Wonder Woman Ain’t Got Nothing On Me

Ok, so I’ve been a wee bit absent here. Given what my last post was about, I’m sure you can understand why.

The divorce slogs ahead. It’s not going all that well, to be honest. I’m not allowed to talk specifics as to why (the lawyers would be pissed if I did) but let’s just say that what has happened so far could have happened without the expense of $15,000 in professional fees. I sometimes think it would have been faster and easier to sue him for divorce, move out, and file for emergency support. But that’s water under the bridge at this point.

However, there is some movement and the big news is that I am moving out. Scot dragged his heels long enough that I threw up my hands and decided enough was enough. I found a house for rent near to where we live now, I took a loan from my parents (because they are wonderful people who are bailing my ass out), and I move December 1st. I can’t wait. The house is just the right size for my needs, there’s room for the kids, and the dog has a big yard. I signed the lease last week and I will have keys a couple days before the move date. I can’t wait. It’s going to be exactly what I need.

A clean break. A new start. For the very first time in my adult life, I will have a place of my own that is MINE and mine alone – I’ve always had roommates or a husband.

On the work front, things are also improving. One of the other results of the divorce process is that the timetable for me to take my CPC (Certified Professional Coder) exam was accelerated. I would have preferred to wait until life settled down a little bit because, HELLO STRESS, but certain parties insisted that I needed a second job – this one full time – and so I dove into exam prep.

The CPC exam is no small thing. It’s a 5 hour and 40 min exam consisting of 150 questions that cover ICD-10-CM, CPT, HCPCS, medical terminology, and coding conventions and guidelines. You have to score 70% or better to pass and only 40-50% of examinees do so on their first attempt. It cost me $800.00 in fees and books just to take the exam. So, there I was, in the middle of the most stressful and difficult time of my life, about to take an exam that was no easy task on the best of days.

I took the exam on November 12th. I walked out feeling like my brain was mush. I used almost the whole exam time and I did manage to answer every question. Still, I had no clue how I did. One woman I met there was on her SIXTH attempt at passing.

I found out today that I passed. I am officially a CPC. I am also officially a Certified Bad Ass Lady. (CBAL, for short.)

I am now on the hunt for a full time job. I’ve applied to six jobs in the last few days and will be putting more time in on that as I go along. The faster I get a job, the better off this whole mess will be, the faster I will be able to get the divorce finalized.

In the meantime, we had an election here in the United States. And I have two words to summarize how I feel about the results: We’re doomed.

I’m not trying to be funny when I say that. I mean it, sincerely. We are so incredibly fucked as a nation. I’m wondering how long it will be until they try to deport my ass because only 3 of my 4 grandparents were born here. The real question is where they would deport me to. I have equal claim to four countries; if they choose Ireland I might not mind so much.

Anyway, over the last few months I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I’m even stronger than I knew. I mean, I knew I was strong when I was holding up the whole family single-handedly. But I’ve found out that I can do SO MUCH MORE than that. I’ve proven to myself that I can do any goddamn thing I put my mind to. I am a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve learned that there were a million little ways I let Scot dictate how I lived my life. Things like never going anywhere there is likely to be a large crowd and thus avoiding anywhere during peak times. Things like being scared to find my way around by myself in the city I’ve lived in for FIFTEEN YEARS because he made me scared to do it. Pittsburgh is not an easy city to navigate, this much is true, but it’s not as hard as all that. GPS is a wonderful invention and I’ve learned so much more of this city in the last 3 months than I learned in the previous 15 years. What the hell was I so afraid of?!

I still have a lot of work to do with my therapist; there’s still trash that needs to be bagged up and left at the curb. But I’m miles better than I was even 3 months ago. I’m finally beginning to accept that I don’t always have to put myself last. It’s ok to take care of myself and my emotional well being. It’s not only ok, it’s necessary for me to be a good parent.

This year has been miserably hard in so many ways but I’m finally starting to climb out of the worst of it. There are times I thought I was going to be trapped in this place forever. I was convinced he would never let me out. But I found my strength. I found my resolve. I found out that being a bullheaded, stubborn, redheaded Taurus is one hell of thing to be.

Look out, world. Here I come.