It's been a bit since I have used my blog as a virtual outreach program for this sweet man. I think it's about time though. I have so much love for him I can hardly stand it and I just want his life to be good. He has been having a really hard time the past few months and I don't blame him for his frustration one bit. His hours at work have been all over the place. He's lost almost half of his hours and his predictable, consistent schedule has been completely changed. This is frustrating for anyone, but for someone with a brain injury it is especially difficult. Matt can take a little while to get used to things, to learn things, to learn the order tasks must be completed, etc. Once he gets something down, he has it down. He will do it exactly the same, over and over. He gets faster, more efficient, and feels confident in his abilities. Change his routine and he is completely thrown for a loop.
Walmart is making many changes in their store, much of them affecting greeters. Many of these changes are hearsay and it seems like no one really knows what is going on. Matt had responsibilities that made him feel useful and needed; much of those have changed as well. He has loved his job, and is basically a celebrity around here. Literally, everyone in our town knows him. He is so kind, friendly, has a sense of humor, and loves everybody. He felt appreciated at work, felt confident in his abilities, and was happy associating with people and coworkers.
The only way I can describe how this situation has been making me feel is lost. I feel helpless and confused. I make calls that don't get returned. I talk to managers. I have contacted his Vocational Rehabilitation specialist countless times, and have come to the sad conclusion that he is absolutely of no help. I feel like I am running around in circles. Finally, I was able to get a letter to the store manager and set up a meeting. I was so embarrassed because I cried through the whole thing. If it was for me, I probably could have held it together, but advocating for Matt brings emotion out of me. I just so badly want his life to be good, to be normal, to be fulfilling for him. Things improved dramatically for a while, regarding his schedule, but with the new changes he is frustrated. Between many of his job responsibilities disappearing and his hours being cut back again significantly, he feels very discouraged.
I love having Matt home on our days off. Usually, we each had a three day weekend together, which was perfect. Now, the days are sporadic and it completely messes up his schedule. He has a few hobbies, but nothing to really occupy his time and he is frustrated being home so much. We try to do things as a family, but often when he is home I have to work. I want him to feel like he is needed and that he is fulfilling his responsibilities as a man, husband, and father. I know right now he doesn't feel that way and it is getting him down.
Most people that I have talked to about this situation say that maybe this is just a door to something better. I can definitely see this, but it overwhelms me. Thinking of the daunting task of finding the right fit for him is almost more than I can handle. I do know that countless times in my own life, when one door closes another one opens and the opportunity is always much better than the one that was lost. I feel peaceful in knowing that if Matt is to continue in his current job, it will get better for him. I also feel confident that if there is another door, a better one, we will be able to find it. I have complete faith in God, that He knows what is best, but I do not have complete faith in myself and my abilities to do what is best for Matt. In many ways I know I am the best fit for Matt, but sometimes I think he would have been so much better off with a more Type A, energized, go-getter personality. I pray for the intuition, guidance, and emotional and mental energy required.
I am so protective of Matt. I want everyone to know how smart he is, how capable he is, and how much he wants to please and do the right thing. I want him to be appreciated, loved, respected, and I want people to have patience when he is having a bad day. It is so hard to know that I can't control any of this and I just have to hope for the best for him. I can't imagine being the mother of a disabled child. I know there must come a point when you have to let go.
I guess what I am asking for, for those who feel inclined to help, is that you think of Matt. Pray for him in whatever way you do, that he might be able to regain his positive and happy demeanor. That he might be able to believe in himself. Pray that he will be able to excel in his job, whatever it may be. Pray that we might know the next step, where to go, who to talk to, and that we will be led somehow to what is right for him and for our family. Pray that I might have energy, patience, and perseverance in this situation. It's hard to put all of this out there, but it is so important. I know that everyone has difficulties and struggles, most of which remain hidden. I feel a little weird being so open and asking for so much. It is just the over-protective wife in me that wants the best for Matt. He has always had such a positive outlook and has never been angry with his situation, of which he has no control over. I can get frustrated and inpatient with him, but then my heart completely breaks thinking of him and what he has lost. Deep down I know that this will resolve in the right way. I am sure it will be difficult, overwhelming and frustrating. I do believe that we will end up on top in the end, even if it takes a while.