The following post is derived from a Facebook post i posted to my wall earlier on Friday evening. As always, when writing my posts into a blog, i like to add to them, for more clarity. That’s just a thing with me. Because…understanding is knowledge, and knowledge is power.
For those who don’t yet know, i have decided to have Connie come back as my caregiver again, because Angel was sadly unable to continue to work for me. Angel’s reason was not because anything went wrong this time, as i stated in my last blog. It is because of financial reasons that she has had to bow out for the time being. But sweet Angel and i are still very good friends. She is one special young adult woman, due to her wisdom, kindness, and compassion, and in the two weeks we got to know each other through Facebook, and then the 9 days she worked for me as my caregiver, she and i really bonded. As stated in my last blog, when she and i were friends, she read my blogs, and watched my YouTube videos, to gain a better insight into how life is for many Autistic adults. Because she has a brother who is Autistic. I still look forward to getting to meet him, by the way.
I bonded right away with Connie as well. Because, at her core, Connie is also a wonderful sweet soul. She has a hard exterior, yes, but life has sadly made her that way. But this go-round, i have talked much more in depth with her, and have gotten to know and understand a great deal more of why she has developed that hard exterior….and i am not afraid of her anymore. I have no reason to be afraid of Connie anymore. My post below explains things in more detail.
From my Facebook post, again, edited for more clarity:
“I had another AWESOME day with Connie!!!! :) She has really opened up to me alot in the past two days and told me things she has never told me before about herself and her life story. (Btw, i have her full permission to post this, and will probably put this into a blog too.) First of all, i want all of you to know, she is SINCERELY sorry for how things went the first time she worked for me, she realizes things did happen last time because of some very heavy things that happened to her a year before she began working for me. But i believe her when she tells me she feels awful about how it went last time with us, that she really cares deeply about me, and that this time, she is going to listen to me when i tell her things, when i tell her i am reaching my limits, and when she is going too fast for me. She means it when she says we are going to go at my pace now. She is also open to signing the caregiver contract i wrote up for all of my future caregivers. If there are problems, she is also open to talking to my mom, and my friends Emily and Angel, to gain better understanding, and to help mediate in case i shut down and lose my words.
Connie is basically a person who cannot just come into someone’s home and care for them and remain “professional” about it. She, like me, bonds with her clients, and makes friends with them. She knows that she and i failed each other the first time around.
Just to give you a little bit of history about her, she and her family came over to the US from Southern Europe when she was 6 years old, and she has endured alot of extremely rough and traumatic spells in life. To cope, she built up walls around her. Even so, she has learned alot along the way, and is still learning alot. She may still have some anger left to deal with, but i promise you all, when you get to know her, you will find out that this lady’s heart IS made of pure gold.
She did not walk out on me to be mean and malicious to me…she walked out because she saw how frightened and petrified i had become of her that day after the social worker called me. I admit, that i did not understand her anger then, and understand and trust that she would never ever be intentionally mean to me….she **was** going through alot still while she was working for me our first time together, but because she still has a heart to want to help people, was still trying her best, to the best of her ability, to be a good caregiver. She truthfully did not understand my Autism either, as well as she does now. During the time she was gone as my caregiver, she did alot of soul-searching, and she actually spent time watching a bunch of my YouTube videos. That, along with some of her close friends also talking to her, who also seemed to understand me even though they have never met me, has changed her mindset a great deal now about me, and for the better. My YouTube videos were a real eye-opener into my soul for her.
I also want to clarify a few more things i posted that were incorrect, and that originally got written the way they did, out of my hurt and anger…..one is about the rescheduling of three of the doctor appointments that i did in February, March, and May. I had to reschedule the February one because it was raining that day, and Connie fears driving that far in the rain, due to a car accident she was in while it was raining. I rescheduled the one in March, because i had just sprained my leg lump three weeks before, and had just gone to the bank the day before that appointment, and could not handle going in the car again the next day. In addition, these appointments were also always getting scheduled for either the day before, or the day right after my Social security payday—and i generally dislike having to make the effort to get in and out and in and out of a car two days in a row.
Other things didn’t get done because i was depressed alot…and i had been housebound for so many weeks at a time, that i was becoming fearful of going places. Yes, Connie did not feel well alot of the time, which also made it difficult for me….because….as time went on, my fear of her was growing. By May, we had both built up walls that just kept building. Things were breaking down between us both, to the point where all i saw was darkness and hopelessness. I was frustrated because i felt Connie was burning out. I was frightened that any day she would explode at me and then walk out on me. I felt like i was trapped. Which was why i had two of my advocate friends finally call her. Sadly, this made things worse, because, now Connie all of a sudden felt she had to be professional when she still wanted to care. How this happened, was due to mutual fear on both Connie’s and my parts. Fear of us both hurting each other. We both have had an extremely rough going in life, and we have both each developed our own coping mechanisms and walls to survive each of our own lives.
Connie did try with me. She did get me the wheelchair. She worked hard to get my medications straightened out so i would never be without my meds, nor would i ever have to pay for my meds, other than the $1 or $2 dollar co-pay on them. She got me the disabled parking plaque for me. She did intend to get me out and about in that wheelchair. She intended to give me a good Thanksgiving. And a good Christmas. At Christmas, she and my other friends, Sue and H.F., all went in on a nice care package for me of all of my favorite candies. Yes, there were things that didn’t get done. But that was because we were not communicating well, and we each let our fears grow into us making monsters that should not have been there.
But now she does understand a great deal more because she has seen my videos. She has done much soul-searching. And her friends, who understand, have talked to her.
I am optimistic now. I do sincerely feel things are going to work out this time…..because Connie does NOT believe in throwing people away just because they are a challenge. Again, her walking out on me was done because she felt her being here for me when she could see that i had become that petrified of her that day, was too much for her to take, emotionally…it broke her heart to see me shaking the way i was doing, with my hands clenched in front of me after my county social worker called. And after she walked out, she did think about me every day after she walked out, and she did think about calling and messaging me on numerous occasions…and she did call my next door neighbor several times also, to see if i was okay. She told me that, even though she had walked out on me, she was even going to still get my prescription, and that she was still going to get my dinner for me that night too. Fear that i would freak out to see her come back, made her not do those things. But….one month later, i had Angel message her, and she told Angel she wanted to come over and talk to me…..that she still cares about me….and has never stopped caring about me.