Broken window, broken wife

Here we are, on a Thursday evening.   Both a little quiet, save for coughing fits. He,watching football, me, reading.  The book – The Marriage Benefit.

I think to myself, how I could try to work harder on things.  I could make this better.  I could work enough for both of us.  I'm too hard on my husband.   I should be kinder, more generous, able to overlook problems…

Then?

This:

Window 001

He fell into the window.

Back to bitch in two seconds flat.

Don’t be a bother

Hoping that by listing the things bothering me, they’ll, you know, stop bothering me.  Besides, I need my daily dose of whining and bitching.

So, in no particular order, I present the things that bother me today:

This cough I have
The fact that I’m so indecisive with my future & my present
That I have to keep paying for the storage unit in NY because I thought I was leaving sooner & I have stuff there
That my husband “forgets” that we’re in a crisis
That I can’t really talk to anyone
Looking for a job
My husband sending his parents money without letting me know / checking with me
That 3 out of the last 4 books I’ve read have left me crying
That the staff at the doctor’s yesterday were so unprofessional & now I need a new primary MD

Okay, I’ll quit now.  Feel free to add yours.  Sometimes it’s just nice to get it off your chest.

Anonymous animosity

I’ve been approached about speaking at BlogHer Nashville.   I think I could share an interesting perspective, as could most of us, but I wonder about shedding my cloak.

There’s no rule that says I have to use my name, but I’m out there for all to see, to judge.

As bad as a comment might be, it’s forgotten, maybe deleted.  If someone says something to your face, it would be much harder to forget.

Am I brave enough to come out of hiding?  It’s one thing with you, you read and comment, or email, and we have a connection.  Those whom I’ve met or spoken to,  I trusted you enough to do so.  Revealing myself to a larger audience is both daunting and exciting.

Do the benefits outweigh the consequences? Or would participating mean I’m just indulging my ego?

lust and control

The morning after the wedding in Buffalo, my husband rolled towards me in my parents bed and placed a nervous hand on me. I had told him the night before that I had rented a storage unit and that I had to leave.  That I couldn’t just stay up there, as he suggested, but that soon, before the fall, I would be back in NY for good.  I thought I had made a decision. 

At the realization that I may truly leave for good, he got desperate.  Saying that this was what I wanted from him, he tried to push the issue.  It was then, with his hand on my back, looking into his artificial eyes, new ones that seemed too foreign, that I realized how much I didn’t want that.

Earlier on, having him want me, desire me, approach me could have made a difference.  We can never know now.  But this try, as a last ditch effort, seemed weak.  As his mouth made its way to mine, I became aware of how little I feel for him romantically.  I felt nothing from that kiss.  Sadly, I am no longer attracted to my husband.  Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism.  After being rejected so many times for so long,  maybe I cannot bring myself to fake it.  I could have given in, and let it happen.  I was afraid he would treat it as encouragement, as a reason to keep going.

I used to think about making things happen.  I couldn’t help that he had no desire.  I couldn’t force the issue, but I could have asked him to try harder for my sake.  It was a point that all the doctors and therapists made.  That just because parts didn’t work, didn’t mean we lost the ability to do anything.  We just had the inability to have partnered intercourse, (which was one of the urologist’s favorite terms) we should learn to enjoy all the other ways to be with each other.

I wish my husband had taken some of that advice.  Instead, he took it as the opportunity to kill off something that made him feel inadequate.  As permission to give up on a problem that seemed insurmountable.  Once he got it in his head that he was
“less than a man” he could never get beyond it.

I wish I could have found a way around the weirdness.  To ignore his awkward attempts at trying to placate me.  To lose my head enough that I didn’t recognize how painful it was for him.  Recognizing how later, he resisted a kiss, because it might ignite something in me.  Something he became terrified of.

I don’t know how to overlook the fact that I made him feel all the more worthless. I think, secretly, it infuriated him to know I didn’t want to go without,  So I hid it from him, for fear another argument would ensue. 

He made the offer more than once for me to leave.  That if sex was so important, I should go be with someone who could please me.  It wasn’t even that he couldn’t, (I figured we could eventually conquer that) it was that he didn’t want to.  I desperately wanted him to want to.

It’s a slippery slope when someone you’ve pledged your love and fidelity to chooses abstinence for your marriage.  When he chooses not to show you a physical form of that love, beyond the gold band on his left ring finger.

