Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Tearing my hair out

When will it end? I really don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to continue her care but I have no option as she cannot return home, I have no work, and we cannot pay rent on the amount of income we would have. So, we continue to ride the merry go round.

She returned home. Ma told me she didn't want to. Of course not, I say, here there are RULES!

We had a talk, she and I. She promised to work hard on being an adult. Yeah. I think that lasted a week. I've tried using positive reinforcement, and am still having to constantly remind her if she wants me to say "good job" she really has to do her chores properly. Because I can't say "good job" and offer praise if she's made mistakes not because she genuinely tried but because of lack of attention to her task. And that's a lot of the mistakes she makes. Lack of attention. She's even forgetting routine tasks like setting the table or setting it incorrectly. Not following simple directions for basic tasks. Not bringing in the washing like she usually does.

I talked to her about behaving and respect and other adult things. I told her she could go out with the Thursday group again this year but it very much depended on her behaviour as to whether she would continue to be allowed. She returned that day and said she had a good day. I had my fingers crossed. She came home that day and said she'd had a good day.

She went out with a new access worker - another one - the following Friday in early February after she returned. She came home with a chocolate rose and I thought nothing of it. Two days later I discover it's still in the fridge. I tell her she had better eat it. She shook her head and had a certain look on her face.... No, she says, she can't. I looked at her dismayed. It had better not be a gift... It was a gift. She didn't tell me who it was for but I told her in no uncertain terms that if it was for that boy she had better think again. It was inappropriate, they aren't in a relationship, she can't have him because he didn't want to be in a relationship with her, and she'd better not be thinking about Will either because he has already made it known that he didn't want to be in a relationship.

She wasn't happy but neither was I. Here we are having made it to February and she's back to her old tricks.

Monday afternoon when she was picked up from her day program, one of the workers said Niece had been shaking all day and had something to tell us. MOTH and I are sitting in the lounge room and she stands there and tells me that the boy she has been bullying "bashed" her and "sexually assaulted" her on the train platform on Thursday. She'd even written a letter to him asking why he did that and telling him she would be taking him to court. MOTH and I were stunned. Of course we didn't believe her. The boy is quiet, well mannered, and unassuming. She, on the other hand, is well known as a bully and a liar who can't be trusted. She was determined to tell someone on Tuesday when she went back. We tried to impress upon her the seriousness of these allegations; they would be investigated and there would be consequences for all involved. MOTH and I both know she has more or less done this before when she reported another boy for inappropriate behaviour. On that occasion it was strongly suspected that she had been flirting with him; he flirted back and she didn't know how to respond so reported it. He got into trouble and she didn't.

I phoned my contact in the Tuesday group and left a voice mail. A week later I had heard nothing so I sent a text. I eventually got a reply saying that she had reported that the boy hit her, it had been investigated but the boy concerned had no recollection of such an incident and neither of the supervisors for that outing had seen anything. So again, she gets away with no consequences. I am so not happy about that.

Because I hadn't been sending her to the Thursday group outings due to her bullying she has excess funding left from her NDIS plan. I know that if this doesn't get spent she will not have it allocated again when her plan is up for review in July. This does worry me as I do not want her spending time at home. I have been thinking of withdrawing her from the Thursday group altogether and sending her to the Monday group that day instead. Does that make sense? That would mean Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday with that group and only Tuesday with the other.

But Monday this week she comes home with a large chocolate rabbit. This is the second time. We quizzed her as to where it came from and eventually she tells us that Guy gave it to her. It took some work but eventually she owned up to flirting with Guy.... AND WE'RE BACK TO THE SAME FRIKKIN PROBLEM. She was spoken to sternly by the Monday group coordinators for inappropriate behaviour with the males in that group late last year. But here we are, a new year, and it's like she's completely forgotten about that. AND HOW CAN I SEND HER ANOTHER DAY IF SHE'S BUSY WORKING ON ANOTHER BLOKE AS A BOYFRIEND. She has learned NOTHING.

It's no wonder my hair is thinning.

MOTH has tried to apply for the pension again. Did I mention in a previous post that Centrelink had decided that after 13 years or more he no longer meets the eligibility criteria? It's all changed and now he has to meet a 20 point table. Very very strict. His second attempt was again unsuccessful. He provided more evidence specifically related to an additional medical condition but still no dice. His GP was very surprised at the outcome. But what do they expect him to do? Actually attempt suicide? Because that's what it sounds like. Chronic depression and osteoarthritis with limited movement obviously mean that you can work or study full time, right?

