Reliving Stale Air

Life is hard.

Today sucked.

In sitting down, my intention was to write about what it meant to have to jump back into a life that is saturated in shit.  Today I received news from my most favorite government entity that painted me in a light even darker than the first round of papers.  So, I sat down and stewed and cried on the phone with my mom and then stared aimlessly at the TV and I lost hope.

I lost motivation.

So, I read the early entries in the Candy Jar.

Which, perhaps, wasn’t the best thing to do.  Reliving those early years of pain and loss and bitterness.

But, I thought that in rereading them I would find the motivation and the bitter edge to fight the good fight.  I remember struggling before.  I remember fighting.  I remember the bitter cape.

And I’ve packed it away.  I’ve been rolling around in gratitude and forgiveness.

And quite stupidly, I’ve been swimming in trust for people I know I should never have trusted.  Not the first time…and most definitely not the second time.

So, I sat and read and cried.

And realized, I’m tired.

I fought long and hard to get through it.  I have been working a spin cycles of jobs to keep food on the table and my kids housed in a safe neighborhood with a good school nearby. I work 60 to 70 hours a week more often then not…often times working late into the night and waking up hours later to make sure I have projected completed.  I have been working tediously with my kids on school stuff…learning the cycles and processes of sports teams and academic support teams at schools.  I’ve spent years balancing meetings and jobs and interviews and all the mommy responsibilities and working to stay physically strong to heal the emotional wounds of my abusive marriage.

I have fought like a motherfucker to prove that I am not the piece of shit human my ex-husband led me to believe I am and the family court system stamped their seal of approval on.

After today…well, I get it.

From my experiences dealing with my ex-husband the the family court system, I finally have come to terms that I am, indeed, a piece of shit.

Here I was thinking…ALL THESE YEARS… that it was the system that sucked.

I thought it was my abusive ex-husband who sucked.

And today, FINALLY, I have come to terms with the reality that NO! it isn’t the heartless court system that makes decisions based on qualitative bullshit that takes the human out of any child or the ex-husband who said I disgusted him because I knew how to form a complete thought and write a complete sentence and was just too fat for him to deal with that was fucked up.




So many people have told me time and time again, if the door isn’t opening for you, kick the shit out of it until it opens.

Other people have said, if you kick the shit out of it and it doesn’t open, then it isn’t meant to open.

God is sovereign they say.


God once told me I wasn’t meant to be a mother through a diagnosis premature menopause  at 21 which turned into a diagnosis of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome in my mid-20s to miscarriage and loss as I have aged.

I have lost baby after baby.

The miscarriage of New Year’s Eve of 2008 told me I couldn’t trust my then husband.

The loss of my pregnancy in 2015 taught me the deep pain of losing something that you didn’t even realize you wanted.

The loss of my children I have fought SO. FUCKING. HARD to raise in a safe home with family meals at the dinner table, story time and movie nights on the weekend is the straw that broke this mommy’s back.

If I was meant to be a mom, it just wouldn’t be this difficult.

I’ve suffered loss.

So much loss.

And I have fought.

Every day is a fight.

Sometimes just taking the next breath is a fight.

Relearning my value in the world has been a journey that took me years to sojourn through.

As soon as I finally felt I did matter in the world, I wished deeply for a cloak of invisibility.

I’ve learned when nobody can see me, they can’t hurt me and they can’t take away what I’ve fought so hard for.

When life is breathed into me, I exist and find myself fighting in a world of uncontrolled turmoil where survival beckons from oceans away.

I’m drowning again in the stale air of a life I thought had passed.

And this time, I don’t have the fight in me to go out kicking and screaming.

I’m realizing shit doesn’t work out the way I think it should because, apparently, I’m not meant to be a mom.

And that hurts.

An open wound.  Not festering with infections.

Flowing freely.


Life it is meant to be painful.

I am meant to live in a life where fear and loss and pain seep into the walls and dampen the air.

Fear and pain suffocate me.

And I realize, I’m in the midst of a losing battle.

