I don't know if it has any 'triggers' except most of you are humans and have hearts so this kind of story will hopefully impact all of you in some way. It really messed up MY Monday (even acknowledging I'm easy).
My kiddo did not come to school today. This does not happen EVER, but his mom called him out.
Here's the P.A. announcement about 8 minutes before the school day was to begin:
"Emily E----, please call the office immediately, extension 10" (principal's direct line). oh shit. this is not good. Call ex. 10 "Hey Em, KC's mom called him out for the day. I'm going to re-assign you to Eileen's 1st grade class for the day. She'll tell you why".
Okay, already weird. You're telling me I'm not just going there to be an extra bit of support, that something is warranting an extra teacher today...but you won't/can't tell me why? Super strange.
I go find Eileen, and relay that Joanne has put me in her room for the day, and that she's the one in charge of telling me why. I'm thinking, maybe a new student, maybe Lillian is absent and I'll be with DB (which would have been PHENOMENAL), maybe she is doing testing and I'm going to be her for the day. I was expecting something worse since Jo was so weird on the phone, but all of those are plausible.
How do I even start to describe this?
There's a boy in her class, AS. He's...he's tightly wound. Hyper-emotional. He already has trouble getting through a school day without a meltdown, some tears, telling someone that he hates them... So of course, this story has to do with him/his family.
He's been super excited for his new baby brother. Talked about it non-stop since Thanksgiving, and was really, really looking forward to this. Mom was due over vacation/around now. She went to the doctor because something didn't feel right/she didn't feel the baby moving around.
You can guess how this story ends.
Did I mention he was 6? He's in first grade.
As a 28-year old woman, Eileen's words socked me in the gut, and I had to lean on the counter for support. I've never met his mom, only know AS peripherally from all of the times I've had to calm him down at recess/in the hall when I've walked past - basically, minimal attachment to the people living this nightmare, and I had trouble breathing/had to hold in tears.
I cannot imagine being the expectant older brother in this situation. I cannot imagine hearing your parents tell you excitedly that you are going to be a big brother to a little boy, and be so excited to meet this new addition to your family and then... it's just gone. Not 3 months into planning your life with this new baby. 9 months. Just ... gone. I just... I cannot put myself into that mindset (let alone where the parents are - Jeez!). Mom called Eileen to say that they'd taken him to doctors, he was so worked up/upset. I can't blame him.
Treated him as normal as I could today, not hovering, smiling, didn't push him to eat at lunch even though all he had was half a cup of apple sauce (and Roxanne was PISSED she made him a special sandwich and he tossed it - guess she isn't in the know yet), encouraging him to work unless he looked zonked, but... this is going to boil over. I don't know when, but he's going to lose it at school one day related directly to the loss of the brother he never got to meet, or hold, or play with. This poor boy already has enough on his plate just being himself - my goodness.
Everyone needs to go out of their way to be kind today in his,and his family's honor. Hug a loved one. Hug them tight. Remember what a miracle it is that we are here.
But I just realized that EVERY PLAYLIST I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE ... is gone. iTunes, Windows Media Player, things that I literally took HOURS to create, things that captured moods, or certain periods of my life ... gone.
And so are the thousands of songs that went on those playlists.
So basically, all I have right now are the 442 songs I bought from iTunes when I used to have money.
I am so close to crying. It will hit me harder later and I will definitely be crying. If you know me at all, music is a huge piece to me as a person. That it's all just gone and unrecoverable is... sadly, it's devastating.
I don't know what to write. I've been crying in anticipation for this event for literal weeks; looking up pictures and stories and old diary entries and just weeping. I sometimes worry that September 11th effected me much more than it reasonably should have - I did not directly know anyone killed on that day, I did not yet live in Lower Manhattan (or even within city limits), but... it is a daily thought of mine. Like, I actively try to avoid 9:11 on the clock because I don't need another reminder of it.
