Sorry for dropping the bombshell about my brother and then going radio silent for so long, it’s been a difficult few weeks. First of all, my brother ended up have angioplasty on his heart, which was successful and is back home again. His health is still pretty fragile due to his kidney failure, but he’s home for now.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of other stuff. I need to find another job. As much as I love transcription I’ve realized that I would need to work 80 hours a week just to make enough to live on and I’m at a point in my life where that is just not an option. So, I’ve been trying to find another work-at-home job that will pay an actual livable wage.
This has led to a lot of soul-searching on my part and the decision to try speech therapy again. I’ve been a severe stutterer for 42 years now and have tried every type of speech therapy there is. I even participated in an experimental program where they injected Botox directly into my vocal folds. It didn’t go well for me at all. I sounded like Minnie Mouse on helium for three months, and I couldn’t drink anything sitting up because it would go down my windpipe, so I had to drink bending over to avoid choking. I’ve tried so many times with speech therapy, and every time it has fallen apart. The feeling of failure got progressively worse with each attempt, so I finally just gave up trying to become fluent.
But now I find myself so pigeon-holed job wise because I feel like no employer is going to choose me over someone who is fluent. I hate the position I’m in. I hate how my stutter has taken so many things away from me in my life. If my stutter were a person, I would murder it. I would cut it up into as many pieces as I could and scatter them to the wind. That’s how much I loathe, hate, and detest this condition that has ruined my entire life.
As you can tell, I’ve been feeling some pretty intense emotions lately, and it’s been all I can do to function without spinning entirely out of emotional control. I’m seeing my primary care physician this week and am going to ask him about speech therapy and see what he recommends. I cry every time I think about going back into the battle because I hate when I do all the work and the exercises, and it all falls apart again. I honestly don’t know if I have the strength to fail at this again. I try to tell myself, “You’ve got to go into this with a positive attitude. Maybe this time will be different.” The thing is though; I still have hope of overcoming this. And I think that is a strong enough foundation to try to build my fluency back up again. Wish me luck.
Just a quick note and update. I haven’t been posting because I hurt my shoulder over 4th of July weekend and I’ve been on light duty ever since. Which means the only typing I’ve been doing is for work. Otherwise, things here are going well.
My cat Patches is still hanging in there, and his last blood work was normal for the most part. The vet was astonished to see him doing so well. I guess he’s just not ready to give up his ninth life. J
Summer’s flying by, and my family is getting ready for my niece’s wedding in September. She honored me by asking me to be her Maid of Honor, so I’m pretty excited about that.
I hope everyone out there is doing well and having a wonderful summer.
Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things.
Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal.
Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions.
Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart’s wisdom through it.
Be whatever you are right now.
No more hiding. You are worthy, always.
– S.C. Lourie
The strong ones are the ones who have
Learned how to break.
From break-ups to breakdowns
Where people have unexpectedly stolen
We have felt ourselves crumble
At risk of being blown away
By the changing winds of our lives.
Yet time and time again we
Glue ourselves back together again.
Hope, faith, and tears create an emotional cement
That strengthens the remaining cracks in our psyches.
We rise over and over again from the ashes like Phoenixes.
Reborn, recreated and restored.
This week the year of firsts came to an end; first Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc. without my mom. It was a bittersweet day on Wednesday, relief knowing the first year, which I had always thought would be the most difficult, and sadness knowing I had gone a whole year without being able to talk to my mom the way I used to. There was also a sense of pride in knowing I had come through it pretty much intact as well. Yes, I’ve had my moments of being puddled on the floor, but I’ve discovered that those moments pass and that I’m strong enough to go on with my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, and it’s been the most important education of my life. I think the main lesson has been the need to not give into the fear of the unknown. There were so many times during my transcription course when I didn’t think I could go on, it was too hard, and I just doubted myself so much it nearly paralyzed me. But I also knew that my mom would want me to continue and fight through it, so I did, and now I’m working again. That’s been immensely important for my psyche and self-esteem.
When my mom died, I had largely shut myself off from the world because of my stuttering. Part of the reason was that I had been so burnt out taking care of my mom, that I just didn’t have the energy to deal with my speech issues anymore. The other part was my neighbor who had brainwashed me into thinking I was disabled and unable to speak for myself. It was only after he assaulted me, which I now feel was an attempt to convince me that I was helpless to do anything about his advances because I needed his help in order to function, that I realized I had to stand on my own. Stuttering or not, I had to face the world head on and not hide anymore. I’ve had some missteps since then, but now I feel solidly on my own path to where I was meant to be. And even though I know my mom isn’t physically with me anymore, I know that no matter where I go, she is always with me in spirit. I know that even though she is far away, she is still closer than I think.
Major life events become
Rubber bands wrapped
Around our life time.
As time passes
It can stretch
To make it
Seem like forever
And when it relaxes
No matter how long ago
Seems like mere days
Have gone by.
Years may pass
Before the band
Loses its elasticity
And the event eases
Itself into real time.
Until that happens,
Humanity is stuck
In a limbo of
Push and pull
On our conscious memory.
Time seems to move fast
And slow all at once.
And we just drift with it.
One year ago today, my mom went into the hospital, for what would turn out to be, the last time. It’s another one of those firsts that I’ve had to face since my mom passed. I’m running out of time to have those first moments though. In five weeks it will be a year since she died. That in and of itself seems impossible. That day, her last in this house seems so long ago, yet it seems like it happened last week — such a strange sensation, to bounce from one distance of time to another. Somehow, I’ve found the strength to get through my first summer without her, the first fall, her birthday, holidays, all without her here. There have been moments of unbelievable pain and moments of peace where I’ve found some kind of acceptance. Even though pure acceptance has yet to materialize in my heart, I still can’t believe she’s gone and in some ways, now that so much time has passed, I can. And back and forth I go.
Feeling that forever melts
All hearts and reason.
The world’s so quiet
Now that the howling is gone
I revel in peace
I’ve surfaced for a moment to take a breath and wanted to update everyone. I’m still plugging away on my internship, which is going very well. I’m almost halfway through, and have been getting some very positive feedback on my work, so fingers crossed there’s a job offer in the near future. As difficult and stressful as this internship has proven to be I am so grateful to have this opportunity to gain experience and get a taste of what is to come in my new career. Once things calm down, I’m definitely planning on returning to a more regular posting schedule on my blog. I have some things planned that I hope you all will enjoy. Well, better dive back into it. Hope you all are doing well, and I send you much love.
The first week of my internship and I don’t think I’ve been this mentally exhausted in years. Not that I’m complaining. I’m not. I’m also feeling a sense of fulfillment I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I feel like I’m working for my future, which I didn’t feel when I was caregiving. But underlying all these emotions is a deeper sense of needing to catch up to all the time I lost while taking care of my mom. I try not to focus on it. I try to appreciate all the time I got to spend with my mom, but it’s hard when I look at my dwindling bank account and realize all the time I lost working and all the money I missed out on making. That’s definitely the biggest downside of caregiving, the financial impact. When your caregivee isn’t here anymore, and you are left alone with thoughts of imminent financial ruin. But, that’s why I’ve worked so hard to get my transcription certificate, so I can start earning money. I just hope I’m not too late to pull myself from the brink of the abyss.