Day 6 after the Aurora shooting.

So, I have been literally too exhausted to journal. That’s not like me at all but everything from this shooting is draining me and as I said before, I am not related to a victim. The shooting has taken so much out of me and most days, it’s too overwhelming to complete more then one task.

I took Monday off and desperately hoped to have Tuesday off but with all the new people at my hospital and the fact that the company doesn’t provide sick time, I didn’t feel like I could take any more time off.

I am not one to ask for help but on Saturday, I asked for it in the best way I knew how. I contacted my schedulers and advised them I wasn’t doing well with the shooting and that I couldn’t come in on Monday. I also advised them to contact the person in charge to tell them because my boss was on military leave.

I didn’t hear back from anyone so on Monday morning, I sent an email to another director I used to work for and advised him I am overwhelmed and that I am still not 100%. He offered to have someone come help out with tasks at my facility but didn’t offer any time off. Since he didn’t make a statement in his email, I assumed it wasn’t okay for me to take more time.

Monday afternoon I received a call from HR. VERY brief. “Hi, I heard you called off today because you are having trouble with the shooting and I wanted to make sure you had the EAP brochure and information.” REALLY?! I tried to hold back the tears but they flowed and I tried to mask the crying in my voice but couldn’t. Despite the tears and voice change, she got off the phone.

Not once did she ask if I was okay, if there was anything I needed, if there was anything the company could do, or if I needed more time off. If someone had just said it was OKAY for me to take time, it would have made a HUGE difference but I am so sour right now, it hurts to think about.

Even though I wasn’t at the theater or involved with a victim (other than a few came to my hospital), I am still grieving immensely.

  • I lost our family theater. I don’t know if I will ever be able to return but I’ll try. I am not scared of it happening again, that’s not the issue, the innocence is lost and that bothers me the most. It will never be the same knowing so many people were hurt there.
  • My husband could have been killed. You will NEVER see his story on the news but not only does he normally work there on Friday nights, he also spent over 30 hours assisting with evacuations and diffusing of the booby trapped apartment, helped protect the President while he visited University Hospital of Colorado (don’t know why he couldn’t visit all the other victims) and then he assisted with the crowds at the memorial.
  • I had NO time to process this with my husband or family. I couldn’t take off work and my husband had to go to training the next week.
  • I had no one to spend time with and to talk with that understood what I was going through on all levels. It’s hard enough for me to be vulnerable but it’s even more hard when I am being vulnerable with someone who doesn’t understand the complexity of my situation. Thinking about it, I should have reached out to a few of the other wive’s whose husbands work at the theater AND would have been involved in the shooting like mine. That left me with maybe two that I know. I should check in with them.

How does this situation mimick the grief from my miscarriage?

  • Exhaustion
  • Jealousy
  • Weepiness
  • Anger
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Sleeping too much
  • Not sleeping at all
  • Nightmares
  • Body aches
  • Feelings of desolation

Those are just a few.

This hasn’t impacted me the same way my miscarriage did but it’s interesting to see all the similarities. As a new psychology major, I hope to study this phenomenon a little bit more.

The positive to having experienced grief before?

I know what I need.

  • Time with my family to process
  • Time for self-care

Those are the big ones. I don’t want to watch anymore footage of the incident or see anymore pictures or really hear anymore stories but I know all of that is normal and it’s okay. I will get through this funk. Each day gets a bit easier but I still long for time with my family to process everything that has happened.

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