What’s new with you?

I thought I’d write this, just so that I at least, would have it on file…

New stuff has been coming from all directions. And if I’m being honest, it’s quite overwhelming.

I have a new job, which I love, with new responsibilities– an office (!!) and the opportunity to speak to someone new everyday. “I think this position would be perfect for you” was what they said, “I’m really hoping you will apply.” And it really is. And I did 🙂

Incredibly supportive, warm, funny, and professional. That’s my workplace and my coworkers in 5 words or less. I am part of a great team and bring something to the table that is recognized, respected and valued. And it’s a great feeling.

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Personal income taxes, bills and monthly reports and all that awesome stuff is coming up and I really don’t want to have anything to do with any of it, but it must be done.

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It seems odd, but I’m only just realizing that people talk. People say stuff about other people, when that person is not around, or they think they aren’t listening or when they feel in good company and able to speak their mind. Good stuff, and bad stuff.

And I’m torn, because on the one hand if it’s good stuff, wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell the person to their face? And if it’s bad stuff, isn’t it still more important to have that conversation and perhaps have a chance at better understanding the issue or finding a resolution?

But I understand in either case that saying something to someone’s face is hard, sometimes. Telling someone you think they are awesome, or that you love them is just as hard as telling someone that you disagree, or that they are unfortunately an uninformed racist idiot.

And, yeah, I wonder what people say about me. I hope it’s kind. I hope it’s true. And I hope I never become one of those people others decide, for whatever reason, are unapproachable.

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For 6 years, I have been on PWD assistance, something I thought I was eligible for because I was a person with a disability. As I found out later, that’s not how it works.

PWD assistance is designed as a temporary financial support, despite the fact that for many PWDs, their disabilities are not temporary.

It’s all about the money, for the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. How much money do you have now, how much money do you have at the end of the month, how much money did you spend, earn or receive… How much? Combien coĂ»te?

It’s not about the people, it’s not about disabilities, it’s not about supporting anyone facing daily challenges. And it is most definitely not about compassion or customer service or common sense. It’s about the money.

It was an honest mistake. But it cost me dearly, financially and emotionally. They thought I was trying to cheat the system, branded me a liar and one who was up to no good. I was shocked, in disbelief. And then I got angry, and then I got really scared. But I stood up. And I made my case. It was a 5 year rollercoaster ride of legality and brutality that I never, never ever want to repeat.

I wanted so desperately to give up, to be done with it all, lawyers and red tape and tribunals and reviews and meetings with the guys at the top. I look back and think, “Wow! How in hell did I manage to make it through all that?!!!” Moving out, jobhunting, networking, working, graduating university with honours…On top of everything else going on with the Ministry. But you don’t see all that, then. When you’re in it, you just make the decision to keep putting one foot in front of the other, until it ends, or you can’t do it anymore.

Workers at the offices would refuse to speak to me, refuse to acknowledge me. I was asked to leave the premises, shouted out the door. Others told me I deserved what I got, and that fighting the decision was futile. Emotionally, I broke. I was traumatized. I cried and swore and shook with emotion (in private) with alarming frequency. In public, I put on a brave face. But people call you a liar and a cheater enough times, with enough conviction and you begin to believe it, begin to question who you are as a person, question your values and your choices and your intelligence. Maybe they’re right, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it is just as pointless to continue as they say it is…

It wasn’t pointless. There is a happy ending to this story.

I still have a distrust of government offices and officials and program paperwork. My heart races with anxiety each encounter, and I have this fear of being screamed at and being thrown out on the sidewalk. But I am no longer afraid to plan for my future, be my own person and achieve my complete independence.

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There are some things you don’t talk about with certain people. They just don’t get it. So, drop it. Move on.

I believe people say and do things for a reason, things happen for a reason. Maybe we don’t know what the reason is, maybe the reason is ‘no reason’, but there is a reason (*See my posts Chicken Camp: Part 4 & 5).

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I’m happy when my dog is happy. And I think I’m a fair judge of when he is.

I’m glad he has a warm bed and good food and is in good health and spirits. ‘Look good, feel good’ holds true in this instance. And Mr. T looks good.

As always, it’s rarely the four-legged member and often the two-legged members of the family that could learn a few new tricks. I know Mr. T knows what happy human looks like (Smile at your dog), but do the humans know what a happy Mr. T looks like?

I feel like I need to get some closure on this final piece of the informal and convoluted shared canine custody agreement that exists between myself, Mr.T and M+D.

*Feed, water, house. Look out for each other, enjoy one another. Vet, groomer. Toys, treats and tools. Friends and exercise. The basics, down pat, with consultations.

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I graduated! With honours! 🙂 In December.

Through good times and bad, of which there were plenty of both (see above), university was fun. I learned a lot. I gained new perspectives and met new people and found new passions. I read a lot and wrote a lot and really was able to and wanted to participate in class and have discussions and make contributions — which didn’t happen so much in high school.

High school I would say, was much harder to get through than university. High school I did because I had to, because it was expected and not because I wanted to be there or had much fun. University was a hundred times better.

All the same, being homework-free is truly an amazing gift!

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I’m going to a gala on Thursday. Dress code: Business attire. I’ll have to look into exactly how that will translate to my wardrobe, but I’m looking forward to it — friends and food and neuroscience 🙂

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I watched the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. It was well done. I wasn’t surprised at the content. It just goes to show how eager people are to simplify things, to support a cause that they feel strongly about, but know little of the inner workings or bigger picture. How important language and image and identity (and marketing!) are in bringing people together and segregating them out. Some excellent points were made.

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I’m tired of transitions. Of transitioning, of multi-tasking, of seeing others attempt it and claiming to be fine.

I’m not fine! As I said before, all this new stuff is quite overwhelming.

I have a one-track mind. I am methodical, meticulous. I like to be able to do one thing all the way through from beginning to end. I appreciate consistency, continuity. And while I’ve achieved it, finally, in some key areas, others still need a bit of work.

I’m flexible, I adapt, but to a point. And I’ve almost reached it. Today is another day to recharge.

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No, I don’t want to spend 4 hours a week travelling to distant locations.

No, I don’t want to  repeat the same conversations.

No, I don’t want to be taken for granted, or worshipped or ignored or forgotten because you’re still reeling and I’m your rock, solid and dependable and there if you need me. Because I care. Sorry, friend I don’t want to be your rock anymore. I can’t be your rock.

I need to be my own rock. I need someone to be my rock.

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This blog is my rock.

It is my place to share and combine my writing and creativity, joys and sorrows, knowledge and discoveries, hopes and dreams, memorable moments, personal and professional perspectives. It is for me, and I am happy to share it with you.

And I’m doing well. I just have to remember that I don’t have to put up with all the crap –that I am strong and valued and can continue to grow as a compassionate, intelligent human being.

Trust is a tricky thing. You have to trust, to be able to talk. To be able to be someone’s rock, you need to have their trust. And I right now, I trust what I’ve written, what I’ve experienced. I trust myself, and I trust you the reader (and my dog). But I’m not sure I have that confidence in anyone else, anywhere else right now, which is why this is happening on the page and not over a cup of tea in my kitchen.

Here and now is my focus. And at the moment, it consists of lunch and a nap!

~THE END~

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