Last week I had a very frank and open talk with my headteacher about how I’m coping since the EDS decided to kick my arse and kneecap me. I’ve had a number of these meetings with other people, but he has a way of really listening. I have mountains of respect for him, and whilst I don’t always agree with him, my opinion is always welcomed and heard. He doesn’t suffer fools, and I respect him immensely. So when he asked how I was coping, I was more truthful than I have been with even members of my own family.
I’m angry quite a lot of the time. This isn’t how I’d planned to spend my 30s and there are days (and weeks) that I feel like a shitty teacher. There are certainly days where I’m in too much pain to follow a lesson plan as expected and I end up needing help from the kids.
He asked me how the kids were acting towards me.
Our kids have rolled with it. They barely see my disability – all they see is a teacher and yet on my bad days where the circles get so dark under my eyes and something audibly cracks, they discreetly move chairs out of my path and ask to spend lunchtime in my classroom (which just happens to coincide with bringing me tea), or change direction so they can open doors. They’ve always been the best part of my day, but I see them in a new light now. One where teenagers are infinitely kinder than adults.
In my desent into my special pity party, there have been a few people who have just got it, and others who don’t but still move heaven and earth to keep my chin above water.
My postman delivered a cheer up chicken gift today from my lovely friend Mrs M. There’s hundreds of miles between us, but she managed to utterly brighten my day and make me feel very humbled. She’s put up with more poop in her time than anyone deserves, and although we don’t always see eye to eye, we respect each other’s great big gobby opinions. We all need someone in our lives whose heart is as big as their mouth. Those people are the most real people. They keep us grounded.
I also have my sister-in-law, who is a total warrior. Seriously, Xena has nothing on her. She is the ultimate role model for Beanpole as how a woman who has Aspergers can function whilst also sticking two fingers up to a world that demand she conform. I see how Beanpole struggles each day with fitting her square peg into a world full of round holes and looks to her Aunty for cues how to get there. When Beanpole visits her, you can see her visibly relax because if she squeaks or needs to stroke the eyes of her panda no one is judging her there. Aunty Squeezy is her calm in a great big stormy world. She’s also a massive support to me because she tells me straight if I need to get a grip, guides me through ways to get help, and speaks up for me when I’m too embarrassed to ask. She was also the first person aside from me and Mr Geek to see our daughters & was in fact there when TinyPants was born (she met TinyPants before I did!). Biologically, I don’t have a sister, but in reality I do.
There’s also Mrs G who is always there at 3am to mop up the tears. A decade of this and she still hasn’t kicked my arse. The woman has the patience of a saint & I can’t wait to give her a hug when her children have finally stopped infecting her with germs!
And I know you’re reading this Sherlock. Don’t think that we don’t think about you guys every day.
There are lots of you and I wish I could thank all of you personally, but this is turning into a gushy Oscars style speech so if you’re reading this and we’ve had contact over the past few days, I want to say thank you. People’s kindness over the last 48 hours has been overwhelming.