Well,my body has figured out new and creative ways to betray me. Now I can’t move most of my left side at all! We aren’t sure if I had a minor stroke or if it was caused by something else. I’m getting used to it, since its been two days.But Its still hard.Having half your body be totally numb is really weird.
It’s amazing all the simple things I had been taking for granted. things like standing and walking. Now I can’t even do that. The hand that i use to hold my cane no longer works. So I am not sure how to walk if I felt up to it. So it looks like I’ll be in my wheelchair for now. At least I would be if someone hadn’t stolen it.
Other things that are really difficult now: dressing, brushing my hair and teeth,taking care of the kids, holding a book, feeding myself…basically, everything.
It just isn’t fair. i am trying so hard to get things done.
In my wheelchair I’m lower down than average. But My face isn’t that low. Please stop addressing my breasts and look me in the eye!
And while you’re at It when you come to my classes, please don’t come into my class, look right past me and ask for the teacher in charge. That would be me. Yes, sometimes I’m forced to use a wheelchair.But I also have 15 years experience (not counting raising my siblings). I have all the required credentials plus more. I am CPR certified, and a first responder. Oh and most of the kids love “Teacher Turtle” most days. So get over the chair, look me in the eye and get used to the idea that even though I need a chair sometimes I am the person in charge.
That’s the biggest problem with having a disability. People assume that because I use a wheelchair and wear a face mask at work I am not capable of being the teacher in charge. Actually, I started the program. Before I turned it into something that more resembles child care/preschool. It was only a day room before, where up to 198 children are dropped off and left to fend for themselves for the day. One adult is all that has to watch them. What we have now is better. But its only that way because I decided to make it that way.
I know that times are hard. I honestly do get that you’re desperate. I am too. And so are the people that you are “borrowing” from! You took the only sweater that a lady owned when she escaped from her abusive husband. You borrowed the only Christmas presents that some children would be getting, and now you took food from people just as hungry as you are. Does that make any sense?
I can get over that you stole my worn flipflops from my office. (While I was there). I can even get over you stealing my wheelchair so that the rest of my life is going to be really difficult. What I can’t get over is stealing from the school. We work hard to get the toys and equipment we have. It was a lot of work to get donations to give kids the best environment we possibly can.
I wish that I was able to help you. Do you need food? I can give you a list of shelters. Do you need money? we have an emergency fund. Do you need clothing? There is a whole table full for the taking. And I can get you blankets and a hygene kit, too. Do you need a clinic referal? I can give you that. Please just identify yourself somehow so I can get what you need, even if you just leave a note under my office door. I will try to give you whatever you need.
I know how hard it is to ask for help. Please try. I don’t even need your name, and I’ll put any referals where you won’t be identified.
“Turtle, you could sit on the parenting panel if they don’t show up.”
“Umm, yeah, sure. I don’t good with public speaking though.” I mumbled. I could feel my face turning bright pink. I was still only two months out of hospital after rehabilitation for a head injury.I had a lot of difficulty talking and putting the right words together. I felt okay being in class,but I wasn’t sure that I would be able to speak clearly. But that wasn’t really why I was turning pink and getting way too warm.
The teacher had just outted me. Although I had never really been in (at least not since high school) I also didn’t talk about my sexual orientation or family life openly. Not yet anyway. I was too new. I had only been at city college for two months, off the reservation for a year and wasn’t sure how much I wanted to say.Even though this was a class about serving LGBT families in preschools I wasn’t really comfortable yet. I’d been hurt too many times by so many people that I didn’t know how much was safe to say. I had told this instructor my information in another class as part of an activity,not this class. And this particular instructor tends to be really loud. She can be heard in the back row when she’s making a “private” comment to someone in the first. Oh well, File that in the *it figures* files.
Worried that she would also out my medical status I tried for damage control. “Well, I am a parent. ” Not smooth,but hopefully anyone who had heard would think that’s all she had meant.Fortunately, it didn’t matter. The panel showed up.
As I got more comfortable I did speak more. The next week I talked about the difficulties of adoption for LGBT parents.I did an activity that changed paperwork in preschool programs to include all types of families,and even became more of an activist in my community. But I still felt a bit weird in that class. I would have eventually come out to the class on my own. But I would have prefered doing it on my terms. And the teacher (although we are friends now) still doesn’t realize that she outted me before I was ready.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 9:40 AM, PDT
Lonelyness( a sort of poem)
I wish people would look past the speech difficulty, the slow movements, the floppy head ,
I wish people would look me in the eye, instead of just staring at me.
I wish people would take the time to get to know me.
I wish they would see my love of life, not focus on my bad days.
I wish that they would take the time to hear what I say, Instead of trying to hurry my along, or worse, pointing out all my days are bad. (No they aren’t, you just doesn’t see me outside of school)
I wish people would let me make my own medical decisions, even if they can see the outcome and I may not.
I wish That I had friends (other than online) who would spend time with me because they want to, not because they are paid to.
I wish I had someone to talk to who was older than the “I can spit my peas farther than you” Age range.
I wish people could see past my shell, and get to know the person.
“there’s a cockroach in my coffee”
“what’s it doin?”
“I think, the backstroke”
“Mama ,mama. I could be president!”
“would you like that?”
“Nah, ya gotta listen ta too many idiots” (from the mouths of nine year olds)
“Mama,Mama,mama.A puppypuppypuppy PUPPY!” (the next door neighbor got a dog.)
(Yoav to Spikey) “Woll over. Woll Over. Woll over!”
“she’s a child, not a dog”
“i axed fer a dog!”
(Spikey looked at us and rolled over.)
- Typical “discussion” at the Turtle Pond (splashofthegoldfishcrackers.wordpress.com)