Can You Slap A Pregnant Woman?

A co-worker of mine is pregnant. They got married at the end of August and the baby is due at the beginning of June. I don’t have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with, is this: the whole summer when she was planning her wedding, she kept venting to me and saying she wasn’t sure why she was going through with it. That she wasn’t even sure she wanted to marry him. She was angry and frustrated and questioning their relationship. And now she has been saying that she is regretting getting pregnant so quickly. That she wishes that she would have planned better, that she should have thought things through.

I hate the fact that she is pregnant already, but I hate even more that she is regretting having the baby. And I doubt that she actually regrets the baby, because she’s talked about being a mom for a while. I just feel like she’s rushed into this, which she admits, and is just setting up the baby for a rough life.¬† After losing Jamie, it just hurts so much to watch this unfold every day at work. To see someone regret the child growing inside them. Because it’s something we would not regret. She gets pregnant super easily and is now bringing a baby into an unsteady relationship, and Rob and I want a baby more than we can say and we have very little chance of having a baby. It just sucks. It makes me want to walk up to her and slap her for being so ungrateful. For not cherishing that little life inside of her. I would give almost anything to have Jamie back again, or to have another child, and she is complaining.

It makes me feel twisted and dark inside. Like I’m filling up with bitterness. And I know I should pray for her, for her situation to improve, and I am trying. I really am trying. Because I do want her to be happy, and I want so badly for that baby to have a good life, but I am so angry. I am so hurt. And oh Lord, I am so bitter.

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Thinking Thinking Thinking

There’s so much to think about right now.

Robby’s been struggling, and it really reminds me of what I went through. I hate that he’s struggling. And I could see the struggle coming. I wonder if he could see it coming for me. I don’t know. I was practiced at hiding my emotions, but he’s always known my heart, so maybe he did. I’ll have to ask him.

But anyways, he’s really struggling, and I just want to help him get through it. But I don’t know how. I don’t know what he needs. I don’t think he knows what he needs. My biggest concern–well, my two biggest concerns–are that 1) he won’t actively pursue therapy and 2) he will need/have to leave his job.

Active therapy, to me, is when you dig into the tough issues. You go to therapy and pull up the things you’re struggling with instead of just brushing the surface. You have to be active in dredging these things up, you can’t just let the therapist lead the appointments. It’s hard, it’s scary but it is super effective.

And I am scared that he will have/need to leave his job. I needed to when I went through something like this. And I would completely understand if that is what he needed, I’m just not sure how we would make that work. And I’m scared that he will have to leave his job because of this struggle he is facing. I know that would be devastating to him. I know logically that most men define themselves¬† by their work, and part of what he is struggling with is self confidence, and I’m afraid that if the worst work situation happens, it will shatter him.

Also, I’ve been really thinking about my future career path. I’ve greatly enjoyed working with kids these past few years, and it touches my heart. I don’t want to move away from it completely, but I definitely want to move back toward nature, conservation, and the earth. And I think I have a sketch in my mind of what I want my path to be.

There is a Nature Center near here and they teach children about nature and conservation. They also rescue wildlife and rehabilitate them before releasing them into the wild.

How cool is that?!?!

I want to volunteer there. I also want to take classes in order to be a certified wildlife rehabilitator. By volunteering at the nature center I will get to work with kids and teach them about nature and animals, and I will get hands on experience learning how to rehabilitate animals. From the research I’ve done, I’ll need 3 years of experience to get my 2nd level of certification for rehabilitation. The first level just requires an 8 hour class and that you care for the animal at a facility with proper equipment. My hope is that I can become a certified wildlife rehabilitator as well as teach at the nature center, and maybe (someday) become certified to be a rehabilitator for marine wildlife.

It makes me happy to feel like I’m finally seeing the right path for my life, but I feel so conflicted because I see Robby struggling so much. I feel like I shouldn’t feel so excited. I think I need to balance being excited for my future and being supportive in the present.

Adjusting

Well, Robby made the switch to 3rd. He goes in for his first shift in just a few hours. Other than being tired from staying up all night Friday in order to switch his sleep schedule and being nervous for his first 3rd shift, he seems to be doing really well, which is great.

