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.
So, good news! I passed my exams with a high enough average score to qualify for an internship with a transcription company! Yeah!! I’ll find out more details tomorrow, and I’m pretty anxious about it. I’m not questioning my skills or abilities; I’m wondering whether or not my time as a caregiver will be an obstacle to me getting a job. I haven’t worked since the summer of 2005. I spent the last 13 years caring for my mother full time. Ideally, I’m hoping my work will speak enough about who I am that the work gap won’t be a factor for prospective employers. Realistically I know there are people out there who don’t see caregiving for an elderly parent or a family member as work. My own siblings slightly fall into that category, although now that our mother is gone, I feel like they are beginning to see what my reality was like. It was work. It was 16 hour days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year nonstop. I’m hoping those I encounter in my job search will be empathetic and realize that what I did was work. I have the skills to do this job well and be an asset to any company I end up working for. I just hope I get the opportunity to prove my worth and the 13-year work gap won’t be a hindrance. I hope potential employers will see that my caregiving shows that I am dedicated, that I am a hard worker, and I would be a valuable employee to add to their team. So onwards and upwards with fingers crossed.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – The experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown