living

Living as a Lower Class Citizen

livingThere is nothing more demoralising and upsetting than being treated like you don’t matter. And when that is the attitude shown by the housing authority we are living under, it’s hard to get away from. It’s really gotten to me on a number of occasions since living in a Link Housing property, and this time is no different. I think probably because it reflects what my life shows me I’m worth.

I know that last statement is bullshit as we make our own lives and everything’s a choice. The things we have no control over, we still choose how we react to it. So it’s all in my head. I’m screwed!! I’ve developed some pretty out there beliefs which put people off if I’m idiotic enough to share them. They really show to me how far out I am from the norm. I’m everything a normal person is NOT!! I keep reading how anger is a reaction of an unintelligent person – I’m struggling to keep my head above it, drowning in the tears I can’t control because I hate being like this. I know I’m losing it again, but this time in a very spectacular way it feels.

These last 8 years have been hard, but I got to see I have compassion, empathy, loads of love, generosity and a strong character. All that is fading away, and I’m unhappy, hateful, intolerant, and ANGRY. And I wonder why I only have one friend who can tolerate all of me!! She’s known me since I was 17 and has seen every facet and shadow of my personality. Somehow still loves me to pieces. My violence is usually towards myself, and in our younger years she has livingseen it, nursed me and cried with me. History has built an amazingly strong bond.

I’m sorry to all the people who have seen me do so much better. I’m sorry to those who think I’m someone I’m actually not. Most of all I’m sorry to Jessie who has to learn to separate herself from my shit. This isn’t how it was meant to be.

I think Link Housing is one of my biggest triggers to my mental cave-ins. I can’t stand being ignored then lied to and treated like I’m an idiot when I call it out. It infuriates and upsets me incredibly, and I can’t seem to get a handle on it. I’ve lived in community housing before, however never in a complex entirely owned by a housing authority. I seem to create enemies at Link because I moved into a brand new unit block which they have let go to shit to match the ‘acceptable’ living standards I have been told they are required to provide. It’s degrading.

There have been a couple of things I’ve emailed our new housing manager about which went ignored. Ignored from my perspective anyway – I was told that she was saying things around the office. Nice. Following up again at the end of last week she had the nerve to tell me that she had spoken with me over the phone about my concerns. She didn’t even respond to emails let alone call me. Does she think I’m stupid?? A moron?? Insane even??!! Who does that??! This is our housing manager! Un-fucking-believable…

I so wish I owned my own home and had done a better job at securing my future when I was younger. But I didn’t. I have to live with the consequences of the choices I’ve made. That’s fair enough, I can’t expect things from life when I haven’t put in. However I don’t think Link has the right to judge me or treat me like I’m a second rate citizen.

But this is life and not the first time I’ve been in this position with Link Housing. Sadly I have no doubt it won’t be the last.

“Well petal, aren’t you just a little ray of pitch black!”

living

silver linings

Maybe Clouds Do Have Silver Linings…

silver liningsUniverse…I hope you’re listening – I’m putting it out there. 2018 is going to be our year. And strangely enough, it’s going to be our toughest battles that have given us our current goals.  Jessie’s times in hospital have inspired her to start her pathway to becoming a registered nurse this year. For me, I went through a period where I didn’t believe I was a good enough mum for Jessie, or able to cope with what we were facing. However last week I had an interview for a position supporting a forum for parents of teens going through hardships. I’m thinking these may be the silver linings to these last seven/eight years?

What’s amazing to me, is that it was my website, 14 months ago, that began my first real connection with my potential employers. I provided a link for their parent support services in one of my initial blogs and had an email back thanking me. So I logged back into the site, and to cut what I could make a detailed story very short, I’ve been part of the community since. The last 6 months I’ve been there as a volunteer and been lucky enough to meet some really amazing friends. I enjoy what I do and it’s been really positive for me. It’s also rewarding being able to give back after all the wonderful support I’ve received over the years.

I’ll stay on volunteering if I’m unsuccessful with this job, and continue on with my studies. To get to the final interview stage is pretty inspiring and tells me I’m on the right path. With no formal qualifications in this field as yet, only life experience, I’m proud to get this far. There will be other doors that open.

