Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Dementor's Kiss




This image may seem a little dramatic, and I apologise if it annoys anyone, but this is quite honestly how I am feeling at the moment. It's an image from Harry Potter. A Dementor 'kissing' Harry's cousin Dudley. According to Wikipedia (and yes, I know that's not a totally reliable site but hey, we are talking about a fictional film here), the Dementor's Kiss is the act of having one's soul sucked out by a Dementor. To get a little more dramatic....another character Remus Lupin is quoted in the film as saying,
"You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you'll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no...anything. There's no chance at all of recovery. You'll just -- exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever...lost."

Ok, so I know that despite feeling like I am experiencing the Dementor's Kiss, I will recover and at some stage I will feel like I have my soul back. But look a little closer at that quote and there is a really true explanation of how I am feeling right now. No sense of self, my memory has totally crapped itself and I feel as though I am existing as an empty shell.

The last 2 weeks I have actually felt like an almost normal Mum. Ayla is in Kindy. I have a designated 'cleaning' day where I can clean my house without having to attend to anyone else and I can go grocery shopping by myself. Ayla is loving Kindy and apparently thriving on it. She's even having a sleep. Short, but it's still a sleep. I get to Kindy this morning to have somebody dump a great big CRAP on me...here, deal with this!!

A bit of background.....Ayla's enrolment into Fingerprints hinged on her receiving a funding package from a government agency called Inclusion Support. She was assessed and after many weeks and countless revisions of paperwork by the Kindy, she was approved. The funding is a 'subsidy' toward a wage so that the Kindy can have an extra set of hands on to help out or 'include' Ayla in activities. The subsidy is $15.95 per hour. It's not a lot...but it is a subsidy, nonetheless. The Kindy don't want to have to cover the extra $5 per hour it will cost them to employ someone and as I was told this morning, the licensee is very 'stressed' about this and doesn't know what to do. This was told to me, with a kind of questioning look at the end of it as if to say..."What should you do about it?". What do you want me to do???? I get the feeling that I look at this situation very differently to them. The way I see it, Ayla has not been given a 'carer'. The kindy has been given a subsidy toward an extra set of qualified hands to help include Ayla and this doesn't mean that Ayla is supervised or cared for for every minute of every hour that she is there. I have played that role and I know that Ayla needs to be watched but I was able to help out with the other kids whilst Ayla was there. The gap between the subsidy and the actual wage that needs to be paid to that extra set of hands is not my problem. I think the $15.95 per hours more than covers the time spent with Ayla. As far as I am concerned, the 'gap' is the Kindy's responsibility and pays for the time in which the extra set of hands helps out with the other kids.

I realise that if Ayla wasn't there, the Kindy wouldn't require the extra set of hands and therefore wouldn't have the extra expense, BUT, I believe the kindy needs to re-frame the way they are looking at this situation. Whilst I was attending the kindy last year, I was told on numerous occasions that there just wasn't enough time for the teachers to finish all of their paperwork and other chores at the same time as looking after the kids and they frequently had to work back to finish it. Well HELLOOOOOOO! Use this extra set of hands on Thursday and Friday so that you can get this work done! And look at it from this point of view....you get an extra set of hands and an opportunity to get your work done for just $5 per hour! The other $16 per hour has already been paid. If you ask me, the Kindy is getting a bargain.

On a side note....I mentioned this 're-framing' to the Kindy, and they said that it just can't be thought of that way. Can't? or Won't?

Oh and getting back to where I was originally going with this.....I don't need to hear about how the licensee is 'stressed' and what can we do? I have enough of my own 'stress' to deal with on a daily basis....so my advice is this: Don't share the licensee's stress and money worries with me!!!! When she is trying to survive on less than $26 000 per year, fundraising, filling out endless forms for help that never seems to be forthcoming, doing 3-4 hours of therapy per day, fighting a system that doesn't want her kids in it and trying to maintain her sense of self and sanity on a daily basis, THEN I might actually give a damn.

Again, apologies if that seems melodramatic, selfish and rude. But that's where I'm at tonight. It's all I've got. And yes, I am angry and verging very strongly on the wrong side of bitter tonight. But, as we all know, tomorrow will be better day.


Edited to Add:

ok, after having walked away from this for 10 minutes I thought I had better come back and apologise for dumping that on all of you and just calmly say how this is affecting me tonight. So here goes.....

I feel that after the elation of the last 2 weeks that today I just feel disappointed and devastated that just when I thought I could breathe a little and perhaps let down my guard, I have had a reality check that I really don't want. The victim inside me just wants to scream and say, "It's not FAIR and it's not supposed to be this way and why the hell does it have to be so freaking hard?". I feel so broken and anxious that I can't breathe and I have been physically shaking since 9.30 this morning. Thank you for listening, thank you for allowing me this outlet to be real and I promise to share something much more light and positive next time.

7 comments:

Elflyn said...

Melissa
I have nothing just many, many *hugs*
Jen xx

S said...

You don't have to be light and positive if you don't feel it, tis your blog and your soul x

Christiana said...

Lis, you have my total respect. My heart goes out to you darling. Just step away for awhile and breathe... love you xo

Anonymous said...

Melissa

My heart goes out to you. I can truly sayI know how you feel having a daughter going through heaps of Sh-- just like you. You are right its not your problem. The centre needs to look at themselves--shame..shame

hotmamma said...

I feel what you are feeling...although I'm sure you feel like you are alone in this you are not, I'm on the other side of the world fighting a similar battle with the Canadian Government and I can tell you, someday I just want to sit down, rather throw down my body kicking and screaming and yell IT"S NOT FAIR!!!!or WHY ME!!!But I'm slowing beginning to learn I should be saying why NOT me?? We are the voices for our girls and will continue to be, I admire your feelings as they are raw and real and make me feel more normal because I too have days just like this one, So thank you for being you!

n0thingbuteverything said...

Wow. I am so sorry for you that the kinder has a) taken this attitude and b) thrown it back at you and labelled it pretty much as YOUR problem.

I agree totally with your assessment of the situation and disagree with their approach.

It also continues to surprise me how differently things are done in different states. We haven't had to jump through any such hoops for my son to have a kinder assistant. It's not fair for you at all.

I hope somehow the situation resolves itself.

Melissa Luxmoore said...

Hi Nothingbuteverything
Thankfully since then the kindy has decided to up everyone's fees by $2 to cover the costs of having Ayla there. I say thankfully because when I first saw the price rise, I thought it was just Ayla. Phew...it's not.

Also, they seem to have had a lightbulb moment where they realised that all I needed was to drop Ayla off and know that I could relax for the day. So now that's what we do. Contact between us is light and fluffy and just the way I want it for now. They only tell me what I need to know.....
I really should blog that so everyone knows what's going on...oops