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May 27, 2009
For most people on the bus, to Disneyland for my daughter's senior trip, finding the perfect position to sleep was probably the most awkward part of the evening. For me it was the culmination of days of worry about whether or not I was about to lose my front bottom tooth. Front may not be totally accurate as my front four teeth had already been gone for 17 years. Fortunately the adult chaperones get the two seats to themselves and I have my blanket, pillow, mouth friendly snacks and my ITouch. So, all would be good except for sleeping upright in public has long been a no-no. Because as the mouth drops open all my dirty secrets are exposed. However, it is midnight when we board the buses and we are driving all night and then hitting the ground running at Knott's Berry Farm when we arrive at 9 AM. So getting situated is key and strategic based on mouth privacy first and comfort second. Not to mention, in case you'd forgotten, that I am 50 pounds overweight so it is also just logistically impossible. My tooth has begun to hurt, as new tissue begins to release its grasp. And I am not completely sure that it is not noticeably loose when I talk. I find a way to make sleep happen but am constantly awoken by an extra push from my tongue that has given my tooth a little extra freedom. We stop for food and I can only eat on my right side. And though I have more lower teeth on that side I am also missing one directly above them so I dread eating in front of anyone. Because there is no good way to do it, plus remember I still can't bite straight on either. Though, I have packed extra Superglue just in case.
Breakfast is tough, McDonald's is the stop and I don't do their scrambled eggs or pancakes.  I would love an Egg McMuffin or I could go semi healthy with a wrap or fruit cup.  But I can't chew apples and I can bite directly into an Egg Mc Muffin or a wrap.  If I was at home I could cut it into pieces but I am not at home.  I am on my daughter's senior trip and to avoid a repeat of Stanford Basketball Camp.  I go with the safe choice, which may look like the fat girl choice, and get two hash browns and a coffee.  Now don't get me wrong I love the hash browns but they are also the safest to eat.  Because, though I have tried NUMEROUS times to like yogurt I can't get past the after taste.  And that would be a win/win super food!  

 A win/win super food is guaranteed safe to eat in public and good for you so as not to reinforce the fat girl stereotype, that's the win/win, the super comes from tasting good too.  I can do a win/win food as long as it is still bearable but yogurt for me is a win/win gag me food so not an option at this point.  Also not an option is the: lose/lose super foods.  This would include hogi sandwiches, steak, most hamburgers, nuts, candy bars, licorice, any sandwich with lettuce or tomoato, many salads, sushi, caramel apples, wraps, tacos, pizza, and there are several more.  These are all foods I love that I have had incidents with AND they are not only highly likely to break my partial in public they are fat girl stereotype reinforces.  Well not the salad or wraps but it depends on scale.
So in town I am known for my regulars at each restaurant. This on the outside looks like I am a creature of habit; and I reinforce it with all my work friends telling them I can walk in any restaurant and they'll have my order ready. Being in a small town there are only a few places to eat and so I have had to determine what is safe and stick with it. It started with Mexican food because I love Mexican food but tacos do not work! So I had to get a staple that I can order at any Mexican restaurant. Having worked at Taco Time in high school I remember the one universal Mexican dish that can be found at any restaurant is the enchilada, always on a soft shell smothered in sauce. So it always comes with a knife and fork. Chinese food is difficult because the vegetables are always oversized and usually al dente'. So I pick the ones with the least amount of vegetables but that still may mean cutting the shrimp, chicken or beef because I can't chew the bigger meats. This can be conspicuous because no one else is doing it. Pizza restaurants are the worst because I am not a fan of Italian really any way but there is almost nothing safe. I usually pick at safe salad foods and soft garlic bread. Hamburger places were always tough too because you have to bite straight into them; until I got brave one time at In and Out Burger and asked to have it cut in half. This is a standard service offered there and doesn't appear strange. I can do the same myself with a hamburger in a restaurant so I can go in on the side. Chicken also doesn't work so most fast food place I carefully pick apart chicken tenders and fries. All Subway and Subway type shops are off limits. As I write this I realize it was all more cumbersome than I realized. It got to be so much a part of my day it was done subconsciously on one level; but definitely took a daily toll on my self esteem on another level. I compensated by being an over achiever and a pleaser at work and at home.
