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30.04.2015

Lots of Good News

Yesterday was packed with good news. 

News One

I'm getting a new work contract and the raise. Not a massive one but a raise nevertheless - the money that will belong to my daughter because I decided that from day one she will have her budget. I will see what it works like when I start practicing. My school is amazing and I could not ask for more. Not only are my co-workers greatly supportive but also the management do everything in their power to make my life easier. Thumbs up and if everybody worked in places like this one, we would be less frustrated.

News Two

My school is going PYP (IB Primry Years Programme). We start in 2016 and my campus is the first one in the school's system that will offer the programme. Sounds like a lot of work ahead butwith a lot of work come real professional profits. After a while, when I learn how to teach in the IB frame, hopefully more door will open to other schools around the world. So yay!!! What a great opportunity.

News Three

It was a payday yesterday - bills paid, money put aside. I like paying bills and each month I do it with more pleasure than obligation. Paying bills means that: a. I have money to do it, b. I have work, c. I made another month of my life possible. All this means that I'm more fortunate than most people around the world.

News Four and the Biggest One

WE'VE FOUND A NANNY!!!

She is a mom of one of the teachers and she's raised three generations of little peopl so I trust she will know what she will be doing. Well, she will know more than I would anyway. She agreed on the money I offered and now I just need to meet her and we are ready to go. It's amazing! Absolutely amazing.

I know that I can plan as much as I want and life can turn out differently but havinng some sort of a framework makes me calmer. Knowing that my job is secure and has opportunities to develop makes me elated. Knowing that possibly I will be able to give my daughter good education becasue of my skills makes me proud of myself. Knowing that I have help from people around me gives me a huge relief and makes me feel a part of a community.

So much to be thankful for.


29.04.2015

Miss Ania But You Don't Have a Husband!!!

The day had come and I had to tell my students about the Baby in the belly. I'm getting bigger, parents are bringing me baby things and my students are not blind to all this. On top of that, on Friday at lunchtime one of the girls casually asked if it was true that there is a baby in my belly. I said that it was to which I heard: cool. And the conversation ended there. I was very impress with this girl's manners. No pushing, no further questions. She just asked me later if I knew if it was a girl or a boy and  I told her that I would tell her on Tuesday when I find out myself. Finished. I was super surprised that she didn't share her knowledge with anyone else, at least there wasn't any sudden eruption of questions and speculations.

Today morning I spoke to the parents as always in the morning and we talked about the Baby in front of the kids and I knew that the time had come. So I sat down and calmly told them that there is a little girl living in my belly. Few of them were surprised. Some of them had already known. obviously - again - very tactful not to spread any gossip before information was confirmed. Clever kids! 

The baby news was an easy one to digest. But then the other issue arose: Miss Ania but you don't have a husband. No, I don't. Silence. But you need a husband to have a baby. No, not a husband necessary and I was really scared that they will ask for more clarification. Instead the comment was: "That is so weird." Oh yes, that is so weird indeed. I wondered later if they know how babies get to the belly. They surely know that there are two people involved but I'm curious if they think that a dad puts a baby into mom??? I didn't dare to ask. I said: it was a miracle - or something like this... That's where the talk ended. We moved onto a more burning issue: an earthquake in Nepal and other global issues.

At least this conversation is behind me. In a few years time I will have another one with the Little Girl who will certainly ask me one day about her dad. I'm already playing in my head different versions of the answer and I still don't know what I'll say. Surely, she will not be satisfied with a brief, laconic answer so I better come up with something not very hurtful but genuine and truthful. Before that happens, however, I still have some time to think.




27.04.2015

A Little Girl

I have two little girsl inside me!!!My own and a tenant. I found yesterday and I'm getting more and more excited. I don't mind boys but at least initially I think it will be a bit easier to connect with the little Lady. Until when she is around 15 and then she will tell me that I suck big time. I still remember. I read somewhere recently that parents should be prepared to be hated by their kids and if they think they should always be liked by them - they are in trouble. But before this comes we have few years of some other stuff than teenage rage. So,  a Little Girl! I will have a daughter! She is healthy and strong, and growing. She already hears what is going on around us, she hears me singing songs in Polish, English, Spanish, French and Hindi. So far I haven't noticed any language preferences. And she started to more which is so funny. Funny, funny, funny. When I lay on my back and I feel her swimming in the belly, it gives me giggles.

Grow there Little Lady and I will see you soon. 


26.04.2015

Count Your Blessings

Today I was reminded one more time how much I have. And I have a lot. I have wonderful people around me who open their hearts and houses, who care and are willing to be with me. It's wonderful and I shall never think that I am alone again. And what does it mean to be alone really? We are all alone to certain extend but the difference is that there are people around, reach out and ask for help or an ear to listen. This is more than any amount of money. I am lucky to have people like this on three continents. Today I'm grateful for meeting them.

