Fandango’s Dog Days of August

Today’s theme is “a lesson you learned.” What is a lesson that you learned along the way? How did you learn the lesson? Who did you learn it from? How did that lesson change your life, it at all? https://fivedotoh.com/2020/08/21/fandangos-dog-days-of-august-21/

My lesson

When I got my first teaching job I had no idea what kind of school I was asking to work in. All I knew then was that I wanted a teaching job so badly and I had applied to every town within commuting distance. When I showed up for my interview I met the principal in her office which was also the tiny kitchenette. The school was in an old Victorian house in a very poor end of the city, very economically disadvantaged. The place was fairly quiet. She interviewed me and practically hired me on the spot. I had all the credentials and the demeanor to fit the job.

Jump ahead to my first day: I walk into my classroom which is a tiny room about 12′ X 8′. There were three kids sitting around a table and someone watching the kids while I got situated. “Where are the teaching materials?” no response. “What am I supposed to teach them?” no response.

Cutting the story short here, because I could write and write, it was a Clinical Day Program for emotionally disturbed children who were socially and behaviorally inappropriate for public schooling, as they had worn out all other interventions. Wow, I didn’t know that even existed!

So, I “love” my new job. I really did and I was getting in shape both restraining children who were physically aggressive or chasing “runners” down the street. There was this one boy, we will call him Charlie. He was a spoiled boy, his mother coddled him every minute of every day. His behavior was horrendous, physical, verbal, you name it. The mother “yes’ed” us to death and nothing improved. We had a staff meeting one day to discuss what to do next as he was getting bigger (in 4th grade almost my height, 5’3″). We were talking, thinking, brainstorming.

Being a new teacher, especially with this population, I made a comment like this: “If only his mother did something. She is half of the problem if not all of it. Does she even discipline him at home?”

Silence.

My principal looked at me and said, “You cannot judge the parents. You have no idea what they are going through and although we have their kids for 6.5 hours a day, they had them the rest of the 24 hours. They are challenged economically and some have their own psychiatric issues. You will never know what they go through unless you go through it in your own life.”

Well, that shut me up.

It also helped give me a new perspective on the kids, their families, and my role. You don’t know what people go through behind closed doors.

Years later, my son was bullied and displayed some of the behaviors I dealt with as a teacher. It really kicked me in the ass and I have NEVER forgotten what I was told. That day I became a better person.

©2020  CBialczak

Saturday Mix: metaphors

Written for Sarah at mindlovemiserysmenagerie: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/saturday-mix-mad-about-metaphor-18-july-2020/

His words cut deeper than a knife

They had plans to go to dinner. She dressed up nicely, making sure her makeup was just right. The only detail now was to find out what time and where they would meet.

“Hey, what time are we meeting for dinner?”

“I don’t want to meet you for dinner.”

“What do you mean? I thought we were going to go out tonight.”

I don’t ever want to see you again.”

His words cut deeper than a knife.

“But you said you loved me.”

“I just wanted to break your heart, like you broke mine years ago.”

-Based on a true story

©2020 CBialczak

Three Things Challenge #277

Thanks to Di at Pensitivity101 for 3 things: https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2020/06/25/three-things-challenge-277/

Your three things today are:

RESPITE
UNHEARD
NAKED

My experience

Having worked with the psychologically fragile I understand that caregivers need a chance to receive respite for all the hours they put in. It is a lot of work and mentally demanding. A great day is even an hour of peacefulness. It is not unheard of for smaller children suffering from an emotional disturbance to suddenly appear naked, to shock the caregiver. Luckily, I do not believe adults are the same. The hardest part is convincing caregivers that respite is for them, not because they can’t do their job right.  

©2020 CBialczak Nonfiction

Fandango’s provocative Question

If you could choose anyone, past or present, and walk that proverbial mile in his or her shoes, who would you choose, and why would you choose that person? https://fivedotoh.com/2020/05/20/fandangos-provocative-question-70/

This is going to sound so cliche but Mother Teresa.

I love the work that she did but mostly I love that everywhere she went everyone knew she was there to do good. No matter where she went she gave a good feeling. On top of that she traveled to so many places!

If I could go back and rewalk in my own shoes (please don’t take into consideration my children or late husband) I would have joined something like the Peace Corps and traveled to help people. There are supposedly missions that anyone can still participate in but how do you do it now? I don’t worry so much about my daughter because she would travel to see me wherever I went, but I couldn’t leave my dad or Laurette. Laurette too would travel with me; her own grandmother traveled well into her 90’s. My dad hates flying and now with the dementia if he is away from home and not somewhere familiar (like Publix or Walgreens) he starts to panic.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Photo Challenge #314

woman wearing white dress doing head stand

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: http://Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

My story

Many years ago, I was a lot younger and in better shape. I loved yoga and all of its benefits. I was good at it and loved that too! I am, or was, very flexible and after practicing for probably over a year, I was strong enough to do some of the more challenging poses. I just loved how I felt.

I cannot remember the exact year, but my hip suddenly began bothering me. It ached and hurt when I strained it. It slowly got worse, so bad that I couldn’t even stay in child’s pose because having my hip bent like that became terribly painful.

I went to see numerous doctors. Orthopedists, Rheumatologists, Primary Care…Finally, I found a doctor who specialized in hips (sort of) and found that the labrum in my hip was torn. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-labral-tear/symptoms-causes/syc-20354873 I had surgery and thought I would be okay.

For two more years I endured so much pain, so much to the point where I finally got the remedy I needed. My hip doctor sent me to a Hip Specialist (there are different levels of expertise in hips) and I found that the previous surgery hadn’t worked like it was supposed to. Apparently, when I had the first hip surgery the doctor removed the torn labrum in hopes that scar tissue would build up in the joint and act as cartilage. Well, it didn’t happen so for over two years it was bone on bone in my hip. So, I got a hip replacement at 45 years old.

Jump ahead to now….I’m 48. My hip still hurts almost all the time. It healed perfectly and looks fine under the xray but the doctor said I need to lose weight to keep the joint from hurting. That is great except too much movement makes other joints also hurt. That is the psoriatic arthritis.

Long story short, I am dying to get back into yoga and do the things I used to be able to do. I just need a way to get there. I will find that way, I know I will. I feel it coming.

Someday, that picture up above will be me, easily stretching, getting warmed up for a beautiful yoga practice!