Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I do not want this.

It has been an emotional few days.

I have been emotional. A 5.4 on the PD register currently has my husband at around number 90-something. His new 5.4 would put him at 130-something out of 199. He will be on the register another 18 months. If he worked on German some more and passed, he could get a 5.57, not necessarily good enough to get called. A critical needs language would bump his score .4, but he would be starting from 0. How much effort and time would that take? Spending time on a language would mean more hours spent studying, away from me, away from the kids. He would spend more time focusing on where he wants to be, other than here, with me, with us. As if here is not worth being happy about. As if life is not happening right now.

Which brings me to the meltdown I had in the hotel room in DC.

I was looking out the window, watching the cars go by, thinking about this 5.4. Thinking about what it means. Thinking of the bedtimes when the kids asked if Dada was at German class, or if Dada had a study group or if Dada had a Skype session. Thinking about the blogs and livelines messages I've read. The husbands doing unaccompanied tours, the mysterious medical illnesses, the houses being bugged and under surveillance, the insects and animals, the packing and unpacking, the stuff being lost and damaged, the bleaching of vegetables, the parasites in intestines, the missed weddings, funerals, graduations and grandparents, the feeling of longing for a home. And I started crying and I said, "I do not want this."

Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by the magnitude of the whole OA experience and am too quick to speak. Maybe?
Who knows. I cried a lot. Tears score: 6.3

We are back from DC. We are Home. Capital H, Home. The kids ran to the car and hugged us. The dog wagged and smiled his doggie smile. I don't know what's next. But I know we are in it together.


Shannon said...

Oh man that is rough. I so want to say something encouraging but I got nothing. It is good that you are in it together.

Becky said...

Oh that stinks. So sorry. Hope something makes sense soon for you. Hanging on in limbo just bites.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to tell you honestly. I would have been happy with a 5.4 rather than my frustratingly close 5.2...but I think you're probably right about the PD register. I also can't argue about the other things you mentioned, they are all true to some degree or another. There is a balance to all this, as you know. If you focus on the negatives, they can surely be overwhelming.
The CNL can be done, I've personally talked with people that have done it, starting as you say from 0. is very very hard. It will definitely take time and tremendous effort, not to mention that I would guess an Arabic or Urdu tutor might be more expensive than German. I have talked to people that actually moved abroad to do 1-2 months of immersion to prep for the test. Is it worth it? Again, only you guys can answer that.
Whatever you decide, it will be the right decision for you. Ultimately as supportive as your family and friends (and lurkers like me) can be, this is your life, and only you know what is best for yourselves.
Feel free to reach out if there is anything I can help you talk through.
My last piece of advice is, just give it time. Nothing needs to be decided right now, give yourselves some space to think things through.

Best Regards,

LeesOnTheGo said...

Loved this~ "I don't know what's next. But I know we are in it together."

You are so right. This lifestyle is full of everything you listed. (Those are the cons, of course there are pros as well...). But the cons list is still there. This is not the path for everyone. And whose to know if it's the path for your family.

But the rock solid truth of your post is that you are in it together. That is a good truth to be sure of.


Bfiles said...

I feel for you so much. Give it some time. I really believe you will find the right path for your family, whether that is saying that your life now is great and you want to stay put or that you will keep fighting for the FS. Sending a big hug your way.

eve said...

I have to tell you that if we had not been living in the heart of Detroit, both with threatened jobs (mine in public health for a city that's basically in bankruptcy, his in journalism for a paper that's teetering too), getting held up at gun point walking the dogs while dodging dirty diapers and syringes on the sidewalk.... (you get the picture) I don't know that I'd have been so eager to leave. Getting out was a matter of personal survival as much as anything. We were both so ready to MOVE ON.
If I was in your position, I don't know if I'd have been so eager. There are pros and cons to the SD. I know all that and so do you. But you have so many pros as you are. your kids!!! Your 3 (!!!) beautiful kids. A brave, tenacious and hard working husband. A beautiful home and setting. A friendly lab, your health, fresh air, fresh water from the tap no less!... and I don't even really know you! I'm sure there are so many more.
I guess this is my very long winded way of saying that even if this doesn't come through in the near future (and- it may!), where you are RIGHT NOW is pretty sweet.

FSO Hopeful said...

Again sorry to hear that the results were not what you guys needed to get some clarity with your future. Have your husband contact me and I can walk him what I went through to get the SCNL points. I want from no exposure to Arabic to taking the test in nine months so with a fresh 18 months he can definitely do it.

A lot of it boils down to money and the more you obviously spend the faster you can accelerate the process. I used a combination of things, but did most of it with online tutors and one month overseas.

I am heading back over to Jordan to do some volunteer work. While you do have to "pay" it is pretty economical, you live with a family, and you can deduct all of the expenses since you are doing volunteer work. If you can spare him for 4-6 weeks it is a pretty good option.

Consular Hopeful said...

My wife tells me the same thing, "Stop worrying about where you're going and enjoy where you are!" It's hard though! This experience is like nothing else I have ever experienced...normally when I want something and actively work towards it, I have gotten it! This is a great big question mark--which sucks! I really feel for you guys and I am confident it will work out in the end. We are trying our best to live like the FS is a side story to our novel life. If is works out great, if not--the story will be good anyway. It ain't easy, but it's all we got! Best of luck and THANKS for sharing!!

Jen said...

Trust me, being in it together makes all of the difference....thinking of you guys!

Helen said...

So sorry the journey's been rough. I have on and off days, too. Some days I look around at my fantastic surroundings and wonder what the heck am I getting myself into?! I think these feelings are natural (and very healthy). I also believe that what is best for your family will work out as it's meant to! Best of luck, rooting for you, your husband, and kids!

I'll Take Mine... said...

Wow, I am humbled and amazed by the kindness and sincerity of each of your comments. This whole process is a struggle. I know that the FS lifestyle is not for everybody, there are pros and cons. I appreciate the vote of confidence that we will figure out what is best for our family. Thanks everyone. Your friendship and understanding, yeah, you too, lurkers :-), has meant a lot. It has been nice to know I'm not in this alone.

Jill said...

You are saying everything that goes through everybody's mind ... this lifestyle absolutely has its ups and downs...

I won't even begin to go into all of them ... but I totally second what Jen said. Going through them together, makes it all worth it!

SassAndSweet said...

Sympathy on the notional rollercoaster.. For what it's worth: for every veggie you bleach there is a lifetime friend you make, for every bugged home there is a special place in your new country that you will love and take every visitor to see, for every weird bug or weird food there is a grand adventure that makes the best stories.. :)

Brooke said...

I'll be thinking of you as you go through these difficult decisions! You've got the right idea, I think, to go through this together and look to each other for strength. Best Wishes

TulipGirl said...

All the uncertainties and changes. . . being in it together -- you are right -- that is key. It's a weird mix of enjoying the now, being present. . . and anticipating the future. And mixed emotions? So normal and so okay.

A decade ago we went through cross-cultural training and the thing that had the most impact on me was the reality of the enjoyment/endurance paradox. It's okay and possible to both totally be in a place of enduring while at the same time enjoying. Having two simultaneous emotions, contradictory emotions, is a normal part of being human.