I, on the other hand, am very anxious.

I actually have been since Friday night when I went to bed by myself. I was lying there, trying to be calm while telling myself that I didn’t need Robby to sleep, and that I could take care of myself, when it hit me: The last time I told myself those things while trying to sleep alone was when I had left.

I know that this isn’t then. We aren’t sleeping apart because we are broken. We are sleeping apart because our schedules require it.

But it’s still hard.

It’s only been a few days and we are still adjusting, but it is hard. I know our relationship is in a good place. I know that I’m not running from him because the PTSD is twisting my reality. But when I was filling the bed with stuffed animals, trying to forget that he should be lying next to me, some of the old wires started to cross and I started to feel alone. I have never felt more alone than those 3 days in that hotel.

And I never want to feel that way again.

I want our relationship to stay good. I don’t want us to become roommates who never see each other. I know we are going to have to work harder than we have the last few months, but I also know that we have been through much harder things.

But I’m still scared. I know how easy it is to still into bad patterns. I know how easy it is to drift apart. To become lonely. But I have to keep telling myself that we are prepared for this. We know what to watch out for and we know how to invest in and build up our relationship. We just have to do those things, and I have to have faith that we can do this. And as long as we both stay alert and proactive, I know we can.

But maybe that’s the other thing that worries me. Robby has a very hard time with follow through. He’s much better about follow through when it comes to our relationship than when it comes to taking care of himself, but it’s still something he struggles with. So I guess that I worry that we will say that we will be diligent, but when things start to strain, his struggles with follow through will make things harder. So I guess that’s where we start. Talking about my worries.

A Blessing For Us, A Trial For Her

Recently, I wrote how I was facing the possibility that I would have to say goodbye to the kids at my job because it was only temporary. Then a few days later, my boss approached me about staying on “as long as I want to stay”. What a blessing!

But then I found out why.

The woman I am filling in for, April, has been on medical leave recovering from a surgery. It turns out the surgery was a double mastectomy. Thankfully, the breast cancer was contained. However, when the doctors were running labs on the tissue they found a second type of cancer that is very aggressive. And it has already spread. So she is going to be starting two types of chemo simultaneously in an effort to fight both cancers.

So she’s probably not going to be back for a long time. And if we are completely honest, she might never be back.

And I don’t know how to process that.

I am grateful beyond belief to have a job that I love and (I hope) I am good at, but it breaks my heart that it comes at such a cost to her.

I have been through awful things in my life, I know awful things happen. I am just so used to them happening to my family, that I guess I never thought about others going through horrible things. And I would never wish this on her, but I am still benefiting from her pain, and that breaks my heart. I know logically that when I quit my bookstore job due to the PTSD getting too severe (not sure if I’ve written about that yet, if not, I will eventually) that someone benefited by getting my job, but I’ve never been in the positive position in this kind of situation. We’ve always been the ones struggling.

I guess the key is to remember that even though we are in a time of blessings, there are still people going through trials. We can’t say ‘oh, it’s their time’ or even ‘it’s not my problem’ because life happens to all of us and we only get through those times with the support of others. So I will try not to feel guilty, but instead grateful for the blessings we have, and try and pour those blessings into others.

I actually love my job

I never expected that.

Now I’m starting to wonder about my future. Do I want to stay on at T*** after the summer program ends? Can I stay on after the summer program ends? If I can’t, then what?

I’ve finally found something that I enjoy doing and I would be happy doing long-term. The thing is, I don’t know if I will be able to.¬† And that kind of scares me. I don’t know what I will do when I don’t have T*** in my life. I don’t want to go back to having nothing to fill my days. Having no purpose. I love getting to be a part of those children’s lives and I don’t want to give that up.

But if they can’t hire me me for the school year, I will have to. And I will just have to face that when the time comes. I don’t know how I will, but I will.

