Saturday, March 10, 2018

March: Let the PTSD Begin

I think I have learned to dislike March. It's a rough time of year, for a lot of different reasons.

One is that March has become the new Month Of Much Snow -- for a couple years in a row March has been particularly harsh, with snowstorms and cold weather and definitely no hints of lasting spring to be found. Maybe little hints, like the snowdrops that came up briefly before getting totally entombed by more than a foot of heavy wet snow, but then BAM! Reminders that it's still winter. I hope those snowdrops have a Lazarus moment when this all melts.

This is the view out my classroom window Friday, on what was NOT a snow day. 

Another is that I usually have my annual review meetings in March, and so it is filled with writing IEPs and having meetings with parents and meetings with students and parent phone calls and getting reports from service providers and assembling a giant packet of documentation in preparation for a day of meetings. My packets are due Tuesday. My meetings are 3/27. I LOVE having my meetings on the early side because it takes them off my plate and allows me to truly enjoy both April Break and fourth quarter, but it makes the first two weeks of March pretty hectic. I can see the light, though. The end is nigh.

Lastly, just the fact that it is March is reminding me of last March, and 2017 was awful in general but March, April, and May were particularly heinous. Luckily I didn't put a whole lot up on facebook while going through the worst days of my life, so  that"On This Day" feature will not be super triggering. However, I know EXACTLY what happened on particular days in March. And I am feeling just a little anxious and blech about these particular anniversaries.

I've already started the clock -- I had the ice skating trip already where I fell and hurt my elbow and spent February Break in a sling, and miraculously this year I did not injure myself. I did fall all the way at the end because a hockey player cut in front of me and I went "Nononononononono... FUUUUUUDDDGE" and ACTUALLY SAID "fudge," thank goodness. I landed on my butt, which all things considered is one of the better places to take a hit. That was actually the SECOND unfortunate event last year. The kickoff was breaking my crown on SALAD and deciding to have it just smoothed out since the gold cap part was intact so it was just cosmetic, and it's my very last molar so who's going to see it? Not even me. But I was reminded of that when I went to the dentist over February Break. I mean, I obsessively run my tongue over it daily, but I don't think about how it came to be. That was truly the beginning.

Now we're coming up on Bryce's birthday, and that was a day we spent entirely in the Emergency Room and it was no fun at all, as it was snowing, and my eye was all gross and red, and it took FOREVER to be seen. Which was okay because other people had more emergent issues, but it was a pretty sucky birthday for Bryce.

Not a happy birthday boy. I'll spare you gross eye redux.

It's just hard to think about all that came after that. All the physical and emotional pain, the complete and utter slamming into a wall of "ENOUGH," a period of time where I enjoyed lying facedown on the floor.

Occasionally I've found myself wanting to lie on the floor, facedown, again...but I'm consciously choosing not to. It does make me nervous that just the timing of things is bringing that back to the surface. And the pull to the floor is strong.

It's a weird set of anniversaries, and it is very, very hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it's been almost a year since everything went so very wrong. That the series of unfortunate events had already begun this time last year.

But, I am stronger than the pull to the floor. I have truly found happiness after profound loss. I carry that loss with me. It never goes away. Sometimes it burbles up to the surface like sulfur in a hot spring, and spreads its stink about what was initially a beautiful, relaxing scene. Sometimes it is just like another thing in my purse (my purse that can hold a HARDCOVER, by the way!) -- I know it's there, like the mini altoids and more lipsticks than any one person should carry daily, but I don't think about it much.

Somewhere in there is my grief. But more clearly visible is a fun hardcover book that FITS IN MY PURSE! The lipsticks are in that zippered part. I would be ashamed to show you just how many there are in there. 

So, March is tricky. April is trickier. April 5th is when the shit hit the fan and I went to the emergency room AGAIN because it sure seemed like I might be dying, and then had a semi-public breakdown that has had the lingering effect of reducing me to tears when someone says "we can always put you on Prednisone," and was out of work for a little bit scooping up all my gooey parts and trying to reassemble into a functioning human. And May. May is when our dream of parenting officially ended. May is when we officially made the decision, May is when we called the agency and pulled the plug, May is when we dismantled a nursery, packed it up, and donated it to someone else who needed it. But then after May, the onslaught of remembrances ends. The "On This Day" will get me in June, as that's when I went "facebook public" with our decision. But otherwise, anniversaries become planning our trip, taking our trip, building up my office, redoing our spaces for our new life.

So that will be something to look forward to.

And this year, I know how it all turns out, so far at least. So that's something.

Someday this will not be quite so hard, will not be so fresh and raw and easily reopened. But for now, I am not loving March, and absolutely dreading April and May. I have to make a plan for self-care, for making new memories to smooth out those incredibly painful ones. Wish me luck.


  1. Abiding with you as you come up on your year of reclaiming your life. I wonder if you might incorporate another interpretation of being drawn to the floor. Some of it is may be uber sad emotions. But some of it may be becoming and staying grounded. I don't see that as a wholly negative thing. Grounded paves the way for rising (root to rise, as my yoga teacher says).

  2. Heh, I think you feel about March how I feel about January.

    The déjà vu moments are tough. Even the happy ones often leave me reeling, as they remind me of the passage of time and the impermanence of everything. The tough moments though, that’s a whole other level. I hope you can plan something upbuilding for those really rough days, and celebrate that you have continued forward to a better place in life. Also a happier birthday to Bryce!

  3. I am so glad you don't have to repeat everything you went through last year. That was some rough stuff! I am sorry for the reminders of it all. I look forward to the hardest parts moving further and further into the past for you. It's so tough sometimes. <3

  4. Thinking of you as you enter this tricky season. Those sorts of anniversaries can really ache. I hope the self-care plans help and that Bryce's birthday is a happier one this year.

    And the FB "on this day" feature is awful sometimes. I've gotten hit with a few not-so-happy reminders at times I was actually doing okay...until FB rubbed it in my face. It sucks. Sending a hug.

  5. You really did have a crappy year last year... and these first "anniversary" dates are so hard to get through -- reliving everything in excruciating detail. It DOES get easier in time, if that's any comfort...! We will be with you in spirit! (((hugs)))

  6. Your last paragraph says it all. Yes, someday it will be better. But right now, it is very tough. Yes, it's okay to find it hard. Even through the progress you've made, the reminders can be hard for so many reasons. When the reminders occur around a change of seasons too, they seem to be everywhere you look. Or at least, they were for me. The anticipation is sometimes the worst, and I know you are feeling it right now. Be kind to yourself. Roll with it. Know we're with you. Know you'll get through it.

    Sending hugs.

  7. Have you thought about deactivating your FB account for the next few months so that you don't have to see your "anniversaries" from last year? I mean, of course you will still know them in your head, but then you won't also see them on social media? Or, how about a plan to do something for yourself on what you think will be the three toughest days- like go to a nice dinner with Bryce, get a massage, etc.

  8. You are strong, dear one. I do wish you luck. This is a long, hard month. I am thinking of you and holding you in my heart.