People say I'm strong.
I don't think it's natural for me. I think it's taken practice.
Those first few days after Caelan was admitted back into the PICU were horrible and I was a mess.
Returning to work I knew I would have to prepare myself. I knew that I would most likely have to talk about what happened. The first couple times I talked about it I had a hard time. I would get teary eyed, I'd have to pause and gather myself before getting too choked up. As the days went on I separated myself from the story and was able to regurgitate it without getting too emotional. I hardened. It's a survival mechanism. I thought I had a handle on things and was getting stronger... Well, unless the
person I was talking to started to cry, then there was no holding back.
Then something happened.
I was surprised by a loving face from the past, shopping in a store, and I was completely caught off guard. When asked about Caelan, I immediately found myself choking back tears and was overwhelmed by the caring concern and admiration expressed.
It's not a bad thing.
It just made me realize that I'm in control at work - where I'm ready for questions and my guard is up.
But catch me with my guard down, somewhere unexpected and my emotions will run amok.
I think it's understandable, it was just news to me.