rob me of the joy and excitement of the day. I put to rest those crazy ideas that she was out to get me and just chalked it up to a very shitty coincidence and decided to leave it at that.
I know that I probably won't always deal with major triggers like this every time but just knowing what I am capable of gives me a renewed sense of strength and faith that things can get better.