In this moment exactly one year ago I was in the first few weeks of the 2012 fall semester at ASU West. I had not been in school for many years – although there was a short stint at Yavapai College in Prescott when I thought I wanted to be a nurse. I was at the tail end of a divorce that ended up being kind but no less sad. The divorce was one of the best decisions I have ever made and it’s not why you might think.
I was married to a really good guy. When I met him all those years ago he was what I needed at that time. A year ago I had been involved in intensive psychodynamic therapy for ten months and was coming back to life. My brain was coming online after a lifetime of being turned off. The man I was married to is simply completely different than I am. Where I have aspirations and a drive to learn and grow, he has a desire to remain planted in the security of routine. I want to take risks, he finds risks paralyzing. We are just different and he was not someone I wanted to be married to any longer. He remains a great father to our children and an ever-present but annoying sibling to me.
Aside from my children, the two constants in the past year have been therapy and school. Although an underlying theme of this past year has also been Radical Relationship Lessons. I learned I had an uncanny talent for attracting narcissists. Which makes sense considering both my mother and most recent ex-husband are negative narcissists. Several weeks ago during my regular therapy session, the good doctor was complimenting on how far I’ve come in our work. And then he casually added, “You’ve come so far, in fact, that you no longer need a therapist.” I had imagined hearing these words and in my head I was afraid of them because I was sure they would bring on my fear of abandonment. I could see the image of myself crying and feeling rejected. And instead what happened when I heard these words in real life was, I looked out the window, blinked big a few times, took a deep breath and said, “I think you’re right.”
Set free into the world with a new but reliable set of wings after doing a lot of insanely painful and useful work inside and out. Flashes of fear would begin to enter my brain but something would squash it quickly. It was this new thing called faith. Faith in myself that I would know how to handle what might come up. And that includes knowing if I need to make another appointment down the road. But all in all, it means I Got This.
Today I stand a few weeks into the 2013 fall semester, my last semester as an undergrad. I plowed through a summer of taking 4 summer school online courses. A ridiculous feat if you ask me! But I wanted to stay on this track in particular: the fast track. I’m no spring chicken and if I want to get into graduate school beginning next fall, now is the time I have to be done with my undergraduate work.