You Deserve To Have Me Count Against Your Dropout Rate

When I dropped out of High school I was months away from 18. So that still requires a legal gaurdian to sign you out. My father went with me that day. My Mom being a highschool teacher doesn’t have as flexible hours as my father.

When we got there they took us into the principals office. Where all of a sudden a realize I’ve been bombarded by an entire education team. The Superintendent, Prinicipal, both Vice Principals, counselors, teachers, school board reps… it was a circus all lined up in a horseshoe of overbearing male posturing. I waited to see who they had assigned to be ring leader.

Of course, the nice Principal and very nice vice Principal who had both known me since I was little had been given tthe job to do most of the speaking. I wonder how they were convinced it was right to treat me the way that followed? They tried reasoning and twisting and political speak.They all started chiming in as my father and I defended our points valiantly, though depressing that we had to fight to begin with. I was raised by a politician and I understood their bullshit wording and the reasons behind the frantic fae smiles. They didn’t think I’d done my research. Sorry folks, there’s a reason your losing one of the smartest kids in your school. Cause they wouldn’t find a way within NCLB to get my credits to work.

Yet still had the gall to try to convince me to “Withdraw with the intent to homeschool.” Which isn’t the same thing as dropping out of the system. The difference being I don’t count in their state report card as in their drop out rates.

Oh no sirs! We kept trying to explain, not that we got to talk much. Which is saying  a lot coming from a professional talker. Finally they did something that still baffles me and I am not sure is legal or forgivable.

They removed my Father from the room to talk to me alone. I am VERY very lucky I don’t get intimidated. Cause they then tried to convince me it was my parents making me do it. I flipped out on them. I’ve made all the big choices in my life since I was old enough for my parents to explain things and for me to do my own research and understand it.

How dare they minimize me that way, I was not someone to be “handled.” I refused to speak with them farther until they brought my Dad back in the room. But first I chastised them looking them each in the face, verbally reminding them of the promises, the contracts they’d signed agreeing to all of this. They had broken every promise toward my education they made when I first started High school.

Then I went silent and waited.

They started up again and I got mean. I flipped out. I heard later that the entire school’s front office heard me (I don’t have a quiet voice, it projects naturally, and I was furious at that point) knock them all down a peg. Ending with the fact that this was my decision. “Hand me the papers to sign and bring my father in so he can sign his half as well. Because I absolutely will count against your drop out rate. Because I DID the work. I did more than your students who are about to walk, but you won’t let me from a technicality that you aren’t willing to help us find a way around. Bad form. You’re educators. Not the people who derail those who want an education. When dealing with a student who has the system setup against them it’s important to have their back and find the loopholes and back doors in the system to help those students be the success stories they should. I don’t mean cheating, I’m talking about finding a way for them to have an equal chance. But you all, everyone of you, failed with me. So more than anyone I know, you deserve to have my number count against you on that dropout rate!”

They brought my father back in.

A few of them had tears in their eyes, all of them were apologizing.

All of them deserved to feel that way. They deserved to not get to cushion their emotions behind a desk. To recognize that if at any point one of them had tried to help figure out the new system when it came to me, we wouldn’t be there.

But we were and I dropped out. That was 12yrs ago

Making the Equation: A + B = D

A+B=D That’s a phrase I tell myself over and over again in my house. It is part of how I am figuring out and growing in relationships and life.

We all come with baggage. What that means when it comes down to it is that it’s hard to learn new patterns in life from those we develop based on our experiences throughout life. (erroneous example: If a guy hits me every time I say the word dog, I’m gonna learn to stop saying the damn word).

That’s really what we mean by baggage.

When you have an experience over and over again; be it the way of a parent relationship imploding, a year in college that threw your life off track, an abusive relationship in college, or a health condition that got torn down by previous significant others… baggage is referring to the patterns that these interactions built into us.

