Thursday, March 31, 2011

I abandoned this place

It wasn't intentional. E was mentally struggling for a LONG time. We were basically sick non-stop from early December to....mid-February. Plus, most of all I made a teensy miscalculation that if four classes were good, five was managable.

Yeah, it turns out, five classes, homeschooling four children, juggling eight total, managing special needs, managing this household...well, five seems to have actually been the tipping point to insanity instead of managable.

On one hand, it is a big frustrating. Five classes were nothing for me back the first time through. I have to remind myself that back then my biggest responsibility was my RA job and my clubs. I didn't have a house full of sillies who depended upon me to care for them and not educationally neglect them as well.

I'd love to say so much has happened since I disappeared. Mostly, it merely a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Life goes on. It's not that it is spectacular, but that every day I still put my feet on the floor and start walking.

I can say a few things have happened. I made the Dean's List for last semester, which oddly enough actually reminded me that I made it before as a Freshman...a lifetime ago that I had forgotten. I was inducted into an honor society, unfortunately it was the Criminology Honor's society and not the Sociology. My GPA appears not quite salvaged to the point of getting nominated for that one. I do have hopes I will achieve that next year, before I graduate. It just didn't happen for this year. I was sad. I was disappointed. Then, I reminded myself that I cannot put my life back together in one day, not even the GPA.

In early February, I woke up one day sobbing, absolutely sobbing. I realized in that moment that I had forgiven II. It was so strange. I refused to forgive back int he beginning because I wasn't about to forgive until repentance was shown to be genuine and restitution was truly offered. I could never imagine simply letting go in my heart. Even as recently as January I really thought that it would always hurt. That day, I just let it go.

Do I think he will be perfect from now on? Of course not. I never thought he was perfect before. I just thought that was something he wouldn't do. I know now it is always a risk. I also know I have no control over his choices, only my reactions. I believe if he remains faithful, this marriage will survive. In fact, I believe we are stronger now than we ever were before. If he doesn't remain faithful...well, I said in the beginning I would Plan B him and nothing has changed since that very first weekend. If he cheats, I'll Plan B him and when the children are grown we'll seperate permenantly. He truly understands that now.

Mostly, I've begun to accept where my life is now. I spent so long hurting for what I lost. I still have moments when I pause, I remember that life I thought was so idyllic, and then I take a breath and continue walking down the road. That life is over. I'm okay with that. My future is not destroyed. My future is mine to claim. I'm really getting excited about the thought of getting to make a career of teaching. I've certainly adored teaching my children. I am excited at the idea of getting to teach other minds...those there voluntarily and not mandated by state attendance laws mind you.

I have realized that I can make a difference in the lives of college students, just as I have made a difference in the lives of my own children. Everytime there is a test coming in one of my classes, classmates find a way to congregate in whatever quiet corner I thought I had found to do some last minute studying. I watch their faces as I re-explain concepts they didn't understand in class and I see the same recognition I see in my children. Plus, after taking Juvenile Delinquency last fall, I realized that I can also do research and focus on juvenile justice in a way that could impact not only struggling children but those who will work with those children.

How silly I was to believe that my only worth in life was to touch the lives of my own children. I finally, finally get what my father has always said. He's a staunch feminist. He always felt that I had no business taking myself out of society and not impacting other people's lives. I realize he is right. I always had more to give. I have given everything I am to my own children. However, there is more of me, and more opportunities I can touch the future and help others. I am stronger and more courageous than to settle for just impacting my own life. Dad was right.

I'm actually really happy these days. Between finding acceptance of my future, and allowing myself to forgive II's past, I have found peace these days. Day to day activities are not about how do I find the strength to put oxygen into my lungs. My days aren't even about how do I stop the throbbing pain in my soul. My focus now is in caring for this family, continuing to always do waht is in the best interest of each of my precious children, and always keeping one finger on the pulse of getting to my future. I'm getting there. I'm impatient to be finished with this first, basic and frustrating step of finishing my Bachelor's degree. However, I know I have a LONG way to walk beyond this, and it is important to always keep my sights on where I'm headed and why I'm walking there now.