Monday, December 31, 2007

Traveling, grief and yelling

Life continues to be full of ups and downs...for both of us. We have mostly ups, but the downs can be really down. One thing I've noticed with Sofie is that anytime she gets her feelings hurt by anyone or anything it escalates and becomes more about Debra's death. My guess is this will happen for awhile. The other thing that's becoming harder to manage with her is the fact that she can't get to sleep at night. School starts in a few days so that's going to be fun!

My fuse is shorter than normal. Late last night after driving in the rain all day and still dealing with this cold, I yelled at Sofie. And of course she yelled back, "Stop yelling at me!!!!!" The situation was stressful...I was trying to get her into bed, she kept saying there was a smell in her room...of course I couldn't smell anything because of the cold. I told her I didn't smell it...then when I was fixing her comforter on her bed, there it was...a pile of cat poop! Well, that was the last straw. I asked Sofie to run and get some toilet paper...instead she kept saying, "See, I told you there was a smell" over and over again. I kept asking for toilet paper, each time my voice volume was escalating until I yelled, "GO GET ME TOILET PAPER NOW!!!" Finally, she brought the TP and I cleaned it off, got the comforter off the bed and got the extra comforter for her bed. She was mad because I was yelling, I was mad because I was yelling...and one of the cats pooped on her bed! Oy!

After running downstairs to put the comforter into the washing machine, I calmed down, went upstairs and snuggled into bed to read. She was over it by then but as you can tell, the guilt is still with me. I don't want to be that mom that yells. In fact, I've been working with her to not yell so much. That was her dynamic with Debra...I don't yell that much(unless stressed!) My normal chatting volume is low. I've explained yelling isn't appropriate. I want her tone to settle a bit. I read, she fell asleep, then I went downstairs to try to go to bed...but alas, I was up until after 1am. Our sleep schedules are shot! Must work on that.

We had a great weekend visiting my mom, my grandma and aunt, and my friend Sandy and her family. It rained most of the weekend which was a welcome site. Sofie and I drove back late yesterday afternoon after stopping for playtime with Sandy's kids. We got hungry for supper on the way home and instead of doing fast food, we decided to stop at a restaurant. The first available was Applebee's in Lexington, NC. While Sofie and I are waiting for service she draws on a piece of paper a picture of me, Debra and her. (She's been doing this A LOT since Debra's death.) When the waitress comes to take our order it goes something like this:

"I just drew my family. My mama Debra died."

The waitress with a combination of a horrified and sad look said, "I'm sorry about that."

At some point I interject, "I'm sure you weren't expecting that conversation, but she's right, her Mama Debra did just die."

"Who are you staying with now?" The concerned waitress asked Sofie.

Sofie points to me as I say, "Me."

"Who are you, her aunt or something?"

"Nope, her other mother."

"Oh, her other mother" with no change in expression.

She looks at Sofie, "Well all I can say is that I'm very sorry for your loss."

Then she took our order and was extremely kind to us the rest of the evening.

The rest of the drive was uneventful. We arrived home, I started laundry, Sofie played with her zoo until bedtime...then the yelling began. Hopefully, as we get settled in to our new routines and life, the yelling will subside.

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