Neon signs and Eyebrows.

image via morguefile.com

image via morguefile.com

Today I got my eyelashes stuck together with hot wax and also somehow managed to wax off almost half of one eyebrow. All because I got momentarily distracted. It turns out that having poor eyesight and trying to do this with my glasses off wasn’t my smartest move!

I’m quite clever I know, and anyone who knows me well will attest that I am not known for my attention span, but today was a particularly bad one and I have one and a half eyebrows to prove it.

After I’d googled “how to remove wax from your eyelashes without pulling them out” (yes I really did) and I had read hundreds of ridiculous remedies, I eventually decided to try cutting it out with manicure scissors.

Yeah, that wasn’t my finest moment, either – so now, not only am I missing half an eyebrow, I also have only got a few small eyelashes on the opposite eye!

Oh my goodness I look quite a sexy beast I can tell you!

Then after I’d spent another ten minutes laughing at myself in the mirror, I jumped in my car and went down to the pharmacy to buy myself a set of fake lashes and an eyebrow pencil and I plan to google “how to draw an eyebrow” next.’

So I was telling this story to Paul tonight, and after he’d picked himself up off the floor from laughing he said: “Wow Fi, this would have devastated you only a few months ago. It would have had you in a total mess”.

He was right.

If something like this had have happened only as recently as a few months ago, I would’ve been a complete basket case. It would have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and would have pushed me over the edge because I was already standing on a very thin balance beam between coping and completely losing my mind.

But a lot has changed here recently and it takes ridiculous mishaps of the grooming variety like this for me to be able to realise just how far not only *I* have come, but how far all of us have come.

Many of you know that my boys started at their new school last week.

It was something that I knew in my heart of hearts had to happen but I kept putting it off because I was so incredibly afraid of change. But the story surrounding my final decision to move them is actually quite remarkable and I now feel ready to share a little bit of it here with you guys; my loyal readers.

It was back last November when I finally realised that things had reached a point with Harley’s OCD and anxiety disorder when he was referred to see a psychiatrist after saying some very troubling things to us. I won’t go into details of what he told us but suffice to say that it was enough to warrant immediate attention and enough to cause me to draw a line in the sand and look for a new school for him.

My Mum was visiting at the time and we spent literally hours researching schools, visiting campus after campus and making phone call after phone call, when one morning as I was I sitting opposite her in a cafe I said to God aloud: “I’m tired of chasing dead ends and I’m exhausted from trying to figure this out. Please give me a neon sign because I’m not in a place where I can pick up on subtle hints, I need something obvious. Give me a neon sign answer”.

I had no idea how powerful that prayer would turn out to be.

A few minutes after asking God for a sign, I got a phone call from my sister and she asked me why I hadn’t considered sending the boys to the local public school? I gave her the same stock standard answer that I gave everyone who asked me that question: “Because I’m afraid that the boys won’t get the education that they deserve”. Amongst other things that I really, really didn’t want to tell her.

But the truth was – I was probably just being an uninformed and clueless snob. It’s not that it is a bad school that my children are zoned to, it’s just that, ok yeah – I WAS being a snob and I clearly had my head so far up my butt that I just couldn’t see any sense.

So I told my sister that I would at least consider it because I knew deep down that she had a point and I was fast running out of options.

She then asked me to tell her exactly what it was that I didn’t like about the public school so eventually; I told her what else had been troubling me.

I could hear the loving smile in her voîce as she pointed out that the two main reasons that I gave her were actually both already happening at the Independent school, and she then pointed out that we were paying bucket loads of money for it! So in her words: “It can’t possibly be worse, and even if it is – at least you’re not paying for it”.

{I couldn’t argue with that logic and it turned out that this particular conversation ended up being the catalyst for several other decisions that I was able to make straight afterwards}.

So Mum and I finished our coffees and she suggested that we drive past the local school on our way home ‘just to have a look’ so I agreed. We talked in the car on our way there and I had started to reach a point where I was willing to give anything a go because I just didn’t have any peace about any of the schools that we’d visited.

