Friday, January 7, 2011

Falling Apart

It was a falling apart kind of day, especially the morning. I could barely hold myself together. I spent lunch crying again. I was mean and on edge with the kids. I couldn't stand the adults. I couldn't look at them and really couldn't speak to them except when I had to. I don't like myself this way.

I said something very inappropriate to my class. One of them noticed Greyson's necklace and I had yesterday's comments fresh in my mind. I was very calm and I showed them Greyson's name and said that it was my baby's name. They were surprised I had a baby and asked about him. I just said he wasn't with me anymore. One student asked if he got sick and died. I said yes and that I missed him. One girl said that was like when her sister's baby died. I said that is sad when that happens. Then I went on with reading a book to them. I realize this was not a good thing to do. Even while I was saying it, I realized I shouldn't be talking about this to six year olds. I would freak out if my kid came home saying that the teacher had a dead baby and was talking about it. Probably none of them remember it or will say anything since I was somehow able to remain casual about it and it was light years ago in kid time.

I should have taken more time off. But what good would that do? He'd still be dead. I'd still be in pain.

Normally, there would be a woohoo kind of feeling at the end of a day like today. I made it through the first full week after break. There are two full days off ahead of me and it's payday. But the woohoo feeling never came. After the kids are dismissed, I realized it was missing. I'm not happy or even relieved that it's the weekend. The weekend is just something else to get through.

Every breath is heavy. I do what I have to do, but look forward to nothing. It's all pain and there's just more of it on days like today. I feel like it will never get better, I'll be in pain always and there's no way to make it go away, no relief, no way to forget.

I'm so tired.
I wish I could stay in bed and cry.
But even crying doesn't take the heaviness away.

I visited the cemetery again.
I cryed hard while the snowflakes flew.
Then, walked into the drugstore and pretended I was a normal person.

When I got home, I looked at myself in the mirror.
For the first time since I lost Greyson, I tried to meet my own gaze.
I didn't recognize the eyes looking back at me.

Is this what a nervous breakdown feels like?


  1. I'm sorry you had another rough day. I really don't think you are having a nervous breakdown (I had one a few years ago). No one should expect you to get over this quickly. It's going to take time.

    As for talking to the kids...they asked, what else could you say? Sounds like you handled it well.

    Please know you are still in my thoughts & prayers.

  2. You did nothing wrong explaining that to the kids. You did it in what sounds like such a simple, beautiful way so that they were able to understand that you loved this little one and lost him but that you still care and it's not something for the kids to go home and have nightmares about (although you still might). And you opened up the opportunity for the other little girl to find someone she connected with! That in itself is a special thing.

  3. As a fellow teacher, I think you handled your conversation with your students about Greyson perfectly. It is a difficult subject, but You did it in such a simple way that even their 6 year old hearts could understand.
    I'm sorry the hard days seem endless. One day at a time. Thinking of you, Paige.

  4. Paige, I'm sorry you had such a tough day.
    My mom always says that when a relationship becomes difficult you have to see through whats going on now to find the person you fell in love with. That they are still there, somewhere.
    When you see my friend in the mirror, be gentle with her. She is a grieving woman forever changed by by the loss of her first son. The Paige that you (and we) love is still there. And, when the heavy burden of grief eases a little, she will start to reemerge. Just give her plenty of time and love her for who she is now.

  5. You are not having a breakdown, you are somebody dealing with immense grief that just keeps coming in waves. I wish I could do something other than offer you a virtual hug.

    While fighting my own demons I'd wish there was somebody there to help me or show me what to do, but there is no manual and nobody who can help. You just have to keep fighting, alone, with no assistance whatsoever. Its the hardest thing to face and I'm so very sorry you are here.

  6. Paige honey, just be gentle with yourself. Healing takes time. I see nothing wrong with what you told your students. If anyone does, there is something wrong with them. Thinking of you always...

  7. Oh it was a terribly hard day my friend. I'm so sorry, not sure why once we have better or good days it can't stay that way, it can't just be forward progress, but sometimes we have hard or bad days. days where the pain and sadness and hurt cut so deep.

    I don't think answering the childrens question was a bad thing. It's real, it happened and they will learn from it. I would imagine this is part of life, learning about death.

    I am so glad you like and wear Greyson's necklace. I think it's great that people ask about him and sometimes the exchanges might be awkward and uncomfortable for them, but there will be just as many, if not more times where it's a healing and precious moment for you.

    Be kind to yourself, even I didnt feel a sense of relief this payday friday, and your heart is much heavier than mine.

  8. Hi Paige.

    Just a couple of thoughts...

    Regarding yesterday's post...I loved Angie's response to you. She shared some insights that only a woman who has experienced the same profound loss can experience.

    With regard to a teacher, I see nothing inappropriate about what you said, and as a mother to a 6-year old, I feel that same way. If Mary Catherine came home and shared what you said, I would definitely process the info with her, but I would not have been upset or offended that you shared that info.

    Children are curious by nature. The door was opened and you handled yourself with dignity and grace under pressure. Don't be so hard on yourself!


  9. Paige- I will just restate what the people above me have said. I think that being honest with our students is a good thing. We're there to teach them our subject area, but they should also learn about life too. I think that little girl was reaching out to you and I think it was good to be honest with her. I'm sure you made a connection there that you might not even realize.
    As far as having a nervous breakdown, I don't think you are. I think that you're just in a highly stressful and hurtful situation and trying your best.
    I still see the Paige that I know and love in your eyes. I know you are having a hard time finding her, but I know you will one day.

  10. It sounds like you handled talking to the kids in your classes very were calm, used age appropriate language & was deserve that.

  11. I would like to recommend the memoir, "An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination." I'm going through a loss myself and I found it really good.


  12. Paige,

    I think it is good to be honest with kids, even when they are that young. They need to see what life is and that it can be very sad. Honestly, I think you did the right thing. It's a good opportunity for a child to raise it with their parents and explore death a little bit. That's a good thing for them.

    I am so sorry about the particularly painful day. I wish there was a guarantee that each day would be better. I think the only guarantee about grief if that on the timescale of years and decades it gets a little better, but you can't measure it on any smaller scale.

    love you, inB

  13. I wouldn't necessarily define what you are going through as a nervous breakdown but grief of the most raw kind. It feels like you are carrying a massive boulder around on your back and inside that boulder is all the grief and pain. It seems that the only person who can carry that boulder is you. Such a huge burden that it probably does make you wonder after a while if you are having a nervous breakdown, I know I did.

  14. Have you considered seeing a psychiatrist? Depression can be "situational". I went through a several kinds after my baby died. Eventually I found a combination of drugs that worked for me.

    My recent return to medication reinforced how helpful they were/are for me. It allowed me to stop and clearly process my loss.

    I dont know. Taboo subject but I am willing to risk the challenges to suggest you consider it.