TOM
Tom has lived through “difficult and sad things”. He has 3 children, 2 of whom are disabled, and spent many years in jobs he didn’t really like because the benefits were good. Now he lives a new life as an artist in New York with the hope that his story will end happily.
TOM
Tom has lived through “difficult and sad things”. He has 3 children, 2 of whom are disabled, and spent many years in jobs he didn’t really like because the benefits were good. Now he lives a new life as an artist in New York with the hope that his story will end happily.
I tell people that I was in a stasis in Florida for many years. So like a suspended animation.

When he was just 35, Tom felt quite old, believing that the constant care of his children meant he couldn’t have his own life, or explore anything creative. “There was a period of time where it didn’t matter what I did for work and we didn’t go out and it was very, I would say, isolating… I tell people that I was in a stasis in Florida for many years. So like a suspended animation.”

The situation also put a strain on Tom and his wife, who had known each other since they were 9, and been through a lot together. Over the years they drifted apart, and while they are now separated, Elizabeth is still a large part of his life. “I feel our story is not over yet but it’s different. It won’t go.”

Now, with the separation from his wife and his children’s recent transition from living at home to moving into a group home, Tom realised he would get the chance to “have [his] own life.” He now lives in New York where he works and creates his own unique form of art.

With the move came a discovery that love “doesn’t necessarily need to involve the sexual or physical side”, but rather you can have a real connection with someone that can “manifest itself in a lot of different ways...I’m working with [a] woman who’s 87 and we talk every morning on the phone with each other for at least an hour.”

There was some, I guess, chaos on how things would move forward for me

And what does the future hold for Tom? “There was some, I guess, chaos on how things would move forward for me” – but he’s figuring it out.

I tell people that I was in a stasis in Florida for many years. So like a suspended animation.

When he was just 35, Tom felt quite old, believing that the constant care of his children meant he couldn’t have his own life, or explore anything creative. “There was a period of time where it didn’t matter what I did for work and we didn’t go out and it was very, I would say, isolating… I tell people that I was in a stasis in Florida for many years. So like a suspended animation.”

The situation also put a strain on Tom and his wife, who had known each other since they were 9, and been through a lot together. Over the years they drifted apart, and while they are now separated, Elizabeth is still a large part of his life. “I feel our story is not over yet but it’s different. It won’t go.”

Now, with the separation from his wife and his children’s recent transition from living at home to moving into a group home, Tom realised he would get the chance to “have [his] own life.” He now lives in New York where he works and creates his own unique form of art.

With the move came a discovery that love “doesn’t necessarily need to involve the sexual or physical side”, but rather you can have a real connection with someone that can “manifest itself in a lot of different ways...I’m working with [a] woman who’s 87 and we talk every morning on the phone with each other for at least an hour.”

There was some, I guess, chaos on how things would move forward for me

And what does the future hold for Tom? “There was some, I guess, chaos on how things would move forward for me” – but he’s figuring it out.

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