Being Transparent

Many times when I write this blog I forget who is reading it. Not that I forget everyone who comments on social media or on the blog site; because those comments are very kind, insightful and supportive. More like I forget that I put myself; my life in public view. I keep no secrets about my life with Thomas and what I went through during the years when he was violent and aggressive towards me. And after we decided residential school for Thomas was the best decision, I went through a very scary time of depression and trauma. I was so fortunate and blessed that there were already people in my life that were able to help me. Thomas’ previous psychiatrist was placed there by God’s grace and my therapist, Nancy is a wonderful woman I met via my son when he was 7 years old. I contacted her so many years later for advice to have Thomas placed in residential school when he was 16 and she immediately said she would see me when I mentioned that I needed a therapist. Before Nancy, I was searching and searching for a therapist; calling one after another. It was horrible. Some never called back, some weren’t taking new patients and some would return my call a week later. Nice. You’re a mental health professional who waits a week to return the call of someone requesting help. Them I hung up on.

Today the depression is at bay, I’ve healed from the trauma and Thomas and I have a sweet relationship. He’s really nice to be around and go out with …most of the time. We all have our moments, Thomas included. Tommy and I are Thomas’ legal guardians but the staff and the nurse at the group home handle his dental and medical care and appointments. The nurse will call me after almost every psych appointment if meds are to be adjusted, added and/or taken away for my approval. I don’t have much to complain about with the group home.

I often write how much I enjoy my children now that they are young adults. That’s not to say I was miserable when they were young children or didn’t enjoy them then. Life was so much more difficult then and there was always something to take care of. It was hard to put aside day to day errands and just *be* with my kids. I remember a handful of times I was able to put everything on the back burner and just hang with them; those times were nice and I have great memories with them.

Today we are still meeting hurdles to overcome. I feel like we are in an odd place in life. It’s Tommy and me and Sam living at home. Days of running kids here and there are over, Thomas is settled, Alyssa is married living a great life with her husband, Sam; and Lelly is having a good life working and living in the city. I’m very proud of our older children for the adults they’ve grown into being.

Sam, our youngest is a challenging person. A challenge I never saw coming but looking back; in retrospect the writing was on the wall. Isn’t it always? Gotta love hindsight (not). I love this child of mine like any mother does. I’m making decisions and giving my consent for issues most moms won’t ever have to. And I’m honored to do it because Sam trusts me.

Spring/Easter/Passover Break!

I slept in this morning to the glorious late hour of 8 am. Public schools; of which I work, are on break beginning today, whoooohoooo! I don’t have many plans. We aren’t going away and Sam will be home as well so that’s cool. After a mid morning virtual appointment I spent some me time at TJ Maxx and scored a pair of designer shoes; so yay!!

But seriously, and I’m not bragging; to have this long of a break is really nice. One of the perks of working for the DOE. As an RN I took a pay cut to work Monday to Friday, weekends and holidays off. I also get school holidays off and all the breaks like winter, February, etc…. I don’t complain about my paycheck, the city makes up for the difference in many ways. I work after school programs and since my school is a 12 month program I work summer school. I don’t mind working summer program, it goes fairly fast and there’s still a couple of weeks when it’s finished to take a vacation and go away.

I never thought I would work for the DOE. Actually until about 10 years I wasn’t sure I still wanted to be a nurse. But…it was the only thing I was trained to do and the only job I could get hired for. So after much soul searching I began applying for nursing jobs; part time at first which led to a temporary full time gig at an agency and when that was over then the DOE. I knew I had applied for what’s called here; District 75. Special education and medically fragile student population. I’m so glad I hit that submit button when I began to have second thoughts about applying. The next thing I knew, two days later I was being interviewed and then hired. As I’ve written so many times I love my job. I love what I do. Many of these students are very medically fragile and I’m trusted with their care. It’s humbling. And I enjoy using my nursing skills, just when you think you’re not going to use a skill you learned in nursing school along comes a student who needs that procedure. It’s amazing.

So getting back to “the break.” It’s really, really nice I can’t lie. And today the weather is exceptional. I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday this spring season, whatever you celebrate !

My Birthday(s)

My birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be 53. I’m ok with birthdays, well mine anyway. I have a hard time with Thomas’ sometimes. Maybe because he’s my oldest and some days I can’t believe he’s going to he 27 this July. It can’t be that long ago that I gave birth to him. It’s truly amazing how fast time passes us by. I don’t have this issue with Alyssa or Lelly’s birthdays and not Sam’s either. Although some days it feels like yesterday for so many of Sam’s milestones such as junior high, being schooled virtually due to the pandemic then next thing I know she’s physically attending high school. And high school flies by as all you seasoned parents know.

The only birthday I had a hard time with was 30. And I still don’t know why. It just seemed such a large, difficult number of years to have aged. 40 was ok, pretty cool actually. Tommy threw me a surprise party. I was mostly surprised and we had a really great time. He really outdid himself. 50 seemed to simply sneak up on both Tommy and I since we were under quarantine at that time. My mom drove out here to do a drive by “Happy Birthday!” She parked in our driveway, we chatted for a bit and she went home, it was sweet. I didn’t want a party for my 50th anyway. I wanted Tommy and I to go away to celebrate us both meeting the big 5-0. The next year we celebrated in Las Vegas and last year in Aruba so I really have no complaints.

I’m not sad about turning 53. Probably because it’s still close to the number 50. I like my life. I have my husband who loves me and shows that love just about every day of the week. Like most married couples we’ve had our share of challenges; Thomas being the top of that list. But we are together after all that was thrown at us when we were younger. I still remember my transformation from this quiet, trying to take it all in young mother to a very vocal, say what’s on my mind whether you like it or not, advocate for my son. I’ve transformed again to suit my life as it is. I believe we are always in a state of transformation. We change and grow as we age with the new challenges that we confront and we lay the past to rest. Bringing what we’ve learned in to the issues at hand in the hear and now. That it’s okay to ask for help, that there’s nothing wrong with listening to someone’s help/advice and deciding if that’s the way you want to or don’t want to deal with a situation. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with going with your gut. Even when it doesn’t make sense to other people.

I have a job that I love and co workers who are simply amazing. The paras at my school go above and beyond and I rarely hear them complain. Working as a para in my school is not for the faint of heart. They provide physical care to the students in addition to assisting with educational assignments put forth by their classroom teachers. And lest I forget the teachers who work hard man. Bringing out the best they can with the students they have assigned to their classes.

And I totally enjoy my co-office nurse, Meg. We’ve been working together a year this summer but it feels like longer; in a good way. I’ve learned quite a bit from her and we’ve learned a lot of things together. She’s a total team player who is so very fast to lend a helping hand. And OMG how we laugh! Sometimes we laugh at ourselves and sometimes not. We laugh a lot about what nurses find humorous which usually isn’t that funny to most other people.

So after midnight, it will officially be my birthday. I’ve had a wonderful weekend so far and have been spoiled rotten by my family and friends. I love them all so much. And today all my kids will be here to celebrate and for that I’m so grateful!