Wow, where did that sidebar come from? Oh yeah McDonalds, and the senior trip; so all is going well, considering. My other issue is I don't often have conscious active thoughts about my mouth unless I am around new people or people I haven't seen in a while. And almost all people on this trip qualify in one of those categories. You know how it is when you are around someone everyday you stop noticing the details about them, like if they've grown or gotten a hair cut or have features you may have first thought were odd or strange. But if they go away and you don't see them for awhile and then you see them again you look and say oh yeah I forgot he had a giant wart on his nose. Or in my case....oh yeah I forgot Mrs. McNeal has completely jacked up teeth! So this was that. I can see the expression on their face as they first remember the features of my mouth and they fixate their stare as I try and form words and disguise the deficits I face orally. This is the epitome of the polar opposites of my life.
Since I was little, through high school, then college and now professionally people have ALWAYS remarked on how articulate I am, how I have a way with words. I write grants for a living. And yet my primary tool other than my hands for writing is my mouth. My mouth! Which has also since childhood been my primary source of pain, embarrassment and anguish. This has to be some type of Freudian something. Oh and speaking of Freud did I mention I was orally fixated? The oral fixation began with my thumb until the third grade and then with cigarettes from 9th grade, 1976, to two and a half ago years ago, February 2007. So let's do the math that would be all but 7 years of my life. Wow, for 40 years I was either a thumb sucker or a smoker. That has to be relevant.
May 28, 2009
We arrive at Knott's Berry Farm. My daughter and her friends have ditched me. Which is okay I guess because Cat has a strict policy that parent chaperones not smother their kids. And since these are mostly 18 year olds we allow them to go on their own and meet up every few hours. The chaperones hang out together at and four of the six of us have been on this trip several times before and have this down to a science as where to eat first, what are the go to rides, must see shows and what order to do all of it in that is most efficient. Now I have known these people for years, from both a collegial and parental role as I have had at least one of my children at school there for the past 11 years, and I have worked for the elementary feeder district for 10 years. We have a cordial friendly relationship but it has also been stressed and competitive. So I had my own judgments coming in. These people were the most gracious people I have ever spent time with. As I said they definitely had a plan and a way of doing things but they had no problem deviating if someone wanted to do something differently. I think I said it originally I am not a ride girl. Let me be perfectly clear I AM NOT a ride girl. I have been here before and though I rode some things so Jay could ride. There were often times I would stay back with the wheelchair as an excuse not to go when the truth was I was to chicken shit. A lot of it was chicken but it was couched in the fact I had been thrown around and bruised at the Portland Rose Festival Annual Carnival, Oaks Park or even once at Jantzen Beach, as a kid growing up, and gotten sick as a dog when riding the teacups. But the rollercoaster reason was because I was straight up chicken shit.
So I was growing exhausted with worrying about sleeping and eating and the thoughts were consuming the trip. Now with having to explain why I couldn't ride rides, and with no wheelchair to use as an alibi something in me snapped. I just decided I wasn't going to chicken out. I was going to try. The first was relatively tame but didn't feel like it would be as I got on the Pony Express, which is on horseback that rides like a roller coaster. I was scared, and told Patti I was scared, and she was so supportive it was amazing. After the initial fear I opened my eyes, began breathing again, and enjoyed it. It was over so quickly I wanted to try again but I didn't. I didn't ride the next ride because it had the whole G force thing and went upside down and backwards and in case I was going to get sick I didn't want to waste it on the day. The next few rides were tame and I rode and then we ate, shopped and the day was done. I left proud of myself for trying but mostly I was so impressed with my hosts and their ability to set me at ease. I started to study what exactly it was that they were doing that made it all feel so comfortable.