Once in which I have no place and no power.

Like I mentioned in my last post, it is a battle I can’t win because I am not supposed to be fighting.



This time not the pain of losing a baby that has yet been giving the blessing of life outside the womb, but the loss of losing my grasp to three beautiful children who deserve a life that isn’t dictated by a court system that sees them as case numbers or a father who sees them as possessions to be won.

They deserve family and love.





They deserve a home.

A permanent one.

Where they have their own beds and own space to grow.

A home that is clean.

And safe.

A place where they are not objects of narcissism.

A home.

I am struggling tonight.

And alone.

And it hurts to breathe.

And I am afraid.

Not for me.

I know I don’t count.

I know I don’t matter.

And I’m OK with that.

But I am so afraid for my children.

Scared shitless.

I am afraid because I am powerless.

And voiceless.

I guess the Candy Jar is open again.

They say write about the hard stuff.

This is it.


Loss of family.

Loss of children.



Posted in Abuse, divorce, family, Fear | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Security of Person

Wall of Fire According the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all members of the human family have the equal and inalienable rights of inherent dignity which work as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

That is a big idea.

And, in the realm of human kind, I think that for the most part, I live in a country that is grounded on this foundation of recognizing people are members of the human family who should have access to dignity in life.

Comparing life in the U.S. for the average woman, compared to – lets say rural Pakistan or India or Cambodia…yeah.  We win.  Life is pretty good here.

But, if you look at this concept of inalienable rights for women bound within the constraints of the United States, I can see how we aren’t really being offered this inherent dignity.

I’m not quite sure why I decided I need to read up on what my human rights were this empty evening, but I did.

And I am guessing I did because in my state of vacant emotions, I questioned not only my humanity, but the rights to participating in human kind.

And I realized that quite potentially, I am seeking solidarity.

Solidarity in humanity.

Life hasn’t been fair lately.  And life isn’t fair…but, I feel empty as my energy and emotions have been directed so intensely toward salvaging my family, a family I see to be my connection to humanity and part of my universal rights of humankind, that I’ve plum run out of emotions.

My investment has been so rich, I’ve not done the work to save enough of my own humanness to get me over the next hurdle.

And so as is my tendency, I shut down.

Words weighed heavily on my tongue.  My head became so overwhelmingly heavy, not even the strongest man in my circus could keep it upright over my shoulders.

Sleep beckoned with visions of bleak, humid and starchy darkness.

Suffocating in life.

And with every saturated breath, I felt like I didn’t belong.

And that my battle was a losing one because just maybe, I didn’t have a place in the human community.

How can you win a battle in a war that you aren’t a part of.  I finally understand that I’m fighting intense battle after intense battle because they aren’t my battles to fight.

I’m losing because quite possibly, I’m fighting for something that I have no right to.

My invisibility taken to a new depth.

So, I looked.

What does it mean to be human.

And what are my rights?

I learned that Article 3 states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

I do not have that right.

I do not have security of person.

I walk in fear.


I am afraid for my safety both physically and emotionally.

I fear for the safety of the three wonderful children God gifted me the responsibility to care for.

I do not have security of person.

Therefore, somehow, I am not truly part of the human community.

If I were, I wouldn’t want to be invisible.

I wouldn’t want to hide.

I wouldn’t be fearful of existence.

My right of being part of the human community was taken away from me by a line of men and a legal system that was designed to further empower them.

I am tired because I am fighting a fight I have no right to participate in.

It’s a fight for those who are part of human kind.

I am, apparently, below that.

And in a moment where cognitive dissonance takes over – the moment when I tell myself that I am worth more than what the construct around me tells me – that is the moment I look at my life and recognize I am not in control of what happens and that I’m really not worth much more than a cog in some sort of life machine.

So now what?

In one regard, I seek solace in the Bible which tells me:

“‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze’” (Isaiah 43:1b-2).