My goal had been to finish the Cert IV in Mental Health, then do the Diploma before I looked for work. That way I’d still be around for Jessie if she had any issues. However 3 hours each day with 2 shifts worked from home, is workable. The office isn’t far from TAFE where Jessie will be either, so it all feels right. But then again, so does staying where I am. My role would change and I do like what I currently do. My involvement to date in the forum has provided silver linings to what have previously felt like hopeless situations in my parenting/life. I’ll be happy with whatever the outcome. I’m trusting your choices universe – and I’m trusting you not to let me fuck up!!

silver liningsNext week sees Jessie start her studies at TAFE. She’s nervous about first starting, but really excited and keen to study. Last week saw her back to sit a competancy test for a Cert IV course because they were so impressed with her results from the Cert III test. This kid blows me away!! Since Year 4 school attendance has been hugely problematic – she would’ve missed more than 2 years overall. And yet she can impress TAFE teachers. The maths was her downfall as she wasn’t allowed a calculator, so she’s staying with the Cert III, but she’s going to smash it!

She’s bought herself a new bag and pencil case and is packed and ready to go. I’m so happy, nervous, excited for her!! She’s stepping back out into the world to embark on her future. It’s a big move after a couple of years living in the darkness of her bedroom. Tennis was her first step, putting her feelers out there. And then she started a casual job which, with its ups and downs, has been a positive in many ways. Not only has it helped her widen her scope of resilience, she’s enjoying the social aspect of it and realising she is likeable just the way she is. The money is naturally Jessie’s motivation and she’s not without purpose! (⇐ Also a good thing…purpose is a very successful motivator.)

We have high hopes for you 2018. Day by day we’ll live you and it’ll be interesting to look back in 12 months time and see where we’re at and where you’ve taken us 🙂

“Every cloud has a silver lining – sometimes you just have to find it”

silver linings

 

meandering

Meandering Along the Road Less Travelled

meandering
Images.com/Corbis

“Taking the road less travelled”. I’ve been thinking about this saying a lot lately. For some reason it has sparked my interest after a conversation during the week about Jessie. The person said that they often found those who had taken the road less travelled to be the most amazing people. The saying made me step back and have a look at us. Jessie’s been meandering along the road less travelled for a while now. And after stepping back, from that distanced view I could see her story forming. I had a glimpse of her retelling the tale of how she became a nurse. I wonder of the future hurdles she’ll have overcome, and how beautifully multi-layered all these experiences will make her.

I’ve been staying in the day to day, not allowing myself to daydream too much about the future in any context. However there’s been a basal shift in Jessie that’s enabling her to push through her nerves and negative thoughts and get back into life. She has goals she wants to achieve, which is giving her direction and real purpose.

With Jessie at TAFE this year I’d been thinking that our lives are becoming more normal again. From our perspective they are – Jessie’s back to attending classes in a couple of weeks. To most I realise it still isn’t normal – kids Jessie’s age are studying Years 11 & 12; mine is in adult education. It’s funny how we perceive things differently depending on our own experiences. And I’ve spent way too much time worrying about not living a normal life. But what is normal anyway?? And who gets to judge?! Humans don’t generally welcome those who are ‘different’. Sadly mental illness remains judged without being understood. But that will be part of her story, and a part I don’t doubt she will continue to grow resilient against.

Jessie’s meandering road has taken her to some pretty dark places. They’ve broken her, but she’s rebuilding with an amazing capacity for compassion. The last two years in her room has been spent putting herself back together. Being determined and strong willed by nature, she’s worked so hard to be at a place where she’s really excited about the acting training, studying away from home, and making a future for herself. Being very self aware, she’s learned to manage her symptoms so much better. She’s developing a sense of self, which I’m enjoying see happen. I’d so love to see that general confidence she used to have, back as well. Give it time…having purpose does wonders for so many things.

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations” – auther unknown

meandering

 

 

Liebster Award

Liebster Award Nomination 2018

A massive thank you to Rory from A Guy Called Bloke for nominating me for the Liebster Award 2018! It’s such a huge compliment to gain such recognition from such a talented and engaging author and poet – and my second award nomination given at that! Rory’s tagline for A Guy Called Bloke is “We all have a story to tell”, and Rory shares his through his various genres of poetry. You can also take part in Rory’s Truly Inspired Series questionnaire where you can share about yourself and get to know other bloggers and their websites.

