Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pickled Bitter

Looking back over the past year I realize that aside from the years spent living through my dying first marriage, 2008 was quite possibly the worst year of my life. The professional disappointment I experienced following my much heralded graduation from chiro school I can describe as nothing short of crushing. It's made an indelible scar on my soul. I don't know how else to say it than that--it's affected who I am and how I see the world. I'm smart enough to know that such bitterness doesn't stay neatly compartmentalized and seeps its insidious way into the entire person. I've seen it affect my marriage, my relationship with my children, my relationship with God...

I know all the conventional wisdom about how the true measure of a man is in how he deals with failure. That's a nice and tidy cliche on paper--and I can match that cliche in real life. The truth is that yes, I've dealt with it just fine, almost healthily. I get up in the mornings. I interact with people. I have hobbies, and interests, and distractions. I have hopes, and dreams, and aspirations. I haven't considered suicide in quite some time now. So on paper, I'm doing just fine. But how does that translate from firmware to wetware?

In real life I'm deeply, deeply wounded and betrayed. And the senselessness of it all is the worst part. The school's disregard for the fact that I have a family to provide for, that I have responsibilities as a man is abominable. The clever marketing and the outright lies spirited my money and my livelihood away. The fantasy fairy tales they passed off as truths stole my children's father from them. It repossessed 4 years of my time and my life. It strangled my marriage within an inch of its life. And the school doesn't care because they got paid. I wonder how these people sleep at night? Have they deluded themselves into believing the bullshit that spews from their mouths?

I don't think I'm ever going to be OK with this part of my life. 4 years! That's 1/8 of my entire LIFE. I'm wondering if it might be best to wall this off like some infectious tubercle and try and move on. To some extent that's what I've done. Nursing school is full of promise and hope. If I can't get a job after graduating nursing school, it really is me. I have a new child that I must teach how to be a man.

I guess its time I learned how to be one.


  1. I think bad men do not question whether they are good or not. You do not fit this this description. The simple fact that you want to better yourself says a lot about you.

  2. That's a really sweet thing to say Christy. Thank you. I think the worst possible scenario is that I don't get past this, and it changes me into something ugly...

  3. I don't have my own family to take care of, I only have to worry about myself, but I get this on a lott of levels -- doing fine on paper, but being shit in reality. For a while, I even had myself fooled. My four years turned into six. It culminated in a 5150. I hope your path doesn't go that way, and I'm pretty sure it won't because you seem to realize how bad this "stage" or "state" or "situation" can get, and from what I see you're strong enough not to let it get that far.

    It's hard. Reconnecting with a world that wronged you. That's a line from my personal statement, written three years ago. It's still hard. Please know that there are people here for you, who love you and respect you for every bit of the man who you are, not the one you didn't turn out to be.

    I'm pretty sure you're not teetering towards psychosis right now, but maybe if I heard something like that, and heard it clearly enough before I was really nutso, I would have saved everyone a lot of grief. Haha.. I guess. :)

    YOU'RE GOING TO BE A GREAT NURSE and already are a really awesome man, father, husband, and human being!!!!!!!

  4. I have to agree with Christy. I know some pretty awful men, and the fact that you are aware that there was hardship for more people than yourself, and that you are trying for your family-sake, makes me very sure that you are a good man....and a soon to be great RN!

  5. wow...thanks so much for your honesty and even more so, your vulnerability. You have every reason to be hurt. I think lancing that boil, as you have just done, is a good start to healing. I was lied to and betrayed at my last school (though to a much smaller degree) and so I can totally relate at the bitterness thereof.

    The diamond amongst the crap? Humility, and a willingness to comfort other burnt souls. God will use this for His good, I swear. But have to hurt..maybe a lot. God bless you drofen.

  6. It is like you are taking the words from my head.

    I graduated from college in May, and I am still jobless. The funny thing is that throughout college everyone always said that I would have an easy time to find a job, not to worry, that my field is wide open. Yeah, bullshit on that one. My relationships are suffering so I know how you feel; my fiance told me that if I do not find a job very soon that we will not be getting married in May (talk about a scar on the soul).

    Like you, I too am going back to school for nursing but I understand your fear of whether or not it is really you. I am afraid that I will graduate from nursing school and folks will turn me away.

    Hang in there, you still have your wife and child and they are definitely worth it, and will make all this worth it in the end. Feel free to drop me a line anytime.

  7. You have no need to worry about not finding a job as a nurse. You will. Do you know that the only nurse I remember from either of my children's births was a male nurse. He was awesome. YOU will be more so!

  8. I agree with everything said above.