It tells me that I’m basically inflaming my own reality.  It tells me that there are fires and floods within touching distance in every step of every day and that I should not be afraid…and when I let my fears take over, they fuel the burning fires to a place where the flame is so intense, even looking at the fires clouds my eyes in smoke and burns my lungs to a place where breathing is impossible.   My fear is my gasoline.  I create the intensity.   I fan the fires and ignite them to places of uncontrolled pain.

Every day, every decision I make is impacted by my fear of the unknown.  I am fighting to maintain control over a world that, quite frankly, I have no control over.

I fight my kids.  I fight my loved ones. I fight people who once loved me.  I fight a legal system.

I fight myself.

And man, I am tired.

So tired of fighting battles that I’m slowly aren’t mine to fight.

I’m trying to convince myself that sitting down and waving a white flag of defeat is the solution.

Give up on the battle.

Give up on the war.


Wash my hands clean of the pain and suffering and debilitating costs of survival.

The fighter in me wants to stand up and put on my Bitter Cape and fight like a motherfucker to fix the shithole of my life.

The rational person in me is realizing that I can’t fight forever.

If it is meant to be, it will be.

And fighting isn’t going to change reality – except it makes the flames bigger and the waters deeper.

I also understand that my basic rights as a human being are not truly basic rights I have access to.

I will walk in fear.

Because that is my option.

If I fight, the flames get bigger.

If I sit down and give up, the lives of innocent children are left in the hands of people and legal systems that don’t give a fuck about them and their human rights.

They are pawns.

I am a cog.

When I stop fighting, my children also become part of the invisible population.

I don’t know what to do.

Sit down and rest.

In faith that it will also work out in the end?

Or stand up and fight – like the callus bitch I’ll have to be to make a point – in the hope that it makes the world a place where my children aren’t invisible, but recognized voices of power and reason in a world where they didn’t ask to join, but were thrown into.

Not having Security of Person makes life really fucking complicated.

You don’t know your place and don’t know your power.

You walk throughout the world in a zombie like state where thought doesn’t matter…movement stems from habit.

I’m not sure where to go with this.

I guess gently remind myself that God had not given me a spirit of fear but a spirit “of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7b, NKJV).

Perhaps that is the middle point.

Perhaps that is my Security of Person.

I don’t get my humanness from humanity.

I do not get security from people or legal systems.

Safety is in faith and hope.

And perhaps love.

Love for my children.

Perhaps learning how to love myself.

The law won’t protect me or my children.

People won’t either.

So, I’ll pray.

I’ll walk in hope.

I’ll embrace my membership in the human community through my Faith and Hope and Trust.

Not giving up.

Just not fueling the fires with fear.

Posted in Abuse, Bitch, Burn-out, children, Christianity, Faith, family, Fear, God, identity, moving forward | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pain of Fearlessness


Gloria Steinem once said, “The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and in other young women is by example. If they see their mothers and other young women in their lives going forward despite fear, they’ll know its possible.”


An act more than anything.

But an act, I think, that would take the expression, “Fake it ’til you make it,’ a life strategy for success.

But acting in fearlessness makes for an exhausting life when, in fact, every step is so saturated in fear that movement becomes a painful truth.

I naively thought that once I got through the divorce that ended a painful marriage and the divorce hearing that reaffirmed the mindset of my ex-husband about my value and place in the world, I would be OK.

I believed that, ‘Yes – indeed, life goes on.” and that ‘Yes!  Indeed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” I fell into the trap of false safety.

I deeply trusted that if I survived the fallout of the divorce and overcame the emotional and mental abuse of my ex-husband, I would be OK.

And in many ways – I got stronger.

I understood that my marriage wasn’t healthy.  I learned that it was not OK for not just a husband, but ANYONE, to demean, devalue, yell, threaten, bully, lie, talk down, put down and berate another human being.

I learned that it was OK to think.  And speak. And breathe.

I learned over the course of the last 4 years that it is OK to exist.

I think I learned bravery and found a bite of courage.

I also have come to the realization that my courage is conditional.

The last 4 months have been a repeat of the early year of my divorce.

