Not much to say here, except that the next few weeks described in this journal post were part of an amazing experience for me.Through all of the anxious moments and nerve racking emotions, it was a period of growth that I would have not been able to get anywhere else.
I am blessed for the experience.
Well we got my things all settled into the room and then we made our way over to the main building to where I was supposed to meet with other newcomers for orientation.
We entered the main building and were escorted to the cafeteria where I was introduced to Lori Anderson. She was the head councelor for the center. I entered the cafeteria and that’s where I bid farewell to Leona, Matt and the driver. I can’t remember her name right now.
So there I sat, completely alone, or it felt like it. I almost started sucking my thumb and I think I almost crapped my pants. Short of having gray hair, I felt completely like an adolescent child on the first day of kindergarten. I felt so alone, so very alone. I was so far away from everything that felt comfortable to me. How could I let Leona talk me into coming to this place? How could I be so gullable to think that I could do this on my own? How could I?
Snapping back to reality, I found myself listening to how the next 8 weeks were going to be for me, that is, if I were to make it past the two week assessment period. I was actually in my 2 week assessment period, and after that two week slot I was to be evaluated and decided upon if I was a good candidate for the full 6 week independent living program.
I heard something in my head snap wide open. It was so clear to me while sitting there listening to Ms. Anderson that I was indeed there for a reason. The reason was nothing that I could control, but I could take charge of what I did with this opportunity. I was in complete control of how I reacted to every situation that would come across my path. I was in complete control over my destiny, and I had to be alert, aware, attentive, and all of the other things that I used to lack enthusiasm about when I was back in school. I felt like I was back in school.
I was introduced to a couple other consumers that were there for the first day also. Consumers? I hate that word. I felt like a statistic rather than a client or a student. Consumer? Please define what in hell that meant I was.
I met Paul Sumner from Vermont. He had been blind since birth and had both of his eyes removed as an infant. I also met Violet. I would grow to love Violet and also I would grow to be completely annoyed with Violet. She was Puerto Rican and I had no idea what in hell that meant. All I knew was I liked her accent. An accent that I would also grow to hate. I could not understand a lot of what she said. The reason was when she got going, she spoke way too fast for me to unravel the dialect.
The rest of the first day was a blur and I really can not tell you much about it except that I did meet my roommate and soon found out he snored like a herd of elephants. He also drove me crazy with his accent as well. I was surrounded by a cultural melting pot and I wanted to go home. I wanted to go home in the worst way possible. I wanted my Mommy, and I wanted her bad!
Sniveling little tidbit of a boy was I? You bet I was. I had every reason to crawl into a tightly wrapped ball and sleep all of this off. Sleep until I could see again. Sleep until I heard my roommate snore in an apparent G flat. I had never heard anyone snore so loud in my life. Well that’s not true. My dad when we went camping when I was young. He snored so loud we never had to worry about bears attacking the camper.
I did not get much sleep the first 2 weeks of my assessment. I usually ended up on the couch in the rose room after midnight. I just couldn’t sleep with him snoring. Even with some ear plugs that a guy named Reggie let me borrow, I still could hear and feel him snoring. He did seem to get annoyed the first night when he woke up and found out I wasn’t there in the room. He came down to the rose room and asked if I was ok. I didn’t know how to tell him that I couldn’t sleep with him snoring, so I told him I was uncomfortable in the room and bed. I could not believe that he had no idea that I could not sleep because of him. How completely ignorant could he be?
Well the first 2 weeks of assessment went by rather quickly. I was having no apparent difficulty with any of the classes except of course mobility. I hated mobility. I still know that I need this more than any other form of rehab that I attend due to my vision loss.
To be continued…