Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tug of War

"Why is Nursing still on your mind?" my counselor asks me. I wanted it for myself. It was something I chose to do, a commitment I made to myself and our family to help make things better. I was fascinated with the human body and the medical world. I was two semesters away from graduating with a BSN. Then everything stopped. R decided to leave us.  Then this struggle begins between my reasoning and what could have been his: How could you have done that to our little boy? Why did you do that when everything was about to get better? Why didn't you just talk to me? I can't go on like this. She doesn't love me anymore. I can't lose my son. Everyone will be better off.

Three years later I have moved to a different state, and tried to start over again. It hasn't gone so well. You can't spring back from something like the suicide of a spouse, and ever be the same again. You cannot throw your life back together and expect it to work. There are so many stages of healing to go through, in addition to grieving that I could never have known about until now. I used to think healing meant that it wouldn't hurt as much or bring back as many painful flashbacks and memories when a trigger went off. But that is only part of it. It's a good part of it, a good indication of healing, but that is really only a part of what is going on inside. If you let God heal you, he will. If you let people help you, they will. Can you swallow your pride enough to let him do his work? Can you give the chaos up to him and trust that he will lead you the right way? I got to a point where I felt I was at my absolute low. I could not go anywhere but up and was forced to ask others for help. When help started pouring in I knew God had placed me exactly here, and certain people in my life exactly now.

I taught for a long time before I made the switch to nursing school. I swore that I would never teach in a classroom again because I had a horrible experience as a new, young teacher. So. Here I am teaching again, with joy in my heart. Do you hear that? It's God laughing. It has been a completely different experience this time, probably for various reasons. Mostly, I know my priorities and my perspective on life have totally changed since R's death. Life is too short to be pissed off all the time. Life is too short to be stressed out about nursing school all the time, too. I really cannot force myself to give a crap about a test when I have to figure out how to emotionally support my young son who lost his Daddy. I would have been a good nurse, I already knew that. I already had a job waiting for me on the way out of school. I did not give up. S does not give up. S fights tooth and nail until something drags her down (like an actual rock). I FAILED. Yes. I FAILED. Let me say it again, I FAILED. I was mad as hell, angry at myself, angry at R. But, here is what I learned: How would I teach my son to fail and get back up again if I have never had that experience myself? 

I love the picture that shows the road to success being a squiggly mess and not a straight line. I don't actually consider myself a successful person yet. My time has yet to come. There are goals I have had my entire life, that have not been conquered. Writing is one of those things.

My son and I spent two nights in the hospital recently after he had a vicious broken arm. While I was there, I was very appreciative of my nursing education. I knew what was happening. I knew during the times of waiting exactly what was going on behind the scenes. I knew how to make their jobs easier for them. When I talked to the nurses, and then thought about nursing school and what going back would mean, it felt daunting. It felt like a race I was never going to win, because maybe I wasn't meant to anymore. Did the trauma of my husband's death literally change my brain? It may have. Maybe I cannot handle all the itty bitty little facts I need to keep straight for every single medication my patients would take, but maybe I can handle using my creative side by teaching others and writing. Maybe I am different now. Maybe I have grown. Maybe part of my heart has healed and this is what's left of me.