Stupid bureaucrats who make these rules have never been in this position. Mind though, from previous experience, they can change the rules fast enough if someone in their family is adversely affected.

I need a job.... but I've been unemployed too long and need to go back to school to brush up on skills. Who is going to pay me to do that....

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Katchup

This month I have been on break. This break is enabled by Ma who looks after Niece while she visits her mum over the Christmas and New Year period. This break has been longer than previous and I think I really needed it.

2018 has been a bad year for Niece's general behaviour. It's difficult to think of anything positive she's done though I have tried often to give her examples when discussing her behaviour with her. There have been so many examples of undesirable behaviour though. She is still pursuing boys, stating she likes one boy, then bullying and pushing her previous boy to resume the relationship. Her day groups have really had to rein in her behaviour. I have discussed with one of them that if the bullying of the previous boyfriend continues she must be spoken to very sternly. This has gone on long enough.

For those needing reminding, she was in a relationship with a young man but continued to flirt and kiss others. She told her boyfriend that she did this and lo! He broke it off. She refused to accept it. And every time she sees him she pushes to resume the relationship. Even though they are not a couple she accuses him of cheating on her if he likes another. On her last community access outing she told her support working her boyfriend is in Europe. So he is holidaying there, but he's certainly not her boyfriend. This behaviour has affected his enjoyment of the days they both attend I've been told. And continued for more than six months. So yes, time to really get serious with her. She won't listen to me anymore. Last time I tried, I received the whole eye roll and "here we go again!" spiel.

Her other day group has already had a very serious talk with her for the same reason (boys) and I've been told her behaviour there has improved as a result.

Her community access support worker has taken a promotion in the last couple of months of 2018. While I'm happy for her I am not happy for me. This has been a huge inconvenience. I'm going to have to train another. I really liked R (can't remember what I named her previously) because as a mother herself she was switched on to the bull. The last three outings for 2018 have been three different people, and Niece has taken advantage of at least one. She came home with a gift. It was a very small one but still, she'd conned her support worker into buying it for her. I had to remind Autism Queensland that this is not acceptable. You simply cannot fall for that or she will pull that stunt all the time.

Then to top it off AQ no longer provide their respite service. While Niece has been away I have had to source another provider. I manage Niece's supports myself and don't pay a third party to manage them for me. The NDIS portal is pretty useless as far as searching for a service provider. They have heaps of companies listed but no way of filtering them for things like short term accommodation. There are pages and pages. I think the number began with a 4. More than 4 so at least 40 within 20km of home. Possibly as high as 3 digits. How does one choose? You browse the first few pages, click the links, and see if the provider offers the service you require. Easy, right?

Hopefully I have found a provider. They have been very helpful so far but we are not yet at the stage of finalising anything definite. The co-ordinator is yet to make contact so we can do a meet and greet. I'm crossing my fingers because this is a painful process and I'm not keen to have to keep at it.

However, while she has been away I've managed to spend some quality time with MOTH, dining out on a voucher we received for Christmas, and going to see Aquaman. I really enjoyed that movie. A little corny in places perhaps but visually stunning. And I don't just mean Jason Momoa. We celebrated Christmas a little earlier this year. Grandson was promised to go to his other grandparents for an extended stay so we did ours around the 20th. I missed most of him opening his presents as I was in the middle of a phone call and didn't feel I could terminate it. And then it was lunch prep time so I really did miss it. So did MOTH because he had to attend an appointment and wasn't home when they started. He was disappointed. I did give them permission to start though as Grandson is 8 months old and was tired and restless. I did enjoy the day despite missing that.

Pa and Ma celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary at end 2018. On the spur of the moment MOTH and I decided to travel up there to join the festivities. It was a very quick visit. One day to drive up, the day of the celebration to catch up with everyone, then driving back the next day. It was good to see siblings and even Bro had managed to travel from interstate. He seems so much happier than I've seen him for a long time. We stayed at The Oaks on Grand. Lovely room and very central. The meal was good as some of Sibling #1's friends who have known the family for a long time joined in as well. The meal was great; there was no restaurant in that venue when I used to haunt it many, many years ago. That part was a nightclub. I had fettucini alfredo. A basic meal but done very well.

