Thursday, June 10, 2010

You can't go back and you can't get stuck.

I'm taking 2 summer classes this month. They were the bulk of the last of my general education requirements and I wanted to get them over and done with. While they are easy coursework, the accelerated pace of cramming a normal 16 week schedule into 4 for two classes has been insane. On the bright side, I'll be done next week and off for the rest of the summer. Free to finally enjoy my kids, to watch my baby settle back down from the stress of losing mama for 6 hours every day and free to work on schoolwork with abandon and pleasure with the kids.

We've always altered our school schedule in the summer, to accomodate for getting outside and enjoying life, as well as for the impromptu ability to learn from life while we're out enjoying it.

I miss that. I miss teaching my children more than I ever imagined. The three who remain in homeschooling took off this month so I could focus on my own insane schedule. They miss school. I miss sitting down and reading long, pleasurable stories to them. I miss exploring science, discords on history, explaining geography, politics and whatever else our days bring us.

Yet, I'm getting strong again. I'm finding my ability to stand and to manage this family again. I've made some mistakes on this journey. I've learned some things new and old about me, about life, and about my family.

I told II this week that for the first time, I actually have some dreams where he is alive and part of my life again. In October, all of my dreams were about him dead. Eventually, half of my dreams involved him dead, the other half simply had no answer to where he was, but he was not part of my dream world. I'm pleased to discover that I never had any dreams about killing him. To this day, having to engage with my mother will result in violent murder dreams about her. So, I'm actually relieved that my heart and my soul has processed his betrayal differently her abuse. But, I am actually having some dreams with him in them now.

For his part, II seems to actually be in recovery. He misses his Celebrate Recovery meetings almost as often as he manages to get to them, but its not due to avoidance but the interference of family life. He always returns and intends to set forth every week to attend, only missing when life overrides and cannot be avoided. He still has some character flaws, some of the ones that landed him needing recovery in the first place. But, he's concious of them and trying to work through them. He still has a lot of pain and trauma to process from his past and from his mistakes. But, he's not in denial. He's not hiding, he's honest. I wouldn't say he's changed. He's merely more complete of a person. When I worry he might revert back, he reminds me one of the fundamental truths of addiction recovery. Today, he is sober and, Lord willing, he will be so tomorrow as well.

I have to stand back and let him be responsible for his own recovery and choices. I have to learn to accept that he cannot promise me forever. He is sober today. I have to accept that gift of sobriety and pray that he can continue to say that each day we live. I don't know what I'll do if he falls back into his addiction, and I don't care actually. I am responsible for MY life, not his. I have boundaries in place, ways to ensure that I and the children are protected emotionally and physically. If he violates those boundaries, then we'll deal with it when it comes.

I've spent 8 long months contemplating and wrestling over where do I go from here. Yes, we're together. Maybe we will be forever, maybe we won't. But, I need to be an independent and healthy individual. I do not believe staying at home was healthy for any of us, most especially me. I won't go back to that. So, I have to find the path that is right for me my future. I've realized along the way that you cannot go back and you cannot get stuck. All you have in life is to assess where you are today and what journey forwards fits with today.

I'm not going to medical school. That was the dream of another life. I promised myself that II and his whores would not change me. I would not abandon my values, my character nor my integrity because of the damage his addiction caused. I realize medical school is not being true to who I am now. No matter where I go or what I do, I am a mother. I care passionately about children, especially my children. I care about education. I MISS teaching. Who I am is a mother and a teacher. Where I go from here cannot deny those roles, cannot ignore those passions. I won't walk down a path that denies me the chance to be those things. So, I'm going for the PhD in Sociology to be a college professor. Sure, it won't be glorious. It won't make a lot of money. But that is where I belong, and that is where I can balance my own dreams and need for self-identity with the needs of my family without either being lost in the other.

Maybe for the first time in a long time, I'm proud of who I am. I don't need anyone's approval. I don't need glory. I don't need to prove I can accomplish or be anything that others can be, or expect me to be. I just need to be ME. And, I need to show my children that I didn't pursue my path at the cost of their lives and world. I'm where I belong, and I'm truly at peace with my choices now. Three semesters for my undergrad and my goal is to enter Graduate school fall 2012. Maybe my path is later than most. But, my passion and my understanding of the world beyond is actually greater.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds more peaceful than I've heard you in a long time. I wish I could find my groove in homeschooling and speak of it with the same enjoyment that you do. Be blessed!