Bedtime came and I had to navigate my time with a roommate. I decided I would take my toothbrush and toothpaste in the shower so I wouldn't have to clean my partial in the public sink.
May 29, 2009
Breakfast was the first obstacle as it was the free breakfast included with the room: bacon, a lose/lose super food, muffins, lose/lose super food, fruit (less than ripe melons, apples and strawberries) lose/win super food, and toast and bagels lose/neutral neutral food and watery scrambled eggs. So, I chose a banana, eggs, and pre toasted toast. I picked at all of it and didn't eat much; which again this causes curious looks. I can't say it's a health thing because there is fruit, can't say I am not hungry this is Disney day and who would pass up a free meal when you are going to be stuck at Disney all day with astronomical prices on food? I get past it and move on. It is interesting how perspective sheds light on things as I document what happened I realize I did with this trip what I do at work and with my family.
As I noted earlier I over compensate by being the over achiever at work and home. I am realizing I did that also on this trip. I have always been popular, not like pretty popular or jock popular, but those were always my fiends so I was by default popular. That's how I mainly define it. I guess it is also because I am a good communicator. I was always seen as funny or a good listener or gave good advice. So though my deficits outweigh my assets internally, I have always been able to find a way to compensate and have people see past all my flaws and still be my friend. I credit my ability to disguise my flaws or compensate for them as the reason this has happened. It can't be that I have exaggerated these flaws. So to continue being acceptable and have them look past my jacked up mouth or my strange eating happens I went 200% for this environment and became the pleaser and I rode rides; and I allowed them to help me ride rides. I spent the rest of the trip riding every ride I had ever refused to ride in the past. I rode Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, The Tower of Terror, The Simpsons, The Mummies Revenge, and Jurassic Park. Now it wasn't until just this moment that I was able to define that. At the time I thought it was part of my empty nester freedom of finally not having to ensure my personal safety, so I could tend to my kids, or my new courage because I had only myself to worry about. I still believe all that to be true, as an outcome to riding the rides. But I really think, as I reflect on it now that it was my refusal to have that bright spotlight, of an odd duck, shown on me. I'll take the hit for my mouth and my eating, I can't fix that. But I will not make it worse by being the insecure fraidy cat whiner pants that won't engage with the group or ride the rides. That I could control so I became super rider. And I had a really good time and I gained confidence and took chances. And none of my fears of any of the rides came to fruition they were all really, really, fun.
June 1, 2009
I have to work Tuesday and Thursday this week. We arrived home Sunday at 1AM and had the day to sleep. I am getting really unsure if my tooth will last to graduation. Just having food in my mouth is bumping into it and making it looser. Family is coming in on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday is graduation. I am taking off Wednesday to Wednesday to get to have before and after graduation time with my family. I want to focus on Makayla through her graduation day and her BBQ party and then have time to focus on family after that and when she is out celebrating with friends. I hadn't heard anything from my 1-800-dentist email and so I was not sure what my next move would be but I decided I would let that go until after graduation.
Work was hard I felt really guilty. There are so many changes that have gone on in our district on the past two years. I mean monumental changes. This is going to take a while to explain so forgive me as I digress again and give some perspective to my career, professional self and growth I have made personally.
June 1995 to October 1999
Because I can't seem to do anything the easy way I came to California in 1997 without completing my bachelor's degree. Yes I walked across the stage in 1995, at Colorado State University but I still needed to finish my math class. I worked in New Mexico without it and it seemed that would be the one other thing I didn't do right amongst the pile of other failures in my life. When we moved to California David was amazing and he did all the research necessary in finding out the exact class I needed to complete my degree. I completed it and graduated officially. Next I took the CBEST (the test to be a teacher in California) and passed it and though I was a social work major I was able to become a substitute teacher in the Elementary School District.
