It’s been tough over the last few days, unfortunately my old friend Mr Susan (head jerking tic) is back and I’ve been trying to squash him with a slow nod in addition to this I’m still battering my poor leg but on the plus side about 8 out of 10 hits have been stopped using the new competing response (putting my hand on my leg) – it does look a little odd when walking to the village shop.
Getting up was very difficult this morning, a good’s night sleep is still eluding me and I just found it very difficult to motivate myself to eat and shower despite my Tuesday babysitting responsibilities (caring for a friend who’s become quite disabled by a brain aneurism while her hubby does the shopping), babysitting is what she calls it. Looking in the mirror this morning I noticed a strange red mark in the middle of my forehead, tender to the touch and remembered that yesterday whilst washing up my head collided with a glass and then a saucepan. I’m struggling more and more each day with these housewifely chores only a couple of days ago I attempted to cook and asked my loving partner to help me, no can do – urgent trip to Tescos required. I told him I was worried that I may hurt myself to which he replied “It’s your life you can do what you want! “Like I want to be like this.
Rewind 10 ½ years to when I was at uni for the second time converting my HND into a Degree, I’d not long split up from my ex of 6 years and was having a good time, lectures, tutorials and seminars by day, pulling pints in the evening, working hard, playing hard and generally having a blast. Then along he came, in those early days he was intrigued to be picked by this student 13 years his junior who was always on the go involved with some creative endeavour. At this time he was happy to trail around the endless student parties, gigs, concerts and mix with my student mates (again composers tend to be mostly male, so again a course dominated by male students) who were mostly guys. At this time he was unemployed, but that didn’t bother me, I thought that sooner or later he’ll get a job and that the tables would turn and it would be him getting the drinks in and paying the restaurant bill but I was wrong. It all started going downhill when we moved in together, in retrospect a big mistake, whilst I did all sorts of jobs mainly through temping agencies to pay the rent; he still ploughed through the job pages and scoured the internet to no avail. Still, I got the drinks in and paid the restaurant bills. A friend from uni introduced me to the joys of teaching, before I returned to do my degree I worked for a charity called the Drake Music Project drakemusic.org/ which I enjoyed immensely, unfortunately due to funding they left the Coventry area thus rendering me jobless, hence the return to studies.
During my time teaching, I must admit I did resent the fact that he didn’t have a job and I was having to support him also increasingly I was becoming detached from my friends, he refuse to meet my friends from work, or if he did meet them would be down-right rude. Still, I paid the rent and got the drinks in.
Sadly I had to give up teaching due to my tics getting worse, a classroom full of teenagers see a little tic as a sign of weakness, and when the kids get a sniff of weakness bang goes your classroom management! Some of my tics I could disguise as being the mannerisms of a slightly dotty music teacher. When kids say to you “Miss, did you just twitch?” that’s when that kid’s got something more interesting to pay attention to rather than trying to learn a blues progression. In my last school, which was a pupil referral unit I was outed by my TA ( teaching assistant), as a personal tutor as well as music teacher I was in charge of a group of 6 year 11 kids and had a TA with me at all times. One morning in breakfast club one of the pupils came up to me and said “Do you really have Tourette’s? I’ve never heard you swear” put in this awful predicament I couldn’t lie to her, the worst thing you can do to kid in a PRU is lie to them, so I told her the truth and told her a little about TS, then she asks me “ Does anybody else in your family have Tourette’s?” During that week I was approached by some of the other kids and asked about my TS, all of them thought it was quite interesting and as many of them have ADHD, dyslexia or ASD, they thought it was cool that I’d become a music teacher. However if the same had happened in a mainstream school all hell would have broken out, kids withdrawn from music lessons….etc..Etc...OMG teacher with Tourette’s!
Back to my other half he still hadn’t managed to find a job and my tics were getting worse so after I finished at the PRU (due to original music teacher returning from long-time sick leave, another friend who has had the rude boyfriend treatment) I was unemployed. We both were, signing on together, me searching for jobs, he had given up. I had also been diagnosed with endometriosis after years of suffering with horrendous period pains with heavy bleeding. He’s never done illness very well caring for me after I had had a Laparoscopy was a bit of a shock, he had initially thought that he could bring me home on his bike! Luckily I had arranged for a friend to come and pick me up. My tics got gradually worse, he gradually distanced himself from me, we hardly went out together, we only seemed to visit the job centre and go shopping together. My mental health started to deteriorate although I had suffered from bouts of depression in the past, I was referred by my GP to a neurologist, who in turn referred me to a psychiatrist, I believed that she had also referred me to my current TS specialist but she hadn’t. He wasn’t handling this at all well the endo pain, the nightmare that was Depo-Provera, the tics.
It’s a lonely old life this ticcing business.