Who Am I?

Who am I? This is something I have really been wondering over the last four years. It is interesting how we see ourselves–how we build our identity.

For many years, I was a teacher. I love teaching. However, I gave up my contract to move, and THEN I found out he had cheated again. So here I am, struggling to get back into teaching with master’s degrees and all these years of experience. It’s so frustrating to me to know the work I put in as a teacher and to see that I will likely never teach again…unless I move states again, and it is just unlikely. I need my kids to feel safe and happy. I did not realize how much being a teacher was a part of my identity until all of this. I mean, I had flashes of understanding when I switched positions, but this? This is unbelievably hard. I sub, and then I get in my car and sob. I am lucky to make $60 a day, and the kids certainly do not respect me. I have more experience than many of the teachers I sub for. I am so angry with myself. I know that looking back, we always see things more clearly, but I had no idea. I have no idea who I am if I can’t teach, and I cannot even think of what I would like to do. I am clear that I am I deeply struggling with stability, and I am holding on to this idea that someone will give me a chance. I do not know if they even read my application, but on every one, I write that I will take less just to get back into the classroom. Every day, we hear of a teacher shortage, and here I am, begging to get back in and giving up the pay I deserve to do it. How did I get here?

I am a mom. I can see it in the love on my kids’ faces when we snuggle. I am a good mom. Still, I am not sure how that fits in with divorce and what is to come. I’m scared to death they won’t be happy or feel joy once they know.

I am a strong woman with hopes and dreams. I love helping others. I love learning new things. I love being part of a team and feeling like what I do matters.

I am someone who longs for a true partner. I want to be loved for who I really am…and heck, I certainly have flaws. I have moments of intense anger. It is very difficult for me to trust. Am I destined to go through the rest of my life on my own? I don’t know.

I feel SO alone and as if I’m free falling every day. I keep trying to stay positive and to have gratitude. In the midst of it all, I certainly know I am still blessed in some ways. What I know, though, is that I absolutely need work. How will I ever accept that my choices (though done without all of the information) have led me to the loss of the career I am so good at and love? I don’t know how to move forward out of this loss and grief.

Who am I? I am a shell of the person I once was. Every day, I pray that something wonderful happens that moves me forward, and every day is another repeat of yesterday. I do very much want to curl up in a ball and give up. If I did not have these wonderful kids, I certainly would. I don’t see the out. I don’t see the escape. I pray. I show gratitude. I walk out in the world and sub and pretend to be good. But I’m not. I’m not the person I should be. I am not even half of what I could become. I simply am at a loss as to how to get there.

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