Protective

In between study and prep for the next 3 weeks, I’ve caught up a bit more on some non-school reading. Lately reading tends to be kind of hit and miss based on how much class reading ive got needing done, how many small segments of time between here and there I have, and how much I can’t sleep at night. lol

So, I was really wanting to read this one particular book. But the more I get into it, the more I’m finding that I really just don’t relate to it much at all… and I’m pretty glad that it isn’t one that I agreed to review.

One particular chapter went into allowing men to follow their instincts and be our protective cover…. and how they take over for fathers, etc, and that when they don’t do this, it’s because we’ve prevented them from acting in their role.

And, I do know some men who do well at this for their family.

But I’m just not sure that I’m buying that all of them have the instinct to do this if we would just stop hampering their efforts… which was basically the premise the author was working with.

Honestly…. I’m not sure that any of the guys I’ve ever dated have had any sort of inclination towards this at all, let alone an instinct for it.

Not that those guys are the best choices, I mean, there are reasons none of them worked out… but you’d think in at least one case there would be a place where I could relate… where there would be an incident where I’d go “yup, I probably had something to do with why that guy didn’t take a protective role”

Granted… my background is enough of a mess that I wouldn’t eliminate my doing it just because I’ve never been used to being under a protective covering sort of relationship… but it still seems like the attempt should have at least been noticed even if I’d thwarted its success.

The chapter does sound like a nice noble goal for helping an already decent guy with good intentions to better achieve them. But it’s just totally beyond my ability to really relate on this one…. even as the author writes as if this is just obvious universal experience.

Instead, two incidents come to my mind.

One I know I’ve gone into before on here… where a guy I’d been with for several years catches someone peering through my apartment window, and has to be begged to even stick around even long enough to give a description to the cops.

But the more vivid one that comes to mind is an incident that I hadn’t really thought about in a long time.

It takes place with my daughter’s dad… who I suppose would sadly enough be the closest guy to being protective, but only because he was super controlling.

The incident took place towards the end of my pregnancy, before I moved home, but not by long, so I was probably about 7 months pregnant at the time, or maybe a bit more.

Now, he didn’t have his drivers license… because it had been suspended previously, and he qualified to get it back, but never did. I even had filled out all of the paperwork for him at one point so that all he had to do was drop it off, and he still didn’t. At this point, he no longer had his truck, which is a whole different story.

But, even though I’d been dumb enough to give him a second chance, I didn’t want him driving my car without a license because he wouldn’t be covered on the insurance in a wreck and he had a history of totaling several cars. I was in no position to be able to replace it, or to get to work without it.

And so, in site of this, he would wait until I went to sleep, and “borrow” it. I got smart and hid the keys, and it still happened, so apparently he had a duplicate made at some point.

I’d long since called him out on this, multiple times… and he still kept denying it.

I’d considered calling to report it stolen some night while it was gone since he claimed he never had it. But, well, with full time school plus a 37 hour a week job plus pregnancy…. I basically just didn’t have the energy to deal with fighting over it.

So, one day I came home from classes for the one hour transition before I had to leave for work…. and he looks up from playing games on the computer and asks me “so where is the car?”

Out of the blue.

I told him it was parked across the street like always, and asked why.

He accused me of skipping classes to go sleep with someone… a fairly frequent accusation of his, in spite of the fact that he’d already been repeatedly told that things were over between us other than related to the baby.

Of course this was ridiculous… but it went on a bit more… him insisting that he knew I hadn’t been at class and that he knew I was covering things up and lying to him, so I had to have been sleeping with someone.

By this point, my sanity had returned enough that I cared less about trying to even argue… knowing it would go nowhere no matter how much proof I had of where I was.

And so, eventually, he tells me that how he knows I didn’t go to class is because he knows I had car problems, and if I hadn’t been going to see someone else, I would have been home right afterwards and I would have told him about it.

This was a new accusation.. but, well… being accused of having car issues when none had existed wasn’t any more illogical than any of the other ones he came up with, so again, I just stated that the car was fine, and didn’t argue further.

Now, this car had once been considered a sports car, but was coming up on 20 years old at the time. It had some issues… so it having a problem wouldn’t have been all that out of the question.

