Reminiscing… And other plans

I’ve been reading back through my blog again, like I’ve done a few times lately. But tonight I decided to go back to the beginning of my blog. Oh wow, comparing myself now, to how I was back then, is amazing! I always had a love-hate relationship with cooking, and now, I don’t hate cooking at all. Back in 2009 when I was cooking reasonably well, I sometimes hated cooking especially if I got frustrated or hurt myself. Since then, I’ve gone from liking cooking, to totally hating it and not wanting to cook anything for weeks. You should see such a trend between 2010 and 2011’s posts. Then there’s the use of my white cane. These days, I’m pretty good with my cane. I did struggle for a while but i got much better with it. When I first started out on my writing quest, or journey – call it what you will – I remembered struggling at times to get around with my cane before I got my guide dog. No, I think I struggle a bit with my cane, but not as much. I must say that my mother had some involvement in me getting behind on cane skills, not that she meant it on purpose to give me a hard time. We didn’t get on well most of the time, but that’s a different story. The fact is, Mum didn’t want to see me struggle to navigate through my surroundings every day with my cane. She kept insisting that I didn’t need a cane while I worked my guide dog. The problem was that the more I resisted using my cane, the worse I got with using my cane properly. I guess that because Mum is sighted, she didn’t truly understand how important it was for me to keep up with cane skills because Troy wasn’t always going to be able to guide me around me for whatever reason, so I needed to be able to use my cane. Under the circumstances of the time, I went along with it. I do wonder if this is why I took for ever to get used to my cane again after Troy retired. There were a lot of factors involved too, but almost never using my cane when I had Troy was the main factor for my inability to use my cane properly for such a long time. Now that Mum isn’t in my life for a number of reasons, O and M training is going well and I’m navigating my environment as well as I can, without someone hovering over me and correcting every apparent mistake all the time. My grandparents weren’t very good at allowing me to get around independently with my cane, by the way. Mum used to argue with them all the time. But when I was with Mum using my cane, we’d argue from time to time about the way I’d work my way through situations and all that. Hmmmmm, I couldn’t win no matter what. And now that I’m in Brisbane, I’m doing ok with getting around with my cane. And I’m doing a tonne better with cooking.

If you browse through my posts, you’ll probably find that before I moved to Brisbane back in 2016 (see archives), I had a lot of issues with family members and sometimes other people, interfering with mine and Troy’s training. My worst issue besides people petting him while he was working, was Troy being fed anything other than dog food and dog treats. Once again, I went along with the situation because I knew there would be a lot of conflict between me and whoever was feeding him. Basically, I had to follow the rules of the household whether they were good for Troy or not. I really hated that I couldn’t do anything about these problems. I still get angry thinking about it. This is why I’d never live with family members again. If I report problems with Troy being fed inappropriately or any other issue I don’t like because it may destroy a guide dog’s career or whatever the case, I’m seen as the worst person on earth, and I’d either have to accept the rules or move out. The thing is, when I moved to Cairns, I still had family interference! Even though I lived in my own rental unit, if family members came around, they’d tell me what’s best for me and Troy, when he was still working. Seriously! At least I could pretend to agree and when the relatives left, I’d just go back to my normal routine. When Guide Dogs Queensland got involved with helping me smoothing out some issues before Troy retired, I was told that sometimes to avoid conflict, you pretty much had to accept what the family wanted so long as the dog wasn’t being abused, because some situations will blow over once you get back to a normal routine back at home. Well, yeah that’s right actually. But I wasn’t permanently living with family at that stage. I had to move in with my grandparents while Ö prepared to move to Brisbane. So long as I kept a consistent routine with Troy, he’d be fine. What GDQ wasn’t happy about, and nor was I by the way, was when I’d lived with family before I left Darwin, and Mum and some other family members would expect me to make changes to mine and Troy’s working relationship to suit the family, whether it was ok to do so or not. I told GDQ staff that I’d get a new guide dog eventually, but not if I was living with family. Life was difficult enough without the guide dog. Having a guide dog wasn’t actually the difficult part. It was the controlling attitudes of the family that really fucked with me. Peruse my blog and you’ll see all the discussions about different problems and frustrations. Guide Dogs gives dog handlers strict rules for a good reason. They don’t just make shit up for the sake of wasting money. I had to ask questions too, and there were things which really got me mad. But I’d find out how to fix any shortcomings, until I got resistance from the family and the church Pastor when I used to go to church (so glad I don’t have anything to do with church anymore), then rinse and repeat the process. It’s so easy to put the blame on everyone and excessively blame yourself. But at the end of the day, living with my family while I had Troy wasn’t a good idea all around, and I’m glad I moved away. I’m glad I left Cairns too, because living near the family wasn’t working for me either. Some bloggers who I follow have wonderful family relationships and I admire them for it. Some of us are lucky, I suppose. The good news with all this is, I’m in Brisbane and having a great time without any family conflict. And I’m sure when I get a new guide dog, I shouldn’t have half the trouble I had when I was living with my mother because she couldn’t accept certain restrictions with me and Troy. To be honest, most of my family didn’t agree with everything regarding Troy’s life as a working dog. I feel like a cruel bitch when I enforce rules, but at the end of the day my dog is helping me and my safety depends on the dog not being distracted or interfered with.

I think my life is a lot better than it was in the past. I don’t plan to move back to Cairns again. I live in a good unit and I’ve got myself set up how I like it. I’m actually glad I wrote so much in my blog, because now I can compare parts of my existence to the way I exist now, and I can remind myself that I won’t have to put up with most of the issues I suffered through while living with my family. And I can tell people that I don’t have to change my rules to suit anyone. And when it comes to the dog, I’ll just complain every single time something goes wrong. Lol at least anyone who gives me or the dog a hard time can’t get away with it for long because it’ll be them leaving me alone, rather than me being kicked out of their place. All the times me and Mum used to argue about so many things, especially Troy, and how she wished I’d leave, and now I’m away and she wants me to live in a grany flat attached to their house! When I first moved to Cairns six years ago before I came to Brisbane, I said there was no way I’d live at Mum’s place in a gra

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