Due to time after time of the same behaviors. A+B always equals C right? That’s what you learn. Every time your Mom comes home she asks how your days was and makes you cookies, it’s a wonderful experience, let’s say? Then if you came home one day and she wasn’t there no note, nothing, would you be worried? It’s like that! You always know what the equation is in each situation you’ve experienced before. When you are in a negative situation while developing these patterns then you’re going to look at the equation and reach the conclusion; a given of something negative.

It seems to me that most of us develop defense mechanisms to deal with these negative equations. Usually the defense mechanisms aren’t positive attributes for communication, for various reasons. Not just communication, but developing relationships, romantic or not. When you leave the negative situations behind it’s hard to learn to adapt to a different equation.

In our situation, my husband and I both had various behaviors that shutdown a conversation when we weren’t willing or ready to deal with the topic. Perhaps I shouldn’t say had, we still have these defense mechanisms, but when we were able to see that these things were happening we were able to start working on it. We use a variety of techniques from key words to phrases, to rules about situations before they happen. We had to teach ourselves with each situation that A+B doesn’t have to = C the equation can have other out comes (it isn’t always negative) A+B can = D. But this isn’t something that just knowing means it’s solved. Humans are never that simple.

When A+B started to equal D more often I believed that the equation could change. Then my Husband flipped out on me. He went very manic and crossed lines I swore I wouldn’t allow to happen to me… He ingrained back on to my brain the equation A+B= C (at least with him it always will now) and I’m working all over again for the belief that this equation isn’t always a true statement. I don’t want to run off any other man I love because I don’t believe it’s possible For the answer to be D.

Sleeping Beauty Syndrome

Did I really just sleep 46hrs? That’s pretty extreme. I mean I rolled over, I got up to pee, I think people said hello to me… but I slept through everything.

I woke up at 3:00am with a million text and Twitter notifications and a rumbling stomach. I also now vaguely remember demanding Gatorade water at points. (I like to water it down, too sweet) I got to make myself soup that I know my Mom made and left in the fridge. As I wander into the hall way and turn on lights I notice that, shit’s changed!?!

Weirdest thing about sleeping this long? I went to sleep with the place a wreak. Don’t get me wrong it’s less of a wreak than it has been. I have been working on it, really I have! Also my amazing parents keep showing up and cleaning while I lie sick in bed. They tackled the kitchen the other day. It was sad on my part. This was stuff I know a typical adult my age can keep up with regularly. But it took the “cleaning fairies” showing up for my place to see the love I should be giving it. If only I knew how to conserve my spoons and spend them as soon as I get a few!

I have three different infections right now. Woot! That’s what I get for having fun for a weekend…

I Thought the Dog Would Come First

Yeah, you’ve heard me correctly. After a lot of research on both my part and my specialists’ we decided it’s worth a try to have a baby at this point in my life. I know that seems crazy right?! Well it kinda did for me at first.

Like honestly, I thought I’d get a dog first.

But my best chance of remission is having a child at this point in my life. Not just of achieving remission, but of having a possibly healthy pregnancy. I’ll try to break it down.

For one thing this will require support: Obviously any pregnancy does. But this one would for multiple reasons. Money, Help with my health, help with tired.. doc drivers and house work

Affects on my Lupus: enzymes, arthritis studies, by-passing after flare-up, likelihood of remission otherwise, likelihood disease will limit my ability to carry an infant to viable term after 35

Risk to child Now: Likelihood fine if it survives first trimester miscarriages I do not test positive for the protein’s as of 2011 that make a second-third trimester miscarriage likely.

Risk to child Later: All risk escalates along with that of the mother, risk of fertility issues go up as well

Risk to mother Now: A typical High-risk Lupus pregnancy, possible fertility issues already

Risk to mother Later: The risk is not considered worth it. They wound’t even talk about later for me being pregnant. The doctors switched over to discuss us having surrogates.

Are We Really PLANNING For a Baby!?!

I’m trying to wrap my brain around what my husband and I will be doing over the next few months. The plan will lead to our lives changing for… well forever.

