I am hoping this finds you all well.
While I am doing fine health-wise, I'm not doing so great with my sleeping. There are some days when I think I've got it all under control and then there are other days when I revert back to what has grown to be all too familiar. While food shopping last week, I found a bottle of NyQuil that is set to expire in three months - it was marked down to $2, so I grabbed it. I have it sitting on my desk as a reminder to go to sleep when the clock passes 2-3am. It sometimes hits 4 before I'll feel tired. Ideally, I'd want to take a swig before 2, but if I'm not feeling 'tired' enough, I'll wait another hour...or two....or three? And then, before I know it, I'm first falling asleep at 4-5am and waking up at 11. That's, of course, on the days I DON'T have my kids here and don't have to worry about getting the daughter up for school. Those nights, I could EASILY not sleep at all and make do with a four-hour nap when she's boarded her bus.
What's that, you say? Insomnia's a thing? Really? Hmmm. That's what I have, then - no doubt!
So, a little update for you all as I know it's been a while since my last one. (I know. I'm sorry.)
First off, I'm officially a student!!!! *insert horns and sirens and whooping noises here!*
Last week, I registered for fifteen credits' worth of classes at the University. There's DEFINITELY no turning back, now. My classes start on 8/26 and if all goes well, I'm set to graduate in 2021; with my bachelor's in hand. Most of my credits from 20 years ago have been transferred and there are only a small handful of classes that I have to re-take, that feed into the Social Work major that my previous credits will not satisfy - so there's American Government and then there's a Statistics class that I'm TRULY not looking forward to. My son is going to be taking that very same class, only at a different time slot (he'll literally be arriving when I'm leaving!) and it might be helpful if we could study together. I'm HORRIBLE with numbers - this is something I've unfortunately passed down to both my children, apparently - my daughter is wrapping up seventh grade with all A's and B's but with one C in Math! I admittedly still count on my fingers on some simple addition and subtraction problems!!! Math is just not me, not at all. Statistics is going to be a nightmare, but hopefully the Son and I can hold each other up through it. LOL.
The Oompa came with me to register. Being a retired teacher, anything school-related gets her giddy. Plus, she never really had the opportunity to join me when I did this the first time around - so I allowed her to tag along on registration day, so she could feel in the slightest bit needed. I will admit, it was good to have an extra pair of ears along with me, in case I needed them. We met with my academic advisor, who so happens to be the chairman of the Social Work department, as well as one of my professors for one of the introduction to Social Work classes that I'll be taking. So, it was very nice to meet him and get a feel for how he speaks.
We all know that any Oompa visit isn't without drama or bullshit. A couple times, I wanted to smack my mother in the mouth. The first comment came while we were waiting to speak with the academic advisor - we were seated outside his office. She asked if I was going to go for my master's. I told her that I didn't want to think that far ahead. I wanted my bachelor's in Social Work and then I wanted to focus on getting myself work. Here's the comment:
"And you'll make nothing."
It's not about the money, I told her. We all know my reasons for pursuing this field and it's certainly not something I wanted to get into with her. Not now, not ever. I didn't have to, though. She shut up for two reasons - one - the student that was visiting with the academic advisor before us was now leaving, and two, I think she sensed that I wanted to punch her in the throat and felt it was wise to shut her mouth.
We had a meeting with the professor/academic advisor and the second comment came while we were walking across campus, making our way over to the bookstore.
She spoke to him, though. "Can I ask you something, as a concerned parent?"
Oh, here we fucking go....
"Do you think my daughter's disability will make it harder for her to find a job in this field? Do you think she'll run into discrimination?"
She actually asked this to the man who was going to be my freaking professor. If I was gonna be able to find a job or if I was just wasting my time. She didn't word it that way, but it's even more clear, she doesn't want me to become a Social Worker. I believe she wants me to become a teacher, or go into Education or to become an educator or mentor for the deaf, something I don't have any desire or passion for - I am not a school person - never was. I'm only finishing school because I've finally got a desire to do something specific and I need the degree. Personal experience doesn't count, apparently. So, why the hell would I want to go into Education???? Why would I want to follow in my mother's footsteps??? I've been trying to run the other way for years!
The professor probably couldn't believe the audacity and ignorance of her question either. He somewhat blinked. "Well, we have laws in place against discrimination..."
You'd think my mother, the retired EDUCATOR, knew that. She was effectively shut down, though - see, I am of the belief that she wanted him to turn around and say, 'you're absolutely right, maybe Social Work isn't in your daughter's best interests..." but when she didn't hear that, she shut up again. And for good. Possibly because this was where we parted ways with the professor - I told him I was looking forward to meeting him as one of his students in the Fall. And I am. I'm all the more determined to make his class my BEST class (it helps that it's not statistics or history related, it actually has to do with what I am majoring in!) and to show him myself that I'm not the dummy my mother basically cast me out to be.
