Monday, September 12, 2011

Sending out an SOS

I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do. But I'm falling apart here at work. I need to express myself without speaking, as I am unable to speak without tears. Heavy tears.

I came into work today expecting it to be like any other day. I am a family court counselor, and I meet with parents to help them reach agreements regarding the custody of their children. Sometimes they reach agreement, other times I utilize my skills as a counselor to give recommendations back to the court.

Today an odd case was assigned to me, and it arrive late, without adequate time to prepare. There was no father and mother sitting before me. The two parties were the mother and paternal grandmother, as the father died last year. We were discussing issues regarding a 12 year old son. I tried my best to work with these two parties, and needed to take a break to get some supervision around some of the goals of our session. In discussing these, I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into my own issues and grief. I let my supervisor know that I need to maintain some distance, and be aware of any counter transference that might be occurring. As I began to explain this, all I had to say was that tomorrow is the anniversary of my husband's death, and the dam I had built began to break.

With those words, I fell apart. Sobbing.

This has never happened to me before. I have always been able to be in complete control at work. I am the ultimate professional when it comes to utilizing the skills and experience I have attained throughout the years. My supervisor was wonderful, immediately taking the case from me, and telling me not to give it a second thought, that she would take care of this. She suggested I take a break, yet I can't wander far, as I am on-call to testify in court any minute. So here I sat, at my desk, knowing that rather than let go, and get out what I need to emotionally, I needed to pull myself together, and find another way to deal with this.

I'm having my own issues with my 13 year old son. He is going through a difficult time, and I am having a difficult time adequately addressing his issues, as we are both continuing to grieve. Unfortunately, each of our grieving process is not always going to end each day with a sense of growth, peace, or resolve. It is going to be a very long process, and I, as the now only parent once again, will need to rise to each occasion knowing that I am still quite broken, and ill prepared for what life throws at me.

That's it. I need to get through the day. I need to get through tomorrow. I also need to learn that I am human. Even now, as I sit here, I am beating myself up about losing control of my emotions. I am judging myself because of breaking down here at work. I am worrying about how this family is being served, knowing that I was already told not to worry about it. This is definitely something new to work through.

So while this is not something I usually do, I need to put this out there at a time when I usually focus solely on work. This is my outlet right now. All I need to know is that someone is reading this, and you understand. Thanks.


  1. I am reading. And I completely understand. That's all.


  2. I'm here, listening, and wishing I could do more than just that.

  3. Listening also and glad that you feel you can use this as an outlet. Maybe at least writing it will help you get through the moment to make it to the end of the day. I've had trouble on occasion in the past emotionally and my mom would always help by saying let's just make it one more hour, one more hour, one more hour (or whatever increment would help me - even one more fifteen minutes) to make it through the day. So here's to one more hour, one more can do this and know we are hear listening if you need to talk more. {HUGS}

  4. Dan, please know I am thinking of you a lot. You have just described my worse Fears right now. I am sure my time will come.

    No more words just know that if I could I would be there with a hug right now xxx

  5. I'm listening too, although probably long after you needed to know you had an ear listening, or a shoukder to lean on.

    We all have times when it feels like things are just too much and we have to let go for awhile. I think when that happens - especially when we have been stoic for so long - we just have to go with our feelings for awhile. I don't think the wirld wilo come to an end. The situation with the difficult case will get solved. Don't beat yourself up over this, Dan. You are "only human" - which probably sounds kind os denigrating, but is not meant to be. To be human is to be able to feel emotion. I would be a lot more worried if you sounded like an emotionless robot.

    The past week has been quite difficult for me as well. Too many memories welling up right now, triggered by the way the season feels and my memory of how the end of Don's life played out. I am doing a lot of rehashing of those last days and it is very painful stuff. I should probably try not to think about it, but I can't seem not to do it. Guess that is one of those "I'm only human things."

    Hang in there, Dan. You will manage.

  6. received and understood.

    Love you.

    Social worker resolve is like superman with kryptonite: nothing can touch it except a concentrated dose of a substance way too close to home.

  7. I am reading, and listening and completely getting it, 2 year anniversary, only parenting a 13 year old and desperately needing the one person who you need the most. You are not alone. I hope the rest of your day was better, after the release of the grief that has been building up. I am holding you close in my heart tonight and tomorrow and lighting a candle for you and Michael. Love you and sending you a big hug.

  8. I'm reading and listening, too, and sending you as many hugs, virtual kleenexes, and open ears as I can from Oregon. I hope the writing and the asked-for SOS helped you some, and wish there was more that I, or any of us, could do…but know that there are lots of us thinking of you.


  9. i am here, reading, and i completely understand. breaking at work, seeing something that triggers all the pain, i've been there. i wish you peace.

  10. You've been in my thoughts and prayers all day (and yesterday), Dan. Wishing I could take away the hurt.
    Knowing that I can't.
    But here.
    Always here.

  11. I'm here. I love you. Can I do anything for you? Let me know. Rach