In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
Challenging I don't even think begins to describe it. Highs and lows. Times when I did wonder if I would make it out alive. When I wondered if I even wanted to make it out alive. As hard as it is to write that sentence and for some of you to perhaps read it that is the depths to which I reached this year, particularly in the middle of winter when it all seemed hopeless . There were points where I simply could not fathom where or how I could find my way to the next point. Energy, effort, motivation and emotional reserves were depleted to beyond minus.
I fought the crazy social welfare system for 7 months to get Kyle placed in Boys Town. I am hoping that 2015 will bring the stability he needs and the peace I am craving. The first 3 months went okay but we are half way through a 7 week break and things are rocky. I only hope he settles down quickly. It was the single hardest decision I ever had to make. While it is in Kyle's and my best interests it is not easy to send your child away, especially not when you essentially telling him that he is 'bad' and that is why he is going. Some days I want to go and snatch him back and then he'll do something and I'll remember why I sent him there. We are going to walk a rocky path. I know this.
It has been exceptionally hard on Nathan to have his brother go. As much as they fight he misses his brother and he worries about him and I understand that. Kyle is small for his age and he shoots his mouth off without thought. He is going to get a hiding, it is only a matter of time. Nathan has a hard time accepting that. I have a hard time dealing with it. But I can only hope that it is still in a fairly 'protected' environment. I can't protect Kyle in a couple years time and some of the things he says... well just from knowing what his father is like he'd probably be lucky to walk out of a fight alive. And I have to live with that.
While I had tremendous support from friends and family the bulk of all the decisions, visits to social services, Childrens Court, Boys Town was done by me. The first few time I dropped him off I drove away in tears feeling like the worlds worst mother. But I have to believe I am doing this for him. It isn't about me. But it is hard being the 'responsible' one - you get a lot of flak from people who don't want to understand. All I can say is I hope you never have to deal with a Conduct Disorder child. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
That took up the bulk of my 2014. In between my sweet little Dashie Eva lost her eye in a freak accident with one of the other dogs. So she has become my extremely spoilt inside brat. The only reason being that I'm petrified she gets disorientated in the dark at night and falls into the swimming pool. She is the only one of our dogs that can't climb out and having lost one to drowning it is not an experience I wish to repeat.
The rest of the year was up and down. I've pretty much covered it all throughout the last 50 days. I have grown tremendously as a person. I've learnt what friendship means to me and I'm happy with the less is more motto in all aspects of my life. Weekly therapy allowed me to successfully implement and maintain boundaries with people in my life. There are a few more that need doing but those will be dealt with soon in the new year. I've accepted there is no shame in asking for and accepting help. Both in the form of therapy, medication and from friends. Whereas before I would insist on standing on my own, now I will lean a little bit. Those that offer I know do it out of genuine love and concern and care for me.
I'm starting to mark down the months to 40. I've got 19 months to go and I know I am starting to map my life onto the path I want it to go. There really is a truth in the belief that the older you get the less you worry about others opinions. I now make choices that suit me. If it is really that intolerable to others they do not have to be in my life. There are people no longer in my life that I thought I could never live without, but here I am.... not surviving, thriving, more every day.
I am not here to impress you. I am here to live my life. To fulfil my dreams, hopes and goals.
My sons are 15 & 17, my job there too is nearly done, in the hands on deck every day way. I can start planning beyond them. It feels strange to be thinking like that. I never thought I would ever see that day... those of you with little ones still in nappies, treasure every day because believe me you WILL blink your eyes and it WILL be over. In 7 months I have a legal adult in my house, he can vote, get his license, drink, marry - all without my permission... yet I still remember delivering him into this world and those solemn blue eyes opening and just looking into mine - no crying... now he looks down at me and I don't know where that little boy has gone. And Kyle is not far behind. For those of you with kids starting High School - the next 5 years will fly!!
I am in less of a rush to get my destination. I am now enjoying the journey. I have special people in my life who have taught me that. Life isn't about the destination - it really is about the journey. It is about making memories, slowing down and smelling the flowers, enjoy the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze and the gentle patter of the rain. The beauty lies in the small things. The small things will be what count in the long run. I myself have had more pleasure in small moments this year than at any other time.
I am making no resolutions for 2015. I am to love myself by making time for those small things. I want to spend time watching the sun rise, writing, reading, connecting in real time with the people who are important to me. Savouring that which is not material. While I love my photography I am going to make time to just observe instead of always trying to capture every moment on camera.
To all of you who have enriched my life during 2014 in your own unique way thank you. I am blessed to have so many special people in my life that I can call friends. You all know who you are and what you have done for me. I love you all.
To all my friends and family may 2015 be filled with the richest blessings you all deserve. While there are always hard times, pain and sorrow remember to always look within you your own invincible summer.