I thank whoever's calling the shots upstairs - (I don't like using 'God,') - that my mother, the social butterfly, had a concert to attend with one of her friends that night and she had to head out immediately following the registration. I think, had I been subjected to more time with her, I would have unleashed on her my anger over WHY she constantly continues to draw attention to my disability - why she keeps inadvertently reminding me that it's a limitation, a reason I might not succeed at something, a reason people would discriminate against me. I cannot understand, why she continues to allow my deafness to define me, who I am. This is one of the things that angers me the most today, one of those things that I have struggled with for all of my life and that I STILL grapple with. My hearing impairment has indeed contributed to a LOT my trauma. I've been slowly realizing that it ALWAYS comes back to it. It contributes to my social issues, too, and there's SO much more to it than Oompa even realizes, but that, I'll take the blame for. That's my fault. I've never told her.
Because I'm not heartless. She's proud. I know she is. I am her masterpiece. She's proud that her early intervention is what I can honestly thank for getting me onto the right track. It was because of that early intervention that I am able to speak, I am able to function as if there were no disability. She did that. She pushed, she prodded, she poked. She was a pain in my ass for pretty much ALL of my childhood and formative years, and I DO owe her credit for that. I don't have the heart to show her where she's fallen short. I figure it's more important for me to know for myself where those shortcomings are, and a kindness to her to keep them to myself.
While I'll not be able to explain all of that to my mother in detail, I can certainly do so here. I'm not hurting any feelings by doing so. I'm able to speak more freely here - I've always felt that way.
On that note, I've begun the undertaking of telling my story. ALL of it. I know there are bits and pieces here and there, and some of you know some of the puzzle pieces already through my posts and blog entries. I'm able to pull out a few smaller pieces at a time, talk on it, and then I toss it back into the box because it's not needed beyond that. I've realized that my story is scattered, it's all over the place, and it's because I've never really taken the time to write all of it out, from start to finish, and to analyze any and all of those little traits and quirks of mine that I've learned to adopt as 'normal,' even if they are not seen as such by someone who cannot relate. I've been tossing the pieces back into the box rather than connecting them all and showing the bigger picture.
So, I've been spending the last couple of weeks writing. Not here, obviously. It is currently being drafted via MS Word and I admit I've neglected this blog for a little while - and I apologize for that. I hope to make up for it by posting my story here, too, when I'm finished.
It will likely come in three installments. I've done a lot of thinking over the last several weeks - and have come to realize that I don't just have one story. There are three very obvious junctures in my life, all with very different, but equally damaging situations. All three points in my life are contributors to who I am now, who I've learned to be. These are moments that, if I devote enough time to thinking about, will provide the answers to questions that I've recently had to re-ask myself as I begin the next chapters in my life.
I suppose, in a way, I am restarting. I don't know if that's even the right term for what I'm doing. I can't say I am picking up where I left off, because I didn't leave off in a good place - I left off at a point where everything derailed and from there, my life took all of these unexpected turns and twists and I lost track of who I was and where I was going in the process. I guess the right term will come to me later, but for now, I'm sticking with that.
I'm determined to get these installments out before school starts on the 26th of August - and they'll be posted here as well as in a more follow-able format in Share Your Story. I'm determined, but somewhat nervous at the same time. Like I said, I've told my story before, but I've never really told it in entirety. I've left out details, I've sugar coated enough to send whoever was listening into a diabetic coma. It is the first time that I am able to tell these stories without being afraid of what others may think, of being judged, of being criticized, of being told my feelings, thoughts, and reactions weren't normal. Yes, it is being done here, from within a community where there is no fear of these things, but it's indeed a start. Rome was not built in a day, and my story will not reach beyond its intended audience until much later. I just feel ready now, to begin writing it and sharing it with whomever would like to truly understand me. I don't know that I'll have this desire later, nor if I'll have the time, so while the motivation is there, I'm taking myself to task.
I am sure this writing I've set out to do, too, is a contributor to not being able to sleep - I'm in the middle of some pretty hard stuff and am finding myself opening the word document only to close it after adding one or two sentences here and there. This isn't easy by a long shot. But I'm thinking that once the hardest parts are written, then I can focus on somewhat of 'cool down' writing - focus on writing about the harder stuff in the daytime and the milder thoughts in the evenings...I'll force myself to Ny-Quil no later than 1, be in bed by 1:30....set my alarm for 8 or 9am and eliminate the naps. It's a plan, anyway! When school starts, I'll need to have this routine down pat as my first class will begin at 9am daily. Perhaps subconsciously, it's why I'm trying to focus on the harder details now as opposed to when I will have less time to sift through it all and give it the attention it deserves.
Other than the above mentioned, there really aren't many things to report as happening in my life. The Son has been finished with classes for a while and the daughter's last day of seventh grade is tomorrow. The next few weeks are going to be insane as during the first week in July, they both become another year older (19 and 13) and we will have family coming in for the celebrating and festivities, and of course, the anticipated drama that I'll likely be posting in my next entry. (That is, providing my next entry isn't the first installment!)
I hope all is well with everybody.