It’s the little things

It will be 17 months on the 29th of this month.  I’ve had to deal with a lot of the big things that changed after  Kevin died.  Looking after the house on my own, paying the bills, facing everyday without him.  Unavoidable, unrelenting reality.  You can’t not face it and still be considered sane.

Thus, over the course of time, most everyday things go back to a state of routine.  Newly created out of necessity, but still a state of routine.  Sometimes there is a flash of sadness, anger or resentment about it, especially when something isn’t going right, but overall, it becomes just the way it is.

Always, though, there are those things that come out of nowhere.  Unprepared, they are like a sucker punch, you just didn’t see it coming.  It’s okay when you are alone or out of public sight, but when it happens at work, or someplace public, it is just darn awkward.

This week a coworker returned to the workplace after having been off due to the death of an aged parent.  Sorrow is still sorrow and I know that, but the selfish side of me is bitter, and I feel ripped off.  I don’t begrudge the sorrow of my coworker,  I just hate the unfairness of it all, why does one person live to a ripe old age and not another?  The force of my emotion surprised me.  I am embarrassed that I can’t express my sympathy and ashamed that I feel the way I do.

It’s these types of things that make me realize that, although on the outside I may appeared healed and on the path to closure, actually I’m still far, far away from the even keel I so want.  I want my composure back, securely fitted, so that it doesn’t slip off revealing anything raw or weak or ugly.   When things are going along smoothly, without any ripples, I almost believe I am there.  Then, it just takes one little thing, and that little thing can come from just about any direction.

Sometimes I Wish I Was a Clam

What I strive for, on a day-to-day basis, is composure.  I need to believe that I can get through a day without falling apart. I want to be able to go outside and garden and not worry that the neighbour may come over to talk to me.  I want to go to work and not feel eyes on me, or see pity and sadness on the faces of my coworkers.  I want to be able to face the world, be it at work or at home, without worrying that I may slip and let down my guard and start to cry or something equally awkward.  Sorrow is such an intensely powerful feeling, it takes away all of my emotional control and consumes me unexpectedly, any place, any time.

I believed that I had achieved a degree of composure with my return to work.  I had worked with my employer to define the best scenario that would enable me to ease back into the workplace.  My coworkers had gently and slowly set up a safety net around me, at least that’s how it felt.  Everything had started to click along nicely until this week. On Monday I was informed that the employer had decided to do some restructuring.  It directly affected me.

I did not lose my job. I did not change my job. My job was one of three that were moved to another department, on another floor, under a new management team with a newly promoted manager.  This may seem minor, but it feels major to me.  I feel like all my supports have been taken away from me.  I have lost all the coworkers that I know and trust, who have helped me get back on track, as well as the management team that, fully aware of my situation, brought me back to work.  I don’t have the strength, energy or desire to develop new work relationships right now.  I don’t want to have to prove myself to the new management team.  I don’t know if I have the tolerance and patience that is required as a “new” manager cuts his teeth.

There are always choices, though.  Tomorrow I get to meet with the new manager and talk through my situation, one on one.  I get to bare my soul yet one more time.  I worry that I won’t be able to maintain my composure.  Sometimes I wish I was a snail or a clam or an oyster and could just shut everything out.