Monday, December 10, 2018

One Day to the Next.

Hi everyone,  It's been a couple of months, so here I am again.  Someone told me recently that whining on my blog doesn't help me...  Funny how people will act like they know what is helpful or harmful when they haven't walked a day in my shoes.  On the contrary, I find that typing out my thoughts is a good way for me to process and deal. I have always felt that way.  Even before "The Great Personal Disaster of 2017."  I'm sure many of you agree.  If not, *shrug*, oh well.  I think I'm doing pretty good to have only blogged three (now 4) times in almost 2 years about all of this (laugh with me... or not, ha).

Things are okay.  I mean, I am not without issues, concerns, complaints, sadness, stress, etc., but then again, when are we ever completely without any of that?  I have things that are difficult to deal with right now relationally with friends and the like, but it's all okay.  It's okay.  At least that is what I tell myself, because I know that what is bugging me right now will not be what is bugging me in a couple months.  The seasons of life, and stuff.

I'm finding myself more and more content with my life.  This world of mine goes round on an axis of my kids, work, family and friends.  I am fulfilled.  I am finding this past couple of weeks that God is still there with me.  I am finding bright rays of golden sunshine in the midst of some cloudy days here and there.  I would even say that I have been happy more days than not.

As far as the divorce, "he" doesn't hurt me anymore.  I touched on this in my last post, but the hurt I experience lately has been from trying to move on, the complications of testing the dating waters, the difficulty of balancing the two worlds that my kids find themselves torn between, and all the mistakes and blunders that I make along the way.  I often feel like my mistakes are far worse than anyone else's, and that is the source of a lot of my sadness, frustration, and anxiety. I'm trying to not shoulder too heavy of a load, but it's a default of my character.  I also shoulder way too much responsibility for the feelings of others.  Something else I have to get better at not making my burden too heavy.

While this is all seeming like a focus on the negative, it really is okay.  I'm doing alright.

With all of that said, the rest is "to be continued..."  I'm doing okay.

Until next time.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Let’s be Honest About the Mess.

I really do not blog as much as I should. It’s been almost a year since my last post and I even unpublished that post for some reason. It’s back up, because after I re-read it I thought, “wow, I really did a good job getting out my feelings here.”  Writing out my feelings has always helped me so I don’t know why I don’t do it more.  (oh yeah, I remember why... ha. Because I get incredibly self-conscious)

So, here I am with a new post almost a year after my last one. Basically, I am going to spill out what’s on my mind and I am not going to hold much back. Some of it will be good, some not so good because let’s face it... life really sucks sometimes. 

Before I dive into the mess, let’s talk about what isn’t a mess. My job. I have been a nurse (RN, BSN) for close to 2 years. When I first started I was nervous, stressed, and sometimes frantic. Anytime something would go wrong I would lose my confidence and rely heavily on my fellow nurses. I have to give myself a little break for that because I was a baby nurse whose only hospital experience was having babies, nursing school, and 6 months of being a nurse assistant.  

I am much more at home with myself and my abilities. I don’t freak out when my patient’s oxygen saturation drops in the 70’s, or they start having chest pain,  or their heart rate or rhythm goes wonky, or they get an obscenely high/low blood pressure, etc... I take care of it or send them to the unit. I’m coming into my own as a nurse and I love my job. I always tell people when they ask if I like my job, that I was made by God to be a nurse. This is my calling in life. I am just so thankful I went for it, and I didn’t ever give up, that wasn’t even an option. 

I guess it’s time to talk about the messier stuff. I am a year and a half post divorce. I am 1 year and 10 months post separation from my ex. Some days are better than others. Some hours are better than others. Some things still hurt, others have healed up significantly. I no longer feel that pressure or heaviness in my stomach when I am confronted with what ended my marriage. I am no longer emotionally attached to him in any real meaningful way. The feelings of disgust, anger, and resentment are so much less. Not saying they don’t come up in a rare moment of weakness, but they aren’t strong, aren’t often, aren’t crippling.  I can honestly say that I really haven’t struggled with this post-divorce, but really, I don’t miss him, and I don’t wish I was still with him.

A lot, if not all, of the hurt that I experience now is not directly from the divorce... now it's from the aftermath.  The hurt I feel now comes from navigating life as a single mom, trying to date, trying to be self sufficient, trying to be a good mom, and all the failures laced in with those things.

