Congratulations Dr.

And then it was over. I successfully defended my dissertation. What I felt was…well…I don’t know…I mean I was happy it was over and SUPER excited it was approved. I was blessed and honored that my committee all agreed I need to come back to the university as a professor for the program. But I was also emotionally spent, exhausted, and really didn’t even know what it was I expected to feel. I walked out of our bedroom (because that’s the only place I could go with a locked door so that my 3 year-old didn’t constantly try to “help mommy”), and my family was sitting at the dinner table waiting for me. I said, “Ok NOW it’s done”. And then we ate dinner.

No screams of joy, no hugs and jumping up and down, no tears of relief, just dinner. Then we watched a bit of TV and went to bed. My husband told me how proud he is of me when we got in bed just before we drifted off to sleep. The next day when my boss got to work, she had a Congratulations balloon and some sparking apple cider. She toasted me three times and my colleagues gave me a nice round of applause. That was nice. My 3 year-old definitely enjoyed (and still enjoys) that balloon. At church on Sunday, my praise team leader and our drummer gave me hugs and congratulations. That was also nice; especially since I know they were praying hard for me on Thursday night.

My world is so full of chaos, rushing, and activity right now. I also still have 3 signatures to go before I can graduate. Everyone keeps telling me it’s just routine and a given for those steps, but until I get them, I still feel like there is more for me to do. It’s not finished yet. Maybe that’s another reason I don’t feel this overwhelming joy like I thought I would. Instead, I am feeling like my body has been holding up this mountain for so long that now with the mountain gone, it can just collapse. I know some of that has to do with my husband’s new work schedule, my coaching cheerleading again, my son’s therapy and psychiatrist appointments, financial strain during the holidays, and my own job stress. So instead of exhilaration, I just feel beat up.

I know I have to do something soon because I’m emotional about everything right now. I cried at work today. At. Work. WTF?! I HATE that I did that. I really am just so emotionally overwhelmed and lonely most of the time, I have to change that. I tried to talk to my husband about it, but A) I’m trying not to burden him with my weakness because it’s hard enough and dangerous enough being a law enforcement officer right now, he certainly doesn’t need my baggage too B) he’s overwhelmed with his own transition to a sergeant’s role and C) I think he’s becoming more black and white and less emotional towards me just because of time apart and the focus he has to have at work. I mean, I know he used to work nights, so it’s not like we’ve never done this before. But last time, I was home by 3:00 at the latest and he didn’t leave until 5:30. Now I work until 4 (with a 13 minute commute) and he has to leave by 4:30 (and would really prefer to leave by 4:20). To go from 2.5 hours to maybe 10-15 minutes of contact sucks. On top of that is the increased fear for his safety. It is terrifying to be an officer’s wife today. With all of this (and so much more) going on:

I don’t understand people. Why is it ok for protesters to ravage neighborhoods, professional athletes to wear shirts supporting an anti-law enforcement attitude, and people to be incredibly outspoken about rumors and untruths? Where are the law enforcement supporters? Why do we have to sit idly by meek and quiet and hope it all blows over? Where is the outrage when the shooting is black on black? When did it become acceptable and even encouraged to promote violence against law enforcement officers? Do these people have any idea what law enforcement today have to deal with?! Of course they don’t! Ok, ok, I gotta stop. My bottom line: I successfully defended my dissertation, I have my health and my family, my marriage is strong, we have a home to live in, cars that run well, and food in our stomachs. I just lost focus on that and let the circumstances of the world beat me up. I’m bruised but not broken.

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