Dealing with Some Work Trauma

It’s 6:20 a.m. and I only have ten minutes before I need to get into the shower and get ready for work.

On Wednesday at this time I was at my place of employment acting as advocate for a young boy whose mother was killed in a murder suicide.

I can’t say any more than that due to the restrictions of my job. All I can say is I keep reliving that morning and thinking about what I heard and what I read about the tragedy.

Now I can barely concentrate at work and I can barely sleep. I’m exhausted.

I don’t want them to know how badly this has affected me because I don’t want them to be afraid to give me these types of important cases.

I know time will ease the memories and the hauntings, but I wish I knew what to do to move it along. It really leaves one in a state of shock. And I’m worried about all the people I love and want to protect them. I’m worried about myself.

I would not want to die that way.

Not sure what to do but I think I’ll call my therapist whom I rarely see these days and try to get in to see her next week, at the end of the day, so that I can tell her all about it and sob my heart out. I can’t think of a better way.

I awoke very, very early today with bad dreams and tried to recite the Lord’s Prayer but kept forgetting it and starting over. I’m thinking of taking a day off, but I want it to be a day of healing, not just a day of wandering.

I’d appreciate any suggestions you have on dealing with trauma of this sort.



8 responses to “Dealing with Some Work Trauma

  1. Oh sweetness. You are an empath, of the highest order. That’s why you have so much to give, and why it takes so much from you.

    I will pray for some peace for you too. It sounds like your anxiety is living large in satans bag of tricks for you. There’s no shame in it, but give it to God. He’s got the hands to handle it. You took it from that poor little boy, and moved it along, but it’s not yours to carry. Jesus can take it from here. Close your eyes, and breathe it all into the wind for him to pick up. Focus on pushing it out to him, replacing it with peace and prayer he brings just for you, just the right amount of love, air, and hope, to move forward another day. Your spiritual life must also be tied to your physical space. Make your prayer be about giving it over to someone who has the breadth. (I can’t take my own advice but I’m damn good at making it sound super sensible)

    • Thank you, Alex. Your words are comforting. I was pooped today at work being sleep deprived, but was so busy that I didn’t dwell on the trauma of Wednesday. We’re back to dealing with child victims of sexual abuse and physical abuse — those are bad enough!

      How is your relative doing?

    • ML, I am on my way to see him, did half the drive tonight and will leave another relatives house in the morning to get to him- he’s a 6 hour drive away so I broke the trek in half. My sister is already there and says he is a little confused but still himself, they are keeping him comfortable which is nice. It’s just terrible to find out that he’s a piñata of cancer, when he had a clean checkup 6 months ago. He and his wife are 12 days from having their 72nd wedding anniversary on her 90th birthday. We were all coming down for a dinner. Now we may need the same weekend for a funeral. I am selfish to be so heartbroken when we have had them for as long as we have. But I think that also just speaks of their character. I am selfish as I also worry about him passing while I am away for a wedding- I leave in 15 days (just after the party time…) for 9 days in Mexico. I don’t even know what to do now. It’s paid for. Not cancellable. Desperately needed for my mental health. My stupid husband holds my hand and says ‘I’m here for you whatever you need’ and I can’t take him seriously at all, but I will probably snuggle like a little sobbing pup when it happens. These are the times. Where we break? And break again, and again. I am suddenly sad that I won’t have children, not because it’s a missed opportunity with ho- husband, or because I actually want them. But because it would be lovely to name someone after this sweet old man who is slipping from my grasp right now. But I guess there’s the smallest chance that it may come to pass down the road, once all my hells are dealt with. Fresh start, probably also bankrupt, probably also squatting somewhere that I hoped was short term but likely longer… I see light because I know that I’m capable. And worthy of love. And I’m a strong girl who grew up knowing right and wrong and farming and chores and I will find peace. Maybe love. But I will find peace.

      • Alex, I hope you’re having a safe journey and that the time spent with your relative is good for you both. I feel certain he’d want you to have your vacation — you know he would! You ARE a strong girl with values and values are what cheaters lack. You will find peace and love. xox

  2. ML, your experience with the poor victim child could not help but be traumatizing to you, someone who cares so deeply. I am sending you healing energy to let the shock of dealing with something just unimaginable process to its proper place within you.
    In addition to turning this over to God and leaning on him for support, you may want to check out some self administered EMDR videos on YouTube. They are super helpful at taking me out of reliving my trauma, which is nowhere as evil as the situation you were exposed to…
    Be well and at peace my friend. You are in my thoughts.
    Enjoy Halloween tomorrow with some children who are not in crisis and then celebrate All Saints Day on Sunday with your fellow parishioners. Even though the unthinkable makes us think that kind of danger is everywhere, remember there is far more good in this world.

  3. Thanks, ENM. This was a very long hard week. I haven’t slept well since Tuesday when the “incident” happened. I have been reaching out to God and feel His calming presence. I will take your advice and check out some EMDR vids. I find that fascinating.

    My church is doing something new for All Saints Day and I’m looking forward to that on Sunday — taking photos of my grandparents in to be blessed.

    Your comment about there being far more good in the world which reminds me of a quote attributed to Mister Rogers whom I deeply respected.

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

    Amen, Mister Rogers, Amen.

  4. Mr. Rogers… I remember him saying that as a child. I just love that man. Why can’t I just move into his neighborhood and take shelter for awhile?
    Failing that it sure would be nice to sit in Lidia Bastianich’s kitchen while she cooks and have her tell stories and make comfort food.
    We both seem to be empaths and care takers. I know it is in my nature, the helper… At this point in my life though I am realizing my limitations and it is only healthy to take a break from that role even if it is only for a short while…
    Be gentle to yourself and please keep sharing here!

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