Thanks again Rory, it really means a lot to me, I’m very honoured.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Here are my answers to the questions A Guy Called Bloke gave me:

1] What was the last movie you can recall that actually really made you laugh as in splitting sides kind of movies?

That’s a hard one…My Cousin Vinnie is an old favourite of mine that gets me laughing pretty hard. I’m sure there’s a newer movie, I just can’t think…

2] The last book you read that made you stop in your tracks and think about life?

‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ by Gesha Kelsang Gyatso.

3] What is a piece of music that can make you smile and cry inside at the same time?

‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ by Pink Floyd.

4] An event in history that changed your perspective on how we live as a society?

9/11 terror attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC.

5] Frankenstein or Dracula – who would win that fight and why?

I’d back Dracula for sure! He can shapeshift into a bat and fly making it easier to taunt and disorientate Frankenstein. He can then move in to sink his fangs into Frankenstein, transforming him into a vampire.

6] You only have 5£/$ in your pocket and a homeless person has asked you to spare some change – what do you do? Answer honestly here from your heart – and not what you expect other readers to expect of your answer.

If I had the essentials to get me by until my next payday, I would without hesitation.

7] Which flower or herb do you find startlingly attractive and why?

Liebster AwardI do love the flowers on my leeks at the moment. I love their ball shape that emerges from the soft husk, the white & purply colour of the seed pods.

8] What is your favourite pastel colour?

Mauve

9] You have the chance to have a dinner party with five of the Harry Potter characters – who would you invite [Dead or Alive]

Easy. I’d want to have a dinner party with my favourite characters – Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid and Dumbledore.

10] In a hundred years what will society miss from our todays? 

From the way the city I live in is going, I think we’re going to miss living in houses with backyards and space to move freely. Houses are being sold to property developers who demolish them and rebuild huge unit complexes and I fear this is the way it’s going to continue.

11] If you had the ability to stop planet earth right now and start afresh – which would mean that you would cease to exist – would you perform the action?

Yes, without doubt, was my first answer. But then I considered – if none of us existed, humanity wouldn’t be able to learn from the mistakes of the past, and without hindsight humanity would most likely make the same mistakes all over again. Would earth really end up any better off?

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My Nominees for the Liebster Award 2018

The Tee Shirt Blogger

The Colour of Madness

Harping by a Pixie

One Rambling Mama

Free to be V

; I’m Still Here – A Survivors Guide to Living with PTSD

Our Alternative Life

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My Questions

1) If you lived as part of self sufficient community, what would your contribution be?

2) If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be, and why?

3) If you were to go on the Dr Phil show, what dilemma from your life would you be on there for?

4) Cats or dogs? Both or neither, and why?

5) What’s the biggest letdown you’ve forgiven in a friend?

6) What are the first three words that immediately come to mind after reading this sentence?

7) What is your most commonly spoken word or phrase? (Honesty required, profanity totally acceptable)

8) What makes you feel the most content in life?

9) If you could change one core fault in humanity, what would it be?

10) What are three things you’re most grateful for?

11) Do you cut your sandwiches into rectangles or triangles?

Liebster Award

 

Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2018

The winning blog wins a prize. Each blog gets one entry. To enter you must:

 

♦  Link to my blog post in your Liebster Award blog post.

♦  Answer the questions given to you (if nominated, if you were not nominated you can use my questions).

♦  Create more questions for your 5-11 nominees to answer (judged on uniqueness and creativity).

♦  Comment on this blog post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award. (To make it easy for the judge to read them all.)

Entries start 1st Jan 2018 and ends on 25th Dec 2018. The winner will be picked on the 31st of December.
 
 


 

recognition

Blogger Recognition Award 2017 (December)

I’m incredibly honoured to be nominated by Rory from AGuyCalledBloke for the Blogger Recognition Award 2017. What makes it such an honour is that Rory’s calibre of writing is outstanding. To be recognised by a blogger I look up to and who’s talent I greatly admire is extremely humbling.

Rory is a mental health advocate who shares with us his wondrous poetry written about a wide variety of topics. They highlight his life thoughts, his sense of humour, his hardships, and his sense of curiosity. Additionally, fellow bloggers are also invited to participate in his Truly Inspired series, so follow the links and check out his works!