I come from a long line of educators so this was like going into the family business. My dad taught high school chemistry and became the first official IT guy in the our Public School District. This before there was the internet he taught teachers how to use computers for word processing, and to use it to develop tests and teaching tools. My mom taught 6th grade, though right after their divorce when I was in third grade, she began as an instructional aid and worked her way through school to become a teacher. Both of my brothers finished college about the same time I did, they are twins and three year younger than I, they both teach. Brad taught Special Education in Colorado he has since moved on to his administrative credential and gone into consulting in schools. He is married to Jill and has two children Carol and Tim. Micheal is a kindergarten teacher in, he is married to Betty and they have two daughters Anna and Cheryl. They bought my mom's house and she has made over the basement to a very comfortable studio apartment.
Okay so back to me as substitute in October of 1998. I found my niche in the middle school and very quickly had regulars that would call me to sub in math and other areas. No one requests middle school so I got a fair amount of calls. This was a good gig. Mike was in school at the Elementary School, 4th thru 8th grade (in Winters) and so it gave me a chance to get to know his school and their personnel. David was at another the 4th thru 6th grade on the base and Makayla was at the k-3rd grade also on base. These were three of the four schools in the district the fourth was Winters Elementary a k-3rd grade also in Winters. So in 7th grade the Air Force Base kids merged with the Winters kids. Winters Union High School was its own district and a one school, school district. Jay was in the high schools Jersey School, the county school for handicapped kids.
I enjoyed being a substitute I was like the grandma. I got to come in and play with the kids and leave. I didn't have to plan or take work home and if I made any mistakes they were forgiven. I made enough money to allow my kids to do extra things and could work when I want and not if I didn't without calling in sick. If I didn't want to work I just didn't. It also got me known pretty quickly in the district as a parent and a professional. I was accepted. One day in October when I was a floating sub I had a conversation with the Special Education Teacher I was about to sub for before she was going to go to an IEP meeting. She was asking me about my background. I told her about my family background in education. Then I told her about my 3 years as an aide in Title I reading programs in Portland. I told her about the HOST program and how we brought in volunteers to read with students. I then told her about my internship in college in a family counseling program that used mentors as a large component of their program.
She asked me if I saw the posting for a Mentor Coordinator in the District through a grant. I said no I hadn't read it and really I wasn't interested in a real job because my kids were all very active in sports they all played basketball, baseball/softball, and football/cheer. So I didn't have time for a real job. But as I have told others there is no decision to be made until an offer is given. So, I went to look at the posting, which did end that day. Luckily I was a half day sub so I went home and got my paperwork together and applied. The job description was vague but it was for a mentoring coordinator through a grant funded program. I loved the mentoring program I helped with in Wyoming and Mary Beaker had been my social work mentor through my internship. She coordinated the program and she was thorough and efficient. So I gathered up all the forms and paperwork I could find from that job. Within a couple days I was called for an interview. I told my mom all the things I had gathered for the interview. A mentor application, schedules, training materials, documentation tools etc. My mom told me she hopes I really want the job because I was probably going to get it. And she was right I did. They offered me the job the next day.
I began as the Mentoring Coordinator in February 1999.  This was a band new grant and a brand new program.  I was armed with the written grant, some office supplies, the entire budget from the grant $200,000 for three years.  I was to recruit 200 mentors to volunteer to work with student's k-8th grade throughout the entire district.  I used a lot of what I knew from working in Cheyenne in year one.  And then I grew from there I recruited, trained and matched 200 mentors with Winters and Air Force Base students.  I had teacher liaisons on each campus and met with the site principals regularly.  I had a half time assistant and I was on top of the world.  I was given total freedom to interpret and implement the grant.  I received praise from the district and the state program.  