It already had a few that I knew about, one of which being that the seatbelt didn’t actually click to lock in, it just slid in and out of the buckle without actually latching.

Another of which was that the brakes had some issues (if I remember right, the master cylinder was going out, but i couldn’t afford to replace it) so about once a week or so, when you hit the brake pedal, it would just go to the floor with no pressure, and you had to lift your foot quickly and pump it again hard to get it to take.

Another issue that was a design thing with it being a sports car and me being both fat and very pregnant is that it really wasn’t designed for space.. being a tiny 2 seater. I about had to roll to get out of the thing, and by the time kiddo was born my belly pressed against the steering wheel.

And so, after I didn’t take the bait on the car problem allegation, after a few more minutes of accusations, he tells me that I owed him a certain amount of money… because when he had the car the night before the brakes had gone out, and he had paid to have it towed home for me, and that’s how he knew I had to have spent the morning having the guy he was sure that I was sleeping with fix it for me.

As I mentioned, the brakes sometimes needed you to lift your foot and try a second time. I would have pretty much considered this to be a common sense move when the pedal doesn’t work the first time, but I guess not.

And so… he finally admitted borrowing my car while I was asleep, but only because he thought that it caught me in a trap.

But, to do so…
He had let me, 7 months or so pregnant, get into a car that he thought had no brakes.
And drive it during morning rush hour.
Knowing that the seatbelt didn’t work properly and that the steering wheel was getting really close to the baby, so that when a resulting wreck with no brakes did happen, there would be likely to be serious injury.

Sorry author… but yeah, I’m having trouble relating on all guys having a protective instinct.

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Crumminess.

4th day off out of 5.

So why in the world do I feel so crummy and worn down?

It’s one of those days where I really feel like just never leaving bed.

Extra days of rest are supposed to be, well, restful. Not make me feel more weary.

Unfortunately, I have a suspicion that it’s probably been there, but masked by the busy in my life. Too much stuff to try and get done, and too much to try and plan for, and too much to try and remember…

And so after a few days of slowing down… it surfaces.

Though hopefully, when everything calms for a few weeks… after this next few weeks of craziness…. enough will be reduced from the “pending” pile to not attack again when finals are finally over.

Somehow, it’s so much harder to take a mental and emotional “nap” to rest and recover than it is to fix the physical version.

Trends of tough

Ok, I think that the three long to longish posts this past week pretty much made clear that I had a super rough week.

And that’s even without making posts about things going missing from my car, or car running out of gas on the day I could least afford the time to mess with it, or the cell phone issues, or a stupid mistake during clinicals… or any of several issues with different people last week.

Pretty easily the worst week that I’ve had in a while.

But a sort of interesting thing… is that I hadn’t really noticed exactly how many people at the new church were also having really awful weeks. I’d seen the facebook messages… but never really stopped and noticed the trend.

It wasn’t until the later part of the service today… when the pastor mentioned how many people were getting totally slammed since taking the step to join with the new church and move towards health… and how much he was feeling like a target when things had been so smooth before… that I even stopped to think about it.

How much of a trend does it take to prove something?

Is the fact that my facebook list for church people looks like a war zone enough to write the whole awful last week off as an attack, and mark it up as a positive sign towards the decision to stick with the group?

I suppose I probably should have done a followup post last weekend, but we did attend the new church… and I’m strongly feeling like it’s the right move.
(Though its sort of odd to be getting used to totally new places and yet have the same sunday school teachers for kiddo… and to realize exactly how much regrouping is needed to completely start over with basically nothing and needing even the most basic supply items… and how I’d forgotten exactly how little I know a lot of the people who attended first service instead of second and so are totally new to me.)

I found out more about what exactly is going on with the old church, and apparently they are basically attempting a sort of merger thing as far as the congregation goes…. so that the building is owned by the big church, but they let the people stay in it and just add more of their own people as an additional campus to add to the ones that they already had. Not sure exactly how that works when the big church isn’t even a vineyard church and they have some pretty different leanings in some areas… seems like it would make for a pretty good sized division on a lot of things.