A bit about my blog

My blog isn’t dissimilar to many in that I write about my life experiences. To narrow that down a little further, I write primarily under the categories of mental health & parenting. Especially relevant to me as I’m a parent with depression, raising a 15 year old daughter with bipolar, anxiety and PTSD. As you can imagine, it’s given me lots of material!! I also publish my daughter’s poetry and stories on my site. Recipes for good mental health is another sideline I’m very slowly building up.

Advice for beginner bloggers

♦  Write about topics you’re passionate about. It makes writing so much easier!

♦  Show your personality in your works. It allows your readers to form a connection with you.

♦  Use spellcheck or something similar if you’re anything like me – great at editing others work but hopeless at editing my own!

My nominees are:- 

♦  The Adventures of Doodlepip

♦  The Tee Shirt Blogger

♦  The Colour of Madness

♦  Picture The Positive

♦  Breakdown Chick – Labeled Disabled

♦  Mental Illness Psychology

♦  Anxiety Warrior

♦  Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

♦  A Survivor’s Guide to Living with PTSD

♦  Girl in Therapy

 

Here are a few simple things to do to participate in the Blogger Recognition Award award:

1. Show your gratitude to the person who nominated you and provide a link back to the person’s blog.
2. Give a brief story on your blog.
3. Share two or more pieces of advice for beginner bloggers.
4. Choose 10 other bloggers to nominate. 
5. Comment on each blog, letting them know they’ve been nominated and provide a link to your award post.

 

recognition

 

 

mental

Jessie vs Mental Illness – To the Victor Go the Spoils

mentalMental illness has been such a destructive force for Jessie, that has seen her life stripped back to the bare bones. She became unable to cope with human contact and attending school became altogether too much for her. Living in the dark of her bedroom, she came out only for food or the bathroom. She shut right down and pretty much closed herself off to the world for close on 12 months.

Her re-emergence has been a slow and gradual process, but she’s been able to do it in her own time. Because of this, she’s been able to create strong foundations for herself. No-one has built them for her, she’s put in all the hard work, making them pretty sturdy. Her time’s been well spent researching all about bipolar and anxiety as well as positive coping techniques. Jessie’s level of insight into herself and others is amazing and is continuing to grow.

♥ After refusing professional help for many years, appointments are now requested, willingly attended and well utilised.

♥ After being fired from a job at 14 because she was too quiet and shy, she’s now making new friends where she works in customer service. She has to deal with all types of pesky people, some of them quite rude. Just the other night we we’re talking about how resilient it’s helping her become.

♥ After missing probably half of her education since Year 4, being educated at home has allowed Jessie to get back into her studies. She plodded along for the most part but I’ve spoken with 2 teachers who have both said how much things have changed over the last 6 months.

mentalI’d been contacted a few weeks ago as Jessie had won a Principal’s award for her mockumentary she made for English. I was also told that her gothic poem has been printed in the Year Book! That was a good day, made even better seeing Jessie really happy as well. I haven’t seen her outwardly care about her results like that for a long time.

Last week I had a call and a letter to say Jessie was getting another award and could we attend Presentation Day so she can “be presented with her ‘portfolio’ of awards”, whatever that means. It sounds impressive but we joked it could be a plastic sleeve folder with one award. …’To be added to’!

The icing on the cake for Jessie was being accepted into a talent academy. It’s such an awesome opportunity for her and who knows what doors it could open. This will give her training and exposure to agents, and she’s really excited but keeping her feet firmly on the ground. I’ve been receiving emails from Star Now for a few years. The interest’s been there, just not the self esteem.

I’m so rapt that she finally has the confidence to be moving out of her comfort zone. It shows that mental illness no longer holds the monopoly. It hasn’t gone away, but Jessie knows her triggers and symptoms and has a good grasp of her emotions. She’s learning to control the symptoms of her mental illness, instead of them controlling her. And she so deserves these outcomes.

She’s said to me that she’s waiting for it all to fall apart because things don’t go this well for her. Luck has had nothing to do with her academic achievements I reassured her  – they have come from her decision to put the effort in. Her acceptance into the talent academy was due to her creativity and the immediate impression she made at the audition. Jessie has her own green screen and has starred in her own short movies for years. She has earned loads of merit awards throughout  her school years for her stories and poetry. Writing is something she has always enjoyed, even when not engaged in school.

