We are all familiar with the various cycles/circles that we come across through out our day or lives. One cycle I am exceedingly familiar with is that of the cycle/circle of frustrations. It hasn’t been occurring in me as of late, but my husband. It goes something like this:
I can do it!
Difficulty occurs (be it mental, physical, or social)
I can’t do it!
Encouragement occurs (again, mental, physical, or social)
I can do it!
etc. etc. etc.
With each cycle comes a deeper sense of failure and greater, more diverse encouragement is required. It is getting to the point where my own encouragement to him is not enough, and he seeks support of his mentors (one of which is one of the difficulties that occurs).
It makes me so sad that he is constantly circling the drain of depression. I wish there was something I can do. As of late, it seems even going back to Turkey would not offer a reprieve. It seems that, since his Masters was without thesis here, he would be forced to retake his Masters in Turkey, instead of picking up at his PhD. This is a time wasting scenario he refuses (and for good reason!). We are at yet another crossroads, determining which way he will go in his research. This is a make or break point, since we are at the point of no return. I wish I knew what to tell him…
At this point we are standing at the crossroads. This is the point of no return, at which we must take a step in one direction and follow through. The options are neither clear nor simple, both loaded with risks, negatives, positives and uncertainty, but this is where we are. 1. Remain in the US
On my side this is a no-brainer. Everything for me has been working out to a T (for now at least). I graduated magna cum laude 2 months ago with a bachelors in Food Science, was accepted to another university to receive my masters (for which my tuition is covered by the school and I will be paid a salary for living). No clouds here, right? My husband, however (married for 2 months, together for 3 years) is living a different story. Being a Turkish national, he is here on a stressfull J1 visa with a scholarship from his government (going on 6 years now) that gives him 3 more years to obtain his PhD. No problem? Wrong. Everything for him is going to hell in a hand basket. Research is not fruitful, advisor doesnt give two narrow pigeon farts about his struggles, and all the while the debt is ringing up and time is burning out, limiting his retirement in the future and his pay grade. Not too bright. 2. Return to Turkey
And here the coin flips. We’ve known all along that we would be returning to Turkey to work off his debt to his government via teaching. However, we had planned for him to have his PhD and me my masters before this occurred. If we leave now I will be master-less (meaning there is no job for me in Turkey), not speaking the language, and basically house bound for God only knows how long until I can speak the language and learn the customs well enough to venture out alone. Possibly in the future I could take my masters from a Turkish school, but their level of education is pitiful in comparison to the options here. Its better than nothing, right? But for him, he would be able to complete his PhD under an advisor he knows and trusts, studying his favorite topic, in a city that he loves, near his family (whom I also love!). And while he is studying at the university, finding his niche, I will be left in the house with nothing to do but clean and bake. I am not housewife material. But on the other hand, I would be fluent and comfortable in Turkish in 4 years when he must enter basic training (a requirement for all Turkish men) instead of floundering after only a year in Turkey.
As you can see, the decision is not one to be made lightly. There are many benefits and side effects to both options. Family isn’t even being considered, since weighing my family vs. his family balances at 0. They both are wonderful. By the time this is read, however, the decision will probably have been made. All we can do now is look for guidance and a sign. Insallah the decision will be made painlessly.