The Story that is My Life

My life as it has been and as it continues to unfold is a story. One story made up of many stories. One complex, yet simple story. One sometimes messy, but so beautiful story. One story that I wonder if it might be interesting to be told.

This blog is my attempt to put part, or parts, of that story into words, pictures, or whatever form my mind can wrap itself around or create from within myself to express what it is like to be the one inside Cindy's Story. This is an exploration on my part and on yours in reading, and seeing, and maybe even hearing. It is not necessarily chronological. It might not always make sense, but it is my expression. It is me.

You are invited to see how my story unfolds.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Awfulsome Moment #3

For a year, I rode my bicycle to and from work every day.  I was always very careful to wear my helmet, use lights at night, wear bright clothing, ride on roads with bike lanes, and watch out for crazy and un-alert drivers.  I was as safe as I could be.

I worked at a clinic in a hospital.  I left work around 6:00pm one Tuesday night and was riding my bike along road.  I had only gone one block when suddenly, a guy in a parked car opened his car door directly into my shoulder.  I was knocked off my bike into the middle of the road.  Luckily no cars were coming, but I had blood running down my leg and a huge bruising knot on my shoulder.

The guy in the car was very shocked and apologizing.  I ended up just walking home with my bike, happy that my bike or I had at least left a mark on his car door.

The awfulsome thing is that the next day when I was walking in to the hospital to go to work, I saw a flyer on the door giving directions to the room for the "Driver Safety Class" on Tuesday nights at 6pm!  I don't think the guy that hit me had learned very much in his class yet!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Awfulsome Moment #1

[The following is from a survey I filled out for the Mental Illness Happy Hour.  I did not come up with the word awfulsome myself, but isn't it a good word?]

Share an AWFULSOME moment from your life. Something that was awful and dark, but had an element that was awesomely ironic, sickly funny or bizarre. A moment that makes you want to cry and laugh at the same time.

For a few years I had a job as a caregiver at an adult foster care home that was in a family's home. Usually when I was taking care of the three developmentally disabled men in the home, there was still someone from the family that lived there in the back rooms, and I could call them if something went wrong.

The family wanted to go out for a nice night together so for the first time I was left alone with the guys. I put the three guys to bed for the night, then finished making a sack lunch for them for the next day. Suddenly one of the guys came storming out of his room upset that I was making his lunch. He grabbed the lunch and threw it at me along with the soda that was inside. Then he ran after me in rage. As I ran, I picked up a wooden kitchen chair and held it up between us. He was a big man, and he grabbed the chair and pushed me into a corner of the room. There was a narrow staircase directly behind me with a door at the top step. I thought I could escape, but then remembered that tonight the family had locked the door to that room, so now I had no way out.

I lifted the chair up with him holding on to it, then ducked under it, dropped it, and started running away. But I was not fast enough. He turned around and grabbed me by the neck with both his large hands. I had just finished a class through the state of Oregon that taught us how to deal with behaviors of people who are developmentally disabled who may misbehave or become violent. Luckily I remembered what I learned and ducked my head under his arm and spiraled around so that he lost his grip on my neck and fell forward onto the floor.

I ran a few feet away and grabbed the phone. I pointed down at the 200+ lb guy now laying on the floor, and said sternly, "If you move a muscle I am calling the police."

I tried calling the owners of the house to have them come home, while he mumbled to himself on the floor. Mentally this man was probably around six years old even though he had the grown body of a 40 year old.

Nobody answered the call I made so I just stood there holding the phone while he calmed down. When it seemed like he had sufficiently calmed down, I asked him if he was going to be nice. He mumbled a yes.

I went over to him, helped him off the floor, and led him back to bed. It wasn't until he was tucked in and I was out of his room that I realized I had blood running down my face from a deep cut above my eye.

So there I was with blood running down my face after being attacked and almost strangled, realizing that I had just led my attacker back to his bed as I would a little child while speaking comforting things to him and tucking him in for sleep.