JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Friday, May 04, 2007

MA With Honors, Jerry Being Jerky

Yesterday, after four long years of work on my master's degree, I finally passed my oral exam - with honors! The committee boasted of how rarely they give these out. So, I'm pretty proud. Also, exhausted. I put a lot of work into that.

And then afterwards, I had to go proctor an exam and sit in a three hour class. Then I enjoyed having a couple of friends over to toast the thing being over. I had been eating the wrong things and drank too much, and then Jerry made a comment as I gave him a kiss goodnight that I seemed to have "sick breath", which really upset me. So, I woke up at 4am from a bad dream about being really angry, and I could feel a migraine coming on.

In the morning, Jerry was nice enough to walk my dog for me. We were supposed to go camping tonight, but clearly that's not happening. I had kinda hoped that he might have some sort of nice dinner plans for us - to celebrate this whole MA thing. But he told me earlier that he was going to a grad student barbeque at 3pm. So when I called him around 5:30, he said he wasn't hungry. Then, he seemed kinda annoyed about the fact that I sent out an email about a celebration for my MA tomorrow night. He said: "I thought we were going camping." [He had already emailed me about this, and I hours ago sent a reply.] I told him that we had talked about camping tonight, but that I've been planning this party for awhile now and had long been inviting people PLUS its kinda a departmental tradition. Anyway, he said he had to get off the phone.

I started to feel wierd about the fact that he seems all annoyed, so I texted him "are you mad at me?" He didn't reply. So, I tried to call him, and he didn't answer his phone.

I have to say that I'm REALLY annoyed with him at this point. I'm still recovering from a migraine, this is all just miscommunication (something with dates that has happened in the past - because Jerry has a tendency to not talk through the details of what he wants to do and then just expects me to be completely flexible always), and its Friday night and he's just completely blowing me off.

I get the sense that we're not getting very far with the whole sexuality thing either. Maybe this isn't working out. I really care about him, and think that to break up over a small issue is silly. But, I really don't know if I'm up for this kinda stress - especially when this isn't the first time that he's gotten annoyed and ignored me.

I have all of this reading to do for my advisor tonight anyway, so I guess its not that big of a deal. And next week, I'm going out of town to visit my friend. And the next weekend, I have to spend all day Saturday in a workshop. And, I have lots of work to do. I feel lonely already just thinking about things ending with Jerry, but I know that I need to start standing my ground for how I expect to be treated. I'm worried a little bit that I'm falling into my pattern of cutting a guy out of my heart before I think that he'll break up with me WHICH always makes the breakup inevitable. Anyway, kvetch kvetch.

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Blogger Gail Rae said...

Well...I salute you, Karma! I'm partying down with you in my heart about your MA orals! What a coup! I already think you're terrific, and now you've got a badge that says this! Sooooo cool!
Onto other matters. All through the Jerry part of the post I was thinking about something one of my sisters said a long time ago. She didn't go back to college and finish her BA until she was in her 40's, had a husband, two kids, and had worked at a couple other careers. One of the strong interests upon which she followed up (although she graduated with a BA in chemistry, went on to qualify for and get a teaching certificate in that field and is now, between teaching and mothering and wifing, pursuing her Masters in Education) in college was anthropology. At one point, she was talking to me about the women half her age in college who were as overwhelmed as she and, as she put it, bedeviled, as well, by "the imperative to find a mate and reproduce". She said she couldn't imagine how any of them got through it all.
I was thinking about this because you are, of course, of the age about which she was talking. You're coming to a point of accomplishment in your education where you can relax a little about it, even if you continue on toward a PhD. Because of your educational accomplishments, you are much more assured of pinning down a satisfying career (at least, your first one). I'm wondering, if you just hang in there a little (not necessarily with Jerry, but, you know) in regards to your personal life, you'll find, soon, that this area will begin straightening out, as well, because you'll have more energy at your disposal to pursue those urges, as my sister referred to them, which are inbuilt and, especially at your age, are incredibly demanding.
I know I'm taking the long way around to say what I'm thinking, but, you know, lighten up on yourself, Karma, in regard to your sexual life and issues. Maybe it's not just, or even most importantly, issues from your past that have been making it hard for you to successfully pursue your romantic longings. Maybe an important component is that you've been necessarily (and, by the way, successfully) diverting some of your hormonal energy toward other diversions, but, now, you don't have to resist your hormones as much, anymore. I'm not saying that past sexual issues aren't important, but, now that you can focus less on your education and career (even though it may not seem less, it's certainly less than when you hadn't yet achieved anything in those areas) and more on your personal life, things may clear up for you more quickly than seems possible at the moment and your desires in regard to who you prefer to be with, how you prefer to be with them and who you want to be when you're with them will become easier, just because you'll be able to focus on these things more.
Anyway, didn't mean to blah, blah, blah, but I'm very, very optimistic about you in ALL areas of your life, and I think, now, you are in for some very pleasant surprises in regard to your own personal sexual arena, simply because you won't be so diverted and can devote more emotional energy to plowing through the issues and getting to the heart of sexual/romantic matters.
Even if none of the above sounds at all applicable to you, the following should: You are a woman of accomplishment. This should be clear to you, now. This will have a felicitous effect on every other area of your life, I'm certain. Trust this. It's your ace in the hole.
Thumbs, and spirits up, Karma, from me to you!

