I want to write that this week was amazing, beautiful and everything I hoped my first week back at work would be.
Unfortunately I can’t write those words because they would not be true.
This week was hard, very hard.
Last year Tom and I left town at the beginning of the school year to take the sting away and not to subject ourselves to the pain we knew we would have while watching kids walk down the street that first week of school ~ something that was always so exciting and fun for our own family. This year I am immersing myself into that world ~ not sure if that was the best decision for my heart at this point.
I feel I’m pretty transparent so I kept my conversations with new staff to a minimum, in fear I would not be able to stop crying if I started~ something I very rarely do outside my home. Tom got most of my emotion and frustration in the evening or during one of our many phone calls this week. He has held me all week, checking in and reassuring me of options we have. I truly don’t know what I would do without him.
I knew diving back in would be difficult but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be. I haven’t slept much because I have a very active mind and when you add something, primarily stress, to it other things tend to creep in. Almost every night this week, typically starting at 1 am, I find myself going back in time and reliving my nightmare. I can’t stay in this cycle because I know that it is not good for me or our new little one. We both need rest, a clear head and to stay as stress free as possible ~ something I’ve learned while managing my post traumatic stress.
So what now?
These next few months (ok, the rest of my days) will not be easy and I’m not going to pretend they will be. I have to remember always that I have a choice and, in making that choice, I get to decide what is healthy for me and for our family. I can’t say if going back to work is healthy or not yet, but what I can say is that I don’t want to give up just yet.
I’m not sure what will happen next week when the students come into the gym excited for another year of school. I’m not sure how my heart will feel when the 3rd graders walk through my doors ready to learn.
Anna would be in 3rd grade this year.
It seems like just yesterday she was nervous about starting 1st grade at a new school but excited that it was a school that her mama taught at. We walked down the hall that first day and she held my hand tightly, then, as we were saying goodbye, she whispered in my ear, “I love you mama, I’ll miss you.” She then walked to her desk, looked back and flashed me the “I Love You” sign, as she did every time I saw her at school. She was brave that day and I was so proud of her.
Next week when my students enter the gym I’m going to focus on Anna loving that her mama is a teacher and on how brave she was when starting fresh in new surroundings.
That is all I can do.