I just wanted to give a quick update. Things are so good here! Sure, I earn a pittance and live in a camper, and my car has 355k miles on it....and it's all good. I mean, my bills are tiny compared to what they were. My car still runs pretty good. I have to put a little money into it, but I am saving my pennies and building my credit so when the time comes, I can get something nice. I get along with my daughter most of the time. Campers are easy to repair compared to houses they don't have that many parts. And I can clean it in about 2 hours if I want to do everything, including pick up dog poop in the yard and clean bunny cages.
I got out of my toxic duty station and now have a peaceful post in a hospital. This is even better because I now have tome to study (or post on SI) and my new paramedic partner keeps to himself, but doesn't mind answering questions if I have them. The scheduling manager helped me arrange things so I can have 2 24-hour shifts per week and not have to miss class.
The classroom portion of school will wrap up October 14. I should be done with all my clinicals by the end of September. That leaves only the internship portion of the program and passing the National, the certification exam that will open the door for me to practice in any state I choose.
@evenkeel: This is a 1-year (or more) certificate program. It is supposedly written so that it can go directly into a Paramedic-to-RN bridge. I already have a BS in Psychology and a ton of science classes, so if I do go into nursing, I will have quite a bit of it done. Different states want different things. In Illinois, where I came from, the trend is to force everyone to get an AAS, which is 2 years.
My daughter is on her own journey. She grew up misgendered and misunderstood in the war zone that was our home. She in now on hormone therapy and in counseling, but it is going to take her a loooong time to unravel her issues. I got her into that mess, and I will stand by her until she can get out. I am trying to help her become a responsible adult, but her self-esteem issues frequently lead her to sabotage herself. I find tht now, 20 years later, I have become what I desperately did not want to be: a single parent.
I don't hear from STBXWH. Occasionally I have to talk to him about a bill or something, but other than that, nada. This doesn't hurt as much as I used to think it would. After that day at the beginning of June when he said he didn't want anything to do with me, he tried to reach out a couple of times. At first he tried to walk it back and say "I only meant for now, not permanently." Well, guess what? I'm done being jerked around like that. Next time, say what you mean, motherfucker! So when he tried to offer his condolences because someone told him I had posted on Facebook that my cat had died, I thought, "You don't want anything to do with me, remember?" And I remained silent. And when he tried to send me a cute cartoon, same. Now he doesn't try any more, and I don't care. Well, maybe a little. I care enough to hope it hurt like a bitch when neither my daughter nor I said so much as "fuck you" on Father's Day. But then, that's a perfect example of "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes." He wanted to play that game of jerking me around and trying to get a reaction out of "I want nothing to do with you" this is what he gets. Too damn bad. OK, so maybe I'm still a little irritated. If irritation like that keeps me from falling into his dumb traps, that's fine.
Sometimes I still get a little sad and miss the life I used to have, or used to think I had. Mostly I miss my hens and my neighbor and some of the physical aspects of having an actual house, like having room for big soap making projects or canning projects or whatever. I've come to terms that most of what I thought I had in my marriage was false. There were some good times, sure, but I don't think they were worth the cost.
Many of my better memories of our marriage involve parenting moments or day trips or family vacations. Almost all families have moments like those. None of my "good" memories are so unique that they couldn't have happened with anyone else. I could have told him to get lost that day in Chicago in 2000 when he told me I should jump on the train tracks, and then met and married anyone else. I would still have parenting moments, vacation memories, and day trips, but they would not be tainted with the underlying dishonesty and insecurity that stained my entire marriage.
There was only one thing I wanted that relied solely on him. That was my dream of a long, loving marriage to my lifelong best friend. That dream was my motivation for hanging on for so very long, when I had so little else to hold on to. After he sabotaged my career dreams, devestitated us financially, made a pigsty of our home, and refused to have more children, that was the only dream I had left. Unfortunately, the one person who could have made that possible, also made it impossible.
(Just now I realized that after he fucked up all my other plans, I started making new plans about an exciting retirement filled with service, time outdoors, creative endeavors, travel, and adopted children. It took about a year after his stroke for me to retool my expectations but as soon as I did, BAM! That was when he suddenly changed his mind about where "we" were going to retire, what kind of home "we" would have, etc. These were plans that we had been making for years, mind you. That was also when he started hating all the things we used to enjoy together, like hiking. Apparently he just wanted to prevent me from having any dreams or expectations whatsoever. Gawd, what a dick!)
Well, I talked about him more than I had planned on. However, since his bullshit behavior is the reason I am on this site to begin with, I guess it's not unexpected.
Yesterday I had 2 female patients who were over 90 years old, both still mentally sharp and in decent health. I can totally see myself being just like them one day. I used to think my life was mostly over. It can be disheartening being the oldest one in my class by 10 years or more, and even my preceptor is the same age as my daughter! But now I am thinking differently. Say I start now on a 20 year career. That would still put me in my early 70's to retire. I can't picture myself even wanting to retire any earlier than that. And just think of all the things a person can do in 20 years if she puts her mind to it!
I just bet STBXWH thought he was going to waste my entire life and then just discard me for a younger model. Well, my condolences to the next victim, but I'm not done living yet.