Friday, October 9, 2015

Down, But Not Out


Having a child with disabilities is heart-wrenching at times.  I have watched my child since he was a little boy struggle with the basics.  I have heard the tears in his voice as he wondered why he is different.  I have seen him knocked down time and time again.  However, I have also watched him get back up and keep on fighting.

Today, I watched as he steeled himself for work, armed with a letter to the store managers.  He has been bullied, picked on and criticized by his supervisor and coworkers for months.  He has worked through the emotions that go with that over and over.  We've seen his self-confidence waiver and to be honest, he is depressed much of the time. 

Last night, after a particularly bad night, he went to the store managers and told them what was happening.  They asked him to put it in writing and they are going to be dealing with it today.  He wrote down what he wanted to say and I helped him edit it.  I'm proud of him.  He articulated it well.  He didn't get into all his disabilities, but the basic ones that affect his work.  I hope this helps, though I have to say, it may just make things worse. 

I have multiple learning disabilities which include reading, writing and mathematical skills and also struggle with low processing speed which means it takes me longer to process numbers and such, especially when under pressure.

I am finding that my
work environment is hostile because my supervisor and some of the other employees get annoyed and frustrated when I cannot memorize the trailer listing numbers quickly or fill out a claim quickly enough.

In the past year I have been told that I don’t have a brain or common sense. I have been told that I’ll never get a girlfriend, I have big ears and on and on. I have been called stupid and ugly. I have been told because my father is a pastor that he is a crook. I have been told that I should quit the volunteer fire department because if I can’t move quickly here then how can I fight fires.

I have worked hard to achieve much despite my disabilities. I achieved employee of the year at my last job. I was rookie of the year on my last fire department, as well as firefighter of the year. And yet, here I am told that I am nothing and not able to do anything with my life and it is not acceptable.

I would like to have this rectified.
He finally has a case manager and we will be meeting with him weekly starting this next week to help Nathan find a new job, but in the meantime, he has to deal with this situation. 

As Nathan's mom, I want good things for him.  I want him to be productive and healthy and happy.  It's hard to see him knocked down so much.  It's hard to see him feeling bad about himself.  Each time one of these situations happens, my heart is broken too.

He loves the Lord and we are trusting God for His best for Nathan's life.  Dan, Stephen and I prayed for him as he left for work today and as I heard Stephen pray for his brother and tell him he loved him, it brought tears to my eyes.

Nathan is a fighter and is down, but not out for the count.