Failure – a word I dread. One, that given the choice, I would happily omit from any dictionary. I have always feared failure and yet always felt as if it has been something I do, or something that follows me around with tentacles creeping up at me trying to get hold and strangle me.
When I was younger I diligently did all that was asked or expected of me. Gave my 110% … I remember the feelings I had when test results were handed out. No matter how well I did, I never felt proud, never felt a sense of achievement. It was always a case of “if only”. If only I managed to get those few marks… If only… Even on tests where I received full marks, I still always felt that it was just ok. Never great, just ok.
All I wanted to do in life was to make my parents proud. I got married very young and had my girls at a fairly young age as well. This year has been filled with so many personal challenges for me. It’s a strange feeling maturing into the person you strive to be. I have struggled for years with so many inner demons.
Always trying to please, to be the perfect wife, daughter, mother. Somewhere along the line I completely lost sight of the fact that I stopped being who I am. I lost sight of what I needed and what fulfilled me as a person.
When my youngest daughter was eight months old I felt I needed to divorce my husband… There where so many things, the small things, tiny things… But a whole lot of tiny grains of sand end up giving you endless beaches… That’s what happened, I ended up on a vast desolated beach, alone and broken.
As a wife I always felt the need to protect the image of my husband, the father of my children. My fear of failure also played a tremendous roll in me deciding to stay married. I thought I was irrational, just had a baby a few months earlier, blamed hormones for my feelings. My husband always insisted I stay home to raise our girls, so being financially dependent on him also made it extremely difficult for me to leave.
I did not want to fail, I did not want to disappoint my family. Constantly living with someone that would give you anything you asked for seems ideal… But sometimes what you need from someone cannot be replaced by gifts or things. In my eleven years of marriage my husband gave me one complement without me having to ask for it. I remember it so vividly only because it shocked me so completely.
He never physically abused me, it was the moments where an argument arose or a little tiff, and he would end up using harsh words telling me to be quiet, or else.. Or ” just leave me”, or else. Living with a constant fear where you would rather avoid saying your say, and always backing down in every confrontation. It’s like taking a small chisel and slowly breaking down pieces of a wall. Initially the wall stands firm, but eventually the structure is so weakened that it crumbles and breaks.
I used to never be able to go have coffee with a friend or even a family member without knowing I’ll get home and I’ll have to face a super grumpy husband because I left him alone for an hour. Even though he said I could go, there it was when I returned home… That all to familiar attitude drowning me in guilt.
Not having my opinion valued was also a constant. It’s not a big thing, but sometimes you want to feel considered, and you want to feel that your view of something counts. You don’t want to hear that you are stupid, or that you are pathetic.
My husband was never hands on around the house. We did some extensions to our house years ago. I remember sitting in my new dining room with the mitre box sawing the skirtings for the dining room crying, not because I couldn’t do it, but because my hands hurt and I wanted him to do it. My dad ended up helping me put them in as I just didn’t have enough physical strength to hammer them onto the wall. I helped my dad tile our patio, put all the windows in our french doors, siliconed the bathroom, painted… Nothing I would ever mind doing, but all I wanted was for him to care enough to do it for me, or at the very least to just acknowledge that I did it and say thanks. Not to walk in and point out what still needs to be done.
I don’t consider myself overly emotional, but I had days or moments where I would cry and he would be home. All I wanted was a hug, just a hug and to be told all will be fine, but I didn’t get that. I got the “it’s pathetic to cry” attitude. So in time I had to almost schedule my emotional moments for when I was alone. I avoided crying in front of him altogether.
My husband has a way of twisting words. I would say something, and he’ll recount what I said to someone and say something entirely different.. And always in a negatively different way. I hated it, I asked and pleaded him to stop doing it. He used to embarrass me with his account of what “I said”, and would even go as far as to tell people things I never said. It was utterly frustrating.
My husband also used to use me for any excuses he had to make. If someone wanted to come over and he didn’t feel in the mood, it would always be because I didn’t want visitors, or I didn’t like this or that. I hated that he couldn’t take responsibility for anything and just passed it along to me.
There were so many more little things.. Not helping me with the girls, the insults, the harsh words, the treats. Intimate things I could never blog about
Like I say… Tiny grains of sand…
It became a part of my life and enveloped me so completely, that I ended up thinking it’s normal. It’s something I became complacent with. I ended up so lost within the daily routine of having to live the roll I had in life.
And then I woke up one morning, and realized I had a reason to live, realized I can feel happy and fulfilled… And that reason gave me strength to stand up and make a decision.
That’s what I did.. I chose.. I chose to get divorced. This is just the start of my story, my way to vent … To document the change I consciously chose to make.
There is so much more to my story… But for now I’ll leave it for another sleepless night.
Seeing as morning is only 3 hours away, I think I’ll try and get some sleep…