sinking in.

Posted on May 27, 2011 in Lifestyle

Things are starting to settle down, and even though we aren’t back into our apartment, life is starting to get back to normal. Babyface is headed to work tomorrow, and I said, “What am I supposed to do tomorrow?” and he said, “Do what you would normally do on a Saturday.” Nothing feels normal about a weekend when your home is not livable. But he is right. There is nothing we can do now but to get back to normal life—at least as normal as possible.

I’m sure you are all curious about our current living situation and all the dirty details of our big, scary storm. I’m sure I’ll share all the details of Wednesday night and the following days at some point in the future. But right now, the important thing to know is that Babyface, Puppyface and I are all safe and comfortable. And have temporary housing that we can use until our place is fixed.

But instead of details, I really need to talk about emotions. Feelings. You know, the yucky girly stuff.

I think I’ve hit pretty much every emotion possible over the past two days. I can’t believe it has only been two days. It feels like a month has passed by. I consider myself a pretty level-headed person, but there were points during the last 48 hours that I didn’t even recognize myself. Nothing like a little natural disaster to bring out the best and the worst in someone.

At first, of course, it was fear. And then total shock. And then the most overwhelming gratitude I’ve ever felt. And then immediately after that, total panic as it sets in. After that, a heavy dose of frustration, mixed with some confusion and impatience. And then the guilt. Overwhelming guilt. And more gratitude. And feelings of inadequacy and being unworthy. And some more gratitude.

And now, tonight, I seem to have landed in a nice big heaping puddle of sadness.

I’m sad that Puppyface is staying at her favorite cage-free daycare/boarding place. Purely selfishness, but I want her here. I miss her so badly and I want my entire family together. But, being where she is comfortable and with people and dogs giving her the attention she needs is the best place she can be.

I’m sad that all of my belongings are crammed into two rooms. I liked my living room and we literally had to gut it in 30 minutes.

I’m sad that a damned, wimpy EF1 tornado managed to ruin my favorite weekend of the year. It is the weekend of the Indianapolis 500. Usually by this time, I’d be giddy. Now, I’m not even sure I’ll enjoy the race I love so much (yes, we are still going).

I’m sad that we had to throw out our couch. I loved that couch. It was red. And Babyface and I could both snuggle on it and take a nap together. God, how petty is that? Complaining about losing a stupid piece of furniture when people lost their entire world in other parts of the country?

I’m sad for other people. I’m sad for my upstairs neighbors. And anyone who has ever had to deal with a natural disaster.

I’m sad that I’m not happier. I know I’m supposed to be all “I am just happy no one is hurt,” and believe me I am. But that doesn’t magically erase the suck that goes along with dealing with a tornado.

I’m sad that all the news stations are reporting that our apartment complex had “minor damage”. I didn’t see those reporters helping people in the upstairs apartments carry out their stuff because there was no roof over their home. Where were they when those people got told by their insurance adjusters that it is a total loss? Or the people without insurance became hysterical? There is nothing “minor” about this from the inside.

I’m sad that my favorite place to take Puppyface on hikes was pretty much destroyed.

I’m sad for a whole heapload of other reasons.

I know I am normally all bright-side of life here, but right now I am really, really not feeling it. Honestly, the positives out of this whole thing are few and far between. But let’s have a go at it:

  • As much as I loved our old couch, buying a new one should be fun.
  • I was forced to clean out my refrigerator.
  • We get to repaint our living room for a fun change of pace (oh that, and they have to replace the drywall).
  • My whole weather/tornado obsession was TOTALLY VALIDATED. No one is ever allowed to make fun of me for being skittish around severe weather again.
  • Free food. Pretty much everywhere we look.

I know this post was whiney, ungrateful, and probably really annoying. Trust me, I know how lucky we were (are) and am incredibly humbled by everyone’s well wishes and offers of help. But mostly, I just want to go back to my normal life. Where a Saturday with nothing to do sounds blissful.

19 Comments

  1. So…in a nutshell, you’re human?

    Emotions are human. There is nothing wrong or petty or small about the emotions you’re feeling. You guys are going through a lot and you are entitled to be emotional about that!

    *hugs*

    • Thank you. :)

  2. You survived a tornado, you’re entitled to have feelings about it. You are not whiney or annoying at all, in fact you sound pretty wise and rational given your circumstances. Now when people rant about it being “so hot out,” or “so cold out” – that’s annoying. ; )

    • Thank you! Although it is supposed to get SUPER HOT tomorrow (90°+) and I might have to complain about that, too. :P

  3. I am outraged that they haven’t covered what happened there more and that the footage from the West side seems to focus on some overturned Walmart trucks instead of your complex.

    And Phrassie is right– you are human and these emotions are normal. It’s not whining to be upset over something extreme you just went through.