What does hurt is that I still feel defective. I feel like he was able to move on and remarry so quickly... dating someone new before the divorce was final, and remarried 6 months after the divorce was final... and I can’t even seem to date properly. It’s been 1 1/2 years and I’m sitting here single, and probably need to stay that way for now, with a string of really messy dating history.  I had been very monogamous in my marriage; I took my vows very seriously and never even entertained attraction to another man for 16 years. It’s hard for me to be single, it’s hard for me to not be married, and it’s hard for me to date.  Oh yeah, have I mentioned dating has been disastrous? Dating has been disastrous.

What does still hurt is the support mutual friends give to my ex and his now wife. I understand splitting friendship between a split up couple is difficult, but the way it feels to me when I see the support or learn about it, is that they think I deserved to get cheated on repeatedly.  It feels like they believe my ex must have had some kind of miserable with me, and good on him for upgrading. That’s how it feels and it hurts. Whether that thought process is rational or accurate, I don’t know... but I’m being honest. It hurts. 

What does still hurt is that I am sharing my kids with a woman I have never even had a conversation with. My ex has never given me the courtesy of getting to know the woman that he is wanting to be a step mom to my kids. It stings when I pick my kids up and see my youngest wrapping her arms around this woman. That’s my daughter. My baby. It stings that she gets to do the things that I should be doing because they aren’t with me for that weekend or holiday... Those are my babies! Irrational or not, that’s how I feel. Just being honest. 

What does still hurt is time without the kids.  That's when I feel alone the most.  Like right now.  My kids are with their dad this weekend.  I am missing them.  I hate what this does to them.  I hate how they feel torn between two worlds.  I hate how they have to be the product of a broken home.  I hate that two adults were supposed to keep their world together and we tore everything they knew apart.  I hate it.

What does still hurt is just being divorced. But, give me time...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pain is Relative

Divorce has been painful.  I believed when I got married, as most do, that it would be forever.  I believed we would weather the storms and make it through.  When my marriage crumbled so did 16 years of my life.  The ache in my heart is physiological, like the fibers of my heart are literally stretching and threatening to break.  The ache is not for him, but for what he did to me, for the marriage, for my kids, for this new life I was forced into, and the loss of the person I was.

In the aftermath of what was my world and all I knew, I have become someone I hardly recognize.  I have made decisions that I thought would make me feel better or make me happier, only to find a deeper sort of loneliness and an overwhelming disappointment with myself.  I have also made good decisions that have made me feel empowered, but to be honest, those are few and far in between.  Most days I struggle to find reasons to smile and the tears flow easier these days.  Mostly I feel overwhelmed, lost, unimportant, alone, and like everything good is just out of reach.

Believe me, I realize in brief moments of rational thought just how irrational my thinking gets in the lows, but depression is unrelenting and the mind is easily overcome by emotion when in these dark places.  One day at a time and I hope to find each day is a little brighter.  This valley has been low, and climbing out of it is going to take some time.  Giving myself that time is just as painful and frustrating.

I'm praying a lot.  I'm fasting a lot.  I'm waiting a lot.  Still believing that I will look back at this time and see how God was moving the pieces into just the right places.  I know I will see happier days, but I am pushing through, trudging through this mud first.  It's just going to take time.  Too much time.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Fast Foward to Now...

I never posted anything about graduation.  I have many good reasons why I didn't... however, today I need to blog.  Sometimes you just need to say all of what is in your mind.  Okay, maybe not ALL of what is in my mind, but I need to say something's... a lot of things... but I'll keep some of it in, you're welcome.

I graduated... That's a big deal.  I also passed my NCLEX... also a big deal.  I also got divorced shortly after... and that has been many things including a big deal... but when I say something is a big deal I am usually referring to it in a way that is good and exciting.  Divorce is never good... and definitely has not been exciting.

Unraveling the tangled web that has been my life over the past few months will take some effort on my part, but I feel like this is something I need.  I am going to talk about things that many people expect others to keep to themselves.  You can either be okay with that and read and understand, or you can stop reading here... be happy that I graduated and am now an RN.

