Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lightness has a call that's hard to hear

There was talk last night of setting up an intervention for Trainer V.  But I don't think anyone is really going to do it.  I'm not sure what the statistics are, but I'm pretty sure that interventions are not hugely successful.  If someone wants to destroy their life it's pretty hard to stop them.  I don't understand.  Even though I went through a phase when I was young of blaming everyone else and not wanting to take responsibility, I burned out on it pretty fast.  It's just not fun being miserable.  And I have a low tolerance for the embarrassment of being in constant dramatic crisis like one's life is when it's always "someone else's fault".

On a different note, I've been learning a lot about people living with disabilities since we moved to our new neighborhood.  There are two kids on the block with autism (brothers - one is higher functioning than the other but has ADD), one kid with FOP (a cruel, cruel disability) and our next door neighbor's adult daughter who has agenises of the corpus callosum (yes, that sounded overwhelming when I first heard it too).  I was out today with the latter neighbor, her daughter and my daughter and it just seemed like a routine trip to me.  Her daughter was being her usual emotive self and I find that very endearing (albeit a little exhausting because she feels the need to talk in a stream of conscious constantly which I'm not sure why ... I think it's her way of connecting to people close to her in the only way she can).  We were doing our thing and in *my world* we did not stand out at all. But I noticed when we were at the check-out stand a woman who'd been in the store with us at the same time was staring at us (me and my friend's daughter specifically, who at that moment was hanging on my arm). She had this almost rageful look on her face like she truly hated us and it shocked me so much that I just stared back at her.   She apparently didn't notice and just continued to stare at my neighbor's daughter with this awful scowl and it was all I could do not to walk over and slap that scowl right off her face!

It probably didn't help that as we were leaving I told my neighbor she could sell the purse she made for at least $100 and if she were really motivated she could start a sweatshop in her basement and I'd be her first slave.  But hey, if that woman is going to give us nasty looks, might as well say something off-color to make her feel justified for glaring at a disabled girl who just wants to love everyone.  I didn't say anything to my neighbor (the mom) about it because I'm pretty sure that she is all too aware of that stuff and has been for the last twenty-five years. 

Well, I'm glad that autism and other mental-function disabilities seem normal to me now.  And I'm extremely glad that those disabilities seem normal to my daughter.  Just like how it's normal to her that a lot of kids at her school speak English as a second language and a lot of their parents didn't grow up in this country.

In horse related news, I went with Trainer K. up to a feed store in Snohomish today and spent a very long time going over senior grains for Girlfriend.  One needs to have a degree in nutrition and veterinary medicine to own a senior horse it seems.  Girlfriend was recently diagnosed with a disease called Cushings, which didn't really surprise me because she is so old.  But between having trouble keeping weight on her now that she's so old, and having to watch her diet because of the Cushings, feeding her is becoming an exact science.

And Toad ... sigh ... the Toad.  Toad kicked me yesterday in what may have been the first time in my life I've ever been kicked by a horse.  Of all the riding lessons I took as a kid and all the summers I spent with my best friend and her two horses one would think at some point I got kicked but I don't remember if I did.  I also don't remember being stomped on although you would think I had been.  I remember falling off, two specific times especially - one into the poles going over a jump and one time when the horse I was riding during a schooling show was cantering and spooked and threw me into the arena wall.  But I honestly can not remember ever being kicked.  So, way to go, Toadie. First horse ever to kick me.  Grumble.

I was brushing the mud off of her belly with a curry-glove and I was not paying attention to the cues that it was bothering her and she just lifted her back leg and kicked forward and got me right in the thigh right above my knee.  It didn't hurt that much so it was obvious she was just trying to nudge me away, but a nudge from the back leg of a half-ton creature hurts really bad if you're small and human.  So, now I have a big, hoof size bruise on the inside of my thigh with a blood blister above that.  It looks impressive, but it's actually a surface bruise and thankfully it didn't hurt that much. It was sore all day when I'd walk, but it wasn't that knock-you-down-speechless pain like when Sinatra stomped on my toe and the toe itself turned black.  Or labor with pitocin when I had my daughter.  Yeah, that was pretty bad.

I need to be much more aware when I'm doing something with her that she is uncomfortable about so that she doesn't get any ideas that kicking (or biting) is a way to deal with setting boundaries with me.  I think she learned her lesson yesterday just by knowing what she did was wrong.  She jumped off to the side so fast after she kicked me that when I swung my arm to hit her she was already out of reach.  I went to move toward her to hit her and Trainer K. said, "Come forward! Come forward! Get away from her back end!" and by then she'd backed up away from me again.  But by then she was hanging her head looking like she thought the world was going to end so I figured she was punishing herself enough.  Trainer K. pointed out it is not the discipline action that matters as much as that the horse knows when she has done something truly wrong (like kick someone).  And Toadie knew.  She hung her head like that for a good ten minutes, looking at me with these tragic eyes because she just knew I was going to sell her off to some breeding farm and be done with her.  Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and gave her a big hug around her neck and she pushed her head down onto my chest and just held it there and let out big sighs.

I can't help but question my choice of hobbies.  But then my other choice of hobby before I got Girlfriend four years ago was to join the Rat City Roller Girls roller derby team.  So, there ya go. This is probably safer for me.  And I need something that will get me out getting exercise and lot of adrenaline pumping.

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