 I lost weight.  David and I were getting up early in the morning and doing Tae-Bo, I was coaching my daughters cheerleading squad, and I had made inroads with several of the squadrons and they were my main source of volunteers.  Things were good.  My direct supervisor was a task master that I didn't always understand or appreciate and so often this would be a bone of contention, at least in the first year.  But the external me was on top of things I had respect within the community and at work.  That summer David got assigned to go to Iraq.  Up until know we had been very fortunate and other than when we were in New Mexico, and he was sent to Whites Sands Monday through Friday, we had not had to be separated.
With my supervisor the internal me was working overtime on trying to take down the new empowered and professionally successful external me. Everything on the outside appeared to be perfect and in motion. However, on the inside I have always had the feeling that I was a fake. Now this is going to be hard to explain. Because I don't mean fake the way we usually call people fake. I mean as how I used to define the polar opposites going on inside of me. I went to college but I didn't read all the books so maybe they are assuming I know things that I didn't really learn that kind of fake. I was hanging out in high school in the popular groups with all the attractive and or jock kids, when I wasn't attractive or a jock that felt like a fake. Or as I consider myself a writer because I was in journalism and newspaper staff and yearbook but I have horrible spelling and grammar, fake. Being the married mother of four, but most people don't realize my four children are by three different men, fake! I am a good mother, when really I started out as a teen mother at 17 that didn't have a clue. Being an average middle class tax payer, in actuality I live paycheck to paycheck have less than perfect credit and no savings. Fake, fake, fake. That I am strong and confident (external), when really (internally) I am insecure, vulnerable and a disappointment, that kind of fake.
So as my supervisor would direct me I would often internalize her critiques as not being good enough or as being discovered as a fraud. Anything less than a pat on the back or a good job was seen as a crack in the fa├žade. That the fake (internal) me would be exposed. These feelings were very, very, very similar to this delicate balancing act going on inside my mouth, now in 2009. The house of cards I spoke about. None of this, that I am revealing now, ever unveiled itself to me. This is all coming now as I try and figure out for myself. My internal voice is not loud. It is quiet and muffled and sly as a fox. I can't even hear it, I haven't known it was there.
The internal me is the true abuser that isolates its relationship with me and operates in the dark and the shadows. It is the internal me that gets my feelings hurt too easily and over personalizes constructive criticism. It is the internal me that chooses to read more into statements or actions of others to reinforce the fact that they don't really respect me or they can't really be trusted or their true intent is less than stellar. It is the internal me that's overly critical and judgmental of others which I now realize are judgments of me, because they are my flaws that I spotlight, analyze and pick apart in others.
But the external me is strong it has been honed into a well oiled machine. It tells me what I need to hear to put myself together in the morning and decide I look good. It is the external protective me that can't see the extra 50 pounds or that ignores the jacked up teeth. I used to say I am the opposite of an anorexic because I have the reverse body image, I see myself better than I am, skinner, with better hair and without missing teeth. And that is the image I carry with me all day long. This external self allows me to go on public speaking engagements at open houses, squadron briefings, staff trainings and to facilitate the community collaborative. This is not the crazy aunt doing all these things. This the external me. This is Mrs. McNeal. The internal me, the crazy aunt, shows up when I am reminded at work, I don't know it all or I didn't 't do it right, or I get a document edited and my grammar flaws are highlighted in red all over the page.
Now here is another aha.  I consider myself an accountable person.  I will quickly take responsibility and apologize if I make a mistake.  If I misheard a direction or forgot to do something or made an error during a process.  I am quick to ask forgiveness, own the error and move forward.  Except, and this I just realized, if it is on my laundry list of personal flaws....those internal shameful (make me appear to be a fake, flaws).  For example, the editing I rationalize it as a nuance that I haven't being able to attend to because I am on to bigger things.  I am not grammar girl, I say. Or any comments about weight, my hair, and my mouth any suggestions or advice are seen as an attack and I retaliate.  This happens a lot with my kids as their criticisms of me are my criticisms of me and are often met with anger or rationalizations on my part.

