This has been a yucky few days. I’ve been fighting a sinus infection and I’m still working through the latest IBS flare-up.
I have my daughter’s large puppy visiting, along with our Boxer and Lab…it’s a lot of dog in my little house.
I heard a tragic story about a student, whom I adore, and my heart broke Monday afternoon. Then I heard from the mouth of a five year old that she isn’t seeing her daddy anymore because “he made a really bad decision and now she can’t see him ever again.” And my heart split in two.
And then some other stuff with my young adult daughter and her struggles with addiction that casts an insidious shadow over everything.
Then the Parkland survivors who took their own lives. The Sandy Hook father who couldn’t take it any longer. Other political crap, not the least of which was DeVos thinking it’s a good idea to defund Special Olympics. WTF???
And writing suddenly seemed so stupid and pointless and I floundered. Badly.
Alone in My Head
Wednesday I found myself sitting through the most mind-numbing training I have ever sat through. And that’s saying a lot. I’m a special education teacher and have taught for fifteen years so, if you are in the know, you know I have experienced an astonishing number of trainings. This one put me in a coma.
Normally this is a good thing. I generally enjoy zoning out a little and being alone with my thoughts. Except I had to at least look like I was sort of paying attention. I stared at the monitor, my eyes crossed and my mind immediately wandered to yucky places. And I think we’ve all been there. When an unsuspecting loved one asks what is wrong and we sob, “Everything!” This day it really did feel like everything.
I did not need to be alone in my head.
I tried to distract myself by terrorizing Benton through text emojis. He refused to play with me…something about being at work and having to be professional and do stuff…whatever…
I googled how to prepare trim to be painted. Got some good ideas and ordered the paint I need.
My friend was shopping online so I watched over her shoulder as she scrolled through some really cute shoes. I like what she chose.
Then! A real distraction! I was sitting next to a full wall window with a garden outside and there, on the ledge, was a baby rabbit. I immediately personified him and created an entire backstory for him. But then, because I have issues, I began to think obsessively about him and I worried. Where was his momma? Was he cold? Was he hungry? Was he lost? Seriously, where the hell was his momma???? And how exactly was I going to sneak out of the meeting and help him find her?
But before this formed into a viable plan, we broke for lunch.
One of my favorite things about teaching is the people I teach with. We are spread all over the county in different schools, but periodically we come together to collaborate and (presumably) learn new stuff. And, the best part? We get to eat a lunch that takes longer than twenty minutes and we get to do it in a restaurant with adults!
This day I was blessed to have lunch with my favorite sped teachers from the other side of the county.
Now, I am one of those people who people talk to. Strangers end up telling me all sorts of personal stuff. I’m the empathetic friend who listens to others and offers advice, consolation, a shoulder. So I was very out of character that day. By the time the taco salads hit the table, it was the Lynn Show. I shared all of my junk with these women. I spilled my guts about deeply personal things. I complained and lamented.
And knowing them and some of the things they have dealt with in life, I know they have experienced their own hell. Yet they were kind and understanding. They made me laugh and helped me remember I’m not alone. They never minimized my pain or experiences. I feel like a little of my burden was transferred to two strong women who were in a place to handle it.
It’s been a long time since someone else has hoisted my emotional baggage over their shoulder and told me it was okay.
I have no profound advice or thoughts here. I’m just feeling appreciative. And it doesn’t hurt that the antibiotics are starting to help. I am now confident that my brain will stay in my head and not ooze out through my nose or ears. Gross, I know. But damn, I hurt. Things are looking up. Although nothing has changed (except for the sinus issue) my perspective and my outlook have improved greatly.
So thank you Debbie and Sheri. Thank you for your wisdom, kindness, humor, and your strength. Thank you for so graciously sharing your emotional energy with me. I really enjoyed our lunch!
Now! Who’s with me to find that baby rabbit…