My Forever Valentine

This has been….a week.  Our normal counseling department of 5 (which is finally going to return to it’s intended 6 this coming week as our new counselor begins) was down to 3 or 1 at some varying points.  Partially due to random illnesses and partially due to various school events that we were all planning.  

As a bit of back story, we currently have two counselors for the senior class and the other three of us (and soon to be four of us) split the 9th-11th graders by alphabet (so I have the beginning, someone else has middle, end, etc). 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was the only 9th-11th counselor in the building for the majority of this week, which means any emergencies that may have happened in the 1600-ish kids we have combined, I was called first for it.  All of this is on top of everything I already had scheduled/planned for the week (Which was already scheduled to be crazy).  As you can imagine a lot of plans/scheduled things had to be changed, my patience may have been tested a bit more than usual, I may have been a bit shorter with people than I would have intended; it was a a lot.  

In addition to that, two…. let’s just say, triggering things happened for me, which added a whole new level of anxiety to the week that wasn’t helpful.  Like attending a professional development regarding child sexual assault when you’re a survivor of said thing.  No matter how old you are, or how long it’s been since you lived your abuse, it can still be hard to sit in a three-hour session hearing about others stories and how to react to them as counselors.  And while I’m sure I looked fine, hearing one of the stories that sounded exactly like mine was hard.  

Then yesterday (Thursday) I had to respond to an emergency situation with a student and while I did, my assistant principal did, and my principal did everything we could and were supposed to do in the situation; none of us liked the immediate aftereffect.  My principal and I were sitting in her office after school, just in silence for a good half an hour and she said to me, “Stephanie, how do you do this every day?”

All I could say was: “Some days, I don’t.”

And yesterday, I didn’t. 

And because I felt like I didn’t I just went home and sobbed for a good two hours.  I think some of it may have been exhaustion from literally being pulled in 10,000 directions all week but it was also because, even though logically I know I did everything I could do, I still feel like I didn’t do enough. 

And because I know almost exactly what this student is dealing with and I hate that I couldn’t make it immediately better for them.  

And it made my heart hurt, a lot.  

Devon knew as soon as I walked in the door that something was wrong.  Probably because I never actually looked at him when I came in and just went upstairs.  

He eventually followed me upstairs and by that point I was already crying again and he just wound up holding me for an hour while I sobbed like a baby.

He didn’t make me talk about it until I wanted to. He didn’t tell me I was crazy for being so emotional over something that’s out of my control and someone I barely know. He knows as much as I love what I do, there are also days where my job is the hardest thing for me and he supports me in those days.

It’s so easy to get caught up in every day life and schedules and things that you sometimes forget how much you genuinely appreciate your husband/wife/significant other. Beyond the crazy of yesterday, this whole week has been so crazy and busy and he knows I’ve been stressed and all of this stuff and he’s done so much to try and keep me together.

And then when I actually fall apart, he does everything he can to help me pick up the pieces and put me back together.

I’ve said over the years that Devon and I don’t really “do” Valentine’s Day and it’s true, we don’t.  But there is some irony in my feeling of appreciation for him happening on Valentine’s Day. We actually decided to “celebrate” with a date night in tonight (mostly because we’re happy and very tired little introverts that don’t want to deal with people), which is a first for us. But it seems really appropriate this year.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Valentine’s Day!

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