Tags: daily living, disability, disability and love, disability and marriage, disability and relationships, finances, interability marriage, Megan Cutter
Three years ago, when Barton found out that a grant ended and while there were promises of continuing employment with that organization, in the end, he had two weeks notice that his position would be cut. Admittedly, I did not handle the news well. Several patterns were already in place to provide the right atmosphere for combustion.
Moving from Alabama to North Carolina was not easy, as to our hurricane tale, but also was difficult financially. We moved with quite a bit of debt, add to it moving into a house, a new roof, Barton’s surgery, and my pattern of not wanting to tell Barton no- especially when it came to training. With the cut of Barton’s grant, I was on freak-out mode.
Over the last few years, we both began to recognize ways that we were creating to the dissonance, and took time to look at and began to shift those patterns. Life is still life- we are in the process of another set of changes, and this time, we’ve been able to communicate more effectively, stay open even when we have tough conversations and work on solutions together.
Financial difficulties are a part of everyday life in our post-recession world, but for families with disabilities, there tend to be more issues caught up in the financial web. Everything from medical care, insurance, direct support staff, transportation, employment is related to a dollar amount.
Just because we’ve blazed our own path doesn’t make us immune to that as we’ve had to cut morning help for Barton to a minimal level (and the gracious gift of angels), hang on to my little Honda which is aging quickly, delay repairs to Barton’s equipment (we couldn’t believe that one strap was over $300 to replace and not covered by insurance), and are both experiencing contract changes at the same time.
Yet, we feel more connected because we are working together in a different way. We’re both taking better care of ourselves individually. I am not shouldering all of the burden anymore, and we are talking in a different way that is encouraging and supportive. It takes a lot of coordination and a constant reminder to stay open, and above all, a fundamental belief that no matter what, we will be okay. And that foundation is how we have learned to soar.
Tags: Barton Cutter, daily living, disability, disability and humor, disability and love, disability and marriage, disability and relationships, finances, personal assistants
The past several weeks have felt incredible amidst the external chaos of the various challenges we face such as finding new contracts and piecing together what we have now to stay afloat as Megan and I have been moving together in an amazingly fluid fashion.
While it has been clear for some time that both of us have been making headway in terms of out own abilities to communicate with one another while dealing with our own internal processing, it seems that a month or so ago, I discovered a foundational component to one of the beliefs that kept me out of a state of reaction. This has truly been amazing for it’s felt like I’ve undergone a complete face-lift and I would think Megan would agree that I’m much more tolerable to live with.
After we moved to North Carolina, neither of us wanted to acknowledge where we were financially. Moreover, I had no idea, nor did I want one, of how much debt we were in. Megan knew this and because she didn’t want to ask me to slow down in any way, she was hesitant to show me what was really going on. To compound this perspective, in the moments where she did try to provide me with a clear picture, I would automatically erupt in anger and refuse to work on solutions.
Though it was a long journey, we finally found the courage, over time to face our self-made reality. Yet, it took me even longer to learn to approach this process with openness rather than reactivity. A major component of this shift was catalyzed by my own ability to experience and let go of the fear that I was feeling without allowing it to control my response or mutate into another emotion.
While I recognize that a month may not erase patterns from the past six years entirely, I’m very excited about what appears to be a fresh beginning, and it’s even more exciting to me to explore the openness and freedom that is beginning to take root for both of us.