I never want to forget how I feel about this. I think, worse than me being so hyper-sensitive about September 11th would be to let it fade from memory. Horrific acts of terror and hatred cannot be forgotten - it is through memory that connections are made, and that victims can live on. Life as we knew it as a country, as an entire planet ceased to exist at 8:46 EST 10 years ago. Families torn apart, lives ended, and we all lost a huge sense of security and safety. For weeks (if we're honest, for years), no one knew if another strike was coming at any moment. No one I know could hear or see a plane flying overhead without paranoidly feeling it was flying to low/off to do something horrible. Nothing made sense. Everything was scary.
For the first few years after it happened, I could tell you what clothes I was wearing to school that day. Unfortunately, that detail is gone for me now, and THAT scares me. I still know exactly where I was (Dr. Lagana's 4th period honors U.S. history class, row by the windows, 3 seats back, next to a weird black box/radio that was talking about the World Trade Center), who was around me (diagonal to Nicole, Josh Simon, Sarah Rennie, Lenny Cagno, Stacey Cohen, Jessica Rosenfeld, Kristen Holder, Joe Weinstein, Tom Rizzuto and a few other kids in the class with me). - I still remember how none of us knew what was happening when we came into class, noisy as always. And Doc didn't do anything to quiet us down. I was the closest to the radio that was mysteriously on, and the woman was talking about the World Trade Center. We kept talking, waiting for Doc to settle us down, to explain to us why we were listening to a recording of the '93 bombing. Was it related to the talk we'd had on Friday of last week when we'd debated whether or not we should be looking into technology that would create a force field around American soil to keep us safe from outsider attacks? How? Then I heard them say 'plane' and I knew that something was very, very wrong. There hadn't been a plane in 1993; it was a truck in the basement with a bomb in it. Airplane was not related. Slowly the room quieted down. Doc was leaning on the edge of his desk; he couldn't even stand up. I won't ever forget his eyes; sometimes I can SEE his eyes in my head and I feel my heart rip open. "This...is happening now". Then...chaos. Knowing that Sarah's dad worked down there. That Nicole's dad's place of work is in lower Manhattan. That just 2 days prior I'd half-heartedly made up with Eric and now his father working down there was making me feel sick. - The rest of that day was a blur. Every class we just silently watched the TV screens; I don't know why, but watching it in Spanish class really sticks out in my mind. The hallways were eerie; no one knew what to say. Lots of hugging; I remember hugging people I didn't even know very well, but it just seemed like the right thing to be doing. The rest of the week was like that, too - just fear and nausea and not knowing what was coming. Repeatedly seeing graphic images of the crashes, people jumping, the buildings collapsing... For as much as I have a reputation as being a cryer, I wasn't able to cry until Friday. I remember that clearly, too. I was listening to the radio before school and it just finally fully hit me, what had happened, that there might still be people trapped inside, alive and dying at the same time, that I couldn't do anything...and I just laid down on the floor and let myself cry out everything inside of me. - I remember for months, the sense of 'being an American' was huge; that it wasn't just New York, where a town away from mine you could see the smoke billowing out of the rubble. Everyone stopped fighting for a second and tried to come together. It rocked all of us to our cores, with New York City as the epicenter. We were all brethren, and it was a beautiful time in our country. It is clearly long gone (have you heard some of the political debates of late? I feel stupider listening to these people who are hoping to run our nation), but I wish that wasn't so. For a few, brief months, we actually felt like A COUNTRY - a united front with similar goals who were coming through a tragedy together and wanted the same things - to make it better.
Where were you? What's your story? What's your connection to 9/11?
I'm so tired of coping. I've been coping all my fucking life. I thought I could finally be happy this year. I was so excited for life. To finally be able to give it my all, be involved in activities and volunteer and spread my happiness, and do my best in school. But no. I should have known my life will only continue to be nothing but disappointment. I'm trying hard to be positive, that something good must come from all this pain. But it's difficult. And I feel sick all the time. I'm just being pushed down. I can't get up. Fucking give me some relief. Let me be happy or else let me fucking die already.