 

I haven’t had a chance to really process the idea that I may not actually be able to have children if I wait, like I initially planned. I mean I planned to have my college degree first, hell even a dog!! But the baby is coming first if I want that option. Unless I’m willing to risk not having it…

 

From the persecutive I have of all the options in my hand right now, the only spade I have to play right now is baby first college after. But boy is that a scary persecutive. Especially since society claims the “proper order” is very specific, of which I won’t be following remotely in this situation. I think what scares me most is knowing this is something I am ready (as you can be) for, but I don’t know if my life with this guy is ready for a baby on top of the complications of his mental disorder and incorporating it into taking care of my health and a baby.

Homemade Wedding

My wedding ceremony took place in my neighborhood. When I say neighborhood, I don’t just mean my parent’s house. I mean the entire neighborhood! It was ACTUALLY the perfect day for it; The weather was amazing, the colors were amazing, It was ridiculously fun!

 

It was weird knowing my groom said he didn’t like anyone enough to want to invite them. I had to fight him to get him to have grooms men. He “didn’t like any of them as people” But I decided to see that as part of his depression talking and chose who I understand to be his friends. They at least believe he cares. So they care about him. They deserve to be there if not just for that reason, they care. Weird snags throughout the night before and day. All of them I can chock up to his strange mood fluctuations. But it was beautiful. If this is the extant of how he fluctuates, then I can do this forever:)

Rehearsal Dinner and Bachelor/ette Party

It was a little disconcerting to find out the week before the wedding that not a single person from my Fiancé’s family was interested in being at our Rehearsal Dinner. They all had things more important or interesting to do…!?! I was raised in a house where family is the most important thing. Granted we fully believe family isn’t limited to blood, but when you commit to being family there are certain things you don’t drop the ball on. Maybe I should see this as a sign that the family I’m joining doesn’t actually deserve that title. I’m starting to truly believe they don’t know how to be a family at all. No wonder they never seem to have been there for Fiancé in stories from his childhood. I thought it might have been how he angles the stories. But this is making me sad for the inlaws I always wanted and now will never have in these people. How do other people cope with having such shitty inlaws?

Sadly, his family not coming the night before also mean that his Best man won’t be here to throw him a Bachelor party. My siblings are throwing me a Bachelorette party. When I mentioned to them that his family wouldn’t be here decided to make it a co-ed Bachelor/ette party! Yay! My siblings are the epitome of family. They’re so marvelous:) My sister had great games planned and a pub crawl! My brother’s lady even made a chocolate penis cake!!!

Xmas With The In-Laws: His Father’s Side

Another post I started more than a month ago but could only now finish.

12/ 28/13

Being around the toddlers in our masks was an interesting experience for me.  Both BF and I had discussed dealing with the toddler nieces and nephews with our faces covered on our drive up. Little kids tend to be afraid of things they don’t understand or know. I wanted to make sure that they felt comfortable with us with the masks on. Initially I thought up the idea of taking the masks off like peekaboo, so that the little ones knew who was behind them. Of course, this can’t be done in the same room with the kids, because then I’m exposing myself to the germs that are airborn. What would be the point of wearing the masks to begin with otherwise? But his parents house allowed for the unique enough set up that we were able to carry out this idea.

When we came back after checking into the hotel we stood on the porch with the little children on the other side of the door watching us through the window being held by their mothers. We were able to take the mask off one ear uncovering faces, smile, and wave until they waved back. We then would recover our faces and dance and wiggle our hands in the air. Doing goofy movements to make them laugh, uncovering and recovering our faces throughout the process. This way they knew who was behind the mask and had a better understanding of what the mask actually was. We weren’t so worried about the older nephew. For one thing he had a much better understanding of my health to begin with. He has interacted with me on many different levels of healthy and sick. Once we explained it to him, our nephew wouldn’t have a problem with how weird we look with our faces covered.