I’m so proud of the person she is becoming. I’m feeling more and more confident that she’s not only going to be okay, she’s going to be awesome. Even during her last full on manic episode where she didn’t sleep for two days, she decided to use it to her benefit. She washed all her bedding, did a big clear out of her wardrobe and drawers, tidied and cleaned her room and did a week’s worth of schoolwork. She was so productive which I think helped her keep it together. By having tasks to focus on, her energy was directed instead of being scattered.

It takes great courage, determination and inner strength to overcome the challenges Jessie has faced in her young life. Like an iceberg, people only see what’s above the surface. However what’s unseen is the largest part of the equation. People like to make judgement on what they see, presuming they understand and are therefore entitled to do so. Jessie’s learning to recognise her worth and not allow others to undermine her achievements. Unlike her mum, others opinions no longer affect her so negatively and this is going to help her immensely in life.

The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.

mental

 

formal

Year 10 Formal, Meet Anxiety and PTSD

formalYear 10 Formal. What was hoped to be a special night for Jessie, ended up being memorable for all the wrong reasons sadly. She looked absolutely gorgeous and had been so excited. My heart sank when I got the first text an hour in, and I knew where it was going. I hadn’t been home an hour after already doing the 2 hour round trip to drop them off before I was doing it over again…

For $90 per head to attend formal, we knew there was a three course sit down dinner, DJ, photographer and photo booth. What we didn’t know was that the girls hadn’t put their table request in so wouldn’t all be seated together. Or that the DJ would be playing so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think, from the start of the night. I felt for the teachers, but that’s how I loved my music many years ago, and all the girls had fantastic night. But for Jessie, her anxiety and PTSD were triggered, she lost her confidence and it was all over red rover.

I was angry. Screw you universe for allowing this to happen to Jessie. Fuck you for giving her this shitty plot in life that stops her from being a normal teen. I was angry that I had all the driving, when I’d been SO needing time out. I was angry that neither of our nights were what we’d hoped for. Jessie had been looking forward to the formal for so long. She’d paid off her own dress with weekly payments. It was a big deal for her, I wanted it to be a night with her friends she’d always remember. For me – I wanted to feel like I assume most parents feel thinking of their teen out having an awesome time. I don’t know what that’s like, Jessie’s been unwell since age 8.

formalJessie’s aware her mental illness isn’t taken seriously, and formal night really cemented that for her. She’d obviously gotten the feeling from friends on the night that she needed to say sorry, and did so the next day. I think she needed reassurance, but instead was thanked by her best friend for apologising. For what I don’t know. She didn’t create a big scene, she managed herself really well, just sat and waited for me. But as we talked about with Jessie’s counsellor, mental illness is invisible, and people don’t understand. If she’d had a physical illness, no doubt her friends would have instead looked after her. And certainly wouldn’t have expected an apology.

Sadly people don’t understand mental illness. The notion is thoughtlessly thrown out there that sufferers should be able to control their symptoms. Yet you’d be a real a-hole to expect someone to control their asthma symptoms, or to walk on a broken leg. But the reality is that I think many mental illnesses are seen as a choice, and can therefore be controlled. If not controlled, the mind must be weak. Weak is definitely not a word I’d use to describe my Jessie, in any way, shape or form!

But that’s life. And as disappointing as it can be, if Jessie can learn how to get on regardless now, she’ll have strong foundations for life.

She loves her friends. And her need for friends is the same as everyone else’s.

They’re all learning – they’re teenagers, all trying to work out how and where they fit in this world.

formal

 
 

imperfections

Catastrophic Imperfections – Or So I Thought

imperfectionsI’m not one to make excuses for myself nor one to blow my own trumpet. This post could be seen as doing both those things. However my purpose for writing is to help me to be less judgemental of my imperfections. I’m hoping it will also help keep things in perspective for me.

In my previous post I was really upset with myself and worried about the repercussions of not being on top of things. After walking out of Jessie’s previous session I’d been asked to come back in to talk with her counsellor. I was convinced of a catastrophic outcome after previous experiences. Before Jessie was diagnosed I was told by a DoCs worker that her issues were due to my bad parenting. Despite that not being the case, that judgement has always stuck with me.