He seems to be repressing his emotions. I guess I can't be sure. But he hasn't been himself, and I'm not the only one to notice. He gets annoyed easily and is more hostile, and less talkative and doesn't seem as happy. He's usually happy and bouncy and friendly and at ease. I want to find out if it is that, and if so how I can help him. I'm going to talk to a counsellor about it and see what they say. I think he did this last year, too. And he got increasingly annoyed with me, then burst, then said he was sorry. This isn't just about me though, even though I'd love things to go back to normal. I'm concerned for his sake, too. I know it's probably wierd, but I sent a message to his dad on facebook asking if he noticed any changes in his behavior when he was home for the break. No response yet.
I tried talking to him about things, about us, and about what he's said before. And he said he didn't want to think about it. He said he didn't want to know why he felt the way he did, and hadnt thought about it and didn't want to. He said he felt apathetic to it. He said some other mean things, but I won't mention those right now. This isn't like him at all. He always cares if he hurts someone, even if it's a stranger. He doesn't like to be mean and wants everyone to be included and have a good time. It seems like he's hiding in a shell or something, he's put up a wall. Here's some highlights from a website I found, that I think apply to him.
Ignoring your feelings
Pretending something hasn’t happened
Keeping conversations superficial
Always keeping busy so you can’t feel
Burying angry emotions under the mask of peace and love
Speaking of issues/interests rather than personal matters and feelings
Pretending something doesn’t matter when inside it does matter
Rarely talking about your feelings
Blowing up over minor incidents
Lethargic – who cares - attitude
Suppression. It is a conscious choice not to indulge a particular thought, feeling, or action. "Not to indulge" means that we are aware of a thought or feeling, but we decide not to dwell on it (internally, by continuing to think about it) -- nor to express it (externally, by acting it out). Usually we repress because of the impulse's inappropriateness with regard to the situation or because of time constraints in which we "just can't deal with that right now." Suppression is a useful psychological mechanism which permits us to concentrate on our affairs without being distracted by every impulse which arises, and without having to act on those impulses. We acknowledge the impulses, and we accept their presence and the fact that they might emerge again, to be reconciled or suppressed then.
Repression. It is similar to suppression in that a thought or feeling or emotion is not expressed -- but in repression, we deny that the element even exists. The repressed element might come into our conscious awareness and then be denied, or it might be prohibited from our awareness at all (as in the action of the Freudian "dream censor"); it is blocked because it has been judged it to be potentially disruptive to our psychological stability or our self-image. Obviously, both the stability and the self-image are illusory, because they are based on a rejection of the reality of our own thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Because we are not perceiving accurately, we acquire incorrect information from our surroundings, and thus we respond inappropriately; we react fearfully to situations which are not truly dangerous. Repression distorts not only our observations in this moment, but also our memories of the past and our expectations for the future. Repressed emotions become difficult to express in a constructive manner. During their period of repression, they degenerate into primitive forms; for example, repressed anger can become resentment or bitterness.
Repression causes emotional numbness. We repress by intellectually denying the reality of the emotion, and by desensitizing ourselves to our awareness of the movement and pressure of the emotional energy within us.
The contents regress. Not only do they not develop, they proceed in the opposite direction, becoming more primitive and unfocused. Anger degenerates into a general, vague hostility.
The contents become autonomous. They seem to create "a life of their own." Because the ego has denied its connection to them, it has no control over them, so they arise at inappropriate moments, and in inappropriate ways, often driving us into compulsive behavior; in that sense, they control us. As the ego makes plans and designs its life, the repressed contents seem to develop agendas of their own, as though plotting a way to express themselves -- but their expression will necessarily be contrary to our will, as though an alien force is imposing itself upon us. http://www.trans4mind.com/jamesharveystout/repress.htm