I clicked over to the big church’s facebook page, and listened to one of the sermons online where they announced the plans, and it really made me more sure of the decision. Everything had this tone of “oh the poor people we are helping out because they would never make it on their own if we didnt”.

And, actually, this sermon reminded me really quickly of exactly why I’d decided not to go to this church after a few months during the summer after high school… back when it still only had one locatio and didn’t have the school and all of its other big expansions. It’s along the lines of the prosperity gospel movement…. and the pastor has a serious trending towards sounding like one of the scummy televangelists, making these huge leaps towards dramatic conclusions. He seriously went from a mention of the law requiring birth control to be covered by insurance… to saying that this was the government was forcing christians to pay for other people’s abortions… to having the congregation chant with him that “we will not kill our babies”.. all within about two minutes if that. Not exactly an in depth discussion of the topic, or doing anything but stomping on emotional buttons really.

So anyway… i’ve decided to stick with the new church… and am pretty confident about that decision… but sort of wondering if there’s anything to this trend of people having a really tough time right about now.

And I really hope it ends quickly… my grades can’t handle much more of this. Not even sure yet how horrible they got hit so far.

Down

Up until this point in time, the lowest score that I have gotten on a written test in this program has been an 89.

In physics right now, I have an A, even though I don’t feel particularly confident that I know what I’m doing. Also an A in college algebra.

In the main classroom class for the program, I have a B.

On the last test, I had a 93%, which ended up being curved to having 100%, meaning it either was the highest in the class or was tied for that highest.

I had another test on thursday.

And following with the way this week has gone… between the checkoff equipment issue on monday and the mess with the portfolio on wednesday…

I managed to pull a 79% on the test.

80% is the cutoff for passing or not.

A full 10% lowest than my lowest test score previously.

I spent quite a bit of time studying for this one… because it had been covered in shorter time than usual. I felt like I knew what I was doing going into it.

Guess not.

To be fair, I know several others also had a rough time, some worse that I did.

But still.

This isn’t helping at all on the feeling like my survival in this program is in no way related to my efforts and best attempts.

Two more classes and one day of work left till break. I think the biggest thing that I’m thankful for right now is for thanksgiving break itself.

Stress tummy

This morning, the big portfolio project was due for this semester.

I’ve been dreading this thing all semester…. not because it’s that hard, but because it’s a lot of writing.

Not that I generally mind writing… however, this instructor grades very heavy on form.

As in, one of the other students went to the english writing lab, used their tutoring service to have one of the nuns who works there go through and help him correct all of his grammar and other issues, and still got his papers back covered in red pen. When he mentioned having had help, she just told him not to go there again.

Last semester, it was worth 6 percentage points of our grade… and I only got 3 of the points. Literally, 50% of the points lost, not because I didn’t do it, or didn’t put in effort… but because of things like run on sentences… and a place where I put “that that” instead of something like “which this particular”.

Obviously, even if this is the first entry of mine that you’ve ever read, grammar and word choice and sentence form are not my strong points by any means. Even when I’m trying hard to correct them for a more formal paper, i’m just not going to catch them all. My grades in english classes have always been all over the place, based more on whether or not the teacher was a stickler or where they put more weight on the actual content of the papers.

Well, this semester, instead of being 6%, it’s 20%.

In a class where 80% is the lowest that you can get and still pass… and in a class that failing automatically removes you from the program, no matter what grade you have in the other classes. (Right now, 2 A’s and a high B)

And in a class where 30% of the grade is based on 2 surprise hands on tests… the same type that fluster me even when I know about them… and so my grade on the one that has happened so far was an 86%… meaning I’m already 4% down for the class with the high weighting.

And, in a class where a lot of the rest of the grade is entirely subjective… and where the teacher tends to grade hard and is known for making students cry. And the extra frustrating part is that the other two instructors are not this way… both of them gave full credit to basically everyone last semester.

And so, I’ve started over and over on several different parts of this portfolio…. but still… it doesn’t ever feel like its ever going to be anywhere near good enough. I can just see it getting ripped to shreds, and the more and more I tried to fix things, the more and more I just felt like it was hopeless.

And so, as I sat at the library, fussing over things over and over until almost 11 last night… I just felt like curling up in a ball and crying.

