What I write about is nothing that anyone else hasn’t already gone through in their own lives, to some degree or another. I’m not anymore special than anyone else so I hope that by me sharing what I do doesn’t seem to anyone as if I am boasting about something I’ve discovered about humanity or even myself that no one else hasn’t discovered already before me. My point of view of everything & how I communicate it into words here to read may sometimes come out in a way that wasn’t intended but I stand by what I write either way.
I’ve, in a way, lived life backwards. My parents had me quite late in life and a full decade after my one sibling was born. So, growing up in a household with near geriatric parents coupled with a brother that was never there, I was almost thrust into learning all about the processes to prepare for the final stages of life. I never saw my parents struggle with money. I never questioned if dinner would be there or if we would have gifts under the Christmas tree. It was always just there. I never thought anything about my future because they took care of all of that for me and made it known that I didn’t have anything to worry about and that I just had to find a man to marry and I would be just fine.
I went about living my life as a young teen and young adult searching, hoping to find the man I’d marry and live happily ever after with. I didn’t have long to wait. A month after graduating from high school (which was a major struggle in itself) I met my now ex-husband. I thought everything was perfect. I thought this was what I was supposed to do and here I was able to accomplish it with ease. Smooth sailing for the rest of my life, so I thought. He & I dated for 2 whole years before we made it official and had the big fancy wedding. There was a feeling I had though that day and for several months prior to that ceremony that I felt but ignored. It was a feeling of such pain & dread & uncertainty that I chose to ignore it because I couldn’t bare the way it made me feel had I accepted it and made it known. I didn’t want to upset my parents. They weren’t young anymore. I was their only daughter and they just loved to see me “happy” and with a man they approved of and was going to take care of me for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to let anyone down. So I swallowed that feeling and decided to go through with the wedding and move on with my life as a married woman. At 20. Twenty years old.
Two years later came baby number 1. She was very difficult for me to adjust to. I’d never even changed a baby’s diaper before in my life and here they are handing her to me in the hospital and all I wanted to do was sleep. I wanted to have a baby early, for my parents. I never had grandparents so I know how it made me feel and I wanted my daughter to know my parents and to be able to have what I never had with them. I was 22. Twenty-two years old.
Another four years go by and I’m feeling like I’m wanting a baby for me this time. And so our second daughter was born and it was a very different experience. This time I know what I’m doing. I’m clearly very selfish in my wanting this baby and when she comes, there was an instant bond that I never could feel with my first daughter (until years later). I felt guilty and always tried to treat them equally but it’s hard when they’re both so different & behave differently. Regardless, I love them both equally. They’re beautiful, brilliant young women today. Despite all they’ve been through.
Then six years after the second baby comes, I decide I’ve had enough & that the abuse I’d been put through for wanting to run my life the way I wanted to run my life was too much and too dangerous so I kick-started the divorce process & was instantly set free. I was 32. Thirty-two years old.
By this time, my father who really was the love of my life had passed away. I think losing him was a huge factor in wanting to do what I wanted to do and finally putting an end to always being under someones thumb. Yes, it was a lot easier. I never had to work again. I just shopped and took care of the house & kids and my husband and planned vacations and lounged by the pool all summer but I was miserable. I hated the feeling that I had missed out on all the things that people my age that weren’t tied down with a family were doing. I began to resent and drink too much and all I could think about was meeting men, partying, getting a real job, having the freedom to just pick up and go anywhere, anytime I wanted and I also looked forward to having my house to myself. No one to say no. No one to have to answer to when I got home. I wanted to find out who I was because I really had no clue whatsoever. I heard how people would describe me and I assumed that’s who I was. I never questioned anything up to that point in my life enough to ever doubt what people said. I was still so naive. I still am and I hope on some level that I stay naive. There’s things I wish I hadn’t experienced in order to gain the wisdom I now have, but now I do have that wisdom and it’s not going to be wasted.
So, as a newly single, thirty-two year old woman, I went to the deep end right away. I may have waded in the shallows for a brief time just to make sure I wasn’t going to want to turn back, but as soon as the first opportunity came my way and I had no doubts, there was nothing that could stop me.
Fast forward to where I was a year ago and you will see a very different person than who I was at 29. Barely standing on my own. In danger of foreclosure, repossession and complete financial ruin. Unable to pull myself out of my social & professional demise. I almost lost everything. This was not what I had envisioned for myself when I left my ex-husband. I never thought it would be so hard to take care of myself in the same way that I had been taken care of by others my whole life. I realized a lot about who I am, where I came from, where I was going and where I am going. I took things for granted because I didn’t know any different. I probably still do but now I’m more aware of it if and when I do it. I don’t like the taste of humble pie but once it goes down, I’m glad I had my share. Anyway, more on this to come.