Sunday, August 14, 2005

SSD decision

Yesterday, I went to the mailbox to get the obligatory usual junk mail and was shocked to find a fat envelope from the Social Security Administration.
I wouldn't even open it for awhile because i was so afraid what would be inside it. I just didn't think I could handle bad news.

I had just talked to the attorney's office the day before to see if they had an update. She said Omar (my attorney) had filed his brief to the judge as had been discussed at my hearing, and in fact filed it ahead of scedule and they had even checked on my case a few days before and there was no news.

She said it could take another 60 days to hear back as it went through the review process.I asked what percentage of cases were rejected by the review committe once the judge had approved it. She said all their cases were always approved as far as she knew.
She said not to worry and if they heard anything they would call. She also said "most likely you will hear when we do as they mail each of us the decision at the same time".

So that is why I was confused and worried that I had received something in the mail so quickly and I couldn't call the attorney's office as they were closed. It was Satirday. I in fact did hear before they did which seems a little appropriate to me.

I finally decided to open and read it because even if it was bad news I had to know.

Right there is bold print at the top- Favorable Finding
I couldn't believe it. I mean I really couldn't believe it.
I had waited so lonmg to see those words.

It was one thing to know inside me I had waited 3 years and to tell people - 3 years - but when I saw the date of initial filing it really hit me how long it had been.
June, 2001.

So much has happened since then:

  • Historically, it was 3 months before 9/11. That is what grabbed me and put it in context.
  • My son was not in the Navy yet. That wouldn't happen until the following January. I don't even think he had talked to the recruiter yet at that point.
  • I was not yet 50 years old.
  • I was trying yet another reconcilliation with Paul.
  • I was working still although it was hard.
  • I had what I believed to be "so many friends".
  • All my children were speaking to me.
  • Going back to Ohio wasn't even a blip on the map.
  • I knew nothing about being on the internet; that was for the kids, not me! A blog? Never heard of it.
To think someday my life would have so many twists and turns that I'd end up in a battered women's shelter and eventually Northern CA and see the Golden Gate bridge, Pier 39, Lombard St., the wine country, a major league baseball game 3x's was unthinkable.
Wouldn't even have dreamed it.

I was back then A divorced wife trying one more time to salvage a dead marrige, a devoted Mom and nana to 2 young grandgirls and one granddog named Duke and a grand cat named Anna.

I ws a loyal friend, empoloyee and community activist. I was involved on a volunteer fire department.

I was still trying to rebuild my life from a major flood years before that wiped us out.

I was still searching for answers to my medical situation. I was still believing there would be a magic drug that would be the answer.

I was believing the doctors had my best interests at heart. I was believing I'd always have insurance.

I believed my little part of the world was insulated.

Things sure changed over those 3 years.

Paul continued his wily ways to the point of alienating the entire family for his transgressions. Who would have ever fathomed that He would break up his own son's marriage through an affair with his daughter-in-law?

I had to leave the fire department and they then left my life.

All the so called friends vanished one by one and several even took up with my ex after we were really finally over and relished letting me know.

Others, once I wasn't working and couldn't finance the " good times' vanished as well. Many just didn't want to know or be reminded on a continuing basis I was no longer the active person they once knew.

I became increasingly more isolated as was able to be seduced by the so called caring attitude of a man who would later abuse me to the point I literally had to flee for my life with only the clothes on my back.

Family members abandoned me.

Maybe it was the bubble bursting that I wasn't perfect. What a burden that was to carry around all my life.

Maybe it was the chronic pain they couldn't deal with.

And all the moments of such excruciating, mind altering, life changing pain it has been. I tried to remember my last pain free day and I can no longer remember it.

The times I would be truly bipolar meaning the chemicals were imbalanced, medicine wasn't working or eventually none to take anymore because that option was no longer available to me.

The slippery slope downward and you know its happening but are powerless to change it; you try but you can't. But those around believe you can.

The hauntingly frightening moments that you grab ahold of any part of sanity you can find to get you through telling yourself "this will pass". And pray it does. The times you read your Bible and earnestly pray for forgiveness because you are who you are. The fervent prayers of healing that you claim and never materialize and you wonder if even God has abandoned you.

The times you struggle to make life work for yourself, but there is something in the way that trips you up. The times you wish you could just get a break so you could enjoy the reprieve even if was shortlived.

Then along the way the most miraculous things happened. There would be a someone somewhere who would perform a random act of kindness, and I'd take it as my creator showing me He hadn't forgotten me there was a different plan than the one I had.

The true caring people I have met online who have become such good friends in the truest sense of the word. I'd never had met them had I not been sick.

I've been able to share my knowledge and teach others when they were willing to be educated. And I've encountered those who have shared what they know with me. Don't ever think one person can't make a difference because each one of those "one" persons made a difference to me.

How can I ever communicate what my son Dan and my sister Mary have meant to my life in those 3 years? They were always there accepting me as I was, flawed. Their love and support and encouragement never wavered - not once.

I have 7 other siblings besides Mary; yet the rest for their own reasons have chosen to leave not just my life but my sister's also. It's their loss.

My other children, although I know they love me, do not accept me. They are entitled to feel what they wish. I still love them. They will be so quick to point out, "you always single Dan out as so special". You are damn right I do.

Not because I love him any differently or with more passion than I do the others, but because his qualities about himself shine so brightly they need to be acknowledged. And should any of the other kids ever read this there is a lesson there. You don't have to always agree or approve of me or my actions. You other 3 just forgot the significance of the word "Mother ".

I am truly grateful to God for all my experiences. I have led a terrific and interesting life. I only recently looked back at my life from its begining up to this point, and only then could I appreciate the life God has allowed me to live.

Not all of it was good; in fact a lot of it was horrendous. I've seen more than my share of ruthlessness, backbiting, condemnation, evil, turmoil and strife. However, along the way I have seen some of the most incredible courage, never-failing human spirit, kindnesses that were so silent they were deafening and undying love.

I've seen my country tested through unimaginable horrors. I've seen patriotism restored. I've seen the evidence of insatiable curiosity and wonder. I've been priveleged to see some of the beauty of God's world He created through travel and in meeting people who lived elsewhere, and I was blessed to meet them.

I have known some of the funniest senses of humors and engaged in many interesting and fascinating discussions.

All of it has brought me to this day. This day that I can still say, "guess what, I landed on my feet."


cassie-b said...

Congratulations. Landing on you feet is quite an accomplishment

anniebee said...

I'm glad you got your social security. I just had to reapply for mine. Hope you're ok Margaret. I pray for you every night. Have a good weekend. *Hugs*