But it's not only people that I'm grateful for. It's also me. I'm grateful that I am who I am with all my faults and vices, and virtues. I am and this is wonderful. I am and that is unique. I am and that is value in itself. And soon I will be able to share my life with my son or a daughter  and hopefully I will be able to teach them that the world is full of beauty and love. That even though life deals difficult hands at times, the world still is a beautiful place full of awe and miracles. That the world is inside us, deep in our souls is the world that matters the most.

I'm looking around and I'm noticing how much I have and I want to concentrate today on being grateful for all that.


22.04.2015

Some Good News

Few days have passed since I'm back to school among really good people and my Kiddos who make me feel so much better and happier. It seems that a a long time spent along now is not such a brilliant idea and what I need is a community of positive people. And I'm getting it. I'm getting it onsite and online, people who really love me send me tons of positive vibes and the panic is transforming from an uncontrollable  monster into a more manageable entity.

Good news: at my school I get a huge discount on education. The longer I stay, the more generous the school is. Yay!!!


16.04.2015

Where Are You, Mom?

Now that I'm expecting my own child I am often traveling down memory lane thinking about my own Mother. I often think that everything would be different for me if she still was here, if she lived. I would be able to do it with her, raise my child with her, love it with here and receive help from her. She was so good with children and she loved each and every little one she met on her way. She was a real MOM. She would scold you and comfort you, she would feed you with the most delicious food and she would listen to your worries. But she is no more.

I remember how she was waiting for me to get pregnant. My both brothers have long been married with children and it was me, the only girl in the family, she was waiting for. It was her joke I truly disliked that I should never worry if I ever got pregnant without a partner because she would help me; just like she helped my sisters-in law and brothers. It sounded scandalous to me whet she was saying. I knew better and I was waiting for my beloved one to have children with. I never had thought of doing it by myself. So oftentimes she would get annoyed "Moooom" after her joke. And here I am: pregnant, without a partner but also without a Mom to take me though it.

When I sometime pass by her picture in my flat I'm asking: where are you, Mom? Where are you when I need you so much? And depending on the level of pain that surfaces, I'm asking her this quietly with no remorse but sometimes it hurts so much that I'm tempted to toss her picture across the room screaming: WHERE ARE YOU NOW, MOM?! But I just wipe my tears and carry on.

I know she is there looking at me from above and I know that she is crossing her fingers for me and my success. I know she would be happy to have a grand-child but I also know that she must be regretting now herself that she didn't give herself a chance to participate in this. I had a dream today. We were together in the room, we both knew she was dead though we still could have a conversation with each other. I felt her and I could touch her. She was there but she wasn't. She showed me her brand new LV bag (???) and something else she has bought and then we talked about things. All was calm and bright. There was this beautiful tree of artificial flowers in the middle of the room and I thought how wonderful it would be for a baby to sleep underneath. I wanted to stay in this room forever with her and the baby because I knew it will all be good. When I told her about it, I saw her face grew sadder, she closed the door and she took me in her arms, me head on her opulent breasts and she rocked me in her arms like she used to, and we both cried because we knew that her being there for me was impossible. Then I woke up.

I know she is regretting that she can't be here but I also know that she is with me all the time. I just have to get used to the reality that Mom will be there but in another way. 

I'm sure there will be many times in coming years when I will feel more this would left on my heart by her death. Being a mother was everything to her. So much that she totally forgot about herself in the process... But she was great Mom and she was Mom for everybody around her.



15.04.2015

Decisions

I finally had to make a decision where I will give a birth and stay, and live. Initially, I though I would go to Poland but that would mean that I would have to go back to the place where I really don't want to be. I have nothing against Poland and even my village but too many too painful around there. I did everything in my power not to live there and I had promised myself that I would not go back - so it was difficult even to think that I would have to. I thought: beggars are not choosers but then I realized that I am not a beggar. Yes, asked my friends for help and I will still ask them if I have to but that doesn't mean that I am a beggar. My choice is to stay here where I feel I belong, where I don't have to feel guilty that I disturb anybody's lives or that I'm depriving anyone of anything. I was offered tons of help. My friends are there for me and the world is listening to my pleads. It tells me not to be afraid and trust my instincts. My friends, my global Family have made me believe that although the goings are though, I can do it and they are by my side. I can't ask for more. I don't have a partner and my child doesn't have a father who wants to be with us, but we have friends and we are not alone.

