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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tabitha graduated on Friday. Because we weren't sure that her credits would transfer in time, no one was invited. DJ and Adam were already scheduled to work, and by the time we got word that Tabitha had been added to the program and she would be allowed to march with her class, it was too late to change anything.

So Darrin and I went alone. My mom was on the other side of the state for my nephew's graduation the night before. She called me five minutes after the commencement exercises began and asked where we were sitting. Apparently, she decided she WOULD be at Tabitha's graduation, understanding all that my little girl has been through. She drove seven hours to get there. I can say whatever I want to about my mom's actions in the past, but I can never fault her for trying to do better--to be better. Even now, when her mind is failing her, she often surprises me with her ability to be loyal and compassionate.

I watched my daughter walk in with her class--no honors tassels or collars in spite of her 4.0 GPA. Tabitha didn't live here during the time when all those honors were bestowed and they weren't offered where she has been living for the past nine months. But in my mind, she deserves them. I watched her work nearly ten hours daily, trying to make up the credit hours online that she wasn't enrolled in this year. She was determined to graduate. And the truth is, she finished all but .5 credits necessary for graduation last year. The things she worked on for the past two and a half weeks made her eligible for a very large scholarship. But in order for her to march at graduation, everything had to be complete by May 29th. 

So she worked. And had meltdowns. And screamed and cried when the passwords for her online tests didn't work. And she was angry at the administrator who could have enrolled her in the classes during her last year of school, but who declined to listen to Tabitha, or me, or Tabitha's former school counselor--or anyone. The school year was a mess, and Tabitha returned home three weeks ago with 2.5 credits not yet begun.

I'm still not sure how she finished. It was more work than I want to think about. 

So Tabitha walked with her class, and shook hands with the state officials sent to our graduation, and played all night with her friends, and no one has any idea what that little girl has been through. Probably every parent believes their child has a unique story of courage and achievement and they're very proud to see them graduate. 

And after all "this" (which I suppose is representative of a few years that have been incredibly painful and sad), I feel tired. I don't remember the last time I laughed because something was incredibly funny. I don't feel like celebrating anything. In fact, yesterday I believe I slept most of the day away. I can't seem to stop sleeping. I understand this is a problem, because it means in about three days I'll have insomnia that will last awhile, but my whole body feels an emotional pain that overwhelms me. I don't know where it's coming from, so I have no idea how to manage it. So I sleep.

Our house is chaos again. Tabitha has yet to organize her room, throw things out, and make a place for all that she brought home with her. DJ accepted our invitation to move back home and save money to return to college. This actually turned out to be serendipitous for all of us because about 10 days ago he injured his knee badly enough to need surgery. That will take place on Wednesday. As he's at home now, it will be much easier to help him through his recovery time than it would if he were still living in his apartment. And it's nice to have him here. DJ is a lovely person--even when he's injured.

So we have a full house. I think we will all reach the point where we've adjusted to this, about the time that DJ decides he's ready to leave again. And if Adam can ever figure out how to budget his time and money, he might be able to live on his own, as well. Tabitha wants to live at home for at least a year. That feeling might change as she watches her friends leave for college and move into their own apartments. 

Life feels transient and odd right now. Unfortunately, that affects my interaction with others. I feel a great need to spend time with me, making sure I'm doing the things I need to feel emotionally healthy. Therapist says these are the times I need to reach out to others, to interact with them. There have been many times when I've listened to him and followed that advice. Today, I'm too tired. Reaching out seems needy and pointless. And I will admit that I have have had more times lately when I've wondered why I'm reaching out in the first place. Probably I'm just not noticing, but with the exception of Ambrosia, no one seems to reach back to me. It's an odd feeling, but one that has been hanging around for more than a year now and I have arrived in a place where I no longer care. 

Tolkien Boy would tell me this will pass. Somehow, I don't care about that either. Maybe someday I'll care again--yearn for closeness and intimacy with other people. It seems like a lot of trouble for nothing right now.

Okay--done talking.

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