Anita: Changed Expectations

In the past, Anita often attended her students’ graduation parties.

I used to go to all the graduation parties. Every kid I taught, if they invited me to their party, I would go there and give them a card and some money. Now, I just feel it’s so hard. It’s almost like going to someone’s baby shower when they’re pregnant and I’m infertile. It’s the same thing—feels like that dream, that loss. My daughter’s class, my oldest daughter—they would be graduating this year from college. I’m sure I’m going to experience that loss. It’s going to be hard.

Anita is facing the reality that both daughters may end up being dependent. Her older daughter, Serena, who is currently working in a doggie day care, had a manic episode the previous winter. She spent all of her money in a week and called Anita and Luke who were overseas to ask them to send her money. She also lost her job because she expressed anger to customers and complained about her boss. She is now back on medication and started a new job.

I remember holding each of my girls when they were tiny babies and wanting to see who they would be in 25 years. I expected Serena to go to college. But now that she is working at a doggie day care, I can see that she is happy with that. I really thought at that point it would be all nurture. I just thought we’re going to take this girl and we’re going to give her everything. She’s going to be better than us and able to function higher and able to do so much better.

Now Anita realizes that Serena has found a fulfilling job. She accepts Serena’s life choices that are different from the future she had envisioned for her.

More of the Story: Moving Forward