Of course, I'm scared to death. I would be silly not to. Each mother mother and father I've spoken to is scared. However, now that I'm in the safe spot, I can relax and tame my fears. I can start really enjoying this time I have - the next four and a half months when my child is going to develop inside me (what?!). I will never happen again. I will never be pregnant for the first time again so I might as well embrace it and enjoy as much as I can.

I am grateful that my pregnancy hasn't caused me any trouble so far. I still can work, I still can exercise, I can look after myself - I am fully functional. I am grateful for my body which is handling this wonderfully. I am grateful for my heath and my strength and well-being.

It seems that I have just finished writing an introduction to our new life. I'm glad that the end of this chapter is more hopeful and optimistic to what it was at the beginning. I wish for myself and for my child that the following parts of our book end equally well. 

To all these wonderful people out there who have been there for me during this first difficult stretch,  THANK YOU so much. You give me courage and self-confidence, and you make me believe that there is place for me and for the child among you.





11.04.2015

Parlez-vous francais?

So even though the father of the child is miles away hidden in the French capital, I'm learning the language and I'm loving it. If I'm able to master as much as I can before the baby is born, I can teach it whatever I can in French before it goes to school - meaning I still have some six years to go to make it happen.

I must admit that although I have lost part of my brain to the pregnancy, the other part works quite well mand makes lot of connections between the languages I already know, so it won't be long before my French becomes good enough. 

Baby's Dad is not interested but I think it'll be good nevertheless for the baby to know something about the culture of the other side - sometimes I think I will tell it that the dad died in the French Revolution and that's why he can't be met or seen, for that matter but he was a great hero and a good man. At least a child will be able to fantasize about the hero and not think about a scared adult. Which way I will go, I don't know. I know that today is Sunday, so much for concrete planning. But yes, France and French culture, and the language. So, I'm studying. I'm using all my free time to read and listen, and remember all those beautifully sounding words and phrases. 'La voiture' is still one of my favourite words but there are many more coming along. I have also started reading "Le Petite Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Knowing the story, the book is easier to follow and I understand a lot. I've always wanted to read it in French and voila! - now I have a very good reason to. I've also discover the whole new world of newspapers, radio and music when being on the project French. I'm especially keen on the music and my karaoke has been enriched by few songs by Garou, Celine Dion and Zaz.  On top of that I have found some real gems in the French '80s music. Singing is a wonderful way of learning a language though I don't know what my neighbours think about it. Oh well, soon they will have to listen to the sounds of the screaming baby and then they will beg Garou, Celine and Zaz. 

As I'm working my way through new verbs and nouns, I've started reading a book by Benny Lewis "Fluent in Three Months." I discovered Banny when I was doing my DELTA and preparing a lesson about learning languages. He is from Ireland and speaks fluently eight self-taught languages as different as Hungarian and Chinese Mandarin. So Benny is my language coach, though as a language teacher I know some of these things already. But knowing and doing is another story. Now, it's for me to try out some of the tricks he prestens in the book to hack French and be able to use it when the time comes. And I have a deadline. Four and a half months. That's my deadline to reach the CEFR B2 level and take my first exam in the French Institute. Yay, another exam! The baby and the situation are forcing me into challenging myself and that's just the beginning. So by the time I will be delivering, I should be able to call the ambulance in French and ask them to take me to the hospital. Yay! I'm not expecting that I will learn French perfectly but at east I will have some solid basis and be able to work on later when the baby is here. I hope it'll like the sound of the language as we will listen to it a lot. Writing this, it's time for me to get down to work.

A tout à l'heure!!!




07.04.2015

Before Songkran

The water ceremony performed today was supposed to wash away all the bad things that happened last year and bring a good luck in the following one. I think I will have to repeat this ceremony again and again because luck is what I will need in buckets. 

It's a holiday time and we are off from school for almost two weeks. I'm sure when we come back to work, I will be well showing what I'm carrying inside me... I can see it already but it's not so obvious for the world just yet.

The two weeks will be devoted towards exercising, meditating, healthy eating and generating as many positive thoughs as possible so that my future son or daughter feel safe and welcome, and stress free. The amount of cortisol it got in recent months has been enough and I don't need to flush my brain and body more with stress - I'm sure there will be plenty of time for that later. Though I'm trying to prepare for this stress as well and I have reached out to the schools psychologist so that we can talk and get me ready for the baby. If the post-partum depression hits, I also want to have someone who will be there for me and talk sense when I won't make any. 

I am well aware that it's impossible to control everything but at least I will try to be prepared for the things I can foresee now. But, after all, one step at a time. I was advised not to plan too much.