Friday, May 04, 2007 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks Gail! Well, I wish that getting my MA meant that I could slow down now and focus on other things, but I am in a combined MA/PhD program, and other than just resting yesterday from the migraine - there's still a lot of work for me to do. I'm still working for my advisor as a research assistant, working as a teaching assistant, preparing to teach my first class this summer, taking a seminar on theory....lots of work to be done. And, I don't think with the career trajectory that I'm on, that there will be a slow down for at least another 10ish years - because I'd like to eventually become a professor - so you always have to work hard and put in a lot of hours until you get tenure.

There is pressure not just to be reproducing, but also to just have a partner. I feel this especially strong with what's happening with my family - I want to be able to build my own family and have that to lean on.

But, I do have a tendency to worry too much about things in my personal life and not enjoy them enough.

Saturday, May 05, 2007 9:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mazal Tov karma! I am very happy for you - you certainly worked hard enough for it!
Getting to be a professor is extremely demanding. what if your carer choice precludes a serious relationship? would you still choose it if you knew that when you were forty years old you would be a successful professor, but still single? ( which is a quite common occurrence in my experience)

Actually i am surprised that a feminist program would not bring into account the human need for a relationship and a family.The pressure and pace of the program should be adjusted accordingly, or else what's the point? The practice of working hours on end and having no personal life to speak of has long been perfected by men.

Saturday, May 05, 2007 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Very proud of you xxx

Sunday, May 06, 2007 5:51:00 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

Hey, wow! I am impressed. Congrats on getting your MA. That's hard work. Next stop, PhD! You inspire me. You seem to really know what you want. (Sometimes that can intimidate guys.)

As they say, you've come a long way.

I get constant misunderstandings with my hubby, too. There are plans and then they are at a different time or day than I though. Or plans just weren't set in concrete. Arrggh. And I thought that it was because of my hearing. I guess any couple can have misunderstandings.

Hang in there. We don't know what the future holds in store for us-if that includes marriage and kids. Some people can have it all. Like your career goals, any relationship takes work. Good luck.

Sunday, May 06, 2007 8:50:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thanks everyone for your support. I do think that I'm going down an important path career wise. I don't think its fair that women are left to question whether they can have relationships if they want big careers but men don't have to. Its a part of why there's still gender inequality in the workforce, I think.

Hey Shari,
I do think that miscommunication and misunderstandings are a part of any relationship.

And while I study feminism, I do so outside of a Women's Studies Program. Academic jobs push you to publish, do committee work, focus on teaching and research....that's just the job description.

Sunday, May 06, 2007 10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karma, you said
"I don't think its fair that women are left to question whether they can have relationships if they want big careers but men don't have to"

Nobody is leaving anybody with that question. It's up to each individual to ask and answer it.
Most men do not do so, simply because they have been trained to live without tending to their relationships and emotional life, quite secure in the knowledge that some one else will take care of it for them - some woman.
This is changing but very slowly, and the more competitive the workplace, the worse it becomes.
Still, it's not as bad as it used to be, and certainly you are entitled to chose a career over a family and still be happy.
I hope you achieve that.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 2:09:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Joe, I have a right to choose a career AND a family and to have both. I shouldn't have to choose either/or. Luckily, Jerry is also very committed to his career, so he is understanding of these sorts of issues. Sometimes, we sit around and do our work together. Also, he's open to the possibility of working from home to take care of the children....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 7:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this seems to me very interesting so I'll continue.
you said "I have a right to choose a career AND a family and to have both. I shouldn't have to choose either/or"

I really wonder about that. obviously nobody should have to choose between them, and yet so many people do. Most people I have seen dedicate themselves to one or the other.
Let's say we have two careers - a professional career and a relationship career.The question is can we do both? Are we equipped to do this? Do we even know what we need in order to succeed in both? what abilities emotionally and otherwise are needed? Do we have them and how can they be acquired?

I guess in order to answer the question you should decide what kind of relationship career you want - what would be considered a satisfying one and then go backwards to see what it takes.
If you are interested in an alienated relationship than that would be very easy to achieve. In fact i suspect that highly intense professional careers were developed for that sole purpose - to avoid intimacy with oneself and with others.
An intimate relationship is demanding.The more wounded you are, the more time and energy it will take to achieve intimacy, since you will have to overcome all the barriers set in place between you and yourself.
I have no idea though how one can estimate beforehand how much time and energy that would take.
anyway, I'm just sharing some thoughts that occurred to me.
I think what strikes me is that we all know nearly everything about professional careers, and yet were taught almost nothing about our relationship careers. I find that interesting.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 1:09:00 PM  

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