I worked as a nurse assistant prior to being a nurse.  That was great experience.  I loved being a nurse assistant.  I continued to work as a nurse assistant up until the second week of January 2017 when I transferred to a graduate nurse position.  During those last few weeks I was doing tons of NCLEX practice questions on my phone, since the NCLEX was scheduled for January 27.  On January 7 at around 4:45 am, just as I was about to begin morning vitals I get a notification on Facebook Messenger.  And that  would be the beginning of the end for my marriage.

During the last 2 semesters of nursing school I made really good friends with a lady from church.  She loved my little Avery girl, who needed a good babysitter. This lady watched my little girl, and we would hang out, and laugh, and share life, and problems, and laugh... And she would meet my then husband for "lunch." At least that is what I learned the morning of January 7 as I was attempting to finish my shift.  Not only was I reading about... processing... and internalizing the betrayal of a husband of 16 years (who had riddled my last 10 years with bouts of unfaithfulness), but I was also reading about... processing... and internalizing the betrayal of a good friend. 

I won't go into the details of the Facebook message I received... just know that it crushed me and shocked me to the core.  I knew my marriage was over.  This man who I believed would love me through it all, who pledged me faithfulness, who vowed in sickness and health, rich or poor, who said "I plight thee my troth" had gone against his word, his vows, and for a year engaged in an extramarital affair and lied about it.

When I confronted him, there was initial refusal, but I think he was tired of hiding it and lying and came clean.  There was no elaborate apology, begging, or pleading.  He simply said, "I will get my things and move out."  January 7th was the separation... April 6 the divorce was final. 

Fast forward to today:  Today he remarries.  Some woman I have never met.  Some woman I hope knows exactly the man she is marrying.  Some woman who will now be, legally, a step mother to my children, and that is the part that makes me sadder than anything else.  I should have been the only mother these kids knew.  I should have been the only one raising them, teaching them, guiding them... and because of everything... I have to share my kids with a woman that should have never been in the picture. 

Some other things that bother me about this marriage are more selfish and personal.  I can't help but see it through superficial surface layer views.  I see a man who betrayed his wife, his kids, and even himself... I see this man moving on... getting the dream life, wife, house, and taking MY kids under the wings of another woman not of my choosing.  Yet here I sit on this wedding day... at Panera Bread.  Typing this blog and taking glances at the sky through their enormous floor to ceiling windows.  I'm trying to see my silver lining; hoping for my happy ending.  I'm trying to believe it exists. 

I pray unselfishly, but I also pray selfishly sometimes, and I hope that's okay.  Like... prayers to experience a deep devoted love by someone who sees my worth.  Maybe someday I will. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Final Semester is Underway

Hi everyone who still reads this thing... or maybe it's just me here? LOL

Anyway.  I am in the 4th week of my final semester of nursing school!  It has been such a difficult journey and it is almost finished.

I have been working over the summer (and currently) as a nursing assistant on a cardiac telemetry floor in a local hospital.  I LOVE MY JOB.  I wish I would have found out sooner how much I love patient care.  This has been so fulfilling for me.

I am currently taking 2 online classes, Trends and Ethics and Nurse Management and Leadership.  I go to clinical once a week to shadow a nurse manager.  I think I have decided that management at this point in time is not my idea of a happy job (smile). I prefer bedside nursing to managing the nurses while they give bedside care.  I love being hands on with patients and being able to make the difference in someone's hospital stay.  I begin my Capstone class in about 5 weeks.  This course will be difficult as I have to rack up 250 some odd clinical hours in 8 weeks.  I will essentially be working in the hospital as a nurse under the license of a nurse preceptor.  I have so many worries and fears but I refuse to fail, and I will take it on one thing at a time.  I will muster all the confidence and boldness I have to face challenges and shape myself into an amazing nurse.

ALSO!  I already have my big girl job.  I have undergone 3 interviews and 1 call-back interview.  I interviewed for the telemetry floor that I currently aid on, our postpartum mother-baby unit, and pediatrics twice (the nurse manager wasn't in on my initial interview and wanted to interview me herself). I got offers from all 3 positions, and in the end I chose Pediatrics.  So, come January 2017 I will be doing a nurse residency on the hospital's pediatric unit.   I can honestly say that when I went into nursing school pediatrics was not on the top of my list of jobs I wanted as a nurse.  However, I loved my pediatric rotation and I had many moments that allowed me to see the amazing good I could do as a pediatric nurse.  I am nervous, scared, but oh so excited about this opportunity.