I started with apathy.  I figured, hey – If I can pretend this isn’t happening, maybe it will go away.

My mom reminded me I had to fight.

“You can’t just wait and cross your fingers.”

My boyfriend reminded me I had to fight. I told him, “Hey – isn’t it you who always says, ‘God is sovereign’ – that means this is His plan and I can wait out the storm because regardless of what I do – He has it all figured out.  His response was that “God doesn’t want you to sit down and quit.  That isn’t how He works.”

I still  just sat down.

I quit.

I quit and cried and realized that this perception of strength and courage I once faced the world with was a delicately woven fasade of fear.

So my mom made some calls.  My dad made some calls and emailed me lists and my boyfriend made lists of contingency plans.

I sat.

And waited.

I cried.

I realized I was overwhelmingly scared.

But, pretended it was all imagined and that life would go on and that all was well.

And then I realized I was once again functioning in survival mode.

And not the place of aggression and spitfire emotion that got me through the divorce in the first place.

But the way I lived in my marriage.

I tried to disappear.  Not make waves.  Not have an opinion, and idea, a thought.

No movement.

Quiet stillness.


Because invisible is a place where I was safe.

For years I’ve thought that my inherent need for quiet and solitude was because of some sort of extreme introversion I developed in my 20s  that has only gotten more extreme in my 30s.  But, now I realize it was how I learned to exist after so many years of trying not to.

I think my purpose in writing this is that the depths of the psychological abuse my ex-husband put me through is both deeper than I realized and has left a scar so deep, it hasn’t quite healed all the way through.   The return to court has gashed open the hurt and fear floods my entire being.

This doesn’t mean I am depressed.  Or hopeless.  Or giving up.

I think that my realization – my willingness to openly and bravely state I am a recovering survivor of psychological abuse – is my battle cry.

I do not want for my children (or my friends or family or even enemies) to endure the abuse I survived from my ex-husband.  I don’t want them to have to relearn self-value.  I don’t want them to struggle with identity, esteem, body image, intelligence, thought and emotion as I do from their father’s, my ex-husbands, words and derogatory comments and degrading actions.   I want them to know it is OK to be imperfect and still be an outstanding human being.  I want them to know it is OK to have independent thought, to be intelligent, fat, skinny, emotional, silly, strange, proud, strong or weak.  I want that for them.  I don’t want them to grow up thinking being invisible is the best shot at life they have.

Speaking from experience, being invisible is painful.

Painfully safe in some lights.

But, painfully debilitating as well.

The problem with psychological abuse is that it is just now coming to light in the U.S. and understanding the depth and darkness of it is hard unless you’ve been there. There aren’t physical bruises or blood.  You can’t get court orders of protection and for the most part, we don’t really realize we are abused until the line between meanness and abuse has long been past.  It is hard to talk about because people look at you and think you are weak or crazy.  It’s hard to explain that you’ve spent extended periods of your life living in a constant pressure cooker of fight or flight.  The stress that is on the body creates not just mental pressures, but culminates in physical and measurable symptoms such as migraines, shakiness, weight gain or weight loss and pain in muscles and joints.   Because you are living in a state of fight or flight, you don’t think as clearly as you know you can because you constantly question everything and are wondering how or if or when they should have done something differently.  They are in a place of self-blame.  The impact of psychological abuse is as deep, if not deeper, than physical abuse.

We learn that if people can’t see it, it just isn’t real.

Because the abuse is invisible, we realize that to survive it, we, too – must become invisible and learn to live within a shell of the human body because anything more than that shell is just too much of a risk to survival.

The period of “clean -up” after emotional abuse is long and messy.  It is hard and a constant journey.  But, at least in my case, it is my journey and will forever be a part of me.

I also realize that sitting down and giving up means I’m not only giving up on my children, I’m giving up on myself.  Walking in a constant place of fear perpetuates weakness and pushes people away. I guess I have to learn to realize if I constantly fear people, fear they are going to leave me because they don’t like the way I think or agree with something I say or do, I’m closing myself off from a future that isn’t built upon a foundation of fear.