I pulled up out the front of the school and climbed out of the car and started walking toward the administration office when I stopped dead in my tracks because out the front of the school was a flipping NEON sign with the words:  “Enrolling for 2014” and I started laughing.
I’d driven past this school countless times and never once had I ever noticed that sign before!

Mum and I looked at each other grinning ridiculously and I knew right then that I had my answer. It was unmistakable and I knew that there was no denying that God certainly had a sense of humour and that this was the place the boys needed to go.

So I went in and filled out the application forms on the spot and had a meeting with the Principal and Learning Support Head Teacher only a few days later.

At that meeting, they looked over all of the boy’s paperwork and put plans in place to transition them into the school almost immediately. They told us all about the programs that they ran for children on the spectrum and assured us that they would do everything in their power to bring Harley’s grades up where they needed to be.

They also told me that several of their teachers had just completed autism specific training and they promised to place each of the boys with one of the teachers.

And they did!

It’s now been almost 2 weeks since they started at their new school and both of the boys are absolutely loving it there. They are both coming home at peace, happy and the aggression and anger that we had become so accustomed to has vanished completely.

The stress and angst and anxiety that was permanently etched on Harley’s face has disappeared and he has become the gorgeous little boy that I knew was always hidden behind the agony that he had learned to live with.

He didn’t know that school could be this great and my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.

And me. Well, I have been able to wean off the anti-depressants that have been my constant companion for years because these days, I just don’t have the same levels of stress that my poor body had become used to.

Things certainly aren’t perfect in other areas, but I am now able to look in the mirror at my one eyebrow and laugh at the lack of eyelashes because I KNOW that in the grand scheme if things that this is really no big deal.

I can see now that things are definitely only going to get better and better. And that my friends: is HUGE!

But even after watching several tutorials on youtube, I still look like a bit of a circus freak so it looks like I’ll be sticking to the LARGE framed sunglasses for a while whenever I’m in public. If you know what I mean 😉

Addendum: psst – I got a job today too.
YAY!

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Chinese Whispers..

She leaned over, cupped her hand around her mouth and started to whisper into my ear, but for the fourth time in a row, my friend couldn’t get any words our due to the giggles that kept overtaking her. After taking a few deep breaths and composing herself, she tried again. “Frogs in frocks lick spoons” she whispered before exploding into even greater fits of giggles. Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.46.04 pm

I looked at her and joined in the laughter realising just how stupid this game of Chinese whispers had gotten. I was last in the line and it was my job to try to figure out what the original whisperer had said. I had NO idea!

It was in the early 1990’s and I was in my early teens. I was at an Easter Camp with my church’s youth group and the idea of the game was to find a really bizzarro bible verse and whisper it along 9 or 10 people to see what we came up with at the end. The original verse here was: Proverbs 19:25 ‘Flog a mocker and the simple will learn prudence’.

As you can see – the end result wasn’t even CLOSE to the original phrase. In fact, it really no longer made any sense at all! Sure, there were parts of it that were similar to the original, and the phonetics were close but the gist couldn’t be more different. It had taken on a whole new meaning that wasn’t even related to the original phrase and it had therefore become laughable and ridiculous.

But imagine if I took that whisper as gospel, and I became convinced that the bible did in fact have a lot of verses about frogs who liked to dress up in drag and lick utensils?! Imagine if I was SO convinced that what I’d heard was correct that I started to pass that information onto other people and try to convince them that as strange as it sounded- it was correct BECAUSE I’D HEARD IT WITH MY OWN EARS!

Stupid when you put it like that isn’t it?

But that’s exactly what happens with gossip. Someone hears something, they miss maybe a few vital facts so they substitute them with a few made up ones of their own –that seem likely enough to be believable– and then relay that information to another friend. That friend then does the same thing but then adds even more information based on what someone ELSE told them –or what they have observed themselves– and pass THAT on. And so on and so on and so on.

Which brings me to my point.

Most people know by now that we have withdrawn our boys from their old school and that we have left our church. Most people have probably heard some version of the events through various sources and channels but there are only a very small amount of people who have heard any of this from us.
Yes, I told other parents in the playground that my boys weren’t coming back next year when they wished us a good holiday and said “See you next year” but there are only a select few who know the reasons behind our decisions. Other than that, we have barely spoken of these events to anyone.

