>It is okay…

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I have come to recently understand that attending graduate school is similar to choosing to school at home.  Certain choices are met with resistance and even bitterness by some while others will cheer you on with smiles and open arms.  It become obvious who can be depended up on as a support beam and who is a termite slowly eating away at your resolve.  Sometimes you can rid the termites by ridding the house, but sometimes it becomes necessary to keep the house, rid the termites, and put in new support beams. 
Unfortunately, for one group of people, I can not disassociate from unless I chose to end my marriage, have greeted every decision I have ever made is with censure.  Well, ending my marriage is not an option that I will even entertain, but what I have realized is that holding relationships that are more like obligations can be ended.  Sometimes they should be ended.  This is especially true when people secretly plot to end your marriage which is something that has also occurred several times over the past 18 years. 
This past week I was contacted for the first time by one person from a particular group whom twisted information I had provided to look as though I was questioning my husband’s ability to support our family.  My topic for that day had been about insurance companies, medical bills, and I vaguely mentioned the past 2 year’s economic state as it related to our family.  At no time did I accuse my husband of anything other than struggling along side with the rest of us.  I’m not sure how the jump was made, but it was and with unbecoming vulgar language. 
This person went on to tell me that I should not be pursuing a second degree because I have never used my first.  My husband, who was working in South America at the time, quickly contacted this person to set the record straight.  The first degree I earned has been used to help educate our children.  The second degree is continuing that education for them while securing a future for after the children leave the house.  I was grateful to him and yet saddened that he would have to play mediator between two people who should be supporting one another.
Honestly, I am at a loss.  I have tried several tactics to reach out.  I have tried to reach out for advice; I have invited them into my personal life; I have tried to join conversations until the topics became too uncomfortable; I have tried to sit apart and not join conversations, and I have tried the advice provided by my husband.  Each time I have felt defeated.  I have come to the conclusion that some people will never approve of my husband’s choice in a life partner.  For that I am saddened.  I am saddened for my children because these people’s dislike for me has seemed to extend to that of my children.  The censure the kids have received has never been as severe as what I have received, but they have received it none the less.    
However, I am most sad for my husband because he is the person who suffers the most.  He has had to make a choice he should never have had to make in the first place.  I am most grateful that he chose me and our children.
Unfortunately there are consequences to the type of control tactics that I have witnessed over the past years and sometimes those consequences are favorable and sometimes they are detrimental.  One unfavorable consequence that has bothered me is the reciting of scripture to me used as part of their censure followed by behavior that does not correspond.  There was a time when I was fairly strong in my convictions, but due to years of mistreatment toward my husband, my children, and myself those convictions faltered.  After all, who wants to be spiritual if it turns one into something that is undesirable?  Plus, I will never quote scripture to prove a point simply because the quoting of scripture now sends chills up my spine. 
However, on the other hand the desirable consequences also come from being pushed away and censured.  Each of us is a social creature and must seek out those who we can relate with; the result is that I have encountered people who I can truly admire.  They don’t quote scripture all the time, but they are undoubtedly spiritual and lovely to spend time amongst.  They are kind, caring, and even willing to reach out as one did yesterday to gently rub my arm while I voiced my frustrations of mistreatment.  Or as some have in the past who have contacted me to make sure I’m okay or graciously accept an apology when I have been inconsiderate, which happens more often than what I would care to admit.  However, despite their actual religious affiliation they strengthen me, my willingness to reexamine my own spiritual affiliation, and I lean upon them more than they could ever imagine. 
Today my dear husband provided me with time to clean and reflect in solitude while he took the kids to Sunday service.  Quiet solitude was what I needed and it is something that I recommend to anybody who is struggling with an unbeatable obstacle.  My conclusion as my solitude comes to an end?  It is okay to pursue ones dreams.  It is okay to be yourself.  It is okay to want more than what others think you should be allowed to have.
My other conclusion though is that there are some really awesome people out there who don’t mind being used as steal support beams and take the place of the termite infested ones.  My only hope is that I may use those steal support beams a little longer, and that I may be a support beam to another. 
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