In a class I teach, we end the semester with narrative speeches.  I talk about the power of story telling and why it is vital we share our lived experiences.

This semester I had a class that hit it out of the park with their speeches.  There were more tears and hugs and community within the windowless walls of that classroom that I could have ever imagined.

Students told their stories bravely.  Stories of abandonment, rape, abuse, homelessness, and neglect.

When asked to give a speech on a moment that ‘changed your life’ forever,  one young lady gave a speech on my class.

She said, “I have struggled my whole life just looking people in the eye.  I couldn’t talk.  I didn’t think I had anything to say.  Then I came in here and I couldn’t breathe just reading the syllabus.  How was I going to give speeches?!  And then you gave us the ‘Motherfucker’ article.  You told us, “Do this like a motherfucker or get out of the class and make room for someone who can,” and I realized I had to be a motherfucker.  And now I am.  The moment that changed my life was the moment you told me to take this on and do it like a motherfucker.”  She then spoke of how, in the course of a 6 week class, she learned to look people in the eye.  She went to a job interview and got her first job at the age of 20.  She said she gave a presentation in another class…the first presentation she had ever given.  She said she had failed other classes on the premise of having to speak to people.  She ended saying she beat it by being a motherfucker.”

I think that in many ways my students inspired me.

If they had the courage to tell their stories like motherfuckers, I needed to be brave too.

I need to have the courage to admit that I struggle daily with a belief that it is OK to exist.  I needed to admit, that because of the years of abuse I suffered, I walk in fear.

And that isn’t a way to live.

I have to be fearless.  Or my children won’t be fearless.

I can only teach bravery through bravery.

I’ve done a lot of good in my life.  I’m not perfect, but I know I’m worth more than I’ve been led to believe. Allowing the words of my abusive ex-husband to settle on my shoulders and guide me isn’t living in fearlessness.  And I’m tired of being afraid.

I’m tired of making myself invisible.

I’m done being worthless.  I don’t want to believe the words that became ingrained in my head and became part of my internal script when I was married.

I am ready to relearn the ideal of existing without fear.

I’m not quite sure if there is an easy answer.  But, I guess the strategy is just to take on every day with a reminder that overcoming abuse isn’t just something that magically happens.  It is a journey and a battleground.

It is a fight worth fighting.

Being fearless, I’m learning, is painful.

But, it teaches three beautiful children the power of facing what is wrong with the world head on.

I’m recognizing the pain of fearlessness must be less than the pain of invisibility.

#youcannotalwayseeabuse #abusestillhurtswhennobodyhits #learningtosurvive #fearlessness

Posted in Abuse, Cycles of Abuse, Fear, moving forward | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Straight from the mouth of James

James 3:10 says, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

What does this mean?

It means that people who love us have the power to hurt us and that sort of ‘thing’ shouldn’t happen.

What made me think of this verse?

I was in a 3 month Bible study where we basically used scripture as a guide for communication…the major lessons being that our words should encourage love and learning and faith.

It was, on some levels, a bunch of ‘duh.’

Nothing overwhelmingly new to me.

But, it was somewhat cathartic to see how closely the Bible reflected the theories of communication I teach in my college classroom.

It all tied it all together somehow.

But, back to James….

Anyway, I had that scripture highlighted.  And I used it as a reminder that I need to use kind words stemming from a loving heart when I spoke to the people I loved most.

It’s made a difference.

But, today, I realized that often times, I am the victim of abusive words and I let the power of the words used against become something that is my fault…relieving the speaker of the burden of the words.

At my gym, there is an older gentleman who has taken some assertive steps that have made me incredibly uncomfortable.

Comments about my clothing choices and physical capabilities…and when he talks to me, he stares at my chest….as if my tits talked.

But, his words are always said in ways that make me overwhelmingly uncomfortable.