Blake and Tessa

I started working at a childcare facility, and there is a little girl there named Tessa. The other kids have told me that Tessa has Autism, but to me she presents more like someone with severe Down’s Syndrome. She is not very aware of what is going on around her. She is maybe 9 years old, but has the mental faculties of (what I would estimate to be) a 3 year old. Tessa is a very sweet little girl, but she isn’t truly aware of what is going on in the world around her.

The other day at lunch, Tessa was sitting next to a little boy and he started shaking her by the shoulders. He had wrapped his arms around her, and was just shaking her. He was smiling, maybe even laughing, and Tessa didn’t seem too upset, but I made him stop anyways. When I tried to get him to explain why he was shaking her and apologize, he avoided my eyes and acted as though he didn’t hear me. He stopped shaking her, but he never acknowledged that he had done something wrong.

Once the kids finish lunch, they sit against the wall. When I looked over, the same little boy was sitting next to Tessa and laughing. I couldn’t tell what was going on, but I didn’t trust that boy, so I kept watching. Tessa kept leaning over to him, blocking my view of them, and I wasn’t sure if it was her not understanding personal space (which happens with Tessa) or if (I think I went cold at this thought) she was kissing him. Then Tessa leaned back and the boy laughed and pointed to another girl sitting next to Tessa, and Tessa kissed her on the cheek. I hoped that was a one time occurrence, that he wasn’t telling Tessa to kiss the girl because he’s just gotten Tessa to kiss him. But then he laughed again and tapped his cheek, at the same time gesturing toward Tessa in a ‘come here’ manner. And she kissed him on the cheek.

And he laughed.

Part of me was livid, and part of me was in complete control and knew I was going to protect that girl. I got the attention of another teacher and explained that the boy was getting Tessa to kiss him and then he was laughing about it, and she sighed (almost as if it was just another annoying thing) and went over to them. She actually told Tessa to stop. That ‘we don’t do that at school, sit over there’. To the boy, who I found out was named Blake, she said ‘if she tries to do that again, tell her no’. As if Tessa was to blame.

I told the Director not long after, and she spoke to Blake, but the situation has bothered me since it happened. At first, I thought it was simply because a boy was taking advantage of a vulnerable little girl, and it hit too close to home. After all, I was taken advantage of. Thankfully, I think we stopped everything before it escalated, but that is still not something I want to be around.

Then, I realized it was also because Tessa reminds me of my little sister Emma. Emma has some developmental brain disorders and will never be an ‘average’ adult. Right now, my parents are working with the doctors to see what mental age she will be able to reach. Right now, she is physically 6 1/2 but mentally 4 years old, and she has already started to plateau. It’s possible she will always mentally be a four year old. What if someone did that to Emma? She loves giving hugs. She loves people. To her, everyone is just a friend she hasn’t met yet. But what if someone hurt her? What if someone took advantage of her? I don’t think I ever realized before how vulnerable she is, how much protection she needs. Rob and I have said that if/when my parents pass away, we will be Emma’s advocates to make sure she gets the care she needs, and it had never felt hard before. I want to be there for Emma. We will be there for Emma, but I never truly realized how vulnerable she will always be. She won’t be able to protect herself from the evil in the world, she won’t be able to know what people should or shouldn’t be allowed to do to her. I just don’t ever want her to get hurt.

And now, and I write this, it dawned on me that the other teacher’s reaction bothers me, too. She scolded Tessa. That’s like scolding an abuse victim. It’s unfair. Tessa was being manipulated, and she got the blame. It’s way too similar to the kids blaming me when I tried to get help. I hope the teacher didn’t mean to take the side of the ‘bully’ or ‘abuser’, but that’s how it came off. It makes me very wary of that teacher.

This was one of those hard things to face, and I’m still figuring out how I feel about my third realization. It was a really hard thing to face on my second day, but I think (hope) I did the right thing. I’m still going to keep an eye on Blake, and I’m definitely going to look out for Tessa. The other teacher I will hold my judgement on until I get to know her more.

Like I said, it was a really hard thing to face.

Lots of Changes

Boy do we have a lot of changes coming up. And I’m just trying to figure out how I feel about them all. They’re all good changes, they’re just a lot of changes.

