2006-06-29 - 1:00 p.m.
DAMN DAMN DAMN!!
I was so very excited to be spending my days sequestered at home in the stormy weather JOB HUNTING!
I decided that my income potential here in VA is actually pretty high when considering my education and experience and this job market-- which is in sharp contrast to the Syracuse market for my skills and experience.
While Target was great for a temporary small income fix, it is clearly only to enable SOME income while home with girls.
However I am not safisfied that is doesn't give me ENOUGH autonomy.
So I am looking at child care options in VA and seeking full time work. nI believe if I work and earn a decent income that EVEN IF living in VA rather than NY it will actually offer me greater opportunities to be involved in the lives of my children who don't live with me now! I need to have the travel income to go see them in Buffalo regularly and be able to hop a plane to FL with all the girls so we can all visit with my parents and the oldest two there as well!
Since Westley has NEVER been one to include family travel (or family entertainment for that matter) in his budget it is a HUGE priority for me.
In fact is is ESSENTIAL for my relationship with Katerina and Soren who once again I EXPECTED to spend some time with us in our home eventually, but who really DO NOT want to see Westely AT ALL. I understand and respect that and certainly think it a sign of their emotional maturity and health and a sign of the health of MY RELATIONSHIP with them that I can accept that. But in order to maintain a healthy relationship with them I have to be more present in their daily lives than the one who sends them clothes. (I am excited to have found Soren five pairs of shorts which are being mailed to him! WHEW!! HE told me yesterday he had two that fit so I am feeling better now they are en route!)
Now back to the "DAMN" comment. I knew a little known secret that after 6 years as "Director" of a family business... (farm)... and "Officer" and "Director" of our family non profit (which no one REALLY needs to know lost its intended primary assets when the stock market crashed just PRIOR to receiving it's articles of incorportation!), and as a SOLE PROPRIETOR of a "legal consulting service" to Corporate Counsel among others, I THOUGHT would come in handy in my job search.
There was this oddity FOR A LONG TIME that "COPORATE COUNSEL" were not liscenced attorneys in VA! YES IT'S TRUE ... and the big secret is that MANY WHO DIDN'T PASS A BAR BUT GOT LUCKKY LANDED THE BEST CORPORTATE JOBS!
I hoped to be the beneficiary of that little acknowledged fact. ON PAPER I look like I am very experienced (HA HA! And I really do have the experiences of setting up and managing those legal corportations-- so it is real even if only self interested for our family and at the advice of the marvelous tax attorney from Middleburg!)
I was THRILLED when job hunting just yesterday that after updating my resume on a few job hunting sites that I WAS CONTACTED by a few head hunters and I was matched with a few awesome CORPORATE COUNSEL JOBS as I actually do have the skills and knowledge to meet criteria and also do such a job very well! (You really don't need to be a walking encyclopedia to be great at those jobs but know how to look up applicable law and apply it IN THE MOMENT and to have the requisite organizational skills to STAY ON TASK and get stuff done and frankly a great memory HELPS but without that taking good notes and reading them can suffice! But of course a Franklin Covey planner can help me manage such a job, but is no help in passing the BAR exam! I swear the best asset for corporate counsel is an understanding of people in the variety of different roles that they are in- and not being disconnected from management or the actual so called "plumbers" who do the hands on work in any company. The best counsel have that understanding and ability to communicate and make decisions which see the BIG PICTURE and as a big picture person I am confident I fit the profile of one who would actually excel at such a job! You really need to be able to negotiate well and then execute a decent written contract (YES LESS WRITING IS BETTER!) While I ramble in my writing for self, I am rather good at being succinct and to the point in professional research and writing.
So I was MOST EXCITED when I met the criteria and applied for a legal counsel position at Westely's former employer! I thought that would be the best as I am familiar with ALOT of that industry after having been a "fly on the wall" so to speak through his years of working as a consultant at home. I really do have some rare insight and knowledge I think I can offer them although it was acquired in that non traditional method.
I noted the posting DID NOT list the BAR as a requirement!
But then I just looked this up to ensure nothing has changed, and here is the "DAMN"
It has. I found this at the VA BAR site:
"The rule was amended September 26, 2003 and March 4, 2005. Prior to the adoption of this new rule, a person could serve as in-house counsel even if they were not a licensed attorney admitted to practice either in Virginia or any other jurisdiction. Because the activity of in-house counsel was not considered the "practice of law" as defined by the Supreme Court of Virginia, there was no licensure requirement for in-house counsel."
NOw to be honest I actually think it likely a GOOD THING that this rule WAS AMENDED!
I mean does it really seem fair that a good # of CORPORATE COUNSEL are REALLY THOSE WHO WENT TO SCHOOL BUT COULDN'T PASS A BAR EXAM??
While no one ADMITTED THIS IT IS TRUE!!
But I am out of luck.... I think though that I AM STILL going to go in for any job interviews I get called for and give it my best shot.
Hey it might make me a bargain for some HR person!
I think I am STILL VERY MARKETABLE in the corporate world.
