And so it begins….

Wow!  It’s amazing how long it can take to start a blog, when you’re being very critical and wanting to do extra things… I’ve spent a couple of hours changing, tweaking and adjusting things to how I think I’ll like them.  There may be more changes coming after I see what this looks like.

Hi!  Thanks for stopping by!  I’m glad you’re here.  Welcome to my corner of the world.

I’m going to use this first post to tell about where I’ve been.  It will help clue you in on what I’ve already endured, conquered, and loved.  Knowing my past helps light the way for the future.

I’m a divorced mom of 3 kids.  “Fred” is 20 and a sophomore at the university.  He is studying “smart people things” (space engineering).  “Peanut” is 10 and in 4th grade.  She is very reserved and prefers to be alone.  She’s still finding her own path.  “Lil Bit” is 5 and in kindergarten.  She loves to play and does not like to be independent.  She is my challenge in many ways.

My ex and I divorced in 2016 at my request.  I was not happy in the marriage and had not been for quite some time.  It was and has been a mostly amicable separation.  We were married for just shy of 15 years when I asked for the separation.  I do not regret my decision to separate or divorce.

I was a teacher for students with special needs for 13 years.  I taught high school for 9 years and preschool for 4 years.  I loved working with the students, both high schoolers and preschoolers (the main difference between the two groups was the size of the kids!).  I tried insurance sales for a very brief period of time and discovered I am NOT a salesperson.  I then switched to customer service by working in a call center for medical equipment.  I LOVED the job and was there for 2 years!  Like many call centers, it is based upon time spent with the customer.  My education background came out too often as I spoke with customers.  My focus was to educate the customer so s/he would not need to call back.  I’m currently working as a pharmacy technician in a local retail pharmacy chain.  This is not my dream job, but it fits within my abilities and gives me flexibility to go back to school.

I have a B.S. in special education.  I am (about to be was when the license expires) licensed in both hearing impaired and mild disabilities.  The license covers grades K-12.  I have done some continuing education to keep my license current, but I do not yet have a Master’s degree.  I also had an insurance license, but I have no desire to renew that.  I’m currently working on a second bachelor’s degree.  I’m going back to school to become an interpreter for the Deaf.  My focus will be on mental health and medical interpreting.  Sign language has been a part of me for about 30 years.  I thought teaching was the answer, but I burned out without ever really getting to use the language.  I have reviewed some of my ASL work and am working on becoming active in the Deaf community again.

The complication and reason for some of my job changes has been fibromyalgia (FM).  I was diagnosed almost 20 years ago.  I struggled immensely for a few years after diagnosis.  I finally became fed up with medication and people not believing or understanding me.  I stopped all medical treatment.  I was lucky; the FM seemed to go away…. for about 15 years.  About 3 years ago my symptoms started coming back.  I was having more and more flare ups.  There were days I could hardly stand to go to work due to pain and sensitivity.  The work environment was becoming hostile and it didn’t help.  Two close family members died within a short time of each other, and my world fell apart.  I stopped teaching.  Shortly after going to the call center, I also started seeking medical treatment again.  March, 2016, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with conversion disorder (my brain could no longer process stress and started showing symptoms of a stroke).  I spent 3 months trying to recover.  I went back to work to find out that I still could not handle the pressure.  I finally had to leave due to medical issues.  I returned to the “world of the employed” last week.  I will be starting with Vocational Rehabilitation next week.

I have a strong support network.  My mom lives 2 doors down from me.  She has been my financial support for much of the past year.  She fixes meals for me when I’m not physically able to handle it.  She is also my babysitter for Lil Bit when needed.  My best friend, Wolf, is also a source of incredible strength.  He has been with me for about 2.5 years and is always willing to lend an ear, a shoulder, or a strong back when needed.  He continually reminds me that I am a strong and courageous woman.  I have a couple of female friends through Girl Scouts that are great supporters, too.

I do have a couple of other blogs that I post on randomly.  You’re welcome to check them out and see if they are of interest.  I post on Cooking for my Therapy: a blog about recipes and things I try.  I also post on Building my Confidence: a blog about finding positive descriptions to how I feel that day (a very difficult challenge for me).

Welcome to my world, my journey, and  my life.  I hope you find encouragement, strength, humor, empathy, and/or inspiration here.  I encourage anyone to like, comment or contact me.  The world can use a few more friends and connections.

~Maybe, when I grow up…..

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