Microtel-

Watching my BF sanitize every step we took while we were up north made for some great laughs. For one thing, even before chemo, he never let me carry my own bags. Now with chemo, there was no way I would be able to talk him out of being such a gentleman. I can still picture it, weeks later, walking down the hallway to our hotel room with barely anything in my arms. Watching him ahead of me, like a pack horse, laden down by practically every Vera Bradley pattern you can think of. (Okay that’s an exaggeration, I only like certain patterns, I’m pretty picky about which ones I buy honestly!) Still with a mask on, still with gloves on,  his hands full of Lysol spray in wipes, we trudged to our room. I felt practically hazmat ready. When he unlocked the door to our hotel room he made me wait outside, while inside madly sanitizing every surface he could touch.  I was impressed, this man is a natural caregiver, but to see him go so far above and beyond to make sure I could stay as healthy as possible during this trip was truly treat.  He really knows how to make me feel like nothing matters more to him. Our room was huge for a Microtel! We Had two queen-size beds in the room and the entire wall with the headboards was mirror. Now I’m not saying I’m vain, but I sure do like to watch myself in the mirror;)IMG_3988IMG_3989

We took a few  ridiculous pictures while we were in our room. but I’m glad to say we didn’t actually spend that much time in our room. I managed to preserve my energy accurately enough that I didn’t get drained as quickly as I’m used to. Granted BF and other family members were doing their best to watch over me and make sure I didn’t try to take on more than I had the energy to do. I spent a lot of time sitting, but I was never alone. I always had a number of other family members around me talking, listening, asking questions. The little nieces and nephews were adorable. Almost as though they thought the masks were part of a game, everything quickly became normal. The littler two ran around as usual, asking for help with puzzles, stacking Duplos and definitely more interested in the food on our appetizer plates than their own. I got air hugs from the sick family and we were told to be prepared for a family photo.

IMG_3987

Well, what an interesting adventure… Family photo for Grandma’s 90th. This completely makes sense. Except how do I do this with a mask? I can’t exactly be wearing a mask for them photo of grandma’s 90th birthday!  Okay, I can totally hold my breath for this, right? Right?!  to thing a weirdly put makeup on my entire face even though half of it was going to be covered…

I know it’s weird; I just think it feels even weirder to only put makeup on part of my face and I look pretty alluring.  haha though I didn’t have lipstick.

Visiting the In-Laws

Here’s a post that I started more than a month ago, but could only finish now.

12/27/13

So we found out Boxing day that everyone on BF’s mom’s side of the family is getting sick and getting sick fast. This was where we had planned to stay, but with my suppresed immune system that isn’t close to an option. So how do we still make it to Grandma’s 90th if we have nowhere to stay that night?

We had to work fast. His father’s house was an option, but a slim one. For one thing we didn’t know if anyone was sick there because we hadn’t needed to ask. This side of the family has a number of toddlers, which frequently means sniffles and coughs… at the very least. For another thing, they are already housing a number of family members for The Birthday. There was no telling if they had any rooms left that we could stay in! He is the youngest of 6 siblings… there wasn’t likely to be a room that wasn’t being used. Here’s hoping.

**Fingers crossed**

We also started looking up hotels that were half way between his mother’s place and his father & step-mother’s place–keeping in mind, of course, that we have a very slim budget. I mentally bookmarked quite a few hotels as options the night before we headed out the door.

Speaking with his father about the option of staying the night at their place, we got lucky. His father agreed that we needed to make sure the family members showing up weren’t sick first, but there was a bed on hold for us.  My poor Dear had to do all of the driving, not that he doesn’t usually do most of the driving, but it was difficult for me to realize that there was no option for him if he got tired of driving. However, there are some pluses to not having had a license until I was 26 years old: I learned to be a good navigator and copilot.  If you need someone to open up your water bottle, check the map for our next exit, change to a radio channel that isn’t playing Nickelback or unwrap your sandwich, I’m your woman! But put me behind the wheel and my ADHD is so busy concentrating on not getting distracted by anything on the road that a lot of the leisureliness of a road trip gets deleted.

