I Haven’t Been Myself Lately … Don’t Rub My Hair The Wrong Way!


I Haven’t Been Myself, Lately…Don’t Rub My Hair The Wrong Way!

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

It felt like a physical wave rushing over me…. to blanket me… so heavy, so dark. I blinked my eyes, steadied myself where I stood. My eyes instantly filled with tears.

As I blinked my eyes, looked ahead of me… my eyes met the eyes of a woman who was standing in line opposite of me. She had a kind expression on her face… I felt she saw what happened to me.

Skip spoke to me, asked if I was okay. I looked up at him, feeling weak, faint. I could hear the Christmas music playing, I felt the overwhelming need to just lose control right there, break down, cry my heart out.

We were standing in line at Sam’s Club, waiting to pay for the things we were purchasing. I had been smiling at a precious baby sitting in the shopping cart in front of us. I made a comment to the mother, she said “being a mother is the best thing in the world,” it happened to me.

Something about that baby touched me deeply… maybe it was the way he tilted his little head to grin up at me, twinkle his sweet, baby eyes at me…. I’m not sure what it was… I didn’t have time to think about it.

Unexpectedly… I was blanketed by darkness, a wave of pure grief. I just wanted to fall to the ground, weep. Something made me hold myself up… I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. What is it that makes us get control of ourselves, when we just want to break down?

Skip recognized what was wrong. Lately, I really haven’t been myself… I’ve really tried to be. I broke down yesterday when I was alone… I stood in the bedroom crying. Crying my heart out. Crying for Tommy, crying… knowing he isn’t coming back.

It doesn’t do any good for me to cry… so, I wonder why I do it. I have been feeling mad… yes, mad inside. Not an ugly mad, but… just simply mad that Tommy’s not here. It doesn’t change a thing, being mad won’t bring my son back.

But… I still feel that way. I tell myself all these things… I can’t stop the flow of emotions that threaten to overwhelm me at any time such as… today. I never know when it’s going to happen…

A heavy, dark blanket… a wave of darkness from the sea of grief happens out of nowhere, blanketing me. The weight of it threatens to take me to the ground… somehow, I stay strong enough to hold myself up.

The combination of Christmas music, the precious baby sitting in the cart ahead of me.. his beautiful little smiles, twinkling eyes, his little baby sounds wove the blanket of grief that fell over me in an instant. Beautiful things made something so sad, happen to me.

Grief is a strange thing. You think you are doing good, grief happens in the blink of an eye… you aren’t expecting it at all. For the past days, I’ve known that I wasn’t myself. I still tried to be okay. I haven’t been…..

I wonder about other mothers who grieve, is this how it happens to them? I have no idea of how grieving mothers are supposed to be at certain points in time. I just know that I’m not over grieving for my son.

I find myself deep in thought, feel tears on my cheeks often. My head feels awful… I feel like I want to go to sleep to escape my mind, the thoughts that fly through it.


This is today… tonight, the following day. It’s been another really bad day for me. I have tried to not feel so tortured inside, so missing my son.

I’ve felt anger so much lately… I don’t like feeling it. It burns my soul, my heart… I can’t stand to carry that kind of heat around. It damages….

We left the house today, the radio was on in the pickup… a song was playing. I immediately felt like crying… the song was a song Tommy loved dearly as a little boy… Rhinestone Cowboy.

Grief, oh God, the terrible grief I carry inside my heart. This time of year it seems so much worse.

I went to get my hair trimmed today at the beauty salon. The hairdresser was going on, and on about all the family who would be coming in to stay at her home on Christmas. I sat there listening, hurting inside. She had her children, lots of family coming for Christmas!

I could see a picture inside my mind of all she was saying…. she was going to make an elaborate cake, she’d just bought a ‘L’ shaped sofa, some of the family could sleep on it… but, she couldn’t let anyone have her bed.

She was so excited, her eyes were shining with happiness as I looked into the mirror in front of us. I smiled to myself, I was happy for her.

At first, I wouldn’t look in the mirror to see her happiness, I couldn’t… my eyes looked down to the floor. I love to see people happy, my eyes had to look, it touched my heart. I needed it.

Sadness, grief, pain, anger is making me a bad person to be around. I don’t like me at all lately. If I could … I would step out of my body… until I acted like I should. I can’t stand ‘me’… right now.

I can say our happy spot in the day was this evening when we saw our friends, got to talk to them for a little while. It instantly made me feel happy, feel better inside.

They are our neighbors, we think a lot of them. Their smiles were contagious… soon, I was smiling the first smile I’d smiled all day. The rest of the evening was brighter for seeing them. Oh… she gave us a raisin pie she’d made … we ate some at supper. It was very good.

As we ate supper tonight, both Skip and I agreed that seeing them made us feel good. It did us so much good, to laugh, talk with them.

I’ve been so sad, depressed, grieving, angry… it has affected both Skip and I. I have to ‘get hold of myself.’ I make him sad….

Isn’t it awful when one is trapped inside their minds, bodies when they wish to escape all the mental anguish they are feeling? We can’t just simply put that part of us up…

I think the worst is ‘anger’. That’s the part I don’t like to feel. I want to get away from my own self… I can’t stand it.