Eventually, I sort of settled that it was as good as I could get… and hit to print the entire folder on my usb drive… picked the stack up from the printer, and headed home feeling beaten down.

Given the mood, I decided to set the alarm and get everything punched and sorted and into my folder this morning. So I set my alarm for 5:30… basically 5 hours of sleep… and 2 hours before it was due.

And so, in the morning, I discovered that the last two items that I had been working on somehow hadn’t gotten saved back onto my usb drive.

And so, hadn’t gotten printed when I clicked to print the whole folder, and were not on it for me to try printing on my poorly working printer at home.

I was in tears as I threw on clothes and rushed out to the library, which I thought opened at 6.

I found instead that it opened at 8.. half an hour after the portfolio was due.

I was really glad I didn’t have breakfast, as the stress hit my stomach bad enough that I found myself getting sick in the parking lot.

Basically, I had three choices…

  1. Toss out something really quickly at home, with no time to fix anything and no certainty that my printer would work well enough to be readable.
  2. Turn in the portfolio without the items
  3. Wait until the library opened, print the items, and turn in the portfolio late.

Option 2 would have been certain failure, because one part was worth 6 percentage points for the class, and the other was worth 2. 8 percent of the class grade lost on top of the 4 lost from the surprise exam would give me only 8 more points to be able to be lost on anything before being dropped from the program.

Option 3 would lose me three points for being late. Still not good, but a bit less bad.

Option 1… I seriously considered. Actually, I started to try, before my stomach vetoed. Unfortunately, tossing out 8 percent worth of material in an hour would have probably gotten me slammed a lot worse that the loss from option 2.

And so I turned it in late.. pretty much feeling like I was sealing my doom.

And pretty much feeling like no matter how much effort I put into it, and how much I try, and how much I pray, and how much I freak out about it… my grades aren’t going to reflect the effort. Instead, they will just reflect that I’m not perfect no matter how much I wish I could pull off pretending that I could be.

Actually, nobody in our section of the class has gotten a perfect grade on any of the checkoffs.

And so, I’m feeling like there’s about a 50% chance of my still being in the program next semester.

Not because I know that material any less than the people in the other sections… or that I’m not putting in the effort.

But just because.

And so I don’t really feel like there’s anything that I can do about it… or much that I really could have done. Yes, I should have printed the portfolio earlier, but then, I was doing the best that I could to make it as perfect as I could with the time that I had.

Who knows how much it will matter.

Knowing it, and failing anyway.

I seriously want to scream in frustration.

Today was an area checkoff… basically, a test over the positioning aspects of class, but only a small part is written… mostly, its physically doing everything you would do to perform the exam (but without any notes or references) on another student (except hitting the button to actually take it)… for two different exams, one of which you are told by the name, the other you are told what part they are looking for the best view.

This section was a bit rough… some of the exams were a bit complicated, and instead of one to two weeks between demonstration and test, we had 24 hours.

It doesn’t help at all that I tend to get seriously nervous and flustered during these… and tend to miss the simple stuff like marking right or left because I’m too caught up in the harder stuff.

But… in spite of the harder material and short study time… and even pulling one of the hard exams… I knew exactly what I was doing on both of them.

One exam I missed one point, for something minor.

The other exam… I knew how to do it… but… the equipment wouldn’t work right.

Somehow between the girl’s position before me, and mine, the light that shows where the beam is going to be going got closed.

Normally, you just hit a button to turn it on. I did, and nothing, because technically it was on, it was just closed off to no beam. I tried a bunch of other buttons, still nothing.

I told the instructor the light wasn’t turning on, and just got told that it was operator error, and that I should know how to fix it.

But, given that it has never happened before… and that I still have absolutely no idea how it would have closed itself between the two exams, of course I had no idea.

Basically, I had to give up, and just take my best shot in the dark guess as to where the beam would be.

And so… she knew what was wrong, was able to open the light back up, and I missed a ton of points because my beam wasn’t centered to the film or to the part, the beam wasn’t narrowed in to only expose the needed area, and the image would have been partially off the film.

(Had this been an actual exam, I would have just put a bigger film in, so that I knew it would be on there somewhere… but using the right film size is another point I would have lost.)