The drive home seemed long. Somewhere along the highway there was a fatal crash and the highway was closed in both directions. Traffic had been rerouted off the highway and through back roads between towns with no real signage to indicate we were travelling in the right direction. We judged that by the amount of traffic on the roads. And even on this detour, some idiot in a 4WD decided he could pass multiple cars and came at us head on. We had to slow to give them time to get back in their lane. I mean TRAFFIC ALREADY ON A DETOUR FROM A FATAL AND HERE'S THIS IDIOT MAKING SURE SOMEONE ELSE WAS GOING TO ALSO PAY THAT PRICE. I was so angry....

Elder posted a photo from a picturesque place nearby so we took an hour detour from the detour and decided to swing by. We all met up and dined at the local with her, her SO, the Grandson, and a couple of Elder's friends. It was a very pleasant diversion.

Teen had moved back in with us after trying to fly solo earlier in the year. She had split from her then fellow who was making life a tad difficult and putting a lot of financial pressure on her. She couldn't afford to live alone. A search for housemates proved futile so she had to break lease and move back. She's moved out again but on the day she was to move out, the lease holders decided they were not renewing the lease after February so she's stuck again. Why are young people so unreliable these days? If they were considering that why did they offer her the space in the first place? She does have a new fellow though who is very articulate and personable. He also looks a little like Jason Momoa, so we give her a hard time about that. They went to see Aquaman and she gave it a glowing endorsement ... "I didn't fall asleep".

So here's hoping that 2019 will be a better year for everyone, both financially and behaviour wise.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Dusty's Scrapbook Part 3

This is it. The last plant. The last one. The last one to perfect. And I think... I think I have finally completed the tasks Mayor Epoch set for me...

And as I look back, I wonder at the journey it has been. It has taken some time and yet though the seasons have flown by, I feel very little older. It must be the air here. I don't know. Dry, dusty, yet clean. I don't know what went before but it seems to be slowly returning to right. I feel ... invigorated some days, tempted to dance and sing. I'm not very good a singing though. I can play the violin, play the strings in a way that can bring you to tears. It's beautiful after the sun goes down. I play while the sky darkens and the lights dance.

Speaking of which, the aliens are becoming daring. The "raids" are becoming more frequent. Even in daylight! I haven't really taken notice of whether this has happened since I first made contact.

I think I've mentioned the demise of Mayor Epoch who gave me the challenge. I've followed through regardless and passed my knowledge to his son, Mayor Chilliad. We have become good friends. Well, what choice did I have really? Spark chose him for a life partner so I must abide. They have a little one now. He is very ... determined.

Fuel and I have been bustling busy. Raising 12 children together, exploring space, fishing, and finding and cultivating cow plants has been ... a rush. Most of our children arrived in multiples so it has been a HUGE learning curve. Only the triplets Columba, Delphinus, and Carina still live with us. The others have struck out to find life on their own. Galaxia was Fuel's "gift" from the Outer Reaches. I wasn't sure at first but we managed to find a way. As a parent, we can only do our best I believe. What your children do with the wisdom you try to impart is up to them. You can only stand back and watch. Spark. Well, Spark. She has found her niche I think. I hope. She and Mayor Chiliad seem content at the moment but I have seen her out partying. At the Cliffs, the Ruins, and in the clubs. As far as I know she has cheated the system and owns no cow plants, even though they have a child. I am hoping that Mayor Chiliad does not like cake.

Cygnus became enamoured with the idea of vampires. She studied; it became an obsession. So much so that she left to live with and serve a vampire coven in Forgotten Hollow. I feel that Aquila too may have not matured in a way that I had hoped. He moved in with Rev Engine ... one thing lead to another and now they have twins. Fuel has never spoken of this so I don't know how he feels. He has little contact with his previous family. And I think I like that.

The very odd Cliff Dwellers proved to be very friendly once I got to know them well. When I had their trust, Precipice and Crag showed me the glory of the growfruit. It's beautiful. And perfect. Once when I was "lost" upstairs in their vast and confusing dwelling, I stumbled across a strange structure. Shaped much like an arched doorway. It brought back a subtle, elusive tingle of a show I may have watched as a child. One that involved a group of magic windows, one of which was shaped like an arch. There was a side panel on the doorway and I was compelled to experiment. Was this the evidence Mayor Epoch had mentioned? That may have been a yes.

