It is almost Christmas and the kids are on holidays. My son Nick is counting down the days to that magical day that baby Jesus was born.
As I look back on 2013, I have to say that this year has been an interesting one.
It began with the continuation of Nick having his RED halo device on. The device came off in February.
Melissa went into Year 7, her final year of primary school.
Jessica went into Year 1 mainstream - a nervous but exciting time.
And now here we are at the end of the year.
Nick's Lefort III was a huge success. His face has settled down really well and we have all adjusted to the way he looks. He does have a deviated septum now due to the movement of the bones but as it is not affecting his breathing it requires no intervention. He also has a lisp as he is still pronouncing his words the same way as he did before his mid-face advancement. We will investigate speech therapy for him in the new year. He had a great year at school, both academically and socially. Nick (or Nicky to his friends and teachers) is a wonderful boy and well liked at school.
Melissa has come out of her shell more this year. It has been wonderful to see her self-confidence grow and her ability to make friends improve. She has had a very good year academically, socially and emotionally. A highlight of the year being the presentation of the 'Children of Courage' Award which was presented to her by the local Lions Club for her bravery over the years. I wasn't too sad to see her finish primary school as I know high school has great things in store for her.
Jessica, who has taught us so much about the simple things in life, has done well in mainstream school. She is reading and writing and doing basic maths. Her favourite subject is music. She is a visual learner and amazes us with her memory for people, songs and actions. Jessica is popular with the other children and well liked by everyone at the school. She is educating the world on DS.
I have had to come to terms with the fact that Melissa and Nick are A/B students and Jess is a D/E student... and that's okay.
My year personally has been a hard one. I ended up having another stress burnout breakdown in July. Worse than the one I had had previously which I wrote about in Blog 69. I don't think I truly recovered from the first breakdown and with the situation remaining unchanged, I guess it was written in the wind that it would happen again. Basically I had too much stress on my plate with work, being mum and wife etc. Me, superwoman, learnt that I can't be everything and do everything. Eventually something breaks and it was my body and my mind.
As previously written about, I do suffer from anxiety and depression, and as my stress increased so did my anxiety, and I was constantly sick on top of this. This all sent me into a spiral which I tried to push through but landed in a heap.
It was an awful place to be but with the support of my hubby, friends and a psychologist I have rebuilt myself, stronger and more aware of what makes me tick. I am working on ways to deal with stress and my anxiety. I am also learning that I have a lot of negative core beliefs about myself that I acquired in childhood and those teenage years by the way I was treated by others due to being born with a craniofacial syndrome, and they still affect me today. Core beliefs of: 'being born different = being unimportant and unpopular'; 'being born different = constant rejection'; 'being born different = not good enough to get what you think you deserve'; 'being born different = not good enough to be a girlfriend'; 'being born different = prejudice because of the way you look'; 'being born different = deserving of mistreatment'.
I am in the process of working through these beliefs, and there are probably others I will discover along the way. Eighteen years of verbal and physical bullying, constantly being rejected by both girls and boys in many situations and never being in the 'popular' group have left emotional scars in my heart and sub-conscious. With the help of God working through my psychologist I am slowly rewriting these core beliefs - these core beliefs are untrue! I am lovable, I am valuable, I am worthy, I deserve good things in life and I deserve to be treated with respect. When the old automatic negative thoughts (ANT) come into my head from now on I will be squashing them as they are all lies!
It has been important for me to work through all of this junk thinking that is stored in my sub-conscious to find peace in my life. God offers peace and heals the hurt and He is doing that for me with the extra help of a person to bare my soul to, who won't judge, who will just listen and explain to me why I did the things I have done over the years. For me it was important to know for example why I willingly went into an abusive relationship then marriage for 13 years (my core beliefs!) God has good plans for my life and for me to go forward stronger and to be sure of myself in Him. I need to dust out the cobwebs and shadows of the past to make way for the sunshine of the future to come in.
As part of my new road to the future I have started to study as well - to become a teacher librarian. I have decided with the 'new' me, and my GP who constantly goes mad at me for being so stressed out, that I need a change in direction with my career. I have been a classroom teacher for 25 years and now it is time for a change. I am sinking my teeth into and enjoying my new found challenge. Can't wait until I am in my own little library world :)
Tomorrow I am going to bake gluten free gingerbread men with the kids!