Especially now that the competition for those COUNSEL jobs has been reduced since now everyone's neice or nephew with a degree that didn't get the BAR for some reason will likely not be in the running. And I know they may not all think outside the box to the extent I do and realize that a job is filling a need and that HR can call it whatever they want to attract the skill set they need.
SO I AM HOPING CORPORTATE WORLD HERE I COME! We'll see if my optimism is realistic. I am very pleased with the changes I have made in my life in the past year but I believe that working full time in the best paying job within my field that I can find would indeed be a further improvement, likely for the whole family as well as me individually.
I offer a lot to my children by being home with them, but I don't deceive myself into thinking that there are not other places they could be each day that would also offer many things to them that I can't!
I just don't have the support, finances or materials availble and the TIME available to offer the creative activities ALL THE TIME like I did with Soren and Katerina when they were home with me and we all had a very enriched environment. We don't have the means now for Sadie to go to THE LITTLE MOZART for violin, and with the number of kids its harder to facilitate mask making with paper mache like I did with the older ones. I haven't the time!
Losing a child is a painful thing.
And even after a few years of the change of not having your child with you daily it is still a pain and sadness that itself absorbs a great deal of energy in MANAGING so one is not ABSORBED within that pain.
I think working full time will be a good way for me to keep productive and busy MYSELF each day and hopefully offer less time to worry and be sad and pained over the loss of my children.
ANd then hopefully I will be more emotionally present for both the little girls and Westley so further healing and growth can continue.
Because right now while writing is a healthy outlet to a degree, I recognize that I can't just avoid living life with the girls and try to "ESCAPE" through self absorbed writing which is what I get caught up in sometimes!
I never left the older ones in front of videos or to clean the table alone, or eat alone like I have done with these little ones and I think that is because of BURN OUT in this role of caretaker all the time.
While working at TARGET was great for the bit of income and autonomy it actaully was difficult to work nights and be fully engaged with the girls during the days. Preschool was great for them, but then I stopped it to meet other needs of MINE (and Katerina and Soren's) and I think that it has not been good for the little ones to have missed that Preschool program.
So I am looking for work so I can pay for programs I think THEY NEED at this point.
Westely SHOULD OF COURSE PROVIDE THOSE, but I can't MAKE him so once again I am faced with the reality of what he will offer in a relationship with me and his family and it seems to me that the best thing for me to do it just try to do my best to accept what he can give and fill in the remaining needs of myself and the kids to the best of my ability!
Of course I know ultimately I COULD do that with supports that exist for those women like me who are married to one who isn't REALLY present.
Westely AT LEAST is emotionally present to a degree. I recognize that he is working on that in relation to us all and he is TRYING at least. That's really all I ask for: That abuse is refrained from and that there is EFFORT being made in both my relationship and that with the whole family.
Westely DID say he would welcome Katerina and Soren to spend time with us. Had he not been open to that I might feel VERY DIFFERENTLY about whether there was any merit in this marriage. He has ALWAYS been open and welcoming to them and his issues of abuse were not particular to their relationships. My honesty regarding that of course wasn't congruent with my desire to have them with me- but in the end perhaps that is most fair and best for the kids individaully! Time will tell.
Westley said that on SAT we will do something as a family with the little girls. HE suggested the Winchester Children's museum and he just got a check from a consulting call that he is dedicating to family fun time TOGETHER.
That is a much NEEDED and WELCOME change and I am glad he initiated that. I hope that he indeed FOLLOWS through on the idea.
And if so- great we will enjoy time with him! REAL TIME to have fun together which we haven't had in a long while.
But if not I have long ago accepted that I will be happy with what he offers and not have any unrealistic expectations.
So yes I have "SETTLED" in a sense - but it is sometimes a freeing thing to let go of unmet expectaions from OTHERS . It has the effect of then empowering and developing YOURSELF in order to achieve desires.
So for now, I am hoping that I find a full time job in VA.
I am not even DISCUSSING this quest with WESTLEY as I know he has agreed the girls and I can live either in NY or in VA.
HAVING A JOB FULL TIME FOR ME WOULD BE A TERRIFFIC Thing for us all. I have already asserted that I think it not fair nor feasible to continue to move the family all the time for Westely's ladder climbing. I told him go and we can stay in VA. So I am taking action to back up MY DESIRES. I am seeking a job HERE and ready to let go of the NY Experiment which didn't really improve the amount of time with Katerina and Soren anyway. And I am ALSO SENDING LINKS to Westely of jobs I find HERE that he might like with the message that he indicated he wasnted to job hunt TO FIND A JOB TO BRING US BACK TO VA! I never supported him job hunting ELSEWHERE.
If he is not going to provide family stability- I'll say it again. I CAN AND WILL , WITH OR WITHOUT HIM. IF HE WANTS TO COME ALONG AND SUPPORT ME IN THIS-GREAT , and we will welcome when he is here.
And I will seek to.
I think remaining in VA is one thing that could indeed be a healthy thing for the girls. It seems that it was EASIER to have REAL FRIENDS here in VA where large families ARE THE NORM and are not so intimidating and overwealming.
