Saturday, 24 July 2010

So Close and Yet...

Well, my new job is getting under way. I'm just shadowing at the moment, but I am seeing close up how varied the autism spectrum is. I have seen people at either ends of the spectrum. from extremely unable to very able yet still in need of support. It fascinates me. I have so much respect for the people who do this work. On the face of it it doesn't seem demanding, but it can be extremely challenging. And you never know how your day is going to go. I'm very tired. It's not demanding -- at least not now, but there is so much to take in.

And FEX has made a financial settlement offer. On the face of it it looks ok. But I worry because he has made me close out two accounts in my name and he says he's deposited the money in our joint savings account (making sure he can get his hands on it). But I can't see where the money from one account has gone. I am so close. Next Friday is the court hearing date for the financial dispute resolution. I've told my solicitor that come hell or high water I'm walking out of there with a settlement. She said she sincerely hopes I do. And perhaps FEX will buy out my share of the house. I can only hope.

My new job is not very well paid. I could try to get a permanent post, which pays better, but the hours are crap. So I am trying to find another part-time job, I'm cleaning a couple of houses a week (which pays far better than looking after autistic adults), and I'd like to do a few shifts a week in the support worker job. And I still need to get my massage therapist certification, and then could charge £20/hour for massages. I had a job interview on Tuesday. Of course I didn't get the job. But I made it to the final three. So close and yet...

Friday, 16 July 2010

So Here's What I've Been Doing

Does anybody who isn't Chinese read my blog anymore? Not that I have anything against the Chinese people but some comments in English are welcome as well.

Anyway, I have no room to complain as I have been an errant blogger. But much has been happening in my world. I started working. Yes, Wakeup has a job, actually two jobs and possibly a third on the way. I am a peripatetic support worker for people with autism. This is completely different to anything I've ever done, and yet it's not. I have been a carer for the past 18 years for FEX and my children. Now I get paid for it, and I get to work with autistic people. Yes, so far I enjoy it. Autism is an extremely complex disability. No two autistic people are alike, I've discovered. One may have highly developed verbal skills but has no concept of time and won't feed him or herself. Another may have no language skills and no toilet skills. All autistic people have a high level of anxiety. My heart goes out to them. Imagine trying to cope with daily living when you, through no fault of your own, have no coping skills and never will. Imagine being the parents of such a child. Imagine the hopes and dreams you had for your child and realising they will never happen. You can never relax because you never know what's going to happen, or you do know what's going to happen.

An interesting job, but not a highly paid one. That's why I'm also cleaning houses, which is far better paid. And I have an interview for a third job next week. Put them all together, though, and they add up to a decent wage. Not much free time, but who needs that? I am having a hard time adjusting to not being here for the family that don't want me here anyway. Well, I think my son does. And my daughter does on occasion. Who knows what FEX wants. Who cares?

The pension actuary's report came out today. I need to look at it in more detail but I'm leaning toward not going for a share of FEX's pension but a payout. That way I can invest it how I want, not how FEX wants. He has been a good money manager, but if I'm to have my independence, I must pull away completely. Also, who knows what could happen in the next 15 years. I could die. I could remarry. He could die. Life is full of uncertainty. FEX has been on the phone a lot with the kitchen door shut. I don't care who he's calling, but my dad has been trying to call me for several days because my stepmother has been in the hospital. And all he gets is a busy signal. I imagine FEX is on the phone with Julie16 and perhaps his two friends, five acquaintances, sister, and mother to update them on how wonderful he is and how horrible I am. My dad said he won't ever emerge from this negative state unless something really catastrophic happens to him. I don't wish that on him, but I do pray he one day stops this negativity and moves on. He's in danger, otherwise, of allowing our divorce to determine his reaction to everything and everyone in his life. And that's not a healthy way to be.

But I have no control over that. And meanwhile, I have so much to learn about autism.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Nightmare Continues

Just when I thought Daughter and I had gotten through the worst of times, we take 100 giant steps backward. On Friday Daughter had a party. I went to a friend's house. She texted to say the bathroom door had been broken. When I got home, she showed me the damage. It was only the lock. OK, I shrugged. That can be fixed. Then she asked if a boy could stay over because he had no way home. OK, I said. Then it turned into three boys. Then I went in my room and discovered someone had been in there and gone through my drawers and papers. Then I went in the bathroom and discovered someone had thrown away my contact lens case.

Then I lost my cool and Daughter and I said a few choice words to each other. She said it was my fault for using "her" bathroom and moving into the bedroom across from her bathroom. She said it was embarrassing because all her friends knew. I said if I could move out, I would. I decided to take back the shoes I'd bought her the day before. She went outside with her friends to cool down. The next morning they all left early. She sent a text to her dad saying she didn't want to be in the same house as me anymore, which he showed me. Oh, FEX was quite upset too for they'd gone into his study. Beer bottles were everywhere. There was more damage than just the broken lock. FEX and I decided to take away her laptop and phone.

Daughter did text to apologise, but I must admit I was devastated by the text she sent her dad. Like he needs any more evidence to add to his claim that she hates my fucking guts. I went to a friend's 25th anniversary party last night. Daughter showed up with her new boyfriend, whom she introduced to me. We danced together but later I saw her laughing at my dancing. I saw her hugging her friends' mothers, and it just tore me up. She stayed away all day yesterday and didn't come home till this afternoon.

I know this girl is hurting inside. I know part of her desperately wants a relationship with me, and part of her is very angry. I know she craves a normal family life and so hangs out with her friends who have one. But I can take the blame for only so long. Those friends of hers on Friday were way out of order but apparently I'm not allowed to be angry about it. And of course FEX was so reasonable about it with her. So once again I'm the screaming shrew and he's the reasonable dad. Did I mention that he was at home while all this mayhem was happening?

I told her that's all he needs to prove that she hates me, that he'll be on the phone telling people just that. She said nothing in response.

I wish I could wake up from this nightmare.