I surprised myself today with an attack of what appeared to be motormouthitis.
I had a "back to work" interview with our (new, never met her) area manager this morning to go over any health issues, timing etc before I go back to work.
"And is there anything you would like to add?" after we'd been through the standard form, decided on four days a week to start with and discussed medical issues. This is the point where motormouthitis struck me with a vengence.
You must understand that out there in the real world I'm normally quiet, fairly private and rather shy. I don't make speeches and I don't like confrontations. I generally just let it go and move on.
I explained how deeply it hurts when people say nothing at all and could she ask those at work to please not ignore my loss. I don't need a pity party, just a little acknowledgement.
I explained that no, I'm not done crying and there will be times when I will cry at work.
I explained that I won't bottle it up or just get over it because people at work might feel uncomfortable.
I explained that I do understand their discomfort but I simply can not let it affect my healing and my grief by forcing me to bury my pain.
I explained that I don't want people to walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting me. I'm already upset. Not mentioning it doesn't make it any better: it makes me feel isolated.
I explained that I don't want the loss of George to become the elephant in the room that no one mentions.
I explained that if anyone wants to ask me questions they can. If they want to ask, "what was it like" they can. If they want the whole sad and sorry story they can have it. If they want to see the photo of my son they can, with pleasure, because he was beautiful and it feels good when I'm asked to share that.
I explained that I have absolutely no idea how and even if I will be able to cope as I have no experience to draw on but that I'm willing to try.
I cried off and on during the whole interview and when Ms Area manager could get a word in she told me about her husband losing his mother and how badly it affected him and she understood that bereavement is a process and can take a long long time when you lose a member of your family. I thanked her for that acknowledgement.
Yes indeed, we did lose a member of our family.
I think it went well but I also think she sees me as someone much more capable than I feel I am. She remarked on my honesty and my willingness and goodness she really couldn't see that what I really wanted to do was crawl under my bed and hide and not turn up?
So, I'm apprehensive about going back to work but it's something that I feel I have to do, not only for financial reasons but as a step forward in my process. I'm going back next tuesday. I'll let you know how it goes.
I did get a lovely big I-missed-you-today hug when I got home to make up for my traumatic morning though which always helps.
Today I'm exhausted.