I'm having a little bit of difficulty with my 'assignment.' The counselor I saw last week gave me something to ponder for the next time we were to meet (there is no appointment set, yet) and I was happy to have something to occupy my thoughts with and even more giddy when she said I could write it out! I suspect she understands the level of effectiveness writing has on me, so she was quick to encourage some 'writing homework' on my way out. I accepted the assignment, as usual, because I do like being made to think seriously about something, to be tested, to be given the opportunity to be honest with myself at the same time.
I just didn't think it'd be THIS much of a challenge!
We all know by now that I'm a writer. I know I'm always annoyingly pushing the idea upon others if there's an opportunity. "You should write it out," "It'll help you make sense of things if you tried to put it all down in writing." The list goes on. If you're among those I've incessantly pestered about the importance of utilizing the power of the written word, I do apologize for coming on so strongly about it. But this is something I TRULY believe in. I believe it can help...because whether you're writing for your eyes only or you're intending to eventually share the finished product, it's still the easiest way to purge some of those thoughts and ponderings that are simply too hard to verbalize.
You see, writing is my biggest outlet. More than talking. More than therapy. More than beating the shit out of a pillow. It's my strongest means of communication. The majority of my communicating today is done electronically as I do not have a whole lot of in-person contact these days between the kids being either at school or at their Dad's and J working a ton of hours. I write texts, posts, emails, PMs, blog entries, MUCH easier than I can speak these words to others.
The assignment is, "Where do I see myself in three years?"
I did graciously accept this assignment when she gave it to me, thinking, 'piece of cake,' - because this is what I do, even when there are group sessions. I'm always anxious to be given something to write, so mentally, I'm all - 'let's have it....throw it at me.' Lately, though, I am finding that it hasn't been as easy as it used to be, for me to dig deep. In the group meetings, I find myself sitting and thinking while everyone around me is furiously scribbling or otherwise working on their own responses. It seemingly has gotten deeper, and there are now layers upon layers of CRAP sitting on top of it, making it even harder for me to gain access to these thoughts.
I don't even know where I see myself tomorrow. Or next week. Yes, I have previously expressed some long-term plans and these are still active plans - but are going to take a little bit of time to set into motion. And because things happen in their own time, and sometimes unpredicted circumstances come into play and effectively throw some of your plans completely off track, I've always just taken it a day at a time. I've always paced myself because it made the most sense...we, after all, have to learn to crawl before we can walk, and then eventually break into a run.
So, I now have to fast-forward THREE years??? (grumble, grumble.)
In three years, the Son will be 21. He'll be possibly about to graduate with his 4-year degree. He might have an idea of what he wants to do with the rest of his life - which will put him in a FAR more advanced place than I was when I was his age. I was 21 when I birthed him, I'd dropped out of college and was completely clueless on where I was going with the credits I'd already earned. "I'll go back," I said to myself - and it will have taken 20 years by the time I do, but better late than never, I suppose. He has just recently introduced to me his girlfriend - a lovely young lady that he's been seeing for a few weeks, now. Perhaps in three years, he'll still be dating her - I like her a lot and personally hope she's still around.
The Daughter will be 15, and in High School. I am fairly certain she will be giving me daily heart attacks. She's been applying mascara and lip gloss daily before school and she's only 12 now and smack dab in the middle of the seventh grade. I joke often that she must have gotten her love for cosmetics from her father, (who wears many different 'faces') because she sure as hell didn't get it from me! I am HOPING that in three years, her attitude will have significantly improved and that her immaturely destructive behaviors will have diminished, even just a teeeeeensy bit.
For some reason, it's so much easier to envision where I see my kids in three years than where I see myself. See, if this were a test, I'd have flunked on that, alone.
Fine, I'll try and shift gears and see what develops.
I am positive that I will still be with my lovely J. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be still be going strong in three years. We have had our bumps and hurdles, but that's why we're BOTH striving to fix it now before it becomes a bigger problem. To call it a 'problem' in the first place is a bit of an exaggeration, actually - so - it's just bumps. In three years, I'm hoping these bumps will have been bulldozed a bit and that our path moving forward is more evened out. When the surface in front of you is flattened, it's easier to see what's ahead - whereas the bumps sometimes serve as distractions and if hit hard enough, can bounce you completely offsides. And like hitting a speed bump at 35-40mph, it can take a minute to recover from the jolt.
Perhaps in three years, I will have learned that it's truly okay to be social, it's okay to let loose once in a while, it's okay to have fun and to SHOW that I'm having fun. I know I'm uptight. VERY much so. And that isn't helping me AT ALL. Maybe I will also find that I LIKE this - I can't say that's the case, yet, but it's being worked on.
Maybe having started school (and probably having also graduated with my Associate's within that same three-year period) will have made it a bit easier for me to 'upgrade' from my current hermit status. I'm not by any means wanting to be a social butterfly who is never home anymore; I think that to remain somewhat of a homebody, to keep myself calm, centered and reserved with the exception of a social outing or game night with friends one or two times every week or two is something I can live with.
