After the walk in 2009 I was exhausted from the anxiety of the planning, but had no regrets. I was back to my safe place though - I was still afraid to put myself out there...huge trust issues. It was hard to believe that I was able to pull that walk together when I could hardly get out of my house. My normal things to do were to go to work, and then to Huntington to see all the grand-babies, daughter, son-in-law, and brother. Of course Chuck was still gone most of the time and as the holidays neared I knew that I did not want a repeat of the year before.
On Thanksgiving I went again and worked a dinner for the homeless and shut-ins and enjoyed it very much. It was a distraction from the normalcy of the day - thinking about all the other families spending time together and wondering what it would be like to have a normal family dinner. I was always trying not to let my mind get to deep in thoughts of Amber-I knew there was nothing good that could come from crying and self-pity. Sitting alone in the house so much left lots of time to think and then try to distract...it was a constant battle. I found that I thought about her all the time...literally..it just doesn't stop. I also would have visuals (thoughts) of seeing her as she would have appeared when they found her. those visuals could bring me to my knees. Thank God I was not the one who found her!
I was still going to my grief counselor and was sorting out the grieving process with no problems really - what was to understand....I miss my daughter, why was no one talking, why was I having anxiety problems, how am I going to deal with the "happy place" that was my job. My grief counselor became my life counselor. She encouraged me to get away from my job because it was affecting my mental health. There was so much bad energy in the place that not even my daily prayers at the back door every morning were helping. I was still going to the Doctor for hormone issues and still not totally understanding what was wrong with me...I did not feel well, I did not feel like myself, I could not understand why I seemed out of control emotionally at times. It just reinforced my desire to sit in my recliner in my "safe place".
Christmas was nearing and I was filled with dread at having to celebrate with anyone other than the kids and my brother. Going to my Mom's house seemed difficult..we didn't mention Amber's name there and it was uncomfortable for me...I couldn't think of anything else and I am not good at pretending. I knew I also had to attend my work Christmas party and there was nothing that I hated more. Any PARTY was too much for me-I didn't feel like partying...I wanted to be in my safe place! Of course having Christmas with the kids was good and Chuck and I planned it on a day when he could be with us...