When under extreme duress, faced with pumping adrenalin and a sever threat or danger, the brain chooses it’s mechanism within a millisecond- fight, or flight.
Fight. Attack. Defend.
Flight. Run…. like the wind.
When the unthinkable happened, my mind, it choose flight. As I said, a millisecond, it’s not a conscious choice, it’s just what your brain does.
I try not to beat myself up about it. I’m imagining the primal section of my brain did it’s thing- it weighed up Tony’s size against mine, added in my terror. And then, to compound it, it assessed the child in my arms. And maternal instincts, mixed with adrenaline…
Run. And scream. Fly.
I hadn’t done it right. I’d made phone calls in the wrong order, I’d ran instead of stayed… everyone, everything I came across while my husband’s body was dieing in the ICU, told me I hadn’t done this right.
“You just don’t know what you’d do it that situation..” This nurse is plump and lovely, sweet and supportive and tells me what a fantastic job I’m doing as I sit and hold my husband’s hand, and speak to him of our wedding day, “You did what you could. You did well. I had a friend, her husband committed suicide, on the back of the laundry door… a bit different to you, he was already dead when she found him… but she chopped tomatoes. While the police and the ambulance came, and they took his body away… from the moment she called 000, she began chopping a kilo bag of tomatoes, and didn’t stop through all the commotion, not till they were done. then she put down the knife and said “OK, I’m ready to go now.”
I feel for that woman. I know the ugly horror she experienced, the feeling that the Earth is quite literally changing beneath your feet and you’re not sure where you’ll end up.
I think, perhaps, her mind chose Fight. But he was already dead. So all it could do was retain some sort of normality, while the world came crushing down.
The tomatoes needed chopping.
Everything else, it could wait.