Yesterday I had an emotional breakdown. I suppose for someone who's often been told I wear my heart on my sleeve this shouldn't be such a surprise. But not at work where I share a less personal side of myself. What was a surprise was the event itself.
Picture this. Me (after all it is about me this time) I love my job. I love how much activity goes on around the desk. Yesterday I felt blue. Not a pretty calm sky blue, not a gentle Caribbean blue - we're talking dark, ugly blue. It had nothing to do with the color of my scrubs. It's been coming on for a couple of weeks. Feeling heavier. I just couldn't shake the load of emotion that seemed to shroud me.
Now I wonder if one of the nurses sensed something. We were talking with a couple of coworkers and one reached over, gently patted me on the shoulders and gave me a kiss on the head. The flood gates opened. There I was crying. Not sneaky little dainty teardrops. No, we're talking obvious, giant, wet tear drops, hiccup sobs, and runny nose. So attractive. I completely lost it. This only made my coworker want to help, offering tissues, trying to whisk me away to a private location for this emotional fall out. I'm sure he was thinking "good grief". I managed to blubber something pleasant like "stop being nice to me!" in between sobs.
When normal seemed to reclaim my emotions I headed back to my desk and continued into my morning routine, which soon found me in an office discussing a database. The nurse and I have in common raising sons, lacrosse players and University of Idaho among other things. We've shared meals discussing our Catholic faith, our children and our husbands. Within minutes of my arrival she pushed a box of tissues my direction and asked what was wrong. See - I did need make-up. I shared how I'd had a complete meltdown because someone was nice to me and then proceeded to cry some more. I kept telling her "I don't know what's wrong with me". It took a few tissues but she helped to sort some things out.
For over two years now we've been "in wedding mode". A big life event. Obviously we were able to be more involved with Erin's wedding than TK's. Now with wedding events suddenly over we've spent the past three weeks idling... waiting to see the photos we missed and wonder what to do next.
Bambino #3 has moved out. The empty nest is not new to us. Been there done that. However as she (and another dear friend) pointed out this is a permanent move. He won't be coming back for the summer. None of them will be moving back in permanently now. We ARE empty-nesters.
The old saying how daughters marry and remain but sons go with their wives' families is so very true. I believe on some level I'm grieving from a loss right now (despite hubby's cheers!). I miss my youngest son. (Heck I miss all my kids.) I'm not certain why. It's not like he was ever really home or connected but at least he'd pass through, comment on something, and once in awhile even sit and visit. He's happily married and found his soul mate - as have all three of our children. We did a good job and now we should sit back and enjoy the rewards, right? Tell that to my heart. Maybe it will listen better to you than it does to myself.
I don't know why it's different. Maybe because #3 is the last one. He's the most stubborn. Why would anyone miss that?! It's not like he ever really asked me about my day or said 'hey mom I missed you'. Well there was that one time... He scored the tie breaking goal in the high school State championship game when he ran over and hugged me UNSOLICITED. Yep. It happened six years ago and it's still a big deal!
When we moved here #1 moved out for college. She was home the next summer and not again after. But we talk regularly. After all it is 'just us girls'. When she married last September not much changed. Well, her hubby is first in her contact list but I know I'm not far behind at times (sorry Chris). The six hours between us give them the space they desire to be a couple as they start their new family. We feel blessed to have her husband in our family.
Six years ago #2 married and moved over to Washington State with his new bride. We called and texted frequently but they were 8 hours away and starting their own life together as you would expect. When they moved back to this area we had already adjusted to their space and I think (hope) we've been good about respecting the life they've created. We love Brit as one of our own. They drop in, share stories and just hang out. We love it. We love having them be such an active part of our week-to-week living.
Now #3 has only been married 3 weeks today. What newlyweds don't want to be alone? They are independent and accustomed to going their own way. We enjoyed having them join us last weekend for dinner and game night. We look forward to hearing more about their Thanksgiving trip first hand. We need to give our growing family relationship the time - and give them plenty of space. I love what our new daughter-in-law brings - the missing piece to our family puzzle.
It will help for me to find things to busy myself again. It's all just small cogs in the gears that created my crying jag yesterday.
I shared some other, less flattering feelings. Feelings I need to let go/move on/deal with... I knew my coworker wouldn't judge me as I opened up. She made suggestions. She helped me sort out so much of the emotions which were leaving me overwhelmed. It helped that she has sons. She understood how it is to love someone so unconditionally and be kept at arm's length. It helped that she's had similar feelings when one of her son's life changed with the addition of a fiancee. She too adores the woman in her son's life but wishes there was still room for her. I didn't need validation. I didn't need someone to tell me I was right or wrong. I didn't need someone to fix my problem. Apparently I just needed someone to listen. It helped - even though I already had several conversations with my hubby - day to day sharing as the feelings were building up. I have no idea why one kind gesture turned on the water works yesterday. I would have preferred it NOT to happen at all.
I'm most definitely NOT pregnant though the hormonal response yesterday sure would make one wonder. Perhaps it's sympathetic emotions with our daughter?! Perhaps it's weeks of fitful sleep and list making. May be related to a 10-day road trip just prior to the wedding. Perhaps it's two months of high temperatures and smokey air to breath. Who knows?!
There is no doubt after spending time with my family I truly miss our time together. I miss my sister. I miss my folks. i miss my brother. We spent a week together in Wisconsin before the wedding and an additional week together here for the wedding. We also were finally able to share our home in Boise with Mike's family from Oregon and Washington. For several it was their first visit - a long awaited desire of ours to have them share part of our life here as we've shared their homes. We were so very blessed to have EVERYONE here for the wedding events - and then just as quickly as they arrived, they were all gone.
I'm a Cancer. I love my family. I take care of people. My husband is my partner, best friend and soul mate. Our children are my life. Though they are married and creating their own families now, they are still in my heart.
It's time to put my big girl panties on... time to lighten the mood and find something with which to busy myself. This weekend I shall allow myself to become a party to the misadventures of Stephanie Plum, Lulu, Ranger and Morelli. I know there will be at least one loud ga-faw while I disappear into her calamities.
Today was a new morning. I woke, albeit very dehydrated from the tears yesterday, with a renewed outlook. If I should detour and find myself in a darker place I know it's only temporary.