By Jacqueline Leung • August 22, 2016•Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life
After five years, I finally accomplished my goal. I graduated law school this past May 2016. It was not an easy feat. I was first admitted into law school in 2011, but was dismissed after the first semester due to poor grades. At the time, I was in an abusive marriage, and trying to raise a daughter in the mist of it.
While I was re-admitted in 2012, the next two years was difficult. I made the choice to leave my ex, and when I returned to law school, I learned to adjust as a newly single mom to a lively three-year-old starting pre-school. I knew I needed an outlet, and in addition to seeing a therapist, I started to take care of 'me'. That care of 'me' came from going to the gym. Little did I know, I would meet someone who would change my life. It took some time, but I began to date again.
Then my life plunged into turmoil once more when my ex filed for a change in custody. During my second year in law school, I was in court once more battling for my daughter. It was not until the start of my third year when the case closed. It was rough going to court. The worst was the deposition. I had to recall/retell all the horrible memories with my ex. I broke down. When it was over, I broke down once more. I felt like a broken shell. When a settlement was reached, I was (and still am) bitter. I felt I had failed my child.
The third year was hard for me. In addition to now sharing time with my ex (who I had to deal with on a constant basis, and mind you, I still suffer from the aftermath of domestic violence), I was a mom to a new baby. My final year of law school was a combination of being 'mommy,' getting sick (a lot and often, I had pneumonia twice!), dealing with the after effects as a survivor of domestic violence, finding a job, and trying to save up money to apply for the bar.
Long story short: I graduated. Through hard work, determination, and putting my children first (and sacrificing my studying at times, because I knew what I valued most), I made it to the finish line. I secured a 8 month fellowship. I also postponed taking the bar, with plans to take the bar next summer instead. Now, three months later, I am enjoying my fellowship, enjoying my relationship, spending the summer with my children, and most of all, beginning to let go a bit more of the violence that plagued me for nearly ten years of my life.
I still have moments when something triggers me, and I remember the experience I went through. Then I see my children and look at the person who came into my life . . . and I remind myself, that I am strong. I got away, and I hope that from my experience, I can and will teach my children what is right and wrong. It continues to be a learning experience and a balancing act. I have not 'perfected' it yet. I doubt I will. AND you know what? I have accepted it. I am a survivor.