You know those days, the kind that are dark and gloomy, the rain is pouring down, and you just don’t know what to do with yourself. You’re restricted to being inside, when all you want to do is be outside. And then, late in the day, the sun shines through, the rain stops and the grass is wet underfoot. There is still the occasional shower passing through, but you know that it will pass, and that there will be sunny days ago.
Life is a lot like that. I’ve been silent for far too long. I won’t be quiet any longer. I am a human being, I have feelings, and I am entitled to feel loved, wanted, appreciated.
My whole life, I have fought to get attention. If I wanted to spend time with my father, it was on his terms, so I would spend time in the shed with him, not talking, as he crafted his model ships. If I asked a question, I got a very grumpy and loud “WHAT?”
My first marriage was like that too. If I wanted to spend time with my first husband, I had to go out and sit on the beach as he surfed. Not once, did we do something I wanted to do. He was a baker, and he had Sunday and Monday off, but he worked Saturday morning from 3am. I became one of the most popular members of Video Ezy, I could have gotten a job there, I knew everything there was to know about every movie. I’m still a fan of movies.
I left my first husband when I realised that I wanted more. A few boyfriends later (all pretty much the same), I met my Immortal Beloved. I call him that after a movie about Beethoven, who left all his worldly possessions to his immortal beloved, and the lawyer had to figure out who that was. I love my husband with all my heart, and I always will. I married him because I loved him. But once again, I’m caught in the same trap. If I want to spend time with him, I have to work with him, have the same interests and hobbies as him.
He set up a business, of which I am a co-owner. We work together. We had plans to go contracting around New Zealand once our son had grown up and gone to University. I remember him distinctly telling me one day, after I had published my first book – “But this isn’t part of the plan.”
“It’s not part of your plan, but it is part of mine.”
I should have known.
And his love is conditional. I love you if… Why can’t you be like her… she works and keeps out…
Nobody is perfect. Heaven knows that I’m not. I’m perfectly imperfect. I’m the way I was made to be, but I won’t be pressed into a mould of what someone else wants me to be.
There is nothing wrong with me. I know that. Except I have been silent for too long.
I’m not going to let him do this to me. I have FOUGHT for my marriage so many times. I have tried it his way. It doesn’t work, because I’m not happy. I can’t make him happy. At the moment, neither of us are happy. But I know what makes me happy. My work, my garden, my writing. Trying to please him isn’t making me happy. So I’m trying something new. I’m pleasing myself instead. It sounds selfish, but you know what? Like thousands of other unhappy women out there, I am worth it. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be the centre of his universe. I deserve to be told I’m loved, I’m loveable.
I’m making that stand today – on Valentines Day (funny that!). I know that this is likely to be a marriage breaker, but you know what, those showers will still come down for a little while yet, but the sun will come out again, and shine on me, and I will get to walk back outside and know what it feels like to be me.
The Real Me.