Tonight, Sarah had a wonderful evening seeing "Beauty and the Beast" at Arlington High School with a friend. At intermission, they chatted with the Superintendent of Schools. I wonder if she knew I was Sarah's mom, the sender of many emails to which I have never received a response to, on behalf of my clients. This week has solidified my position that some of the professional and administrative staff at the middle school level just shouldn't have the gift of their jobs anymore. Yelling at my clients' parents is not okay, but actually bullying my client is unforgivable. In this whole mess, I was happy to learn that one specific regular education administrator actually works for the children and didn't defend his teacher and in fact told her to be quiet when she started getting angry. One of the biggest problems I see in this district is the fact it is so incestuous, lots of hometown folks working in the system, all their jobs protected by tenure. I have always been pro-union and supportive of teachers throughout my life, but this district makes me think twice about that stance. There is no room for anger when working in special education, frustration perhaps, but not anger.
On a personal family level, there have been a lot of realizations on my part about my children over the past few days. I made some decisions which could affect them in what I can only hope is a positive way. They need safety, security, structure, lots of love, and a parent to simply pay loads of attention to them every day. They are simply not getting that as of now. This is affecting Sarah and Emily in ways that are easy to see, and in an ancillary way it's effecting Andrew. After long discussions with lots of professionals, I know I need to act- and I will.
On a very personal plane, I have done a whole lot of soul-searching of what I am truly capable of- in my family life, professionally, with friendships, all considering medical issues as of late. I have come to the conclusion that paralyzing anxiety about the past, or the future, helps no one and that moving forward is something I can do, with the love and support of many wonderful people in my life. In the fall, I'll be looking for a job in a school, with benefits attached and normal hours. For now, I will continue to do what I do exceptionally well- advocate on behalf of families and their gifts, their children with special needs.
What a long road it has been for the past five years, and an amazingly unfair and cruel one the past nearly four years. Shame on people who looked down on my children, or me, and who did less than act with kindness. I wrote here a few days ago I would have made different choices in March and April of 2006. I lied. I would have helped a friend because that is what a good friend does, sticks beside you through anything. I learned more about psychosis, McLean Hospital, ECT (shock therapy), supervised visitation, extra-marital affairs, and, oh yeah, people who kicked her when she was down, with insults and eventually by taking her children away, pain which was compounded by the fact she also lost her career, something she worked so long and so hard for. This guy couldn't deal with me wanting to support and love my friend, no matter who she was dating, or who I was.
In the end, the world is smaller than we think, and we re-connected through another friend and through our kids once again playing together. And, one of the first things out of her mouth to our mutual friend, was that she could see her ex and mine, being angry that he was not in control of the situation and of who the kids were spending time with.
I am at relative peace with my life, my kids, my family, my work, my values, and my moral compass. I can only hope and pray that others around me also can be grown-ups and act the same way.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Funny thing to write on a rainy/snowy Monday morning, don't you think? Autism is being more of a lamb than a lion in our home so far today, and a good night of sleep at least gives me some energy and perspective. The intense pain of the past isn't going to go away. But it only takes up as much space in my active thinking as I give it. I've tried to make my peace, and ask for forgiveness for mistakes I made (despite the enormous satisfaction it would give some, there are no takers, I am ready and willing to face the consequences of my choices). No one else has done the same and it is their loss. My children and I will continue to do our best to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our Lord or whoever it is who is watching and guiding us. Does it mean that the intense anger/confusion, large puddle of pain, and the smarting from rejection stopped hurting? No. Five years later and I still haven't gotten an "I'm sorry" from anyone else involved. I guess the difference is I have stopped expecting one. Have a happy Monday! Mine ended up very busy, but ends now with snuggles with a happy little boy who managed to get some homework done, but a lot of sadness in my heart. I also am pretty sure the nerve implant thingy is not working, which just adds stress to what was a very long 8 weeks of surgeries and pain.
Tomorrow is a new day. I will try to seize it!
Tomorrow is a new day. I will try to seize it!