And as I sat and told my boyfriend about it today, he told me, “Well…speak up.  If you don’t say something, I’m going to.  But, I want you to be in charge of this.  I don’t want you to take that power away from yourself.  I’ll step in if you want me to…but, I think that this is something YOU need to do.”

And I told him, “I can’t.  I’ve given the nonverbal cues that are hard to miss that say, ‘LEAVE ME ALONE.’ – but he doesn’t.  And I can’t say, ‘hey…so, you make me uncomfortable…you’re crossing the line. It isn’t appropriate'” because he’ll either flip it so it’s MY interpretation of his intentions that is wrong OR because it will come across as me being disrespectful.  I can’t do that.  He should should see he is inappropriate and respect that.”

And my lovely boy said, ” Well…clearly he doesn’t respect you or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. He’s using his power of age and position against you.  You’re a pleaser.  He knows that .  He knows you’ll politely listen and he’s probably hoping eventually you’ll just accept it.  He isn’t going to stop unless you put a stop to it. Or I do.”

And here is where James comes in.  It finally hit me.  I try so hard NOT to make waves in so many different context because I think that people are going to respect me enough to speak to me in a way that reflects my respect for them.   I let them get by and bear the burden of their words and intentions until they eat away at me.

And they win.

It’s really this same cycle of abuse…whether intentional or not.

And I let it happen because I don’t think my words, or feelings, are worth asserting.

Even when someone is making overly inappropriate comments.

I know I should speak up.

And I don’t.

This afternoon, someone told me, “I will do whatever I need to…take whatever steps I have to what I want in my life.  Just be prepared for that. It will happen.”

And these words tumbled out of the mouth of someone I know no longer loves me, and quite frankly, probably hasn’t even respected me for at least a decade, let alone love me.

And it hit me.

That was a direct threat.

And I swallowed it.

And didn’t realize it was this same cycle of abuse and assertion of power I have always just swallowed and carried as MY burden…created my MY actions.

People could talk to me like that because I deserved it.

I deserved to be threatened.

Today I realized I don’t deserve that.

I’ve always advocated for others.

Never realized how far I fell into that pit.

Today it was clear.

Twice in a day, someone pushed their needs in my face.

And I bowed my head and consented.

Dysfunction at its greatest and deepest.

I think that acceptance of someone else having greater value than myself is my crack.

I’m not saying I’m not a stronger, smarter, BETTER woman than I was last year and the year before that.

I am.

But, today was an eye opening day.

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be

The mouth that I once saw as a blessing is my curse.

And that ought not to be so.

But, I let it be.

Because, still…after hours of analysis and understanding the deep impact of emotional abuse and straight forward bullying, I let it be.

With people who front to be loyal…yet have intentions that are less than pure….

I let them.

And they will continue until I speak up.

“But, I want you to be in charge of this.  I don’t want you to take that power away from yourself.  I’ll step in if you want me to…but, I think that this is something YOU need to do.”

It is something I need to do.

It is something I need to trust myself to do.

Giving away my value is giving away my power to someone else.

It’s my spiral.

A cycle I have to end.


And perhaps I can take comfort in knowing, “The Lord will also be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble,” (Psalms 9:9) and that “The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed.” (Psalms 103:6).

I have support here on Earth with my beautiful friends and amazingly supportive family.

And support in the SuperNatural…because I’m learning He makes all that seems impossible, possible.




And a backbone.

Posted in Abuse, Bible Study, Book of James, Christianity, Cycles of Abuse, Faith, God, Prayer, trust | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Dear World,

To the people I love…to the people I hope love me, I understand.

And I want you to understand.

That even when you do things I don’t like, I’ll still support you.

When you insist on following pipe dreams and chasing after fantastical truths, I’ll be at your side.

When I don’t agree and when I’m hurt by your choices and wounded by your words, I’ll still be nearby.

I’ll care even when I don’t want to.

I’ll stick with you even when I say I’m turning my back.

I’m loyal even when you hurt me.

I understand that your life needs to be yours.  And I understand that the only way I can be in your life is if I wholeheartedly and deeply and purely accept you and your path.

