Friday, October 25, 2013

From Dark To Light To Dark

Yesterday Thomas went to his first shift at work. It was a pretty rough afternoon leading up to it because he was reporting his anxiety at a 10 out of 10. He's NEVER a 10. Then between therapy and work he had just an hour to eat dinner and get ready. In that time, 20 minutes before his shift, he got a massive bloody nose and was delayed a little bit in getting ready. All I could think when that started was that with everything going on, he just couldn't catch a break. His usual remedy for a bloody nose it to put in (what I like to call) a Kleenex cork to help stop the bleeding but he certainly couldn't go to work like that. Luckily he was able to get it stopped in time and I took him to work.

In the car on the way he held my hand with a death grip and I tried to find the words to comfort him but was unable to. It's so hard as a mom to not be able to repair the pain your child is feeling. No Band-Aid and Neosporin was going to fix this one. Because he's my boy, my baby, my flesh and blood, I could feel his tension but when he was getting out of the car, I felt a calm wash over me and I watched as he smiled and got out of the car and went in. I knew in that moment that he was feeling better.

He worked a 5-10pm shift and I waited with anxiousness and excitement to hear about his day. He called shortly into his shift to ask for the last 4 digits of his social security number to be able to clock in and he sounded pretty good. There were no more calls after that. Thank God.

At 9:50pm I drove over to wait in the parking lot and there he was running through it gathering carts to be brought in. I was so proud of him for being out there in the dark alone doing his job. I watched from the car as he closed up the store and the lights went off inside.

Once he got in the car I couldn't help but begin the questioning about his job. He had in his hand a liter of Jolly Rancher cherry soda and he reported with a smile that he gotten that for 30% off by using his employee discount. He loved this and I loved it for him. There's nothing like enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Like most guys I have known in my life he was painfully cryptic about his night. No matter what I asked him I got one or two word answers which drove me crazy because I wanted details! Isn't that the timeless struggle between a male and a female? One wants to chill while the other wants to talk. What I did learn is that he had worked on the floor facing shelves. His legs and feet hurt and he felt the job was a little boring! Boring! LOL after all he'd been through emotionally to come away bored was a bit of a blessing in my opinion. I didn't want him to have a night where he was under pressure and stressing out.

So, all in all it was a good first day of work for him. With his discounted cherry soda in hand he came in the house, reported that he was tired and headed off to bed. The day had begun so dark, filled with anxiety and fear but then he made it through his first day filled with the light of calm and boredom(!) and it ended with him bravely in the dark gathering carts from a nearly empty parking lot out there with all of the monsters that follow him at night. From dark to light to dark again he completed his job and lives to fight another day.

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