So I went from missing 1 point… all the way down to getting an 83. Which, given our grading scale, is a very low C, with 80 being the point where you didn’t pass.

Not because I didn’t know how to do the exam… but because I hadn’t had that problem with the equipment previously to know how to fix it.

Which is driving me crazy. I mean, it’s one thing when I don’t know the material… but its so incredibly frustrating when I DO know it, even on the hard exam… and my grade sucks just as bad as if I hadn’t put in any effort.

I usually try to not be negative in person (it all comes out here instead lol).. but this one just majorly sucked too bad not to be grumbly and upset in the locker room afterwards.

I’m not sure if it makes me feel better or worse that none of my classmates apparently knew how to fix it either… including the one who is very very detail oriented and would be the person who would know on almost anything you could ask.

A sort of decision

Over the last week, I’ve been doing more thinking and praying about the church situation… and have come more to peace with it.

Honestly, a lot of this ended up boiling down to looking at and praying over options.

A. We go with the old church
B. We go to the new church
C. We find a different church entirely
D. We quit going entirely.

Ok, so D is sometimes tempting, but no.

Option A.. is sort of tempting, because it feels like its where my loyalty should be.

However… considering that I was frustrated enough to be considering looking elsewhere if I hadn’t had the obligation made for kiddo going to summer camp last year… it seems like a really foolish move to just assume that magically things are going to be different just because the pastor has had a break for a few months. It didn’t help when he had a year off, and I can’t imagine that with the loss of the core of involved church members that things are going to be suddenly changed to where the feelings aren’t going to be right back… especially with the way things have gone since then.

Thus, I’ve come to realize that what is pulling me that direction isn’t a feeling that it’s where we need to be… or that it’s what’s going to be best for us for the future… it’s simply a sorrow at the loss of the way things could have been, mixed with a loyalty from what had been. Neither of which is a particularly good reason to think that it’s going to be the best move to follow those feelings.

And so, when it came down to it… I eliminated option A.

Left with option B and C… to go with the new church or find a different one entirely.

I was still pulled in two directions a bit with this. While the new church does have the members that I most respected and who were most “alive” from the old church… it’s still the same people where I really haven’t felt like I’ve ever fit in anywhere.

On the other hand… I remember how frustrating the church search process was last time… and how relieved I eventually was to find somewhere that met what I had been looking for. I don’t imagine this would be much easier this time, except for the fact that I know which ones had been eliminated last time.

And I sort of dread starting all of that again. I’m not a people person much anyway, but especially not people I don’t know… this really isn’t all that appealing even if it does hold hope of somewhere better.

But maybe the biggest thing leaning away from the searching option… is just that it isn’t critical on timing. I guess that sounds sort of weird… but, well, different churches months from now will still be the same options that they are now for the most part. There’s no critical need to take that option right at this time.

In other words, that door is still just as open if I try the new church for a few months and decide that it just isn’t working out…. where with the new start, I don’t entirely feel the same way in reverse. Yes, technically the new church should be there if I didn’t find somewhere better, but with so much happening, it just seems like it would be different.

And well, technically, the new church is a different church. A lot of the people are the same… but it’s still the new pastor.

And when I back up a bit from the situation… given the last 4 months… if I had come into a some other church as a visitor, and had seen how things went for those months, I think I probably would still be giving that church a good shot.

Yeah, there are some areas where I still feel totally disconnected from the people there… but things were definitely getting better…. the directions that things were headed was a much more positive one… and the new pastor is with us. You can tell that he is into what he’s teaching, he’s openly involving people, and he’s… well… a flawed human and willing to show it. He’s knowledgeable, but also able to admit times when he’s not where he’d like to be, and places where sometimes he’s feeling like putting things into practice is a lofty goal but still worth trying towards. He’s also responsive enough to follow spirit flow when the message ends up going in a totally different direction from where he was intending to have it go.

Had I been the new person visiting, I would have probably had no qualms about giving the church an extended chance based on that time, so, well, I guess that’s sort of where things stand.

It’s not the most firm reason for going that I would like to have… but it seems like what’s going to be the best option to take at the moment.

I guess we will see how it goes.