I understand that this will eventually hurt me.  And I’ll lose sleep and my eyes will run wild with tears of sadness and loss…perhaps even pain.

But, I understand.

I accept that loneliness runs deepest when you love people in the rawest form of love possible.

I understand that to love means to be alone.

I finally get it.

When I was alone, I found peace and contentment.  I danced with joy.  I had hope and felt freedom.

And perhaps because alone I was selfish.

Interdependence means pain.

I get it.

I understand.

The exchange.

The Exchange.

Posted in moving forward | 1 Comment

Awkwardly Yours

I haven’t written (again), in a seemingly long stretch of a potentially exaggerated 1 million years.


And unintentionally, too, I guess.

Today, I realized I needed to write something other than random feedback on a student’s paper who may, or may not, really even read it.

I haven’t even logged into word press for a LONG time.  Yet, somehow, magically, my forgotten blog is still getting hits in the thousands a month….and by thousands I really mean a thousand and some sprinkles on top.

Maybe I need to just write more.

But, writing is becoming elusive.

I spend hours upon hours writing lesson plans and grading papers.  I am teaching 7 college courses…soon to be 8…meaning I have about  210 students, on the road of about 240.

That is a lot of students.

And a lot of papers.

And no, this college professor doesn’t get a TA or  ‘readers.’

I just have me.

And as I accepted yet another course from my 4th hiring institution today, I realized, that teaching 8 classes at 4 institutions still puts me a poverty levels for earnings in the county where I live.

How insane is that?

A fulltime college professor teaches, on average, 4 courses a semester.

I make about 1/3 of what they make.

So, to be equitable in pay, I need to teach 12 classes a semester.

Which, quite frankly, means the classes are going to be shit – or, I just really can’t do it.

As I spent yet another day in the classroom and night grading shit nobody is going to care about more than the point value I assign them, I decided I needed to reconnect with words that are totally disconnected from teacher feedback.

And, quite frankly, I have very little to say.

I’m drowning slowly in higher education.

Oddly, I feel like I am making progress…getting my foot in the door at new places and teaching on new campuses and being challenged by new students.

But, it is hard to work 14 hour days as a “professional’ and not earn enough money to ever even fathom retiring.

Alas, I guess that is just my path.

I keep reminding myself, that I am exactly where I need to be.

I am my ‘right place’ at the ‘right time’ even though I don’t really like it.

Maybe in embracing my academic treading water I am accepting an ideology of predestination:  We are all only navigating the paths that have already been outlined for us.

If that is the case, then I can just scurry along and have this blind faith that my hours in the classroom and in front of the assessment computer are bringing me to this better place of reality.

Blind faith seems to work well for me.

Maybe that is the lesson I’ve come to peace with.

The relinquishing of power has been a long-lasting theme around these parts for years.

Maybe I’ve let it go.

Maybe I’ve learned to blindly trust that ‘things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to.” (my college boyfriend used to always say that).

And I guess they are.

Even though the pieces are not falling into the place where I would have ideally let them be strategically organized, I can say that lots of opportunities have opened up that have provided for me; extra (desperately needed) income, new peers, new curriculum, and a change to refresh myself as an educator.

Oiling the gears of advancing.

Someone recently told me that I ‘needed to put my time in’ to appreciate life.

I think I’m there.

My dad has told me for years that I’m burning from both ends of the candle…and that working like that will fry me.

I’ve been pushing forward with crazy intensity for years now – always thinking that I can take a breath after the next mountain top.

But, the mountain never really never seems to flatten into the plateau I’d think was at the peak.

I’ll just keep climbing. Working.  With blind faith.

Trusting that eventually I’ll understand the journey.

And until then….

I’ll keep collecting classes every semester like an investor collects properties in the hope that eventually I’ll break past the ground floor of poverty and back into the middle class.

And to keep things fresh, I just need more pit stops in the Candy Jar.

Life sweetened by power hidden in the written words.

Posted in blogging, Burn-out, education | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment


By Thursday, life around my household crumbles.

