Living With Life’s Challenges
As a single mom of two young boys, aged five and three, I never imagined that anything worse could happen after my youngest son, Dan, was confirmed by a specialist as developmentally delayed.
But six years later, I was proven wrong, when Dan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
I found myself asking how and why. How was I going to be able to handle it? I’d been remarried for a nearly a year, sold off my house, and I was ready to return to work. Why did something so awful happen with Dan? At least if it had been my oldest, he would have been capable of taking care of himself.
But because Dan was severely autistic, with the mental capacity of a 4 to 8-year-old child, he would need someone to rely on for the rest of his life.
So I was never able to return to work. Even though Dan was in school, he was beginning to experience behavior issues. Because of this, my son was eventually bussed back and forth, for two hours a day, to a school that was exclusively set up for kids with special needs.
I still needed to be available to pick him up from school, when his behavior problems began escalating, while he was going through puberty. Those years were the worst, as Dan would strike out at anything or anyone around him with his fists—and of course this was exhausting, because besides lamps, picture windows, televisions, and VCRs, I was his favorite target.
After attending rounds of meetings at his school, going to doctors, visiting specialists, experimenting with and changing his medications, as well as adjusting his insulin over and over again, approximately three years before he graduated from school at age 21, I was finally able to maintain control of Dan’s behavior.
But somewhere through those ten years, I lost sight of myself.
When the promised funding for the vocational program Dan was supposed to enter after graduating from school fell through, I became overwhelmingly depressed. With my degree in horticulture, I’d been running a small business, doing flowers, lawn maintenance and some home improvement projects for other people, and I’d planned to expand after Dan graduated. But my own plans for the future ended, once again, since I wouldn’t have a break from my son.
So how did I handle life from that point on? Eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly helped me stay focused—after all, my son’s life literally depended on it. But I needed more from life—when my dreams for my own future ended, I needed something to occupy my mind.
That’s when I began writing. My primary goal when I write?
Transforming negative situations and circumstances I’ve had to deal with in my life into positives, and creating stories that are all about hope.
Twitter: @Tammysdragonfly https://twitter.com/Tammysdragonfly