I've learned to love gardening, including the cow plants. Getting my plants to perfect has taken such a long time of dedication and a lot of help from Carina's gardening group. I felt I needed a new hobby and so introduced the bees. Most of the time they are extremely beneficial. But occasionally ... OUCH!

I've built a rocket. Complete with all the upgrades! Fuel did help but I managed most of the work myself from parts salvaged and traded. I spent ages exploring and finding odd pieces of debris. I even managed to serve as a god once or twice for a civilisation of ... I don't know what. So many space miles. And suddenly, there it was! The wormhole. And I travelled through. A bumpy ride but so worth it. At the end was a blue planet. Unusual plants and other specimens to be found! Amazing! I've travelled far enough and notched enough miles to complete my collections and achieve my aspirations. They've even been recognised! By some ... distant murky institution I did not even know existed.

The last few years a new tradition has developed. Lotto Day. Everyone - or nearly everyone - buys a ticket in the lottery. One year, I WON! I REALLY WON! What do I do with all these funds. Fuel and I discussed this many times. But I did what I wanted anyway. What do I want with a new house with our own electricty supply?? I really like the one I have. Though an unrestricted electricity supply has its own appeal. Anyway, I bought a business. Specifically, I purchased the Mercantile from the Salamanders. So here I am. A business owner. I think I've finally made it.

And now ... now I think it's time for a rest. I'm sure I've done what I needed to do. Time to settle back, enjoy what life is left to me, enjoy Fuel, and finally get to know those grandchildren. I think I'll let the triplets run the business for me. Mmmm yes.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Dusty's Scrapbook part 2

Is it wrong to have doubts about your children and the way you have raised them? I know I shouldn’t. She’s my daughter and I love her unreservedly. But it’s all just so… convenient. Just a little too convenient. And it doesn’t sit right. I shall never broach the subject with her. I don’t want to find out something I don’t really want to know.

I noticed something untoward when I dropped by the new Mayor’s house. I needed to get to know Acquisition faction but where to begin. He’s so reclusive I decided on a direct approach and took Spark with me. In hindsight it was perhaps not a good move…

Cygnus and Aquila were growing so very fast when Fate decided to expand the family yet again. Three rambunctious young ladies who keep us on our toes! Columba, Delphinus, and Carina. I loved having a full house. We broke tradition this time round and named our children after the stars. The stars are so beautiful here at night.

Spark seemed preoccupied. I wasn’t sure why but I had an inkling. And then I found out for sure.

As a mother I was worried. I hadn’t noticed anything going on. Not even any tension between Spark and Omar. All was normal. Or seemed to be. They seemed happy together.

And then, Omar ate the cake. He KNEW you don’t eat the cake. Did she whisper? Did she tempt? It feels like she did. She was free now to have who she wanted.

She mourned for a short time then picked up where she left off. It just seemed too, too easy. Now she and Mayor Chilliad are married. It was the weirdest wedding I’ve ever been to. I guess he doesn’t have many friends.

I wonder if this one will survive. She seems happy. Again.

I should be thinking of contacting the Cliff Dwellers again. It’s very odd. They are odd. Each time I visit the house I need to reintroduce myself and begin our acquaintance again. Precipice was one of my first friends but it’s like she’s completely forgotten…

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Oh! I forgot to mention!

We are now grandparents! Facehugger made his arrival on 30 April, a fine healthy specimen. He chose not to arrive at his home turf, but while we were at Gold Coast to attend Supanova.

Which I guess is fitting. His parents met at that event a couple of years ago, and here he is, trying to arrive there. The labour began while we were at the event on the Sunday. It created a small stir among the few who knew. Elder was very uncomfortable all day but did her best to carry on as normal.

That evening things were still happening although there hadn't been any dramatics like breaking waters causing floods. And then after a shower, she explained that she thought it might have gotten quite real. I phoned Teen who was still at home. An hour or more away. We waited for her to arrive then Elder, JCH, and Teen headed for the nearest hospital.

There were some complications as pre-eclampsia testing produced a positive result. That meant she wasn't going anywhere soon. It was long and protracted and he was finally born 10:28am on Monday. Everyone was exhausted but doing fine. High blood pressure meant that Elder wasn't coming home any time soon. She was devastated.

I had to make arrangements to stay an extra night so everyone could recover. Lucky for me the hotel was *ahem* accommodating. We travelled home the next day, leaving Elder behind.

So it's been almost three weeks now, and I've only just remembered to tell you. Old Timer's I guess. Welcome to the madhouse kid.