I’ve taken a bit of time out from my last post. Time being the operative word as there never seems to be much of it. My husband and I received many responses from friends and well-wishers, all concerned about the state of our marriage and future.
There is not much I can do to reassure them.
I’ve weighed up the pros and cons to my marriage, to my husband. There are several on each side.
- Wants to change
- Great father
- Supportive of my dreams/goals
- Not nasty by nature
- Genuinely cares
- ‘Gets’ me
CONS: (when he is at his worst)
- Bad listener
- Says hurtful things
- Acts before thinking
When I look at each list I see great things and pretty awful things. I’m torn. On one hand I desperately miss my best friend and on the other, I long to be on my own, away from the endless stress.
The two of us have talked. We do see a future together but understand that it will be a very long road to travel before we feel truly happy. As arduous and trying as that may be, I have to draw a line in the sand if I have any hope that my marriage could work.
I grew up in a broken home. My mother and father’s idea of marriage was abusive and destructive. It led them to be terrible role models for me and my sister. I did not look up to either of them. I do not want this for my daughter. I want both of us to be fantastic role models for her, showing her what it takes to be a good parent, wife, husband and friend. We will make mistakes – no one is faultless but that too is a lesson she should learn. Except here, mistakes will be made in a loving environment not in a harmful, loveless one. I just cannot do that to her.
So this is it.
A line is drawn.
Let’s see where we go from here.
Are five words I have never heard from my parents.
My father never saw anything I did as an achievement. I never made him proud. He saw me as “scum” and “fungus” so how could I ever make him proud? I tried; constantly. At home with chores, making sure I was focused and met his demanding standards, sometimes I attempted to outdo them, I rarely succeeded. Even if I did, he always found something to attack. There was always room for wrong.
I would go out of my way to cook for him, often creating exciting meals for him to try. This would only led to criticism however.
“There isn’t enough salt in here is there?” or “Is this all you’ve made?”
I just couldn’t please him.
If I landed a good job his only comment would be, “Good”.
‘Good’ for god’s sake, that’s all I got!
My mother, growing up, only witnessed my sister’s achievements and my lord were there hundreds of those (!) Her achievements were flaunted and put on exhibition – mine were neglected and buried. They weren’t anything in comparison to hers.
My mother has praised me on my ability to deal with things. Although I would class myself as sensitive and in touch with my emotions, I would not call myself emotional. My sister was and is emotional, allowing her feelings (especially negative) to control her actions although in no way would she ever describe herself as this. I tend to look at situations more calmly. I always have done. It just helps to cope.
I’ll never know if my father was proud of anything I did. Perhaps it’s better that way.
Last night I went to my twenty year primary school reunion.
Safe to say I’m suffering a little today!
Even though there were only a handful of us, it was amazing to see everybody. I could see that most of us had barely changed twenty years on! Walking into the pub, I was excited. I assumed there’d be nerves but I was wrong. I really wanted to see these people and I have done for years.
I was only at the school for two years having previously been at the school my mother taught at. Once there, I slotted in easily. My class were a warm and friendly bunch and bullying was practically unheard of. I made friends quickly, building close alliances and bonds. The boys were just as easy to get on with than the girls. I loved it there and always wished I had shared more memories with them.
It was strange last night, how I could barely remember anything. As they talked about our old teachers, I racked my brains only to find nothing. I could only remember a couple of them. People that were an important part of my life had disappeared into a void and nothing was bringing them back. Perhaps photographs would ignite my memory more – I’m better with faces.
I honestly cannot remember much from those two years and I know it was a long time ago but I am only thirty one. Surely my memory must be fresher than this? However, it’s the same with most of my childhood. Happy memories have been replaced by frightening ones, hurtful and dangerous ones.
Perhaps life would have been easier, bearable even, if I’d pursued and kept my friendships with these classmates. They still appear to be as genuine and lovely as they were when they were ten years old.
I look forward to seeing them all again and sharing a future where we remain in each other’s lives.
As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.