I’m sitting here in the library of my Alma Mater. It feels good.

When I walked up to the library, before I entered, I thought I could walk in without it being a big deal. It’s just a library, for crying out loud. But, it’s not–at least not to me.

I’m doing much better today. I have the comfort of knowing that my husband will be home with me until Friday night, when he works. That makes me feel better because I’m not alone with my insecurities and thoughts, at least for a few days.

DH and I had a long talk about the school, and I think I may have been overreacting. Yes, the textbook sucks, but I have a choice whether or not to use it. Technically, it’s not a textbook, it’s just the “teacher’s guide”. They’re not going to order one for each student, I don’t think. I’m going to tell them tomorrow that I don’t like it, and I’m not using it. My headmaster assured me that I have the freedom to do what I want, and that I was hired based on my expertise and passion for history–not because I subscribe to any particular philosophy.  As for the other teacher, I can’t let her bully me, and I’ve already made it clear to the Headmaster that I’m strong enough to establish my authority and intent with the school and in the face of this woman. I will always have to entertain others whose opinions are different than mine.

I hate the way my mind gets so out of sorts and I panic–for one, it makes me exhausted, and also it takes me DAYS to recover and think like a normal human being. Once I’m calmed down, I look back at how irrational I was and I’m always shocked and disappointed. It reminds me of when I was in college for my undergrad and I wanted to quit and move. I became obsessed with transferring to Auburn because I missed my family and I was having trouble with my marriage. I loved living in Kentucky, and my classes were going well, but I was worried about getting a job (should I major in history? If I went to a state school I could do nursing or pharmacy–something practical. . . for some reason I can justify medical fields as being useful and worthy, but what I enjoy, historical anaylsis, is poppycock. WTF?) He would NOT entertain the thought of moving or my transferring schools. So I stayed at my small liberal arts college and fell more and more in love with the study of history. 

Still in KY, I survived the passing of my father, who took several unresolved issues to his grave, then the dissolution of our marriage in January of 2001. I was only a few months shy of turning 21. Remarkably, I still managed to graduate college in four years. I think I began to doubt by abilities and personal interests mostly because the person I trusted and depended on could not accept me as an individual. Sometimes I would ask him if it would be okay for me to go out with my friends, just us girls. His response was always of course, “Hell no! You’re not leaving me at home.” He had no concept of the fact that I was changing, and he resented me for starting to workout, becoming concerned with the environment and my health, and wanting to become active in the outdoors. He hated that I loved animals, and frequently abused my cat.  This was clearly something he had not signed up for, and he let me know that the person I was becoming was NOT what he wanted. He belittled my interests and beliefs. I was his favorite joke. 

 The funny thing is that now I find myself reverting to the person I was back then. I was shy, non-active, passive, people-pleasing. I am now again very skeptical that I can make a decision on my own. I look to others for my own validation. I mock my own ideas and beliefs.  Have I forgotten how far I’ve come?

Right now, things aren’t perfect. I’m anxious about teaching and I want to continue my education. I love my husband, and I respect how much he has done for me, no matter how unappreciative and negative I am. It’s times like this that I can sit back and realize that my fears and worries are irrational and that my coping skills aren’t the best. I’m certainly not the same person I was so many years ago, and I know I’m stronger than the scars of an abusive relationship. My husband also deserves a fighting chance–he’s nothing like my ex. I don’t know what transforms me back to this place on the nights that my husband works. I know it sounds silly, but I think it might be the fact that I get very passive and lazy, going to food and alcohol in an attempt to escape, instead of doing the many other things I enjoy that are more representative of the person I am now.

I have become so sacrificing. I won’t join the gym/yoga studio because it costs money. I won’t get in the habit of walking my dog in the evening because I’m afraid of being mugged. I won’t go to the university library because I want to be comfortable and lazy. I won’t go to see friends or even call them because I’m not skinny, successful, clear-skinned and happy. I won’t go walk around the mall just to get out because I’m afraid I’ll want to buy something and then I’ll feel bad. Eating and drinking in my pajamas is just easier.

This is ridiculous. Funny how I can be so clear focused some days. It feels so good to just get this out there.


8 responses to “Retrospective

  1. Hi,
    I just found your blog through Jen’s and felt like I could relate to so much of what you talk about.


  2. incessanthunger

    Thanks. I’ve seen your blog, too. It’s always so comforting and weird that other people struggle with the same issues. I always think I’m alone with my craziness until the smoke clears, and then I can breathe and say, “It’s not just me–and I’m okay.”

  3. Hey — I also just found you through Jen. This is a great blog you have here. A lot of what you write sounds so familiar to me (including the small Southern liberal arts college!).

    I agree, it helps so much to know that other people feel or have felt the same way about things. I hope you have a peaceful day today.


  4. You know you are supported by your DH. But, you should also remember that you are strong and have overcome so much. You CAN withstand these storms. you re strong enough, but DH will be here all the while, catching and encouraging.

  5. So glad that others are discovering you, as I have! Hang in there. This was one heck of a post full of all kinds of insight and self-worth. And know that I’m standing firmly behind you during this time of self-discovery.

  6. incessanthunger

    Thanks everyone for the support. It’s so hard to make sense of all of this.

    Sarah, I can’t comment on your blog (cause you only allow blogger users) but I’ve enjoyed reading it.
    Welcome, DB.

    Jen, I appreciate you reading and your support. I love reading your blog, too. I’m almost inspired to get the 64 box of Crayolas. I miss that smell. 🙂

  7. oh gosh, I didn’t know that. I’ll try to fix it. thanks!

  8. incessanthunger

    Sarah, that’d be great. I’ve had a few comments for your posts, but then after I type them out I always realize, “Crap. This is the blog I can’t comment on.” Thanks!

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