I received an e-mail from the training people, asking me to verify my attendance as quickly as possible, as they have a long waiting list, hold these trainings only a couple of times a year, and they did not want a place empty at the training.
I replied immediately, and thanked the woman with whom I have been corresponding for allowing me a spot in this thing. She wrote back, and she is so nice, which I guess one should be expecting from people who do this work, but it was still very nice and I appreciate just everything about this so much.
If my therapist had not suggested this to me, I would never have even known it existed. Or, perhaps I would have at some time in the future when I really was too old to do anything with the information. But, the first thing happened and I will just have to wait another decade to find out what other thing(s) I should have done, or at least investigated, now.
So, that is a further thought bubble about how stunned and happy I was last week. I was feeling a bit disappointed about the scholarship, but I knew, going into this process, that there were few scholarships given. I did my best and if it did not result in a little financial help with this, the process of gathering my thoughts and putting it all down and sending it off was so helpful to me. It brought me in the right direction for figuring out how I feel about all of this, how I have invested much of my self in helping other people with similar issues. Frankly, doing this work is the pay-off, the sort of purpose of having gone through everything in my life. I have my mental health issues, the abuse, being a parent, the whole surviving thing and being able to use that, to have learned from all of it, being able to share my experiences and make connections with other people, particularly women and children, is satisfying in a way that is difficult to express. Maybe having these kinds of experiences and surviving them, healing and all that jazz is essential to knowing how this feels, what it means to me.
I was talking to my daughter yesterday because Google celebrated the 85th anniversary of the birth of Maurice Sendak. Our conversation was about how my oldest grandson launched himself through a glass door and the interesting emergency room adventure that followed. He is fine, is properly patched and stitched and bandaged, and had a cool space blanket from the hospital that they used to keep him from getting shocky. He got to take his wounds and the blanket to school for show-and-tell. Probably the most awesome show-and-tell of all time. Yay, Little Dude! He was wearing his bike helmet, which most likely saved his face and head from the glass.
It is usually his younger brother that needs the emergency room, but both of them made it longer, got older, than their mother was when she first visited the emergency staff. They are so much like her that it is scary, sometimes in an interesting way, but often just plain scary.
I finally was able to share with her all of the great stuff from last week, the state volunteer gig, the training thing, and a very brief and detail-impoverished telling of the financial stuff. This is the first time that I have shared anything about anything with her, so it felt risky and a bit shameful to tell her about that. I have always been worried about sharing anything that could further distance her from her father. He has an excellent job of doing that and I do not know how I could live with widening that gap. There is always a chance that he might change, somehow, and be willing to mend their relationship. I am not giving up on that hope.
My therapist has always insisted that she know something about what the whole other life mess, but I still think it is a bad idea. Sharing even this little bit felt weird to me and the only reason I did so was to help explain how cheap I have been lately, particularly about not wanting to drive up to her house for the past several months.
Such a mess, such a mess. It is difficult to do the right thing. I am not always successful, but I try. It has to be enough. At least my therapist will be pleased at this pathetic attempt at forward movement.
Anyway, we talked about the training, no scholarship and that the entire experience is going to be totally kick ass. Half an hour after our conversation, I received another e-mail from the training woman and I was certain that it was a condolence message about not receiving help with the fees. To my surprise and further amazement, I have been awarded a scholarship. Once I recovered, I called my daughter, gave her the great news and then repeated with my therapist.
I have been worried and stressed and fearful for so long about how I was going to manage financially. I know how far I have come in my recovery and healing, but the money issue has been a constant struggle. As my living costs and all of those huge legal fees kept building, and my savings kept shrinking, the stress sometimes seemed too great.
Now, that part is most likely over. I am, and have always been, super frugal, and I do not expect that to change. That lifestyle kept me going in my other life and it has helped me to continue to survive. The training for certification will go far in helping me to find a paying job. I will continue my regular volunteering gigs, but it is going to be glorious to have a paycheck. I am not dwelling on the necessity of moving to a larger city, but if that has to happen, then that is what has to happen.
Tomorrow I share the training thing with my boss(es) and arrange to defer clients until August. I need the time off, even if I were not learning how to be a better leader and facilitator and all-round more decent person.
It is all so wonderful. Then, there remains this residue of loss, which I totally understand, but there is still so many parts of that other life that need mourning. Is what it is.