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Team Irene- the College Daughter

My Irene has lost so much weight. She’s healthy but I wonder if she’s eating? I have always said to others she eats about 5 different things and 3 of them are a variety of potatoes- chips, fries and baked; oh and mashed too. That is Autism. That is her Autism because Autism is different for everyone and it changes daily. She is doing amazing at UC Sant Cruz and I keep having to tell myself that and others when they ask because I don’t know anything different and I won’t know until it hits the fan- if it hits the fan. Shit that is. Until then I just practice acceptance and faith and know that I’m utterly powerless.

I know Irene is walking everywhere on campus because Irene can’t drive or even ride a bike, mostly out of fear and I’m ok with that. This is probably why she has slimmed down so much I tell myself. She has learned the bus system with the help of her IHS worker who is bringing on another worker so Irene gets more hours a week. She must need them if they are doing this – I have to trust them.

Her hygiene I will not talk about, but she has hair growing everywhere including under her arms and I know that is a thing now with girls so I encouraged her not to worry and to do what ever she wants- I will not define her. Many of her clothes just went straight to the trash and shopping had to be done. She was home for Thanksgiving and we are on the drive back now with her dad at the wheel so I have some time to reflect and jot down a few lines.

Irene is Autistic plus as many of you know, depressive, anxiety and ADHD as well. She is my gift. The gift born in the front seat of my car in my addiction. The gift I tried so hard to keep. The gift I walked away from and thank my God for bringing me back to when I got clean. It’s never too late.

Irene won’t say if she’s hungry, she’ll wait until she can find some chips or bread; she doesn’t want to bother anyone. I saw she ordered some gourmet cookies delivered to her room- I know that was probably very exciting for her. Her bank account is attached to mine so I always know what she’s buying. She has only made it into the Mc Donald’s in Santa Cruz once her whole time at school; this was her staple at home and still her treat.

I’m taking her back with snacks and enough hygiene to last her until summer. If I make sure she has everything she needs then she hopefully won’t run out. What Irene see’s as necessary to buy and what is not are different than the usual- she needs every airport neck pillow she sees- tampons not so important. I’m hoping these extra hours with her worker are utilized to the fullest and I have a list of items to discuss with them. I haven’t even seen her room yet but if it looks like it did a few weeks ago I’ll send her and her dad Mark out to Mc Donald’s so I can get it together while they’re gone. She panics when things are moved or when people are in her space. She stays secluded but gets out to do the things she wants when she wants- the things that interest her.

Irene makes it to her classes though. I hope she is turning in assignments and studying for finals- she is so smart. I had to map things out -everything in high school daily including homework and due dates- she’s on her own now. Things her IHS worker is supposed to be assisting her with- organization and dates. She lives in her own world doing what her mind wants to. I can’t explain Irene any better than that other than a beautiful brilliant gift and my daughter.

I have heard C’s get degrees and although she has always been an A+ honors student that came at a cost. Frustration, tears, meltdowns and stress along with her picking at her skin and pulling her hair out. Her bangs are growing back out and I don’t see any signs of hair pulling- although she is always wearing a hat. A mother knows her child. She is thriving and I have to keep supporting her. I’ve picked her classes – yes again, hopefully for the last time. She was upset with me. Irene didn’t understand classes have to be picked and no longer will she just get a schedule. I finally got the IHS worker to get her to a counselor and follow up with that to map out her years for success. Irene was 1 of 200 accepted into UC Santa Cruz’s Computer Science degree program in 2019! If you put it in front of her she will do it. She can do anything.

The Chicken Lady

Addict · Bloggess · Farmer · Life · Mother · Recovery

Finding Christine….

Just a bit about this blog, it was written last year on this day- August 7, 2016.  It came up in a memory on Facebook, a good one.  As I reflect on it I’m currently in Sturgis, South Dakota at the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with a man I love.  We have been riding all over, not just here but everywhere.  Who would have thought that this is where I would be today?  Just get up and go do things before it’s too late.  Or in my case as I always say, it’s never too late.

I am still on the journey finding Christine and passion for life; I hope my quest never stops, enjoy.

Sunday Morning with Coffee and Chicken’s

Finding Christine…..

How absolutely amazing is it to finally start finding yourself, OK, continue to find yourself at the age of 47?  The saying for me, “getting better with age”, really encompasses my choices and zest for life.

I am growing up, still gratefully learning who and what I want to be. Finding the FUN in life. You may see my Facebook side, which is actually me go figure.   However, just a few short years ago I was very sedate, quiet, I stayed in woman’s meetings and the only way you knew me is if we did service together or I was asked to chair.  I would walk in, throw it down, and walk out; still not letting you in.  I stayed home every weekend and babysat grandkids, joyfully, EVERY weekend. Hahaha Daughter moved away, far enough so that I became a visitor, not a nanny, kids got older, and I started venturing out.   Creepin.