 But during this part of my new career, still in 1999, and with the stress of David being in Iraq and not there to support me or build me back up I had a very hard time with my supervisor and at the time I blamed her for that.  Because after all I was running this great program and everyone loved me so why was she so critical.  I know now she taught me a lot.  She instilled in me an expectation of quality, documentation and thoroughness that I now credit, wholeheartedly, for my success.  And I realize now that it was the internal me that was reframing the delivery of her information into a personal attack.  I had always thought it strange that she and I viewed our relationship differently.  In the years that followed she often commented on us being friends and that always surprised me because I felt as if I disappointed her more than not.  I felt, up until recently that our relationship was something I survived.  And again, I blamed her for that.  I know now that I didn't disappoint her and the attack I felt was by me, on me.  Wow, if I can be so blessed to see that coming in the future it could save so much pain.  What's ironic is I could verbalize to my coworker about not personalizing things.  We had a saying if it's not your coat don't put it on.  Meaning if it doesn't apply you don't take it it's there problem not yours.  I can say all of these things.  I can say it's business it's not personal, or not to internalize.  But if you don't believe it or if you are reinforcing these things through your internal self then it negates anything you say with your external self.
Okay, back to the Mentoring Program. As I said I worked with all the schools in the district and my favorite was middle school, I liked the age of the kids, I liked the staff and I liked being away from the military structure. I also really, really liked and connected with the vice Principal Suzy Mills. Suzy and I would spend hours coming up with ideas for the mentoring program and went as far as to create mentoring as an elective for the upper graders to work with the younger students. Suzy had been a student in Winters, an aide, and teacher and now vice principal and her mom was the secretary of the school and had been long before she came there. Suzy was young and relaxed and very, very cool. We had an honesty and support for one anther that is rare. She always made me feel more than competent. My internal me never even tried to chime in when I was around Suzy because the external me was so empowered the internal me knew they wouldn't stand a chance. Suzy accepted me as I was all of me.
I was also accepted by the Secretary of Education Office for the State of California. They had administered the grant I was implementing. They invited me to offer a best practices workshop to all the other mentoring programs at the annual mandatory conference on grant reporting. I was so excited and it was so ironic because I had poured over that thing in the summer and finally in frustration I gave up and submitted what I had. I thought as I locked the door I am the only one left working, my husband is in Iraq and my kids are home for the summer. If the report isn't good enough I will fix it when I get back in the fall. So I was not really surprised when they call me at my home in August I thought it was to point out my flaws, of course. I was extremely surprised when they raved about it and asked if I would come give a workshop in October. I spent the next year and a half successful in this program. In November of 2000 I realized this was the last year of the grant and I was in a panic. It did not appear anyone was working to write a new grant. I had a very strong feeling I was going to be out of a job come June.
Grants were new to this district so there wasn't much of a sustainability plan it was just sort of get the money run the program go get more money for another program. My grant was the first awarded in the 1998-1999 school year, the next year (1999-2000) a preschool grant fell in our lap because the military program that received it and as a federal program they weren't allowed to run a state program. And now in the 2000-2001 school years and after school program was awarded and the coordinator of that program was quick to tell me she had been promised all my resources once my grant went away. Ironically she was also the teacher I had substituted for that had told me about the mentoring job.
November 2000
I had regular contact with the Secretary for Education Mentoring Program and I knew one of their grant officers was leaving so I applied for the job. Long story short I got it and was appointed by Grey Davis as a grant office for the grant program I had been administering. I left the school district and handpicked my replacement. This would turn out to be the best and worst six months of my life. The internal me was working over board letting me know I have stepped way out of bounds and in no way shape or form was I capable of handling this job. The external me was struggling to keep up appearances. My immediate supervisor was a 25 year old woman that was a proud republican graduate of Berkley. The other two program officers that worked with us were also young, 20's women, that this was the stepping stone for the political careers. This was the pinnacle of my career. I worked in the Senator Hotel across from the Capitol and I was proud and terrified every day. The programs, school coordinators, loved that I had become a program officer because I had actually lived the program. And I knew many of them because I had done workshops for the past two years and two years at the reader's conferences.