When we got to BF’s parent’s house we put on our protective masks and headed for the door. We stood inside the glass porch to speak with his dad. Sure enough, a number of family members had sniffles and coughs.  His father was very worried about us staying in the germy environment and getting sick. We explained that we had looked up hotels before leaving, finding a number of reasonably priced hotels that we could stay in for a few days. Specifically, we had quite liked the idea of the Microtel in the area. I had stayed in Microtels growing up on family vacations when I was little and we were traveling on the road. They tend to be rather nice hotels the room itself is just smaller. but the things in it aren’t.  This helps make the hotel room cheaper than other hotels typically are. His father agreed to pay for a hotel room for two nights, this way we could stay for the duration of the family visit that we’d intended. This meant we had half of the time to spend with his father’s side and the other half to spend with his mother’s side, just as we had intended. Both BF and I were extremely touched by this show of concern and interest in my/our well-being.

Knowing how difficult it can be to accommodate me to begin with, everyone on both sides of the family really went out of their way to make sure I had the opportunity to feel included. They managed to make me feel like I was actually one of their children being accommodated rather than someone outside the family that they had to “deal with.” If I hadn’t already been sure at this point, that they were going to be amazing in-laws, this vacation certainly cemented the idea in my head.

Christmas Day

Let me tell you about Christmas Day this year! Finally!! (I know it is a month late but I’ve been a bit distracted lately.)

I was still the first person awake! Ha!

It was weird to go from my place to the big house instead of waiting on the stairs until we are all ready to go downstairs together. I missed having the tradition of sitting on the stairs for a photo before we all go to the living room to see what Santa left for us!

I have a small apartment behind my parents, same property, but it gives me a (false) sense that I am living on my own. Any chance to feel a little independent. Despite the fact that when BF isn’t there taking care of me then one of my parents is there to take care of me. I am not left alone. I suppose I can’t be. I am too exhausted to get up when I need to pee half the time, add in that there is no guarantee I won’t be dizzy until I stand, and it is clear that, at the moment, it is necessary for me to have someone around consistently to be a caregiver.

Before Christmas breakfast my family opens only Santa’s presents (which we find placed on our place on the sofas that we were assigned when little) and our stockings hung on the mantle. We usually get a cute new outfit from Santa as well as a magazine that is of whatever personal interest we might have. All of our stockings, including those for significant others, were sewn by our Momma. My sister and I both altered ours at some cute young age by sewing buttons all over our own stocking. My parents don’t have stockings, they always put a shoe out on the hearth. Apparently Santa fills shoes as easily as giant socks on a string. (Actually, if I remember correctly, the original tradition is about shoes being filled with fruit and candy. Isn’t it?)

While we wait for breakfast to be made we build our Lego sets from Santa. We always get a Lego set and always have. Don’t tell me I’m too old for Legos! You’re never to old to be creative or build. That shit’s fun! We get up here and there to help with various activities Momma needs to get breakfast going. Taking turns sort of unconsciously. OR it was before. This time it felt like, no matter when I would volunteer to help or just get up to start helping, a sibling or parent or the BF would quickly tell me either that they “will do it, don’t worry about it!” or quickly get up and step in before I could start helping.

We got to talk to Bro’s GF on FaceTime! She’s already a sister in my head, but the officiality of it all isn’t there, yet ;) . Having her there virtually, even if not in person, helped make it Christmas like I’ve enjoyed in the past! If I hadn’t seen her in person for T-day though I’d be complaining! hahaha

After opening and examining and playing with our Santa gifts, we have an amazing breakfast, of course anything is if my Mum makes it! We also have a family friend who is an award winning coffee bean roaster, so our coffee every morning makes it so I can’t have “Starbucks” coffees without feeling like a snob about how awful it tastes (never had Starbucks, but chain coffee shops is my general reference).

I managed to eat some of breakfast! Which is amusing, because last year I couldn’t eat from a migraine that was making me nauseous. This year on chemo, when I am supposed to have more trouble eating, I actually ate a decent meal. I was pretty happy about this, since I don’t get my Momma’s cooking everyday and nothing is better than her cooking!!

Presents were fun. We have a specific way we do a present exchange, this can take hours! But everyone gets the attention upon reception of each awesome gift as well as the warmth of a thank you when a present has been well received. :)