And on that note... time to go take that walk to our neighbors here that Sadie has been nagging me about. She can't wait to see the boys across the street (who used to come play with Soren) and their Mom who is my friend. She also is excited to visit our neighbor who offered to teach her to ride that put her on a pony when she visited here with Daddy about a month ago. (SEE?? Quality time.... she loved that!)
And as soon as I can I intend to call and connect with my friends here by phone who I am just reluctant to bother during the work day!
I feel like it is indeed good to be home, and that is something I haven't felt in a LONG LONG TIME.
I really DO love the peacefullness of this place. There was indeed nothing so wonderful and hard to even describe than when we lost power the other night and I took in the beauty of the sky without any lights but the fireflys- millions of them lighting the landscape.
And the fun of the girls watching the deer, and the red fox, and the eagles.
I just really enjoy the peacefullness of this place which overcame me after I worked through the anxiety at not having MY CAR here and MY INCOME and MY FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT.
That anxiety and FEAR is something I never before experienced and it was indeed FEAR of Westely not of anyone else, and fear BECAUSE OF HIS VIOLENCE IN THE PAST.
I don't ever want to be in that place of anxiety and fear again.
And once I felt the peacefullness of this place and had worked through the fear by my rational reiterating to self "I saw his flight itinerary. He really left. He really doesn't have some evil plot to harm me...."
I was finally overcome by the BEAUTY OF THIS HOME AND THIS PLACE. And I realized that when I have financial autonomy that I feel more secure and feel less vulnerable.
I recognize that it will take a LONG TIME for Westely and I to be able to re-build trust. I realized that if I WORK I perhaps can remain in this relationship without fear and without feeling like I am being cornered.
Its a horrible feeling which indeed is the fall out of abuse.
Should that feeling continue BECAUSE OF HIS CURRENT ACTIONS and NOT BECAUSE OF MY FEARS INSIDE ME BASED ON OUR PAST then it would indeed be time to leave this relationship and recognize it not one that is worth maintaining.
Sometimes the challenge is to recognize when you have been harmed by abuse WHEN YOUR FEARS ARE REALLY ASTUTE PERCEPTIONS and WHEN THEY ARE YOUR EMOTIONAL REACTION TO SOMETHING THAT IS REALLY BENIGN
I have seen that unhealthy response to abuse in my sister in law who is always on guard and has often imagined the worst. For the first time I UNDERSTOOD HER PARANOIA that she had when coming to our remote rural home for the first time when she was skittish. THen I TRIED to empathize but had never really understood -
I WAS EVEN AFRAID TO GET IN THE CAR THAT WAS HERE THAT WESTLEY FILLED UP WITH GAS and imagined an evil plot of his where he WANTED me to arrive here without my car and he WANTED me to turn on the ignition of the car he filled... and then it blew...
Those THOUGHTS are the sign of an unwell mind!
So I recognized that and realized I HAVE NEVER EVER HAD THOUGHTS LIKE THAT BEFORE ! (Thank's to my BRO who highlighted that 25% of spousal abuse victims are murdered!)
So at some level my AWARENESS of the dangers is HEALTHY but at some level the VERY FACT OF ME FEELING THAT UNHEALTHY FEAR IS A HUGE RED FLAG THAT EITHER I HAVE BEEN SO WOUNDED I NEED HELP OR MY RELATIONSHIP IS STILL UNHEALTHY DUE TO WESTELY HIMSELF AND THAT HE WILL NEVER CHANGE (although I think its really the former!)
Seeking a Full time job will at least enable me to be more empowered and to do things like:
1. BUY A TRAC PHONE which is only $19.99 and NEVER AGAIN BE IN A POSITION OF FEELING VULNERABLE
(that's on my agenda with this paycheck this Fri anyway. I already called my attny and asked if she can wait for my final payment to her until Sept as I want to have that check avaible FOR AN EMERGENCY if needed!)
2. Go get my car from Syracuse. If I work I would be able to hop a plane, buy a new tire and drive my car down here ASAP and do things like PURCHASE MY OWN CAR INSURANCE to further reduce dependency.
Now it is so hard to tell IF I HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS BECAUSE MY RELATIONSHIP IS UNHEALTHY
or-- if we have nurtured our relationship to a healthy state but
I HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS TO MAINTAIN MY OWN PEACE OF MIND AND MY INDIVIDUAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH!
And perhaps the second really is NOT DIFFERENT from the first as perhaps I have had irrational fear as a result of remaining in this relationship with my abuser. (EVEN IF THE ABUSE WAS IN THE PAST) Maybe it would not exist if I WERE OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP
However I don't think that to be the case. I think I would then carry that baggage into and other subsequent relationships I have with others!
So that is the reason I think it STILL MAKES SENSE to continue to work through this both MYSELF and WITH WESTELY.
Another great benefit of working. I can pay for marriage counseling (and personal counseling!) And then the onus is on WESTELY to make the investment of EFFORT into our relationship and our family. If I can pay he has NO EXCUSE for saying no other than an unwillingness to continue to try to improve all of our relationships.
"I NEED A JOB!!!"
I'll continue my job hunt AFTER That and AFTER OUR WALK To the neighbor's which is on our agenda.