So after chatting about Jessie and things she had brought up, it turns out that ultimately she’s worried about me. I’ve been getting angry and my patience levels aren’t what they had been. The counsellor was concerned too, as I’ve never walked out of a session before, and we’ve dealt with some pretty full-on things over the 6 years we’ve known her. The expectation of hearing if I didn’t do xyz Jessie would be taken, was getting to me. I had to ask if there was any threat of me losing Jessie. The counsellors reaction was something I want to record as a reminder to my critical self.

She gently told me that if I was waiting to hear those words I would’ve been waiting forever as they were never going to be spoken. I was told the only time she’s ever rung DoCs was when I was sitting in her office many years ago, desperate for help. I burst into tears and she told me how sorry she was I’d had that fear hanging over me. She said she’s never had a concern for the safety or wellbeing of Jessie with me, ever. With Jessie having been sectioned so many times we became well known by the ER staff and the CYMHS team. I was reassured that there has never been a imperfectionsconcern by anyone, at any time.

We talked a little about me not coping. I told her I’m angry with myself because I know the parenting stuff yet I’m struggling to get it right lately. I was also upset because I’ve had so much counselling over my lifetime, yet I can still get to this low point. Counselling was supposed to ‘fix’ you I’d believed. So wtf was wrong with me? Again the counsellor’s reaction was not what I’d expected! I thought she’d remind of what I needed to work on. Instead she talked about the effects of trauma and why I’m feeling so overwhelmed. Instead of my imperfections being highlighted, I was heard and validated. What was highlighted were the positive changes in Jessie over the years which she put down to my parenting and love. Thankfully it’s allowed me to stop judging myself so harshly.

Apparently I’m doing really well, even when I feel I’m not. The counsellor told me that there are families there who aren’t coping with things quite small in regards to what I deal with and on my own. She reminded me that our lot is very far from the norm – we’re dealing with some very difficult and stressful realities. There are things about it which are triggering for me, bringing me to ‘why aren’t I fixed?’

The explanation was so rational it could’ve only been blocked out by my delusions of a tune up and off you go, good as new. All of our experiences stay with us. They go towards making up who we are. Counselling helps us process emotions and thoughts in the hope we can move on. But it doesn’t erase the experience, dammit, and the side effects can be triggered by any number of things, at any time.

imperfectionsJessie’s educated via distance ed and doesn’t have a social life unless friends come here. As the counsellor said, we live in a small space where there’s nowhere to get away, no yard to escape to. It’s not normal to live in such close confines with someone 24/7. Being mum, I’m on call 24/7 as well, no respite. What’s normal in that situation is to become frustrated and less tolerant with each other. I do have a tough egg here, and Jessie’s been home consistently for 2 years now. Having regained perspective, we’ve done pretty okay really! She drives me crazy but I love her to absolute bits! It’s gotta be that bond that gets us through, imperfections and all…

Solution?

A solution…that’s a bit like ‘being fixed’ isn’t it?! We’ll see.

I’d had an idea about creating a roster type thing that would give me uninterrupted time to study, write and do my volunteering stuff. The counsellor thought it was a fantastic idea so I’ve written up a trial timetable. The hours might change, it needs to be practical, but Jessie’s on board which is a positive start.

• We’re also going to see the counsellor each fortnight for a while, plus I can see her on my own whenever I need.

• I’ll also read this if ever I have any doubts about my parenting. I won’t doubt a counsellor who’s known us for 6 years. I also need to listen to those who love me instead of those who don’t.

 

imperfections

 

 

composed

Eventually The Composed Face Falters

Disclosure: Course language  

composureRemaining composed as a parent is like my Nirvana of parenting. It’s what we hear and preach – stay calm, don’t shout, listen, don’t argue, be strong, be patient, be kind. I’m exhausted just writing that!! I know I’m stressed and I’m forever tired, even when I’m not sleepy. So this perfect parenting thing isn’t going so well. Actually it’s going even worse than I’d thought.

Jessie had her appointment with her counsellor earlier in the week that had me unhappy before we even went in. I copped an attitude that’s not unfamiliar, but after a lot of seemingly little things put together, it got to me. Things only went downhill from there. The session launched with a vitriolic tirade about how I had forced Jessie to take her job back despite her having another job interview and despite her hating her current job. We’d had a conversation about her resigning months ago and weighed up the pros and cons. Then it was her choice. This was completely unexpected as she’d been complaining about not having enough shifts this week. And she was hating on me, no holes barred! Way too much, and I got up and walked out. The tears started flowing and didn’t stop for the next hour.