Rob got offered a job (yay) with a little bit of a raise (double yay), and he is really looking forward to it. I am so happy for him, but it’s 3rd shift and that’s going to take some getting used to.

So we got that news around the 23rd and then on the 29th T*** called, and they decided not to fill the position I had 2 interviews for. I called and spoke to the Director, and she was really nice about it. Basically, the board decided to do away with the position over the objections of the Director (Melissa), but Melissa hopes that they will reinstate the position in January, and she will keep me in mind.

And then yesterday, Melissa (T***) called and asked if I could fill in for one of her teachers this summer, so now I have a job too (yay). But now I’m very overwhelmed with the thought that all these changes are happening in the next few weeks (although technically Rob will be training on 1st shift, but the hours will be different than what he works now) and I’m trying to sort my head out and keep myself calm.

So I guess that I will just have to Lawyer myself, so here goes.

Fear: I’m afraid of starting a new job.

Lawyer: I know how to do this job. It’s basically what I’ve been doing all along at church (childcare and enrichment) but this time I’m going to get paid. It will be different kids and different hours, but I get to spend my time hanging around with kids. I even get to go on fieldtrips! That’s freaking awesome!!!

Fear: Adjusting to new hours

Lawyer: This isn’t the first time my schedule has changed. In college it changed all the time. Yes, it has been a while since we have gone through a big shift like this. But our relationship is stronger than it has ever been, and I know we can do this. It will take some adjusting and we will have to figure things out as we go, but having a strong relationship can only help.

Fear: Our relationship weakening due to lack of time together

Lawyer: Well, at first we will be working roughly the same hours. Laura: 6am-noon, Robby:7am-3pm so we won’t really be losing any time. Then, once Robby goes to 3rd shift, we will lose the morning hours, but we will still have the evening and weekends. Plus, with 2 incomes we should be able to actually afford to have Date Nights. Also, Melissa wants to keep me on once the lady I’m replacing comes back, and she said she would put me on slightly later hours, so maybe we could get our mornings back.

Other than that, the only things I’m slightly worried about are within my control. I can buy clothes so that I stay cool and ask for help when I have questions. We are already going shopping on Friday for new work clothes for Robby, so I can get some things for me as well so I feel prepared for my new job.

Lawyering myself really does help. I would highly suggest it to anyone who is struggling with anxiety.

Keeping My Head On

My anxiety is through the roof.

I’ve had what seemed like wonderful job opportunities come up in the last month, and one by one they aren’t working out.

I talked to Missy and Melissa at church a few weeks ago and let them know that we are really struggling financially, and that I would most likely have to get a typical job in order for us to make ends meet. That would mean that I would probably have to take a step back from the serving that I have been doing in the Children’s Ministry at church, which completely sucks because that is where I truly feel called. They suggested that I talk to our associate pastor and see if there was any way the church could hire me at least part time. I did speak to her, but there is no money in the budget, so that’s a no-go.

I’ve also been occasionally babysitting for a family (who originally wanted me several hours a week until summer, and then wanted me practically every day, but then they were incommunicado for WEEKS before finally booking me for a few hours every few weeks) and was supposed to be getting a schedule for the summer sometime soon. Unfortunately, today the mom contacted me and they aren’t going to need me at all this summer. Instead, they are going to coordinate childcare through someone in Cincinnati, where the mom’s business is located. Which totally sucks for me. Not only financially, but I was really bonding with the kids.

So now I’m waiting to hear from two more jobs. One is very occasional contract work, but I think I have a pretty good shot at it, plus it looks like tons of fun. The other job is full time (but probably won’t start until August) designing fun and educational programs for kids, which sounds amazing, but I’m nervous about it because it’s a brand new situation for me with people I don’t know. Sheila pointed out, though, that being new is a good thing because you can ask people for help, which makes me feel a little better, but I’m still nervous. Plus, I don’t even know if I’ll get the job. And I really need the job. And I want the job too. They said I should hear by the end of the month, so here’s hoping.

I know that God is closing doors that need to be closed, and that He will open windows that are supposed to be open, but it is very hard to wait and be patient. And to trust in His plan. I just need to keep my head on, and it will be okay.