Mark has wanted to live away from us and to have his “own place” for many years before he was finally able. The transition has not been easy for any of us but I think I have the hardest time of all with him being away from home. There’s not a day I don’t miss him or worry about him and I doubt that will ever change. I was anxious for him to move into supported living almost as much as he was and looked forward to having some badly needed time to myself. After a little more than a year now, Mark is finally beginning to adjust to his new life. Although its been a slow process, he is coming around slowly and has made huge progress in many ways. I think of him daily and worry that he is not happy but at the same time I enjoy freedom I’ve never had before. It is so nice to do things on my own time and schedule. Things others my age take for granted is a luxury or a treat for me. Its sorta like being on vacation every day.
One of the things I’ve noticed lately is when he needs help with something, he will ask for it instead of expecting me take care of it; something he would never do before. An example is setting his wristwatch to the time change this past weekend. Last night when he called, I asked him if his watch was set to the new time. He said he asked “Jean” to fix it. Jean is somebody at Kroger where he works. He would never have asked anybody at work to do that before. I was so proud of him when he told me because it shows how independent he is getting from me and that he will ask for help when he needs it.
I am grateful and happy for a chance to have a somewhat normal life, but I am sad and angry at the same time. Angry and sad that Mark has such a hard time where everything is such a struggle for him. He could have kept living at home with us for the rest of our lives but I know that was not best for him nor the rest of the family. I know as hard as it is for him now, he is learning how to live without me and hopefully he will be happy and will have as independent a life as possible.