It’s the first time I’ve ever done that, in all these years of some pretty heavy times. Composed? Ha, fuck no! And even though I HATE crying in public I’m hopeless at holding back the tears. I didn’t want them interfering with Jessie’s time, and she should be able to have a place where she can unload about me. I just don’t feel I need to be there. However her counsellor says she can only go so far with Jessie without me there, which I find confusing. I know of other kids whose parents aren’t allowed in, let alone be privy to all that’s discussed.composed

The appointments are for Jessie to help her with her challenges. I’ve always gone in because of Jessie’s age, then more recently to bring up things she forgets to. Her counsellor said she had to stop Jessie talking because the time had run out which was a first. Jessie’s usually keen to get going! We both found that pleasingly amusing. So I actually think it might be good for Jessie to have her own space to talk. She’s told me that there are things she needs to talk about but doesn’t want to worry me. That kinda sux but if she’s happy to discuss stuff with her counsellor, that’s a positive.

So what now?

I have an appointment in the morning to discuss Jessie’s session and to make another appointment with her psychiatrist. No doubt we’ll also discuss my abrupt departure – brought on by not one thing in particular, but lots of little things tied together as I’ve said before. All these little things say mountains about me if you know what to listen for. But once it’s got to this point, it’s like opening up a can of worms. The worms all start piling out and you can’t deal with them all at once like this so you push them all back in and put the lid back composedon. You keep your hand pressed on the lid for a few seconds to make sure that fucker’s on tightly.

The next time, you suit up, ready for battle. You bravely open up that lid again, just enough to peek in and let one worm out. But voomp, there they all are – squished together in an unsightly mass trying to get out through that tiny space. Nup. Lid’s back on. Fuck it!! FUCK!!!!

All this makes life difficult because it’s little things now that are making me annoyed. Angry!! Which then makes me really upset and I bag myself for losing control and letting myself get angry. Swinging… Sounds fun. But it’s really not! I feel quite suffocated and the effort it’s taking to not shutdown into myself is not sustainable. The worst thing is having so much knowledge and knowing the tools to use, because it makes me acutely aware of when I’m fucking up. And when my tank is so low, fucking up is the best I can do. Thankfully I’m assured my level of ‘fuckinguptivity’ doesn’t rank too highly in eyes other than mine, but that’s for my next blog.

 

composed

 
 

future

The Future is Starting to Glimmer and Shine

futureDuring the week Jessie came with me to TAFE to return and borrow library books. I’ve finally completed my Cert IV in Bookkeeping and onto my second cluster of subjects in a Cert IV in Mental Health. The Diploma in Mental Health is next, as my future plan is to find paid work in the field. Currently I’m volunteering which I really love. I’ve also been recommended to be on the Board for Kathleen York House, a drug and alcohol treatment centre run by the Alcohol Drug Foundation NSW. Hopefully I’ll be meeting up with them this coming week. All great experience and good for my resume!

But l’m already off track. This post was intended to be about Jessie, and the epiphany she had as we were leaving TAFE. So diverting back – this visit unexpectedly sparked a shift and an excited buzz in Jessie around her future studies. She started reminiscing about school and talking about the things she missed. In general these were the learning environment, friends and being part of something. Music to my ears.

I suggested she should find out what courses are run at our local tafe. She was pumped and did just that the minute we got home. There are times a rocket can’t shift this kid, but when she’s motivated, don’t get in her way. Either she’ll take you out in her haste, or I’ll take you out for stopping her (I write in humour, having a little chuckle to myself – before realising there may just be a little truth in it!). I don’t care what she choses to futuredo or in which direction she goes. I just want her to find her direction and kick its arse. Or just follow it. Or anything in between!

With a uni application already under her belt, she’s now favouring the pathway through TAFE. Personally I think she’s made the right decision for herself, if for nothing more than the fact it’s going to be a big change from what she’s doing now. So the wait now is for her to finish Year 10 so she can apply for her chosen course, and hope to god she gets in.

After all these years of worrying about what Jessie’s future might look like, this excitement in her passed through to me. I allowed myself to feel the relief and imagine seeing Jessie grow up to have a happy life. What a luxury!! And something I’d always taken for granted before things went haywire. She may very well have just taken an alternate route to get to where she was always going. Fingers crossed…

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

future

 


 
 

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