Life Changes

Since having my son 8.5 years ago, my life has changed dramatically. I’ve held down three different jobs, only two of them in the same career field. Then last July, I was forced to leave my job, which allowed me to work remotely from home and care for my son.

This job started out amazing, with great pay and benefits, but quickly slid back to the impossible. Suddenly, this job I had been so excited for with minimal travel was requiring me to travel every week. I was salaried at 40 hours and was easily pushing 50 with the travel, and they weren’t paying overtime. Then boom, I missed a work trip and found myself on thin ice.

As a single parent to an autistic child, illness is something to be avoided at all costs. However, my son got sick. He refused the medicine, his fever would spike to 104 degrees and I would be frantically calling the doctor because the hospital was the absolute last resort. So, yes, I missed the trip, and suddenly my boss didn’t like my priorities. So we parted ways.

The Carr Fire hit Redding, putting many people out of business and forcing relocations. Over this past year, I have been confronted with things I never thought I would face. Everyone lives paycheck to paycheck, and I don’t know why I was naive enough to believe I would or even could beat that statistic with the limitations placed on me by my son. Finding a job has been impossible, so I made the tough decision to sell our home. A home my son has spent that past 8 years growing up in.

It was not an easy decision, but he is regressing in many ways. He started self-harming himself again. He’s withholding his affection from me as a form of manipulation and punishment when I don’t give him what he wants. And now that our house is in escrow, both of these behaviors have escalated. He is back on Social Security Disability, which is a mixed bag. It’s a need-based program, the moment I make too much money, he no longer has a need for the extra income and supports, and we lose it.

With his regression, new behaviors, and moving, I have decided to turn back to blogging, crafting, and freelancing. My poor Etsy shop has suffered in my absence, and so has my freelance gig network. But one thing this past year has taught me, is that the ability to be both adaptive and resilient in changing times helps you weather life’s storm.

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