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Checking Out to Preserve My Sanity

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I did a video the other day about where I’ve been–this is the accompanying post. Divorcing Autism was ignored by me for a long time and for that I apologize. In truth, I dropped many things for a while and am barely re-teaching myself how to cook and do basic things I forgot during the last year while immersing myself in studies.

First of all, Aidan is great. He graduated from Eagle Rock High School in L.A. and is now working on transition. No, he won’t move out yet, and keeps saying if he won’t live with Mom or Dad that he will “Live with Mr. Johnny”, his stepdad. But judging from the lack of adulting I see in most teens/young adults his age, he’s doing just fine.

Before bar prep last year–and please remember the CA bar is perhaps THE hardest in the country–I asked a bunch of people what they did to pass the bar exam–by and far, most of the men I asked had wives to take over housework and childcare during bar prep. At least I hope that was just during bar prep and not the story of their lives. Or they weren’t attached at all and had no real domestic obligations.

The women, on the other hand (both married and not) had so. much. more. to do on a daily basis, whether for kids, spouses/SOs, or bosses, or extended family members. It’s pretty amazing the emotional labor we take on.

I also knew no women like me (raising teens with disabilities, dealing with blended families) who had passed on the first time. So I did what any other rational person would have done to get through the hardest exam/time of my life. I checked out.

It worked. I passed in Feb 2018 as a first-time-taker, when the pass rate was something like 27%, the lowest pass rate in over 70 years. None of it was easy or natural, it was purely the hard work and hiatus I took from my daily life. That is it.

First I took a social media hiatus, so no blog updates or any real updates. I also moved out of my house for bar prep class time (about 6 weeks total, then spent 12-14 hours a day in my office studying til the actual bar exam). To me this was necessary because people here in this house tend to ask me for socks and whatnot while I am in the bathroom. Or can’t see food in front of their faces when they open the fridge.

To be clear, this was all a huge privilege, and something I began planning and working on in my first year of law school with my entire family–money-wise and emotionally.

In looking at the Divorcing Autism blog, I had been on a hiatus since before bar prep, or the fall of 2016. This was right about the time our law school had problems and I helped organize around those problems, which led to me and others being sued BY OUR ADMINISTRATION and not knowing if we would graduate. We went to court two days before I walked the graduation stage.

But don’t worry about me. I am now the president of that law school and working on those problems.

Naturally, because I’m Mami, I feel guilt over checking out of things with Aidan for a few months. But I also know he was fine with his dad and stepdad (even if his stepdad fed him crap food). Things were not done as I would have done them, providers or educators were not yelled at the way I would have done it, either. Just kidding. A little.

But 19-year old Aidan is doing great and maturing and here we are. Aidan will be on these pages soon, but this is primarily MY story of how I continue to work on things for him (in young adulthood and transition and community care and his ongoing education) and with his dad and within our blended family. I hope it will continue to help other parents like me.

Gloria

P.S. I’m a blonde now and we TOTALLY have more fun.

P.P.S. I’m interviewing my ex-husband today and will post that very soon, sign up for my email list to get an update for when that post goes live!

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