Today was awful.
We did everything we could to prepare the girls. We talked to their therapists. We talked about what they would expect. We brought magazines, cards, and other distractions for the wait.
It didn't matter. M started freaking out the moment we stepped in the courtroom. The 4 and 5 year olds who were clueless to what was happening behaved better. Tears, whining, and hiding her head in her sweater.
We didn't anticipate the emotional toll it would take on E and M and how it would manifest itself. M had never heard that the woman who caused the accident had no consequences to her actions. She didn't know her sisters get more money because they were in the car. Unfortunately, in our state they were required by law to be there. The lawyers and judge did their best to protect the girls, but some information had to be said out loud.
M kept it pretty much together until we dropped E off at school. I didn't send her back to school since they had an 11:30 dismissal and she'd barely be there. I offered to bring her shopping or for a smoothie. I thought we could stop by S's house and see the baby.
She insisted on going home.
Once we got there, she screamed, moaned and sobbed for the next hour. Gut wrenching, primal screams. Nothing I said helped. She flinched at my touch. She cried that she'll never be happy again. She cried that she wished the car had run her over. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I couldn't leave her alone in this state and eventually got her into the car so we could pick up the other kids (plus C's twins). She finally stopped as we pulled into the parking lot. She was quiet and washed out the rest of the day. I've given her some space, but made sure I reassured her of our love as much as possible. My poor little girl.
During the sobbing, CA texted me, "I thought that went smoothly :) " She has no clue. The little girls won't remember. KT has been with CA longer than she was with Jeanne. Heartbreaking, but true.
E has been quiet and sullen. Seeing her through the lens of a possible depression diagnosis makes it all the more distressing.
We have a very busy weekend. K and A just left for soccer tournament in Richmond. M has a soccer tournament and E has a swim meet. We can keep everyone busy and moving.
We certainly did not close this chapter of the accident gently. M slammed it with a painful, violent thrust and I don't blame her. As an adult and parent I don't get to express the anger and hurt in the same way.
So, I encouraged M to just cry. I agreed with her that none of this is fair and it so unbelievably sad and senseless. She cried for all of us. The adults. Her big sister who buries it deep inside. Her little sisters who will never know how wonderful her parents were. Her cousins.
I kept it together all day. I'm going to get bags packed for tomorrow (8am game...ouch) and then head up to my bed alone. I'll probably have a good cry. Hopefully sleep will come easily and we'll all wake up tomorrow ready to tackle the day.