Balancing Acts

A working single mom attending law school

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Posts Tagged ‘mental illness’

Unexpected interruptions

Posted by newlawmom on August 6, 2008

Why I would call anything unexpected is a mystery to me. I should know by now that nothing ever goes exactly according to plan, or, life goes as it will regardless of my plans. Today I had two of these things happen. One in the morning, one at night. One good, one bad. One old man, one young man. And I jumped for both of them, which I should learn to stop doing.

So…the old man in the morning. My mother’s companion who I am responsible for this week decides to call the police at 6:30 AM because the staff person who was working didn’t respond when he called their name. Of course the thing to assume is….’the staff person must be dead then…I should call the police and report a possible murder in my house’. When the staff walked into his bedroom a few (as in two or three) minutes later he calmly told them the police were on their way. Sure enough they showed up. Un-be-liev-able. He will see the doctor tomorrow to be evaluated for paranoia and delusions. And because I know its coming I took it upon myself to get the applications for long-term care today instead of next week when my mother is back. Might as well set my sister up with everything she will need when this becomes her baby in two weeks.  I will not be carrying a cell phone with me at school because I need to avoid these types of issues. My mother will limit emergency calls to legitimate emergencies.

So I took care of the old man.  Came home to work on my house and the move. Today I focused on organizing photographs so they aren’t damaged along the way. Set a few more things aside for a tag sale on Saturday. And failed to get my carpets shampooed which was actually my top priority. That has been moved to Friday. I did quite a bit of work today, spent time with my kids, etc. and had just settled down for the night when my phone rang at 10PM with a strange number.

I was so happy to hear from this kid and he is doing so well for himself. A 19 year old kid that I have known since he was 11. He’s had a disaster of a life. Orphaned in a foreign nation as an infant. Adopted by American saviors at age 7. Abused by adoptive parents, landed in foster care at age 11, institutionalized for a year, diagnosed as MR…the story goes on. He showed up on my doorstep in June begging for help fighting the system. I helped him get an attorney and stuck to my decision to never allow any other children to live in my home. For a brief time, that left him homeless. But…..he prevails. He called tonight for a ride HOME from Work! Yes. He has a job, an apartment of his own, and he is enrolled in the local community college for the fall semester. How sweet is that? He is doing fine. He is so proud of himself. His attorney has successfully prevented the state from confining him and medicating him, which was their intention. They like control. And it seems to me that it is easier to declare someone mentally ill or unfit than it is to accept genuine emotions. This issue interferes with people getting proper services. This child was angry, unhappy, and determined to escape what he viewed as a bad situation. Everything he did and said was turned around on him and seemed to provide evidence that he was “not making good decisions” and “emotionally unstable”. So I am thrilled that he has managed to secure his freedom. I am proud of him, and when he goes back to court in a few weeks, holding a job, having an apartment, and being enrolled in higher education should work in his favor. Resilience is possible. Not guaranteed, but possible just the same. Now for the other thousands of teenagers in foster care….what will happen to them? I’m not sure. Tomorrow I am going to the amusement park where I will successfully ignore all the problems of the world and just enjoy my own three.

I hope my readers have a splendid day. Pick a cause and apply yourself to it. Contribute to the world in whatever positive way you are capable of. And remember that you only live once.


Posted in Child Welfare Issues, Law School Life, Parenthood, Purpose | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Moving in more ways than one

Posted by newlawmom on July 30, 2008

I moved all day, from 7AM until 10PM. I moved boxes, cleaned house, picked the dog up at the vet (she was spayed  yesterday), brought my daughter to my sisters place to babysit (alternative was to give up my car for the evening….not), went shopping, and got a lot accomplished. What I didn’t do was anything law school related. I am tired. The changes that are happening in my life right now are overwhelming.

A few years ago I went through major life change. I lost my son, lost a brother-in-law to a fatal car accident, lost my husband to mental illness, and lost my beautiful home in the middle of the country along the way to a divorce. That I am in as good of condition as I am is nothing short of a miracle. But packing my belongings and moving my oldest off to college and my boys into the home of my man-friend is just a far cry from where I had imagined I would be right now. Packing up right now seems to bring up the wounds of the past as if they were not that long ago at all. And I suppose in reality the time is short. I left my husband the summer before my daughter’s freshman year of high school. And I’m moving on again during the summer before her freshman year of college. Four short years and I am moving on to “life” number three. I was with my husband for so long that I forgot anything about lives that happened before that.

So…I’m going to be a new law school mom. A parent of a new college student, living in a new home, having a new life, with a new man, and expecting my two young boys to go with the flow, while one becomes a new middle school student and the other transfers to a new school for 3rd grade. I guess it is fair to feel a tad overwhelmed once in a while. But moving on is the only choice I find acceptable. Sometimes it would be easier to die. But usually I focus on the future. I hope some day my current life is as satisfactory to me as the life I had. I don’t want to live forever thinking that I lost everything that mattered when I was 35. Especially considering I am meeting awesome people, experiencing things that I never dreamed possible, and doing some things that are really pretty cool. (Yes, to those of you who are wondering, I am in love with my honey. I love him dearly and I am in love with him. But we also have a trauma bond. Some losses are beyond words. He has lost in a very similar way. Who knows what the future holds. We love each other, but we are both traumatized. That does influence our view of the world…) I can only pray that God finds my current choices acceptable. Because they look bad from my old view of what is right and good and fair. In my old view, just FYI, failing a child or giving up on a child or leaving a child behind is simply unacceptable. I never would have done it. Never meant to do it. And never actually had a choice. Because he was only given to me for a little while. And that is just how it is. The word adoption doesn’t change that small fact.

Posted in Child Welfare Issues, Parenthood, Purpose | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »