So I had been sober for about two months and needed to do something, so I went to the Social Services for help, and they suggested a work program, I suggested going back to school. I was scared to go back to school since I had been bullied so badly in my younger school years, but I knew that I really needed some kind of education. So I applied and was accepted into an adult Education program. Boy oh boy was it hard for me, I always was looking down and did not interact with the other students. I was paralyzed by the fact that I really had no social skills. I did however, have a keen desire to get my teachers approval. I think this stemmed from wanting my mothers approval so badly. And boy oh boy did I get her approval. She loaded me up with homework. I was started in grade ten English, and one day she said to me, “I think you are in the Wrong class Tammy.” My heart sank I thought I needed to go to a lower class and start like grade seven or something. She told me, ” No, you belong in English 30″. The highest English class you can get in High School. I was flabbergasted, how was that possible, my formal education was so poor, how could she possibly think that I belonged in a higher class?!
My fear of being transferred to a higher class were unfounded though as it was very late in the Term and the end of the year was fast approaching. A Social Work coordinator came to out class to talk about the rewards of being a social Worker and taking the social Work program offered by the School. I really wasn’t interested in being a social Worker, but I was keen on talking to this social worker about my struggles. Because I grew up with Social Workers constantly in my life, I felt comfortable talking to them.
I knocked on his door during a free period and went in to talk to him. He had papers every were and I had to move a stack off a chair to sit across from the table. He was a really big man, and some what intimidating, but since he was a Social Worker I felt fairly safe. I began to tell him about my life, and my struggle with addictions. I told him what I was doing to try to overcome the traumas of the abuse I suffered and the subsequent addictions. I really had no idea how deeply;y rooted my issues were, but it felt good to talk to him about my struggles. He got up from his desk and loomed over me. Now i thought oh geez now I did it, he is going to put me in a psychiatric ward!! I was freaked right out. He said “Come With me!’ Oh my gosh I was so scared , but i complied, what else could i do? Run away? That was not a option as D.M made sure i knew running away was a very bad idea, since I would be caught and beaten,
He took me to the office, and all I could remember was when I got the strap in Grade one, for hitting a teacher. I was so scared! He barked at the receptionist and order to get these forms and those papers, and that number and what ever else. The receptionist looked at me with a stunned look, and I am sure I looked like a deer caught in the head lights. She handed him a bunch of forms and papers, and he looked at me and said you have to apply for the social work program, we need people like you. I was shell shocked… how could some one as messed up as me possible be beneficial to others who are suffering and in pain?! I took the papers because I thought firmly that there was no way I would be accepted into their program. I mean I was only in Grade ten and only had about four months sobriety at the time. Two of the requirements was English 30 and a high School diploma or equivalent, neither of which I had. I told him this, and he said it was ok he would arrange for me to take the equivalency test, and he was sure that I had my addictions under control enough that by the time the term started I would be ok. I was scared and elated at the same time. I feared failure, but basked in his approval and acceptance that he believed in me!
So I did take the equivalence test and got 98% on the test. I had no idea that my teacher was giving me grade twelve English 30 work in order to keep me occupied. So in three and a half months I had gone from grade ten to twelve with honors. I was astounded. This was not what I was expecting at ll! I was expecting to be in high school for at least three years, I greatly underestimated my self, and my teacher. I miss her so Much, “I think of you often Helen =).” the test was a humorous thing as I completed all the front pages, and just sat there, then something told me to turn the booklet over and oh my god there were more questions!! I hastily completed the questions with moments to spare. goodness knows how long I sat there wasting my time, waiting for the receptionist to come get me.
I got the test results fairly soon, so I thought hmm maybe I have a chance after all, since I passed this test. Another requirement was to complete a three page who am I paper. I think mine was about 12 pages long. I wanted to make absolutely sure they knew how messed up I was, and not a likely candidate for the social work program. After I dutifully completed all the tasks they wanted me to complete, I focused on my other schooling with a vengeance. I finished all the projects except one because I just ran out of time. I had two left to do, and only had time to complete one with any aplomb at all. So I talked to my Teacher and told her my predicament, she said to pick one and not worry about the other one. So I completed all the task’s and all that was left to do was to wait for Graduation. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be participating in a Graduation ceremony!
My English Teacher was not happy that I applied to the social work program, she was hoping i would opt for journalism or writing a novel. I felt bad to disappoint her, but i found writing very difficult, because I am such a perfectionist, I would do at least half a dozen drafts before I was satisfied with the work to be handed in for perusal and grading. i really had no idea what it took to be a social Worker, since my experience with them had always been as the client never the Social Worker. However, I had no hopes of being accepted any way. So I was already looking at options I could do as an alternative. I thought housekeeping would be good as I would not have to interact with people.
The graduation ceremony was amazing, My Aunt E and Uncle R even came to see me, they were so dang proud of me, and I was proud that they were proud! I even received two awards one for excellence and one for achievement. I was thrilled!!
Summer came, and I went to work in a mill piling lumber to try and save some money for what may come in my future, I had no idea what it was but more schooling was something I really wanted to do. the mill job went horribly wrong, as I worked all summer and only got paid a months work as they went bankrupt. I was devastated, since I put so much effort into doing a good job, only to have my pay stolen by the people that hired me to do their work!
I still had no idea if I was even accepted into the program, so one evening after an AA meeting I was standing outside looking up at a starry sky. I implored the Lord, please let me know one way or the other whether they accepted me into the program. It didn’t matter to me at that point wither I was accepted or not, the waiting was getting unbearable though. I really had no hopes that they would accept me, I just wanted confirmation, so I could begin thinking about what to do next. a friend of Stanley’s came out of his house and yelled he Tammy you have a letter from Grant MacEwan Stanley’s moms house! I was stunned. Wow! Ask and you shall revive I was so shocked and very grateful! I wanted to go get it right then and there, but Stanley convinced me to wait till tomorrow to go get it, as his mom would probably be asleep by the tine we got to her house as it was already after nine pm. so we waited… did I get accepted or not? well that is another story.. lol I’m teasing! Yes I did get accepted into the social work program! I was going to college!! Can you believe it? I was stunned speechless. After it settled in that this was going to happen fear settled in. this was a really big deal to me. Things I never did before like getting student loans and what not, getting my books getting to class, the responsibilities were huge to me.
A new unknown adventure awaited me was I up for it? Would I make a fool of myself? Would I fail? The self doubt was incredibly hard to over come, and I just resigned myself to do the best I could and not worry to much about the out come. At least that is what i would tell my self. However, I have been a worrier since I was a small child, and it is a very hard habit to break. Letting go and Letting God was a constant and daily practice.
So More schooling was in my future college, I was so stunned, however, that really will be the next story I share, and boy what a ride that was!! Thank you so much for being with me on this Journey! LOVE