Meltdown

I have been avoiding my diary this weekend. Not sure why, but last night Jeff finally gave me The Look after again checking my diary to see if there was an update.

“What do you care? You never leave any comments anyway!” The best offense is a good defense, I always say.

“Why should I leave comments when you’re sitting RIGHT HERE NEXT TO ME?!” I thought his eye was going to pop out or something.

“To show everyone that yes, even my husband reads my diary, of course! DUH!” Jeez, isn’t it obvious?

Ahem. So anyway, what does it say that I am now updating my diary?


Last night Gab had a meltdown. Oh, it’s just so ugly and I have no idea what to do. Apparently, on top of losing her sister, Gab is now having trouble with her best friend at school. And according to Gab, she doesn’t know why M. stopped talking to her, and no amount of groveling on her part is inducing M. to tell her.

Argh! Imagine a stream of profanity here because I just don’t want to junk up my diary with it unless it’s really necessary. This is exactly why I dreaded having girls. Little girls can be so mean to each other! And it’s not physical violence, it’s subversive psychological torture, the likes of which terrorists could probably learn from. When you’re eight, no one can mess with you like your best friend and how sick is that?

So anyway, I do realize that her friends have no concept of what Gab is going through with grieving for her sister and I hope they never do. Jeff and I talked about it last night and came to the conclusion that some of the moodiness we’ve seen at home may very well be happening at school too. Here, all it takes is for the smallest thing not to go her way and Gab is flouncing off in a huff, nose in the air, disgusted with the world. It’s not anger, exactly. It’s more like a mixture of frustration and cynicism. She expects that things are going to go wrong.

We decided to check in with her teacher and see what’s going on in the classroom. I remember a time when I was a bit older than Gab when I started having trouble at school with my friends. I was being moody and for reasons that now escape me. I know there was a lot of crap going on at home in those days that certainly could have come to school with me. So that’s our first stop.

M., Gab’s friend, has impressed Jeff and I as really being a nice kid, so we’re hoping we can help them work things out without directly mediating. When I asked Gab last night if there was something Jeff and I could do to help, she mentioned us calling M.’s parents to work it out. I told her that wasn’t out of the question, but that I thought she should try first. I asked her if she understood why and she said, “Yeah, because then M. might say, ‘I can’t believe you called my mom!'” Exactly.

This friend-related meltdown was also mixed with a Jasmine-related meltdown. I think Jas and Gab talked more about stuff like this than I ever realized, with Jasmine really taking the big sister role seriously. I really wish I had seen more of that when Jasmine was alive. I feel like Gab is showing me a whole side of Jas that I didn’t even realize existed. And it’s a beautiful, caring side. The most heart-breaking thing she said last night was this. “I keep forgetting and sending her emails…. and she’ll never get them.” Gods, that just killed me. Part of me so badly wants to make Gab feel better, but I will not resort to meaningless soothing. For one thing, it won’t work, and for another, I feel it makes light of her grief and I would never do that. A best friend and sister, gone. That’s just an enormous weight for her skinny little eight-year-old shoulders to bear.

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