There is nothing like the feeling of falling in love. You are filled with the euphoric happiness that overwhelms you and consumes you. You want to wrap yourself in it and savor it but it is so easy to lose yourself in it.
I fell so hard. It seemed like one day we were flirting then a couple of dates ensued and the next thing that I knew, we were moving across the country together. We were blending our children together like the modern day Brady Bunch and we just knew we could conquer anything. I jumped right in and became this ultimate housewife even before we were married. I juggled children and money, housework and my full time job but still did not slack as a wife and I felt proud. I was proud of what I did and how happy I made the people in my life.
Over time I felt myself slipping away. It did not happen quickly at all. It happened over a couple of years. I, once having been this person who would go out to eat alone when I had the time, found myself having to justify why I needed time to myself. I could not even bring myself to make small purchases for myself. One day I debated buying a book in Target for fifteen minutes. One $11.99 book. I attended to everyone else’s needs all day at home and at work and felt like I had nothing left for myself. I was this empty vestibule trying to give and give because that is what I WANTED to do but there was nothing to replenish the supply. I asked for help from my husband and my requests were misunderstood. He seemed to only hear the specific examples that I mentioned and did not understand the issue as a whole. Out of frustration, he responded by being distant and short and I perceived this as punishment. I apologized and tried to get his attention back. I was already on a spiral into depression, unrelated to him and did not know it. I just knew I felt overwhelmed and misunderstood and like I was “losing me”.
So I wanted to do something about it.
I started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist and slowly started to feel better but my home life still suffered because now that I was happy, I suppose I seemed too happy. I was making more time for myself and made no apologizes about it. And now I got half joking) comments when I was leaving with friends like “Do I need to give you a time to be home?” The distance continued and worsened and we became strangers or actually he said I became a different person. To think that I became a different person because I occasionally went to Happy Hour. I was selfish he said. “When you are married and a parent, you are not you anymore” He said. Then came the words. Words spewed out of his mouth when he was angry. These words are the kind of nasty words that cannot be forgotten. They could be forgiven but they linger in your head and make you wonder how long someone has felt that way about you and what other nasty words they think and just have not allowed to hit the air.
Over time and not much time these words pushed in more distance and we became so broken into tiny pieces that I would cry every time I would think about how small those broken pieces were and how the nasty words left cuts in my hands even as I tried to pick up the pieces. So I swept them into a pile and walked away.
As I think back I should have spoken up for myself so so long ago. My eyes fill with tears each time I think about how I let myself become so intertwined with someone else that I do not know where I begin or end. Having heard the saying “Someone who completes me”, I now realize that I should be complete before that person comes along and all throughout that relationship I have to WORK to maintain that completeness because if I am not, I am doing a disservice to myself and the relationship. I have to love myself enough to always make myself a priority and speak up for me. I have to be my advocate because no one knows what I need better than me.