    • I’m pretty pissed about it, too. Apparently there were people at work wondering why I wasn’t there because no one on the news (even our local paper) said that the damage was bad enough for people to be displaced. Some of them actually drove out here and then felt terrible for questioning me.

      Babyface works at the next exit up on 37 (3rd street) and they made him bring in a photo of the damage because they didn’t believe him.

      I am 100% against sensationalizing things like this in the news, but a little bit of coverage would have gone a long way to help us out.

  4. “I know this post was whiney, ungrateful, and probably really annoying.”

    Oh my goodness. Cassie, honey – you couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I can’t say I’ve ever been where you are, precisely, but in the wake of my own most terrifying day ever, I kept waging a war between the urge to focus on the positives (“It could have been so much worse” and “others are fighting far more than I am right now”) and the desire to succumb to my deep sadness (“that was terrifying” and “that could have been so much worse” and “oh my God, how did that happen?”).

    No matter how bad things are, someone always has it worse, but that doesn’t eradicate the fact that THIS is the biggest, scariest thing in your life right now. It doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to your feelings.

    Be sad. Miss Puppyface. Lament the loss of your beloved red couch. Be angry that the news is down-playing the very real terror that you and your neighbors felt. Cry. Let it out. You’re human, your emotions are valid, and you’re entitled to allow them to just be for awhile.

    If there is anything I can do from the east coast, please, let me know. I’ve been thinking about you, C and R constantly in the past two days and worried about how you’re faring. I’m relieved that you have a roof over your heads and are safe, and I hope that you’ll be back to your relaxing, blissful Saturdays in no time.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I needed to hear this. And it means a lot coming from someone who went through a similar terrifying event.

  5. I’m so glad you guys are ok! We aren’t too far from you(near St.Louis) and we’ve had some really gnarly weather and tons of tornado warnings lately, I can’t belive it hit your place..craziness! Hopefully everything will get back to as normal as possible soon :)

    • I’ve lived in Southern Indiana for 27 years and I have been through hundreds (if not thousands) of tornado warnings. And still, I never thought I would actually get hit by one. It is totally crazy.

  6. I’m happy that you all are okay. And what I think is great is that you are able to identify your feelings, which I expect will help you deal with this as well as you possibly can. I hope life will return to your normal as quickly as possible.

    • Thanks! :)

  7. Cass:

    I remember Karla expressing the same emotions back in 2004 ? as we were cleaning up their place with front loaders. I think the swirling feelings you are experiencing is probably normal. In fact, I would be more concerned about you if you were not experiencing and “talking” about those feelings.

    As you know, living in Southern Indiana, there is always a chance of being hit by a tornado. In fact, if we don’t have tornadoes in the spring and late fall, something is amiss. You have learned that over the years. What this experience will do is give you even a better understanding of why you have to take the watches and warnings seriously; a lesson to be passed on to your children.

    Now as far as getting back to normal, all I can say is, “Let’s go racing!” When Jim Nabors sings tomorrow it will be even more special for you and Craig.

    Love you guys:

    -gw-

  8. Sweetie, what you’re feeling is COMPLETELY justified! Is there anything I can do to help?

    On a positive note, I got my Camelbak water bottle that I won. Jeff and I are heading up to Winnipeg today and the bottle is going to be put through its paces :)

  9. I agree with everyone else. You are human. To me, you seem to be dealing with it quite well. Not sure if I would handle it all as gracefully as you…. and blog about it to boot!

  10. Express any emotion you need to! You’re human. Hugs!

  11. Girlllll, you have every right to be upset. I cannot even imagine what I would do if something like this happened to me.

  12. OMG Cassie! I AM -SO- sorry you and your family have had to go through this! BUT! I am SO glad you guys are all okay physically! Big hugsss your way my dear! I’ve never been through a tornado or anything(luckily), and I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel, but you certainly have a right to vent(not whine or complain or whatever you called it!!) about it. You’ve been through a nasty, life-changing event. Could it have been worse? Oh yeah. And could it have been better? Uh yeah, you would have a roof over your head, and NOT have to repaint and get new drywall, and have puppyface with you, etc. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it happened, and you were prepared!I’m sure others who were hit were unprepared and paid for it immensley. I am so glad you are okay!!! If there’s anything I can do for ya here in Chicago, please let me know!

    ~Tori

  13. oh no! I just read this (was on vacation). I can unfortunately related to your experience and feelings. :( We had a tornado here in Raleigh I guess 7 weeks ago now. Our unit was fine but it was one of the few that didn’t get damage, the fire marshall condemned our building and we were out for about a week and a half. I felt lucky that we were ok and so was our unit (the only thing was the AC that was blown off the roof), which made it all the more hard to believe what had happened. It was hard, at times I felt happy, then sad then a bit depressed then all over again.
    I am glad you all are ok which is the most important thing. Hope we don’t get to experience this again :( *hugs*

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