Okay now, the way I perceived this at the time and the way I perceive it now is a complete contrast. I will give you the short version. At the time I was self righteous and entitled, and I was entitled to that righteousness by virtue of age, maturity, and having actually implemented the program. And as I had done with my previous supervisor I completely internalized and personalized every critique. But I covered it up with indignation of having to work with this young woman that I had decided was in this job as a step to somewhere else and only knew what she knew from books not life. As I see it now that was the internal me saying "you're not good enough you can't do this, go home where you belong and be the big fish in the little pond you are out of your league here." Now what really sucks is I wasn't, out of my league. I did well, and the Secretary for Education liked me and advocated for me. When I went on site visits up and down the state my sites loved me, and I held them accountable but I also gave them practical strategies. This was just a very weak time for the external me and the internal me would wear me down with all the doubt and fear and criticisms. The hardest was when my supervisor sent me to a writing course for professional writing. This was a red flag alert on fake exposure level ALPHA BRAVO abort, abort! Now don't get me wrong I am never a "bad" employee. I have never been formally reprimanded or fired or put on any type of corrective action plan. But when I get threatened I do retaliate, either passive aggressively or manipulatively. With my supervising outing my writing weakness I employed both strategies. Now again I was not conscious of this but I went on a mission to high light every one of her flaws both in public and in private. Now how crazy is this? She knew I came from education and had move into public state government and the writing style is completely different so she paid for me to go take a class to bring me up to speed. And I launched a full on assault, but a subtle assault that no one really but me knew I was assaulting. Luckily the district in Winters was awarded a new planning grant and I went running back. I quit my job with the state and took all the knowledge I had drawn from schools up and down the state of California and went back to my little district. I took the best of what I saw from San Diego to Redding and called it my Masters program. I had learned a lot.
When I went back it was the superintendent Connie Johnson and Suzy Mills that hired me.  It was to plan for a Healthy Start Grant.  It was only a half time position but it was at a higher rate than I earned previously when I was there before and I only had to work half time.  This was a win/win.  I haven't talked a lot about my partial breaking at this point but it did.  Not often, and not when I was at work for the state, thank God!  But I was super duper careful with everything I ate to keep it from breaking.  So the awkwardness was still very much a part of my ongoing thoughts.  After just three months in my new job we were awarded another grant for a middle school counselor.  I was hired to coordinate that as well and my salary doubled as well.  This was the perfect grant for a social worker because it was about accessing services creating programs and serving the whole child.  And the best part I got to move to the middle school where Suzy Mills had become principal while I was away.  This was a win/win super job!



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Nov 8, 2009
    • It sounds so exhausting to cover up the issue with the partials. You sound like a take charge kind of gal and very involved with your family, community and work.estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Takemeasiam wrote Nov 8, 2009
    • It was exhausting and became somuch a part of my life I never acknowledged the insanity of it.  But it chipped away at my self esteem, and made me feel like a fake.  All I accomplished was reduced each night to feeling like the “crazy toothless aunt“.  I will write more if you‘re interested.
      Things do get better as I make the transition to dentures (you can see my profile pisture, I would have never shown teeth before)and weight loss.  And get worse as I lose my friend to cancer, lose my mentor to layoffs and experience betrayal and sabotage at work due to the economic downturn.  But because I have changed my attitude and internal dialogue,I am wearing make-up, dressing up, walking tall and feeling blessed and confident.  

      Thank you for continuing to take the time to read about my journey and make comment.  I really feel that many women feel this way about different aspects of their lives,andthe “covering up of their real self“, of never being good enough.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Nov 8, 2009
    • You have a beautiful smile!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Takemeasiam wrote Nov 8, 2009
    • Thank you LazyLola. It was a long time in coming but I strut it proudly now.  estatic



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