Dazed and Confused
Lisa Gastaldo

What an excellent piece. Thank you for defining this state of mind. I’ve always just called it PTSD, but this feels way more appropriate. When my mother suffered a serious car accident, then was forced to live as an invalid for 10 years before getting esophageal cancer and passing away three months after diagnosis, I was thrown into a 1–2 punch of emotional concussion that felt like it lasted 10 years…because it did. When she passed I was a first-year teacher, and I remember being struck by the fact my students seemed to have no deep sympathy for my plight beyond the basic, “Sorry for your loss.” Of course they didn’t, they’re high schoolers. But the fact that “Life goes on…” was not a help to me at all. I wanted the world to stop for a while so I could take a breath, rest and recover from my tragedy. And of course it doesn’t. This is the first piece that describes EXACTLY how I felt. Thank you so much. And I hope you, and all of us, find the rest we need to endure all of life’s emotional concussions.

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