I was thinking for a moment of going to Kanchanaburi but it's the place where I met Olivier and I'm not totally sure if I can face it just now. It was there when I saw him speaking to this little French girl with so much love and interest that my heart almost exploded with awe. And other beautiful things had happened there that now are just too painful to remember. So maybe some time in the future but not just now. 

I have started a collection of dolls and teddy bears from friends around the world and I got toys from Bangladesh and Hong-Kong yesterday. They are beautiful and cute and I'm sure they will be useful and well loved. I'm starting to collect things which for the first time in a long time are not things for me.

Everything is changing.
I will pour more water over myself today and make sure that I pray to gods so that they protect us. 

After the Observation

I was observed in the classroom yesterday. I never mind anyone watching my lessons, I like giving and receiving feedback but this time the stakes were much higher that usually. I felt that my future with the school slightly depends on how it would go. And went it well. teaching  G1 students is still a novelty to me and even after almost a year of being in the classroom with G1 I still feel like a novice. But I'm getting there and it was appreciated in the feedback.

So I can breath again. Yay!!!

I'm staying on the job and I am so lucky that I found my way to school that cares about their employees. When I was being interview, my wonderful boss whose wonderfulness and big heart I sensed from the very moment we exchanged greetings, told me that the school is like a big family. I smiled to it and though: sure,sure... But they are. When I was getting ready to go to Paris, my Boss was the first person I talked to. I knew that I can be open to hear and could tell her about anything. Initially I feared that I was putting myself in danger of being fired but after having spoken to her, I knew that whatever I would decide, I would be accepted and supported. She was with me all the time, even in Paris when I needed help with buying a return ticket because Olivier had cancelled the one I had to go back to Bangkok. She was there for me. So it happens that in some work places you are a part of a family and you will find people who will support you even though they don't know you that well. 

I'm very lucky with my bosses. Steve, Sunee, now Ms Shailly all of them have become my good friends, support me and are there for me. I am a very lucky girl.

So while I will be getting used to having a little human around, I will be also preparing for getting back to work and to university as the Thai government will force me to do my Masters next year or I'm out.

Still a lot to do.

I just hope we'll get alone with the Little one and that we will be healthy to face all these challenges. 



06.04.2015

Good News

I had a meeting with the owner of the school today.
I'm keeping my job. It's wonderful news.
What a relief!




04.04.2015

Financial Violence

I remember lots of arguments about finances at home. My mom stopped working when we were kids and never went back to working full-time when we grew up. My father was a bread-winner. I guess my mom decided that it was too late for her to find a job, maybe they had a different arrangement with my father, I really don't know. But argued about money they did. And quite violently, I remember. Usually those fights were at times when my father was on a drinking spree drinking away the money which at certain point of our lives was scarce. So she would yell at him about that - he was wasting as little we had, and in return she would get those accusations thrown at her that if she hates it so much, she should be working herself and not just sitting around. My mom never sat around. She was very hard working and did everything she could. But this is not the point. Now when I recall these arguments, I find them downright disgusting. It is so easy to humiliate a person financially - a man or a woman. In my mom's case she would often be reminded that he meant nothing because she didn't work, but she did - at home, raising us and looking after my alcoholic father. He did work he ass off until she had no more energy to work more. She worked and yet she heard how little she was because she didn't contribute to the family's budget.

I have always known how painful it was for her to withstand these blows from my father and how after a while she accepted the fact that indeed she didn't earn ergo she deserved what she heard. SHE DIDN'T and no one does. 

I was threatened as well. I was supposed to have this abortion or Olivier would disappear as he did.  I was supposed to sign a paper releasing his financial and parental responsibilities towards the baby. I was threatened that if I'm not following, I will be taken the baby away because of my family and FINANCIAL situation. And honestly, I didn't know what to do. All this sounded reasonable. Kind of. Finances are important.  I would like to give my child the best it can give. Money matters, can give some freedom you freedom. And I was thinking and he was repeating his threats. I counted. How much for the deliver, doctor visits, hospital, nanny... How much, how much, how much - turned out that I was short of around USD 3000. I felt internally conflicted: do I have an abortion because I'm short of this money? Do I allow it? Do I allow anyone to play on my fears and doubts? Surely there must be a way! Maybe it sounds naive but I don't want to participate in the world in which those important decisions are based solely on numbers? What about me? What about my feelings? What about my mental health, emotions? What?

Olivier tried to use my financial situation against me and the child, which  was mean and cruel. He had showered me with gifts and promises: had offered to pay for my studies in Paris, had offered to deposit some money on my future bank account when already in Paris to make me feel comfortable and independent. All this was maybe even true till I was obedient and till the plan was going the way it was convenient to him. Everything changed and the financial violence/balcmail started when I found out I was pregnant.

Of course, this is my side of the story.