I am far too used to keeping myself company - to the point where I like it a little too much to entirely abandon the thought. I would like to be at that comfortable halfway, in-between point where I am no longer feeling extremely lonely and I'm also not feeling the anxiety or stress of having to be around too many people at once. Again, I'm reminded of the 'baby steps' concept - maybe it will take MORE than three years to dissolve some more of that irrational anxiety. And maybe, it is what it is.
Maybe if I've already acquired my Associate's, I'll have already undertaken my mission toward my Bachelor's in Social Work.
And, this might be a horrible thing to say - but since it is in reference to someone that didn't necessarily treat ME well, I am trying not to feel bad about saying it. And this, too, is something I have to work at - not being so nice to people who treat me like stepped-in shit. I am too forgiving, I am too weak to fight. I do not do well with confrontation. (Adding those to my growing list of the necessary little self-improvements.)
But maybe, just maybe my ex will no longer be here. The Son has already expressed his opinion on the matter. "Dad isn't well. He probably won't live past fifty."
This is true. My ex is NOT healthy. So, in three years or less, maybe I'll finally be free of his influence, free of the bullshit he's ingrained in me and taught me. I wonder often if his presence, the fact that he is ALIVE, serves as an impenetrable barrier between myself and that complete freedom. Because, as stated before, we are not married anymore, but his reach has still remained a powerful constant. I find myself panicking at the thought of him being angry at me for shit that I really don't have any control over. Or, what he'll say to me next, how he'll react to anything that could be perceived as offensive to him. I would like to find that I am no longer obligated to nod my head every time he asks me if I think he's right. It never mattered if I didn't, there is still that weakened, mentally battered part of me that forces myself to agree with whatever bullshit he's currently spewing if asked.
Maybe in three years, I'll have found the pair of brass balls that I'm still trying to grow when it comes to standing up for myself, my thoughts, my wants, my feelings. I am comparable to a trained animal at this point; even when an animal has been removed from the care of an abusive owner, the behaviors stick with them, forever. And sometimes, this makes them 'unadoptable.' No, I am not looking to be adopted - simply to express the disgusting gravity of this man's presence in my life. In three years, I would like for this hold over me to be dissolved; I want to NOT worry about what dire consequences any choices I make may have.
I've already made a VERY small, but significant statement toward taking a tiny step away from his unwanted influence. I told him over last summer that I planned to go back to school. In part, I think I wanted him to realize - I'd quit school nearly 20 years ago because HE advised it. Yes, it was me who ultimately carried out this choice because I was tired, emotionally a wreck, and pregnant. Still, I let him convince me to put everything on hold so that I could not only focus on the Son when he was born, but also on HIS two children that he had by the wife before me. Going to school was no longer feasible - in his eyes, being an instant, just-add-water wife and mother was my life, now. This took precedence over my education - especially since I 'didn't have a plan.' He has NEVER believed in me, in what I was capable of doing.
I don't think he made this connection, though. This narcissist of a man instead made the comment/suggestion that I should just bypass the back-to-school idea and apply to work at the post office because they're a government agency and they hire individuals with disabilities and that I'd likely have no problem securing work.
"I don't want to work at the post office." I said to him, completely shocking myself. I said it quickly, without thinking. And normally, we do NOT speak to the wasband without carefully planning out our words; it does NOT end well if he finds he doesn't like what's been said. I think I surprised him, too, with my abrupt answer. He appeared slightly taken aback.
"Oh." Was all he said. And then he shrugged, "Whatever."
(What is it with that word?! "Whatever." It makes me want to punch him in the face every time he says it!) I think it's because I know that it's his 'dismissive' word. It is what he says when he is finished talking. GOD FORBID, though, I should be the one to mumble, 'whatever.' It would lead to a full-on, drawn-out fight and of course, the end result was always the same, he was right, I was wrong, and I owed HIM an apology.
Perhaps in this case, the 'whatever' was a good thing - it wasn't toward me as his wife - he REALLY didn't care.
In three years, I'd like to NOT feel the need to apologize to him anymore. In the meantime, I am not holding my breath for the moment he realizes how many people he's wronged and with whom HE needs to make amends. I do not even think 'I'm sorry' is in his vocabulary. I have accepted that I'll likely NEVER hear them from him - but in three years, maybe I won't give a shit anymore because he just won't be ABLE to fix the damages he's caused. Whether it's within three years, or within five or ten, all of his inflicted damage, including all of the effects, will die with him.
There are probably a bunch of other things I'd like to see happen within the next three years. I will likely become an aunt 1-2 more times. I will possibly get a new car as my car has pretty much been commandeered by the Son, who uses it to commute back and forth to school. I will likely have experienced some loss - two of my cats are elderly and are on a slow decline - this, I'm NOT looking forward to, but have to always consider the balance of good and bad whenever trying to look to the future. Perhaps this is what keeps me from shattering into a million pieces when something unexpected happens. I need to prepare myself for every possible surprise, especially the unpredictable ones.
I don't expect to be right about every of my 'guesses' but if I can check off even ONE positive thing as being correctly predicted, then that's, in itself, a victory.
Love and light,