I have been tagged. I knew it was a matter of time. Jeff tagged Deneice, and I didn't tell her, because I knew she'd tag me. However, I did start thinking of what I was going to say when I saw that Jeff tagged her. BUT ....there were a couple of bloggers whom I consider myself lucky to have not been tagged by this a few weeks ago ...so ... I got a few weeks to actually contemplate this before it got to me.
The tag is what I was doing 10 - 20 and 30 years ago.
My son had just turned 8 years old, and my other son was 5, almost 6. We'd just found our new church, Southpark Community Church and I knew it was home. My husband, had refused to go to church since Samuel was a year old. I'd made the decision to go to Southpark, regardless. When he got ready to come to church, he'd have to go where I was at home. I could no longer attend and be homeless ready to go to a church when he was ready to attend. I had to put down roots.
Little did I know the spiritual battle that would take place in my home with that declaration ... or the victory that it would lead to. As well, as my husband's attendance at church and his taking the spiritual lead in our home.
Benjamin, 5, was still diagnosed as autistic, and on a good day, if you had a Jar Jar Binx translation book, you might be able to carry on a conversation with him. The microwave was a refridgerator and the washing machine was a car and the car was a fence and well ... you just had to get used to what he called things. He had reasonings why he labeled things the way he did, and if you talked to him long enough, you could figure it out.
One day, he came in and asked for something to "ocean me over"
I was baffled.
"I need something to OCEAN ME OVER!"
"Benjamin, I don't understand"
"GIVE ME SOMETHING TO OCEAN ME OVER!"
"Show me what you mean"
He marched into the kitchen, grabbed a box of crackers and said emphatically "OCEAN ME OVER!
(TIDE me over ...oooooooooooh ocean ...tide ... I GET IT! )
The conversation took a bit longer with quite a bit more frustration on his part ..for one thing, he had to get to pronounce ocean to where I could understand it.
Benjamin could not eat very many foods without throwing up. Smells were a constant problem. His stomach was so sensitive it was a constant worry. He was allergic to dairy and we had to be very careful of the foods that passed his mouth or he'd break out in a terrible rash.
Samuel, being almost 8, already having read Jurrasic Park, and was being homeschooled and was leaps and bounds ahead of where any child had a right to be at 8. He was a tremendous help with Benjamin and did nothing to help dissuade Benjamin of concepts like ... ocean/tide ... and Benjamin followed Samuel everywhere.
We were taking Benjamin to occupational therapy 2 times a week and speech therapy once a week, physical therapy every other week. We had not yet, at that time, discovered Therapy Works ... where the sensory integration therapy would enter our lives. That ...changed Benjamin's life ..and diagnosis. It changed our lives ... and the path our family took.
I type this out, and remember how hard it was ... he ran away ...into the street, his impulse control was so minimal. His learning so far behind.
Both boys were still immunodeficient and infections were frequent.
The myasthenia gravis was very out of control ... I could not walk up a flight of stairs. My last myasthenic crisis had just taken place. Labor Day weekend 1997. I wore leg braces (AFO's) because my hyper extention of my knee and foot drop combined with the MG made it very difficult to walk and the pain level increased.
I remember it being difficult ... I remember being desperate for respite care and not finding it. Being on a state wide 'waiting list' (which, we managed to get to the top of the list when Benjamin was 12 years old ... the child had to be younger than 11 years 11 months old to get services from it)
But when I think back on those times, I remember his smile, his laughter, and his waddle that made me laugh. I only remember how HARD it was when I write stuff like this. I only think of how sick I was when my doctor's start to talk about changing my medications around and the possiblity of going back to that condition ...
The reality is ... the day to day was hard ... but the era in my life, wasn't that bad.
I was engaged to be married. Wow ...20 years ago. I was working at a fast food hot dog stand, managing it. Yikes.
I'd been married and divorced ... and was getting ready to get married again.
My life in front of me ... I was healthy, and strong ... and I had no idea what was in front of me.
I was in the 7th grade ... living at my fathers. The only year I would live with my Dad. He left my mom the day he found out that she was pregnant with me. I went to live with him after a trauma when I was in the 6th grade that I never told my mom or step father about.
I thought, living with him would get me into a 'safe' place, but it put me square into the place of rejection and judgement. Dad hadn't wanted me from the start. The fact that I was less than acceptable was made abundantly clear throughout the year. My step mother, did a lot to try to make up for that. But, she also did a lot to try to get me to live up to my father's expectations. Which, just fed into the 'you're not good enough' mentality.
I'd grown up with my parents (my real dad and my real mom) both being special education teachers. My sister, had this knack for telling me that I belonged in my mom's class. She'd talked the kids at school into teasing me along those lines.
I believed them.
In moving to my Dad's, I had a new set of friends who had no clue about the teasing, the bullying or even had a clue who my sister was.
I was on new ground. Clean slate. New teacher's who had never had my nice, quiet, willing to please anyone that crossed her path ... sister ... and well ... suddenly ... I wasn't the clumsy, dumb, irritating Peggi anymore.
I was recommended by my math teacher to be tested for the gifted program ...and shock of all shocks to me ... got in. In California in 1977 it was a state wide program called (oh my goodness ... BRACE YOURSELVES ...this is terrible labeling!)
Mentally Gifted Minors ... or MGM
The fact that I could step foot from what I considered myself to be ready for the MR program into the MGM class was beyond me. But ... they thought I could. I did. What was even more shocking ... I found I fit in ..quite nicely. Everyone in there talked like I did. Acted like I did ... played like I did and read the same books I did and managed to get into the same kind of trouble I did!! WOW ... a whole classroom full of alien Peggi's!! *blink*
The highlight of the year was going to see the King Tut Exhibit in LA.
The Lowlight of the year ... having to watch Tale Tale Heart in *BOTH* MGM and Language Arts in the same week ...because it managed to get caught up in 2 different programs! I still haven't gotten over that one! I bought the DVD for my son last summer, but told him he's not allowed to watch it with me around!!!
*shudder* (bought him the original, the one I was forced to watch)
The beginnings of my eating disorder can be seen in this year, although, it didn't really start until after my step father died in 1979. But, living this year with my dad ... telling me I was fat ...and unacceptable ..and yes, he used those words ... did much to lay the ground work for the eating disorder. Being told that I was 'unforgiveable' for wishing I could have more than a half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich and half an apple and 1 fig newton for lunch ... while my brother had a whole bologna sandwhich, chips, apple and 3 cookies ... kind of got me on track for thinking about 'right foods' & 'wrong foods' and portion sizes.
The odd thing was ... my brother hated bologna ..and I HATED peanut butter ... why they did this, we still have no idea.
When I moved back in with my mom at the end of the school year, the doctor told my mom I was 10 lbs underweight ... a forced diet at 13 will do that to a girl.
I can still tell you what we had to eat most nights of the week that year ..and for breakfast it was one soft boiled egg, for me, a slice of toast and a glass of orange juice. My juice, was measured.
The year, was ... to put it mildly, paradoxical ... great successes both academically and socially at school. Home life ... was less than to be desired.
Funny ... Paradoxical seems to be a good word to describe my life in general.
So, on to the tagging ...
I'm going to tag DP (you know who you are) Random Grace, Three's a Crowd (a friend of mine from Church) Chris at Normal Chaos and Ms Raine!