Text Messages, Apathy, & Heartbreak

“As I walk this land of broken dreams

I have visions of many things

But happiness is just an illusion

Filled with sadness and confusion

What becomes of the broken-hearted?”

~Jimmy Rufin~ “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”

An unexpected text message or phone call can elicit a variety of emotions. It can bring a smile at the sight of a long lost friend reaching out. A reassuring feeling of a someone we care about remembering our birthday, anniversary, work anniversary etc. A stunned expression of wonderment why this person needs your attention. A jolt of a reminder of something you forgot. Empathy for a friend in distress or potential bad news. The thing about caller id is the elusiveness of who is on the other line no longer exists. When you save a contact in your phone it serves a purpose of bringing to your attention. Perhaps you don’t answer the electric company conducting surveys when you unexpectandly see their number pop up. You may reflect for a moment if it’s worth responding if it’s going to stir up emotions you have buried. If you were me and while getting ready for work saw the name “detective” flash on your screen while getting ready for work; your blood stops cold.

This is a contact I had saved in late October of last year was for the detective working on sexual assault case. The detective that I was in constant communication with up until they hit a wall in my case. I hadn’t heard from him in nearly five months. My heart soared, hands shook, and I immediately responded to his text. I stated I would make myself available at that very moment.

He politely asked how I was and got to the point that evidence had come back. I heard his words of bad news and it took me about a full minute to realize I was sobbing. I listened end to him and felt every ounce of hope I’d had been carrying around for months be completely shattered. I heard myself ask him to explain what he had just told me again (I didn’t comprehend at this time.) There was new information involving running my DNA I wasn’t aware of. The news wasn’t good. Due to inconclusive evidence my case was going to be closed. I asked for a courtesy call to those that had complied with the investigation. The poor detective kept asking me if I was going to be alright, if I had a support system, was I still with my new job, if I was alone (due to my reaction.)  I sobbed and said I would be fine.

I dropped my phone into my bed and staggered down the stairs get in the shower. I stood numb and sobbing under the hot water trickling down on me. My reaction after this was 100% apathetic. I didn’t tell a soul. I put on my work clothes I had set out the evening prior, grabbed my coffee, and went through the motions. Even worse, I was scheduled to present more than once (on a new subject.)  I felt my mind starting to tell me I needed to process this. I needed to go in the bathroom and cry, tell a coworker I trusted what had happened, text a friend, or do SOMETHING! I plugged through, not one tear, not one display of emotion. (Mind you my current job entails me to interact with staff at a consistent pace. No office to hide in or private desk to hide underneath.)

Even I was stunned by my reaction.

Further thoughts trickled through my mind when heading home for the day. Just as we never know when we are going to get a phone call/text that will completely change our world; we never truly know how we are going to react to a situation. We carry perceptions of how we are supposed to feel. How we are supposed to publically display emotion. I was completely heartbroken and yet showed no display of emotion other than my initial private meltdown. People judge reactions and how others grieve. For the first time I really understood it.

My heart was broken and every sinking hope that justice would be served was shredded by a single phone call. I think for the very first time in my entire life I truly understood grief and how others process on their own timeframe.

My grief and different emotions came in like a flood the next day.

Text messages and closed cases.

Apathy and heartbreak.

Grief and even as I write this, a small glimmer hope, and wonderment of what tomorrow’s emotions and roller coaster will be.

 

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Author: toughasteal

Kate Weber is a woman who dreamed up the concept "tough as teal" while recovering from her own sexual assault in Fall 2015. Teal is the color of Sexual Assault Awareness and Ovarian Cancer (both have effected her in her personal life.)Tough as Teal is a mindset of being strong and a streak she proudly wears in her hair. Her goal is to use her voice, blog, and personal teal streak to broaden awareness of sexual violence. She believes, "you have to make people comfortable with the uncomfortable." Kate is a graduate of Michigan State University and has spent majority of her career working within Higher Education. These areas included the following: off campus and on campus housing, overseeing academic dishonestly, coordinating academic integrity grievances, hearing, and appeals for all colleges at Michigan State University, working with STAR scholarship students, mass training for University employees, managing her own staff of 50-100 students within the Residence Halls, administrative work with the Vice President and Provost's office, devising training curriculum, serving on the Brody Neighborhood Core Team (Engagement Center liason), retention planning, safety and security work and more. Kate's first hand work with student employees, coupled with her own experience as a traditional and non-traditional student put her primary passion to be involved with college students. Statistics show alarming rates of sexual violence on college campuses and Kate passionately continues to advocate to end this statistic. Besides building her own personal toughasteal brand, Kate enjoys public speaking. She has received a national award from Toastmasters International and is putting her talent to work with the Mid-Michigan Survivor's Speaker's Bureau. She has affiliations in Pennsylvania with "Voices of Hope", national organization "Still Standing", and is a guest blogger/podcast participant for Open Thought Vortex (committed to giving a voice to victims.) Kate is planning to further her education by starting her Masters in 2017, she is just debating which program will be the right fit. She is also working on finalizing two other degrees at Michigan State University to become a three time alum. Kate is looking forward to expanding her philanthropic passions to her educational pursuits in the upcoming years. She is available for speaking engagements or you are welcome to connect with her on Twitter @katers513 Her personal interests are running, enjoying the Great Lakes of Michigan, reading, and watching her beloved Spartans in all sports.

2 thoughts on “Text Messages, Apathy, & Heartbreak”

  1. So I read this early the other morning and thought about it the whole day up until today. You are 100% right how something such a call, or a text can completely throw you for a 360. You don’t know when they will come, but they do. I know I wish that people wouldn’t judge other people on how they grieve, and if they do judge I feel it’s more because they don’t understand. Through out it all you truly are an inspiring and strong person and I give you so much credit for writing and putting this out there. I only hope that others would gain the knowledge from it to understand.

    Like

    1. Kristine, I really appreciated your heartfelt and thoughtful comment here. I have had some time to think about and reflect upon grief (through my own personal journey) since writing this a few weeks back. I have come to thoughts that as a society; we put boundaries and expectations on grief. I also think there is a type of grief many don’t recognize…that grief is grieving for a part of yourself that you may have lost. I think that we can move on from these life altering things that rock our worlds to the core and do thorw us for those 360 moments; however we may still grieve/yearn for the person we were prior to these events.
      I’m reflecting on this as I’m researching more on PTSD and trying to understand more myself.
      As always, grateful for your listening ear and support!

      Like

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