Time has a way of healing if you do the work, and I did, do, and am.

I needed that time, to work on Christine.  I had a lot of figuring out to do.   I still do.  One thing that I have been figuring out though is that I am going to have fun in whatever I am doing.  If I do service, I have fun and still manage to get the job done.   I do a lot of service. This act I do for others is really very selfish; it has done more for me.  It has allowed me to meet some amazing people and let people into my life and my home, I don’t do that. I am a very private person.  Secret Squirrel Morraco Mole type of private.

Coming up on 8yrs soon, over 3 yrs in my home and I only have 2 things on the walls at my house of which I just added this past year.   Almost as if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and I might lose it all.  More likely that I somehow was gonna fuck it all up and walk away, one more time.  I don’t have those fears anymore.  Those are choices, that I am no longer willing to make.  So I do the work, stay in the middle, let people in, some I let right back out.

I am getting better with age!

The Chicken Lady

Life

The Long Ride Home….

It’s a Sunday over here on the yard.  The sun has long since been up and regardless of what time I went to sleep last night, past midnight though which just doesn’t happen much for me anymore, I am still an early riser.  The sounds of the chicken’s however got me moving this morning.  The egg laying calls which signal I have slept in, leaves rustling out by the side fence, and just the chatter of my lovely ladies; 16 hen’s and counting.  I can almost feel the season changing into fall-I love the fall most.  This little piece has taken some time to get started.  The coffee had to be made, the dogs fed, the cat let in and out; all of that while I shuffle around the house on my hardwood floors in my slippers.  Not to mention just the fact that my mind wanders from here to yesteryear and back in an instant, sometimes it just wanders into the back-forty with the chicken’s and the sounds of the birds in the trees.

Last weekend I went on an amazing trip, one might say a once in a lifetime trip.  However I have a feeling there will be plenty more once in a lifetimes with him, there have been so many already I stopped counting.  We rode to Los Angeles from Sacramento along the coast and back on his Harley for a concert to remember, one I definitely will.  The music was classic, it was actually called The Classic West; from a time when I was young and the memories were still good, it is still my favorite music.  I know he wondered if I could make it, I knew I could and as I always told him leading up to the trip-it would be him who would have to haul me, I would just be holding on and I did.

I am a crier.  I never was a crier before.  From a very young age I seemed to have shut off emotions altogether.  The means to feel anything for anyone had long since been removed almost out of necessity or second if not first nature, even for myself.  The gift of being in touch with yourself and the capacity it takes to feel all the feelings, the good and bad is something I will never take for granted again. Many years after I found a new way to live a common theme resurfaced from my past.  Did you even care about me?  Did you ever even love me?  The answer was always the same; yes, to the best of my ability.

Gratefully the tears of joy and gratitude constantly flow from my face on a regular basis today and everyday for the life that I live now.  I often times reflect while I am driving alone in the car; I spent so much of my previous life in solitude driving in a car on my way somewhere.  Always thinking.  It’s no wonder that driving is still a time for reflection for me.  Being on the back of a bike was something completely different.  So much so that I came home and started window shopping for my own, but that story will be another day in the future.  The sense of freedom I felt while riding through California was astounding; it literally took my breath away.  There was a lot of healing happening on the back of that bike for me while he hauled me from here to there.

I have managed to do quite of work on me, the inside stuff throughout the years.  What I know is that it will probably never be done, that work of the heart and soul; I am thankful for the knowledge of that.  It is like that onion they speak of, layers.  Sometimes even though you have healed that part, something comes up to remind you of it and you get to do a bit more healing.  If you are lucky enough to look at how it affected you and your choices.

Well on the long ride home I shed a whole layer of that onion just like that along with a quite a few tears.  Maybe it was the scenery?  Maybe it was the company?  Maybe it was both?  More than likely it was just the time it took to get where I needed to be, metaphorically, to let some of my past go.  That trip would take me through quite a bit of my life; on a long desert highway, cool wind in my hair.

I lead a pretty charmed life nowadays, one that is full of love.  I don’t think he will ever have to wonder once if I love him either; my eyes tell a different story today.  In fact no one wonders anymore if the light is on, I can’t stop shining. This little tale started in the wee hours of the morning and ended up taking a hiatus until my return from another ride, just a day trip with friends celebrating life!  My chicken’s are now on their roosts for the night; in fact my own little chicken’s, my daughters, are ready for bed too goodnight.

The Chicken Lady

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