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Returning to work.

(12 Posts)
lht22 Mon 21-Nov-16 21:25:20

Hi all, I'm considering returning to work after the Christmas holidays following (what will be by then) 4 months off on bereavement leave.

My husband died very suddenly and unexpectedly at 32 and we have a 4 year old son. I'm 32 as well. Just a bit of background to give some context to my question.

I work in a primary school and I'm responsible for the kids' welfare (approx. 450/500 kids) and do a lot of work on safeguarding/child protection. I also do counselling and support the kids in groups as well as one-to-one with family, personal and social issues. My boss has said she wants me to do a phased return, so reduced hours and workload.

I was just wondering if anyone can share any experiences of going back?
Thanks in advance.

wowwee123 Mon 21-Nov-16 21:29:52

it's nowhere near the same but my pfb was stillborn last year and i returned after about four month maternity leave.

i did a phased return which was very helpful. very short days and just a couple a week at first.

i popped in before hand for an ice breaker as i knew seeing everyone would oveewhelm me (id gone for a scan at 27 weeks, routine but they discovered he had died then).

it was daunting seeing everyone at first, i found other peoles awkwardness the worst but it soon felt back to normal. well my new normal anyway.

im so very sorry for your loss. have you had any bereavement counselling?

lht22 Mon 21-Nov-16 21:36:26

Thanks for responding, I'm so sorry to hear that, I can't imagine how hard that must be.

I'm glad to hear a phased return is helpful, I'm the type to try to throw myself back in properly but my boss won't have it (a good thing, I think).
I've been in twice but only really saw a couple of people, I think the boss wants me to go in the staffroom for an hour and see people, that will be my first day so no massive expectations.

Thank you, I've finished the 5 sessions of counselling that I'm entitled to through work. It's a shame because I only found the last two sessions helpful, I think I was quite resistant to it at first. Due to my job I felt like I knew all the counselling tricks and how she was trying to get me to talk! That's my crappy teenage attitude wink

wowwee123 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:04:20

don't know if your work is the same as mine but at mine you self refer and are known by a number not name so although they say so many sessions it's so anomynous you can just keep on going back.

if you feel upto it it's worth looking into. also the gp should be able to arrange bereavement counselling for you. i've had both.

the phased return was great for me. even now, often i am in tears on the way home but it's all part of the process. i've never cried in front of anyone at work which is an achievement!

i hope you are doing ok that is so sad.

lht22 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:17:40

It's through private healthcare thing at work, my counsellor applied to extend it but they wouldn't authorise any more, it's a shame really.
My son is having his counselling through Cruse, second session tomorrow, and they've offered me some time but I just don't think it's right for me just now. Maybe in the future, it was only the end of August and I think I'm still in shock to be honest.

That is a huge achievement! I reckon I'll be a mess when I'm there, I'm sure they won't know what to do because I'm definitely not a cryer!

I'm not doing ok, that's probably the only time I've said that. It's so much easier at home to tell people I'm fine. I'm pretty stuck and very very sad. I'm also massively in the denial stage at the moment so it's comforting in some ways because I don't believe this has happened but devastating because I really know that it has.
We were together for 10 years, friends for 20 and I don't know what life is without him.

Thanks again for replying smile

wowwee123 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:37:16

i know it's totally different but after my son i lived by the mantra life goes on.

even though i was completely heartbroken the world still turns and i had to keep carrying on.

take all the help you can get though and don't shield people from it. you need them. you deserve them. please dont walk this path alone, no-one would want that for you.

mn is a great place for letting out all your hurt and frustrations with lots of people that have been where you are. post on here if you dont feel up to talking to people in real life.

im glad your son is getting help too. i waited a while before accessing counselling as i just didnt feel upto it.

wowwee123 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:46:21

i'm sorry i can't be of much more help but i will say i can't even imagine what you are going through. so sorry this has happened flowers

lht22 Mon 21-Nov-16 22:59:33

Honestly, you've been a huge help, thank you.

I think because of the nature of my job and the way I am with people I have a tendency to deflect questions about me and to focus on the person I'm talking to and their feelings. I'm definitely planning on making the effort to be more open and honest rather than just say, 'I'm fine' all the time.

Can I ask how long after you started the counselling? And how long did you do it for?
I'm so sorry this happened to you too, I know the situations aren't the same and I'll never understand how you feel but I can relate to the feeling of loss, it is truly awful, I hope you have loads of support and are managing ok.

wowwee123 Mon 21-Nov-16 23:12:20

after his first birthday things really picked up for me. im not saying im better. ill never be better. but its easier.

urm ive had 6 sessions probably since march this year. i did some with gp but didnt rate the counsellor tbh. she focussed too much on my relationship with dp and another bereavement we went through at the same time (mil).

definitely do that people will do what they can to help if you open up.

i finally broke down at work last week after 10 weeks of daily baby talk as colleague is pregnant. the relief when i finally confessed i was finding it hard was immense. they thought i was fine. ive perfected a brave face

lht22 Tue 22-Nov-16 13:23:00

Thank you, this has been really helpful.

I'm actually starting to look forward to having the conversation about going back. I also think school will be massively relieved, there's 3 of us in my team and I'm off, one other is off with depression and the third has just gone on maternity!
I think I'll talk to my GP about counselling in a few moths, I don't feel like jumping back into it just yet.

Thank you again x

fabulous01 Tue 22-Nov-16 13:29:11

I work in HR so I frequently get involved in these.
Definitely the best way to return. Stick to the hours as some people get dream into doing more and remember small steps. Some find routine helpful in dealing with their circumstances

lht22 Tue 22-Nov-16 13:52:59

Thank you for responding.
I know I'll be inclined to do more work and hours, it's in my nature and the job is really full on. I will try not to, thanks for the advice

Before this happened I was talking to my boss about some kind of progression/promotion and she was hugely on board, I know that they can't 'legally' hold this against me but do you think that a company would hold it against me personally?

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