Monday, 6 July 2009

Decision time...

I've not talked about my course at university here for some time, so I'm going to come clean. The last 6 months have been difficult at home. Regular readers may remember. The balls I have been trying to juggle have had to be rethought and decisions made.

There have been several things that have influenced my decision to fill in my withdrawal form.

I have loved every minute of my studying but when things were going astray, I found I was unable to do my second placement because I was needed at home. If I'm honest, I was a bit relieved. My first placement before Christmas was ok, but I felt that maybe teaching wasn't going to be me.

During my humanities module this year, huge emphasis was put on the benefits of field trips as part of the enquiry process to learning subjects such as geography, history and RE. I'm not sure if I have referred to the fact that Tom's brain injury (when he was 4 and at nursery) that left him so profoundly disabled, was a result of a school trip. For that reason alone, I just don't think I could get behind the core of the module. Of course, I'm not saying that school trips are unnecessary, it's just that personally, I'm struggling with it. No2 has always gone on trips , apart from the particular one that Tom went on, and at primary school, I always tried to join him as a parent helper. At secondary school now, he participates too - he's even been ski-ing for a week, but it's hard for me.

Having missed a fair amount of the second half of this term when No2 was out of school, I came to the conclusion that I was glad I'd tried it but no, it wasn't for me. If I'm truly honest, I also know that I don't want a full-on, full-time job and teaching (especially to start with) would be just that. I found it hard not having time to do the things that feed my creative soul.

So, here I am back at home, with time on my hands, hence the copious amounts of crochet going on here.

I'm a firm believer in things finding you when you're not really looking for them and in May I was invited for an interview at Helen House to take part in a training course to help support other bereaved parents. I got on and have just completed the training. I now have to wait over the summer, to be allocated my first family. I will visit them in their home to listen and support them through, what I know, is the worst time. I can share my own experiences and hope that they will find the benefits I have found in talking to people who share the same scar.

Also in May, I was fortunate enough to meet the Children's Commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green. We discussed the difficulties I'd been having with No2 and school and he was extremely interested. He is starting a research project on bereaved children and would like my story to be part of that research. I really hope he contacts me to help.

So, this is the thing: maybe I need to embrace the things that I cannot get away from and work with them to make something positive happen. I'm happy to do that. It's something that I can dip in and out of and it leaves time for me to be creative, which heals me.

If all else fails...


  1. It must have a been a really hard decision for you to give up what you thought was what you wanted, ( and to tell us more about Tom) but sometimes we find we are better on a different path... I hope the time you have to be creative helps heal, and also helps you help no.2 and I'm sure you will be a wonderful source of strength to the families of Helen House. xox

    and I love that mug!

  2. I am certain you will offer huge comfort and understanding to the families you meet at Helen House - and I hope it helps you as well.

    And I respect you enormously for making a very, very difficult decision. I am thinking of you - be strong!

  3. I think that the job at Helen House sounds like just what you need. I think you will be a terrific support to other parents. I don't think we have to stay with courses etc to the end. We just take what we want from them and then move on. I hope you will be happy in your new role and I hope that no. 2 finds the support he needs. x

  4. oh my. I didn't know.

    I know that you will be an amazing help to other people. And No 2 will benefit from having you home..

    you're doing the right thing.

    (great mug!!)

  5. I so admire you for making such a difficult decision. It sounds like you've really thought it through, and from everything you've said, it sounds like you've done exactly the right thing.

    I think you'll be absolutely brilliant at Helen House. You'll be able to make such a difference to the families there.

    And if you'd ever like a little break from the crochet hook, I'm just at the other end of the train line!

    K x

  6. It's not always easy to make the right decisions but it sounds as though you have done just that. Best wishes for all you decide to do in the future.

  7. I hear lots of long and difficult reflection behind the words that you are sharing. You seem to have reached the point where you have made a decision that is right for you right now, a decision based on wisdom. I have no doubt it is the best decision.

  8. I met a student recently who had decided to withdraw and we talked about her reasons for this very, very difficult decision. At the end of the conversation she said "I have made my choice and now I am going to work very hard to make it the right choice."

    Good luck Tracy, as you find the road that you want to want walk on.

  9. Hi Tracy, embrace where you are - I think that sums it up. You put your feelings into words so eloquently, thank you. I'm sure Helen House and all their families will really benefit from your presence, strength and insight. I hope No2 is finding a better balance now, too. In the meantime, keep at it with all the feeds and heals the soul (and provides us with lovely things to drool over!).
    Love Diana x
    Ps Love that mug!

  10. Sometimes life has a way of pushing you in an alternative direction when you least expect it - it takes courage to have a go but even greater courage to change direction - good luck with your new pathway

  11. you left a comment on my blog and I just wanted to say thank you.. and having read through a few blog posts your crafts are amazing, and you are going through alot, but it sounds as if you have found a good path to walk down for you and your family, and to help other families with your strenght, courage and understanding.

  12. There's something so very right about your phrase 'embrace the things we cannot get away from'.

    I too am a big believer in the right thing coming along - your Helen House work sounds so very important and valuable a thing to be doing. And there is a lot to be said for work you can dip into, as you say.

    Good luck, my friend. I have absolutely no doubt you can make positive things happen.

  13. All I know is that the people you help will be lucky to have you - you are brave and true and people will know that ...

    Hmmm - now what shall I commission from you??!!!

  14. You are very brave and honest with yourself. I believe you can help others cope with what ever life throws at them.

  15. Ahhh Tracy, a shame, but it looks like a well thought out decision and better for you that you tried than never tried at all and regretted. Perhaps the counseling is your calling, it certainly seems to have come up at a very opportune moment and I wish you all the best in this new turn ..x

  16. well done to you for making such a brave decision. You tried it and it didn't work out-I have heaps of respect for you.
    I only wish I had had more time for a chat on Saturday, sweetie! where did all those people come from? Was there a coach parked outside when you left?!!
    No.2 will be just fine, I am sure of it. And Helen House will be therapy in itself.
    Sending lots of love xx

  17. I MUST have one of those "keep calm" signs! I see them all over brit blogs! hmmm....ebay?


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