Friday, June 20, 2008

A Little Setback

I opened the store this morning and there was a lady waiting to come in to see the Dr. She was nervous, fidgety, really a mess. I didn't think much about it as the Dr. greeted her and took her into his office.

She had an eye infection for which he wrote her a RX but then she also wanted to order new contacts, which is where I come in. As I looked up her account on the computer, she was so nervous, so upset, that she made me a nervous wreck. She dug and dug in her purse looking for a credit card, she constantly apologized, and I kept telling her it was ok. She dropped her purse and bent down to pick it up and the stuff that had dropped out and then she just stopped, plopped her purse down on the counter and these are the words she said to me,

"I'm so sorry, I'm such a mess, but my husband committed suicide three weeks ago."

My heart came to my throat. I immediately came around the counter and put my arms around her and told her "my son did the same thing, about a month ago."

Her look was almost wild. "Oh my God," she said. "Please don't cry."

"I'm not." I said to her.

I went back to my side of the counter and she and I finished the sales transaction.

And then she asked, "How?"

I answered, "He shot himself in the head"

She said, "My husband did the same."

She asked me if I had found him, I told her no and I asked about her and she nodded and told me she had.

She asked, "Why?"

I told her he'd suffered depression most of his life and I guessed he made the decision because he just broke, couldn't take the pain anymore."

I asked if she had any reason why her husband did it.

She told he'd also suffered depression and for the last few years & he'd been trying to get the right meds but she felt like they'd only made him worse.
She told me they'd been best friends since they were 13 and had been married for over 30 years. She told he was the last person in the world she thought would do something like that. She then said, "you have it much worse, I loved my husband to pieces for all those years but I don't know how you're standing here after losing a child.

I told her that it was different but her pain was as real as mine. Pain is pain. She told me she felt like she was such a terrible person to live with that he felt like he had to kill himself. I told her that wasn't true I was sure but I understood the guilt, it was normal. And then, all of a sudden, she turned around and told me she'd come back to me, and she ran, and I mean ran from me out of the store.
It left me stunned.

When I open, I work alone until ten o'clock. It was about nine thirty. I started shaking, and I mean really shaking. I thought maybe I had said too much to her, that I had upset her. I felt so bad for her. And I shook. I felt like I was losing it. A man came in to have new nose pads on his glasses and of course it was nosepads that have to be screwed in. I shook so badly I could hardly do it. Something I can usually do in about a minute, took me almost ten minutes. And I shook.

I started wondering if something was wrong with me since I am doing so much better than her. I wondered if she thought me to be a cold person who seemed to have it all together when it had still been so soon. .

Finally as soon as my associate came in at ten, I went outside and called my mother. She was the only one I knew to call at the time. And believe me, it's taking a chance to go to her when you need some comfort. I told her when she answered that I was at work and I had just had an experience that had shook me up pretty badly and I told her the story. I told her I couldn't keep from shaking and I wasn't sure why, and that I was so worried I'd said something to cause her to have to run from me. I never asked her anything except the same questions she asked me. I wanted to say so much more to her, but it wasn't the right time or place and maybe not even my place to say anything to her.

My mother told me that she was sure it wasn't me who said anything wrong to her and the lady just didn't want to break down there in public, and I can sure understand that, and that is right.

After that, I calmed down a lot and the rest of the day was fine. But I kept looking for her to come back, part of me wanted her to and part of me hopes I don't see her again. It was just so bizarre! In all the years of working retail, no one has ever told me of this experience and now, right when I'm having it, someone else enters my life that has experienced it a week later.

Of course she probably hasn't been pouring her heart out to the World Wide Web and she doesn't have the support group that I have that has wrapped their cyber arms around me from the beginning. Perhaps she hasn't had the people at work to support her as I have or the family to talk things out with. I'm not sure. But I know one thing, everyone grieves differently, and my outlet is to write. I hope she finds some peace soon.

I have much to say to her, and I have nothing to say to her. Am I weird or what?


Sage said...

Dear, dear, Robbin. This woman knew immediately that you were a safe person to talk to; that's why she confided in you. I did the same thing, didn't I? I think I opened up to you right away, the first time I "met" you. What a wonderful quality that is..someone who is safe to talk to. I hope she comes back to you, you may be the only person she has felt safe to talk with. And your wise and caring words may be the only ones she has heard since her horrible experience.

And yes, you have a cyber family that has wrapped their arms around you to try to help soothe the hurt. We'll open up a bit to give her room to squeeze in next to you so you can comfort her.

God bless you dear Robbin.


Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Yes, Marge, you did open up to me, and I to you as well. And if she comes back I'll maybe know what words to say or maybe I'll know just to listen. As always thanks for your support. I actually went a few minutes before your post to check on you but I read where you were thinking about posting tonight so I thought I'd wait.
I have thought of you often the last few days and though our situations are different, we found each other in a time in our lives when we needed each other and I'm so glad for that.

Chellie said...

Hey Robbin-

Your post really drew me in. I read it several times. I just really think this lady hasn't found any relief anywhere and you were the first person to "understand" and when she began talking about it, I bet she felt alot of anxiety about it all and possibly had a panic attack and just needed to get out of the store. You didn't do anything wrong. In fact, it sounds pretty right and I just bet she wasn't used to having someone to talk to about it and that made it still so fresh to her...maybe more than she could handle at a certain point.

I can see how that really shook you up, but it wasn't about you. I really think it was her and where she is with dealing with the loss of her husband. You were probably just what she needed.

I think of you often, my friend.

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Oh Chellie, I hope you are right. I worried all day about her. I just know it was probably as strange to her as it was to me. I've had a really strange week actually, in a good sort of way, mostly, lol.
I was just telling somebody at work today about our special connection. She is not a computer person at all, and can't get over how I can know you. Oh well, she doesn't have to understand. We know.

Tammy said...

Hi Robbin, I'm sure she just wanted to go lose it in private and I'd bet your calm demeanor actually helped her.

It's still a coincidence! Wow

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Tammy, I still worry about her. I hope she finds something to calm her down soon.