Here’s hoping tomorrow will be better… I will get up again to battle this grief inside me, hopefully not let it affect anyone else.

Grief…. is an awful emotion. Do you know, I wish so much to have my own son back? Today… my thoughts were on his last day… did he fall down that day… did he say anything about feeling bad… did he sense he would die that evening? Did anyone notice anything?

These thoughts, more thoughts come whether I like for them to …or not. I can’t stop them. I’m a mother…. rather… I wonder if I should say…. ‘I used to be a mother?’ At the moment, I don’t know what I am…….

I sit here in the dark, the only light in the room is from my computer monitor. I listen to the soft music from the stereo in Skip’s study.

I put my elbows on my desk, my head into my hands… I close my eyes hard, my cheeks are wet. I rub my forehead back, forwards in my hands, rub my eyes…. soon, I will lay down to rest my mind, my soul, my body.

The darnest thought pops up in my mind… it’s really funny now. It wasn’t earlier today…. I don’t know ‘why I didn’t stop it from happening’……..

When I was at the beauty salon today, the hairdresser wet my hair to trim it. When she finished trimming it, she picked up the blowdryer, began using it to dry my hair as she used her brush.

I began to look at the floor, I didn’t let her see my eyes. I was getting very mad… she was ‘rubbing my hair the wrong way’….. she made every hair on my head ……………………… straight!!! That’s not ‘me’ at all! I don’t have straight hair!

Soon, she turned that blowdryer off… she was finished. As she began taking the cape off my shoulders, I raised my eyes up to look in the mirror………………………………….. I was some kind of mad!

I’m so glad I smiled at her, got up, went to the register to pay her. I never let her know that she ‘rubbed my hair the wrong way.’ That evening when we got home I found that she trimmed my hair …. perfectly… exactly the way I wanted it to be trimmed.

When we left the beauty salon, I wouldn’t go into any store looking like that! I couldn’t rest until we got home, I went straight to the shower…. washed my hair… the whole time fuming that ‘I don’t have straight hair!’ I couldn’t rest until it was … curly again!

I scrunched my hair up with both hands as I dried it… and my own curls began showing up… I began feeling like ‘me’ again. Even my whole state of mind was better.

Skip couldn’t believe I didn’t stop the hairdresser from making my hair straight! I can’t believe I didn’t…. I just haven’t been ‘myself’ lately, or I would have told her, “don’t rub my hair the wrong way!”

Tommy used to like to take his hand (he was so much taller than I)…. and rub my hair, mess it up on top of my head!

I think it just strange that she did that…. she messed up my hair, made it all flat, straight. It was awful, just awful!

I know if Tommy could… he would helped her to do that! :))) I remember how he used to grin when he’d do that…. he wanted to see ‘his mama fuss!’ I did!

See… I know that I am going through a bad time, and I get very upset, depressed, cry…. I, also, know that I’m going to get through this. It will take a little time … everything will be all right again.

It’s like falling down, as soon as I can get up once again… everything will be all right. :))) It’s just taking some time to get back up…. right now.

16 thoughts on “I Haven’t Been Myself Lately … Don’t Rub My Hair The Wrong Way!

  1. I know what you mean hun.

    Every time I see a baby in the street I remember how I was left unable to father children, but also how blessed I was to end up as a carer for so many kids, most of whom grew up honest and decent.

    We cannot change the past, nor those we lose along the way, but as long as we live they will not be forgotten.

    Love and hugs Gloria – you are one special lady! 🙂


    • Prenin, truthfully…. I really believe you must be the most special person. You have touched other’s lives, I’m not sure if I’ve done the same through the years. Your comment touched me deeply… see how special I think you must be…. Love, Granny Gee

  2. Christmas is always hard, Gloria, and supermarkets with Christmas music playing is a no-go area. Don’t try to be any other way than you feel Gloria. And don’t apologize. I learned not to fight my feelings, because then they all flow out of you, instead of bottling up and making you sick. Don’t try to do things to distract you. Just feel, because the moment passes (even if the moment is three days) and THEN you can go do something pleasant, just to be in a good space. But don’t use good experiences as a distraction. It’s dangerous to your health. Lots of love to you, Gloria.

    • Yaz, yours is the soft, calm voice I would wish to have in the back of my mind… always. You remind me of the one person I loved, always heard when all around me was in chaos as a little girl. Yaz, thank you for being the soft, quiet, calm voice here in my world… I really hear you… I really, really do. It means the world to me. Love, Gloria

      • Yaz, I forgot to tell who that was you remind me of, when I was a little girl with the world falling all around me in chaos… you remind me of my Aunt Frankie. No matter how loud, through the screaming, cussing, fighting…. I would hear her soft voice comfort me like a little gentle breeze… as she was was exiting the house, before everyone decided to jump on her, too.

  3. Christmas is always the worst time … for those that has been left behind – because as you say – everywhere is there thing that will remind us about the ones that is now longer with us. You have a normal reaction – and you have to live it out the best way you can .. nobody is blaming you for not being in a Christmas mood … nobody will blame you for your tears, pain and hurt. You have to figure out how to deal with it the best way you can … and Skip understand. We can only take one step at the time. And we can’t run before we can walk, even if we try at times. Take your time. ..

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