I do not know exactly where this nursing career will lead, but I do know I was made to do this.  I have never felt a calling to do anything so strongly in my life as I do with nursing.

As I walk this last stretch of my journey to my BSN degree, I hope to finish strong and realize my dreams.  I hope to make a difference and be a bright spot in people's lives through nursing care.

The next time I post will likely be either close to or after graduation.  I promise pictures and I promise to blog more after I am finished.

Until then, I will get back to immersing myself in my school work.

LOVE!
Amy


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Break and Work!

Hi guys... or to the one or two people who may accidentally read this blog still.  I did it.  I finished my 4th semester of nursing school.  Out of all of the semesters this was my favorite one.  I was not stressed out of my mind and I felt like I learned a TON.

Now I am on summer break.  I decided to take a job as a nursing assistant at one of our hospitals.  I work on the cardiac medical surgical floor.  I really like it.  This kind of work is what I was meant for, and sometimes I get really sad when I think about how long it took me to figure this out, but I am just glad I did figure it out.

So far summer has been pretty uneventful with only a few trips to Silver Dollar City and adjusting to working overnights.  I do have a small vacation planned.  August 5-9 when I will be going to south Texas to see my brother and aunts and uncles.  This should be a nice break before I start back for my 5th and final semester of nursing school.

Nursing school starts back up for me August 15.  That date will be here before I know it.  I am nervous and excited.  I am not for certain how it will effect my working, but I am going to try and keep working while I am in school.  Eight weeks into my semester I will begin my capstone clinical.  This will entail me working full time in the hospital under a nurse preceptor.  I am hoping this experience will lead me to what I want to do as a nurse.

So far I am interested in Cardiac, Postpartum, Pediatrics, Emergency, and ICU nursing.  Time will tell, but I am really excited about what the future holds.  I begin applying for graduate nurse positions in August.  Life is about to become really busy.

For now, that's it.  Sorry, no pictures.  You can follow my IG account, although I don't use it a lot, I do post the occasional picture.  Amyschmamey!

Friday, February 5, 2016

4th Semester Nursing School

I am in the throws of my 4th semester of nursing school.  So far things haven't been too bad.  I love clinical, and I am managing to keep up with my class work.  I haven't gotten too stressed out yet... that will come toward April, I'm sure.

I am taking Medical Surgical Nursing II, Community and Public Health Nursing, and the ABC's of PQRST.  Med Surg is my big class where I learn the bulk of nursing within a hospital setting.  The exams are really brutal... you haven't taken an exam until you have taken an exam full of NCLEX style questions.  It's like trickery... but it's not.  Last semester I took classes divided into 8 weeks which meant that I had a test every single week.  That was tough.  I am so glad this semester there is actually room to breathe between each exam.  This decreases the stress level by so much.

Community and Public Health Nursing does not have any exams, but it has a lot of busy-work and projects.  I can't decide if I would rather take exams or do projects, ha.  This class is not as consistent as I would like; we don't have class every week, and we have a sporadic clinical schedule.  That is the worst aspect of this class, though.  I feel like I am winging it a lot of the time.

The ABC's of PQRST is all about reading EKG strips.  I really love the professor in this class.  She is so smart and she explains things very well.  I think I am going to learn a lot about the heart this way.  The heart has always taken a lot of effort for me to understand pathology, but between my Pediatrics course and this course I feel like I understand it a whole lot better than I did.

Now for some annoying chit chat about grades... you can skip over this section if you really don't care about grades.  When I finished my pre-requisites I had a 4.0 GPA.  From my first Nursing exam on I have been plagued with B's.  The grading system is a lot tougher than it was at Ozarks Technical Community College.  Where an A was 90-100, at the school I am at an A is 93-100... B is 84-92... C is 75-83... so if you make an 92.85% you have made a B... that happened to me in a few courses... I just couldn't squeeze out that A.  So, I have been cursed with a 3.1-3.0 GPA... except for last semester!  I managed to make 3 A's and 1 B... so, I ended up having a high enough GPA to get on the Dean's List with a 3.692.  Woo hoo!  I miss making straight A's, but I'm trying the best I can, and in the end, the result is the same... I will be a nurse.  That is all that matters.

I basically just wanted to get my thoughts down on this semester and how it has been going.  That's all from me, and unless I get the urge to post before the end of the semester, the next blog post will be the middle of May.

Enjoy the next few months of life, everyone.