The kid are tired.  I’m tired.

Tempers flair and frustrations ignite fruitless fights which culminate in tired tears and broken spirits….

Sad faces go to bed.

And sad, tear-stained faces going to bed is never a good thing.

I know I feed into the dynamic.  After a full week of work, stress, kids, activities, cleaning, cooking and feeling like I’ve been spinning at top at full speed for hours upon endless, thankless hour, I’m burnt out.

The last month, maybe 2, I’ve done an exceeding good job finding breath and practicing patience.

I’ve rarely yelled, let alone raised my voice, and life has been a bit easier.

But, this week has been horrendous.

And my patience died.

And while it fizzled into a puddle of defeat, the kids took off.

They were counting on me to hold it together.

And when I couldn’t – I guess it is somewhat like a loss of hope or trust, and they lost it, too.

If I can’t hack the hard stuff, I guess they figured they didn’t need to hack it either.

I admittedly was disappointed in myself.  I’ve been working tirelessly in creating less chaos in my house.  I know  that I can’t eliminate everything, but I have known that until I could keep myself in check, there is no way I could keep my kids in check, too.

Someone had to set the standard –

So, today was a major fail.

After I put the kids to bed, I did what I’ve been doing every night for quite awhile now: Yoga and Bible study.

Yoga to calm me down.  Find Breathe.  Celebrate movement, mind and body.

Bible study to look for clues on how to deal with the chaos of the day…or find my intention for the next day.

Yoga was nice….

But, it was reading that made me stop and think.

I came across a passage in Matthew 10:38 that says, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

So, I stopped and began to think, “well…what the heck does this mean in the real world? Why is this important to me?”

And this is my little circle of thought —

To take up a cross means that you are willing to suffer. To bear the burden and breathe in the struggle — take on hardship with confidence.

From a Christian perspective (which I am finding I am bringing more and more into my thinking — I guess that is what intensive Bible reading will do to a girl), it means that to take up a cross, or to be willing to suffer, is a mark of a follower of Christ.

My impatience, or my lack of willingness to “suffer” – my blatant attempt to deny any personal suffering by controlling every little movement of life in my household, is my deepest, and perhaps darkest, temptation.

Perhaps, perhaps my greatest sin is to refuse to suffer – refuse to pick up the cross of Christ.

My sin is refusing to wait on God and His ways and pushing my own will on how I WANT things done NOW and in MY WAY.

Finding patience in motherhood — finding patience in my role as a single mom — releasing control – means I am surrendering to suffering. Finding a willingness to wait.  Finding trust.  Carrying the Cross bravely.  Knowing that patience will allow me to act graciously in God’s way.

I think that my lesson today is that it just might be in God’s will for me to carry this proverbial cross.

It is a gift.

A blessing in disguise.

Because today, and every day (because, let’s be real…when is my patience NOT tested as a mother), I have the possibility to carry the cross, surrender to suffering and be willing to wait. Wait because I can trust that this is just another obstacle to become closer to Him.

Trust that if I wait, His will will become clear and I will be able to act in ways that are reflective to the path He wants me to follow with Him.

Waiting and trusting means that I am not alone.  Christ has a plan and he’s got my back.

IF I am patient.

And that idea is becoming safer and safer to me.

I’ve felt alone for a long time.  Since the inception of this blog, come to think of it.

Finding patience – finding it through breathe and movement (as yoga teaches me), but also through Scripture — as scripture reminds me that when I find patience and I actively practice it, I am surrendering to Him and His will.

Patience is a powerful tool of parenthood.

Patience is a powerful tool in life.

I know that I will forever have to be conscious of this.  Life is hard and life is tiring.

Finding patience is a struggle.

But, knowing I can release the burden of it is also quite comforting.

My cross of domestic, single-mommy patience is really only a small blip in the world framework.  But, I’m grateful for the lesson and the reminder that although it seems like life is overwhelming me –  it’s not more than I can handle…it’s just part of the journey.

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