Sunday, December 21, 2014

Made it through the first semester.

Technically, trimester but since the program I have changed to does not do trimesters, I'm back to just having semesters. However, I'll be in school three years instead of two. Ah well. I will have an Associate's degree though as well as a technical diploma and hopefully, a better chance to find a decent job.

In the meantime, I'm on a three week winter break which has been a little rough so far. Twelve hours after I emailed my final paper, the oven element went out (in a bright flash of light too which was kind of interesting) leaving me unable to bake for several days. And baking was something I was looking forward to really focusing on too. To add to that, John's been rather grumpy about me doing any celebrating of the holiday (as he tends to be every single freaking year since he went back to church in 2004).

I celebrate the holiday. I have since childhood well before I even understood the reason why people celebrate. I have Christmas memory upon Christmas memory, good ones and bad ones. It was a tradition faithfully kept year after year even if it was next to financially impossible, even if the time around it was utterly craptastic (or even the whole year was--1988 being a really good example). It was the one constant in an otherwise, rather chaotic and dysfunctional life, a bright spot to look forward to (even if that wasn't really the case). During the years I was a practicing Catholic, there was even more meaning to it which added its own bit of magic.

Since meeting John in 1999, Christmas has become sort of a dance in figuring out how to celebrate it in a way that still give it meaning to me but also didn't offend him. Some years that was easier than others. Since 2003, it became even more difficult because the very glue that held my family together, my mother, was no longer with us due to being incarcerated for her part in my brother in law's murder. That year, I had planned for a wedding to take place on the 27th of December, a wedding date I had to change just to get my husband to be home (I bumped the date to my birthday, 11 weeks earlier).

With my older daughter's birthday just two days after Christmas in 2005, I really had to become more aware of what parts of the holiday were more important to me and what parts I could do without. There was even some years I tried to give up the holiday altogether but that became way too depressing for me. In the end, I more or less have an idea as to the traditions I want to uphold and hang onto but even that at times can be too much for a person whose religious beliefs sees Christmas as a reason to be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Still, as part of my mental health treatment, I have worked to become more aware of my beliefs and my values and to go along with them even when it doesn't exactly please others. Yes, he has a right to his beliefs and his feelings on the holiday but that doesn't mean I'm to give up the things that are important to me. Trying to get him to understand that isn't easy though. So, this time of year gets a little rough. Wish it wasn't that way, makes it hard to want to stay in a marriage when I have to fight just to celebrate the holidays that are important to me while I'm pretty tolerant towards his holy days. Time will tell I guess where this all will lead. All I can do for now is focus on what I need to do and do it.

1 comment:

Karen Loethen said...

GOOD FOR YOU for taking the time to figure out exactly what makes sense to you!!! It sounds like the relationship with John really forces you to look for internal strength and motivation...just to keep from being ground under the heels of his belief system.
I'm proud of you for striving to live as ethically as possible, as healthily as possible in such a situation. That's a real accomplishment.

I do hope you find a pathway to more peace and love in your life.

Karen