Therefore, there are only a very small number of people who know the full truth and those people are friends who we know 100% that we can trust.

So it surprises me that I am still getting phone calls and text messages and emails asking us if “such and such” really happened. And it leaves me speechless when I am told “So and so said that you said this and I want to know if that’s really what happened?”

Seriously. It continues to amaze me.

The things that I have been accused of supposedly doing, and the fictitious conversations that I have been dragged into are all Chinese whispers people.

I can say without reservation that I did NOT have a screaming match with anyone. I have not gone on bitching rants running down anyone in leadership in either organisation and I definitely have not created and spread lies about either of them at all.  In fact, I don’t even have any type of conversation about the school OR the church because that’s not who we are.

Bottom line is – unless you heard it from Paul or myself- there is probably a lot of frogs in frocks licking spoons going on.

If you know what I mean 😉

I apologise if this post has come across as anything other than my original intent – to use this public platform to categorically deny any accusations against us and to request that if you know us personally and you hear something- remember that those who gossip are really telling you more about themselves than they are about the subject of their stories.

Fi x


If you’re new here – read this first..

First of all, welcome.

Sincerely.

I’m glad you have dropped by my blog for whatever reason. 🙂

A little about the history of this blog: I have blogged previously at 2 other WordPress blogs and originally began blogging about my family back in April of 2010.

During that time I was Freshly Pressed and gained a sizeable number of email subscribers, blog followers and daily hits. But one day it occurred to me that none of this was important to me.

I realised that I really didn’t give a toss about those statistics, but what I found myself placing more importance on, was being true to myself, protecting my children’s rights and writing from my heart even if it wasn’t going to get noticed. I realised that I didn’t want to write about what everyone else seemed to be writing about and I wasn’t really interested in becoming a big-time blogger.  (Plus, I didn’t have the time to put into promoting my blog or blogging regularly anyway!)

I wanted to go back to why I originally started blogging – to create a place where I would be able to gain the therapeutic benefits that writing brings me, and also so that I could share our story with other families who may be walking along similar paths.

I have learned a LOT since my very first blog post and I admit that when I started out, I was INCREDIBLY naive. I now realise that:

  • Not everyone on the internet is kind.
  • Having a child with a diagnosis is not always enough in common to cement friendships with other autism parents.
  • There will always be people out there who will disagree with you and they will not be backwards in coming forward with their views and opinions.
  • Some of them will get personal.
  • Being too honest will open you up to cyber-bullying and may get you accused of playing the “poor me” card too often.
  • You have to decide to either let them win or refuse to be bullied into defeat.
  • Some people on the internet hide behind their computers and write things that they would probably never say to your face.
  • Children don’t deserve to be ridiculed because of decisions and choices that their parents have made.
  • I am extremely emotional and make too many decisions with my heart and not enough with my head.
  • I am not like everyone else and I march to the beat of a very different drum. And that is completely and entirely ok.

So in saying that – welcome to “Wonderfully Wired version 2”.

This time I will be refraining from posting photographs of my children. (Yes I realise that the internet has things called caches and our digital footprint already exists) but I have no control over that. I do however, have control of what I post from now on.

To begin with, this blog will be mostly made up of a collection of my most favourite posts and the ones that I am most proud of. So those of you who followed the older blog (which is now deleted) will have a sense of de ja vu when reading some of these posts. I will be starting to add newer posts as I feel inspired sometime in the new year and when life has returned to ‘our version’ of normal.

Hopefully you’ll all join me to share in the trials and triumphs that 2014 will bring.

Fi x

Please note that the URL of this blog has changed to http://www.wonderfullywiredblog.wordpress.com so if you had the old URL (same but without the word ‘blog’ in it) you will need to change it in your bookmarks.
Also – if you had an email subscription or “followed” the old blog via WordPress – you will also need to re-follow or re-enter your email address in order to remain on the receiving list for new posts.

Thanks x