4:27

The hollow ache that carved out my insides, one that can never fill up all the way. 

It's not something I talk about much, but it's been haunting me.  More specifically, the last several nights.  Late, past three, when the sleepers of the world are soundly resting.  When the night is dark, and still, and empty. 

I woke about a week ago in a panicked state.  Flushed and sweating and frozen in place.  There was a baby girl.  I could see her as clearly as I see my own reflection in the window opposite my desk.  Every sense was engaged in this dream.  That precious child had a smell, a sound, a name, a feel that seemed to move through my dream into my conscious state.  I woke, and I would have sworn that baby left my arms just a moment before. 

A defensive line had nothing on me as I held back the attack of emotions that was waiting ahead of me.  I had to get up, it was time to take my husband to work.  I stayed busy all day, promising not to remember this dream.  Do anything to keep my mind occupied.  Anything to prevent the barrage of tears. 

The concept of Pandora's box probably applies.  Occasionally, something forces the lid loose; some memory of what I thought I'd have.  Some glimpse of what I wanted.  Over the years, I tried harder to stuff it all in and keep that box closed. 

Often, I had to remind myself in a fit of sadness that one child for someone else did not mean one less child that could have been mine.  That children are not handed down as a reward and that I'm not being punished.  I learned to attend baby showers, to be the happy gracious godmother, the free and willing babysitter.

But, now, I've duct taped the damn box.  I've arranged and rearranged to make it all fit, to close that lid tight.  I'm ready to sit on it just so it can't open and take me inside.  I could suffocate there if I'm not careful. 

I used to look at those who chose child-free living, childlessness,  as unwilling to take action.  As unable to follow through.  I think I thought it was what you settled on when you never wanted children that badly to begin with. But, some I knew, just gave up, because hope, she is one cruel bitch

I've ended up childless.  I didn't choose it, it chose me, and I feel cheated.  Cheated not only out of a child, and motherhood but a husband.  Because in all the places he shut down, he started that progression here. 

I want to ask everyone I know why they had children.  Perhaps the more time I have to think about them, and having them, has made me hard.  I don't think I could be a parent anymore.  I doubt that I would be a capable mother.  And after what I went through to have one?! And the disdain from those who disapproved when I was diagnosed with cancer, because it had to have been the infertility treatment that brought it on.  I was messing with nature. It wasn't meant to be.  Some people just aren't supposed to have children.  It's god's plan for you. 

I was a mother figure, maternal and nurturing.  I was a natural.  I have a knack, and anyone within distance of me and a child knew it.  The children themselves knew it.  Now I'm impatient and bitter.  I think I outrun it sometimes.  Weeks, months will go by where it's not an everyday throb, maybe just an ache.  It works down to this faint twinge, and when you get comfortable that perhaps, just maybe, it's almost gone?

The pain gets sharp and twisted.  So crippling you wish you could somehow cut it out of yourself, for you can't breathe, or see through your tears.  You can curl up in a ball, but no one will know, since you sleep in a separate bedroom.  You fail to settle yourself, and you surrender to it.

You learn to sob silently, because the night is too quiet to disturb with the sounds of your grief.

Quiet

It's rare for me to be quiet for long.  But I've felt a need for peace.  I'm not really getting any, but hey, a girl can dream. 

I've been seeing a new therapist.  Having to revisit old wounds is not my style, I do not like getting emotional in front of people.  I had such a rapport with my last counselor, we worked together for more than four years.   I never had to explain things, she knew those close to me by name.  I guess I was spoiled.  I found a therapist who "got" me; one who wasn't deterred by the humor I use to deflect from any personal pain.  A professional who knew I needed a certain level of trust, a specific exchange of thoughts before I truly felt comfortable.

I'm trying to get there with the new one, but at a time where I have no one else to turn to, getting  all worked up over past events is not helping.

So, I've been quiet.  A lot has been going on in my head, and out.  Just needed a step back, and a deep breath. 

And maybe a cupcake or a stiff drink. 

Men are like ovens (where else can you get such a metaphor?)

We are all so conditioned to believe that no one wants to be alone.  That ending up alone is the most terrible fate to await a person.  This may very well be true.  I can’t know for sure, because the extent of the time I have spent alone is next to nil.

I know how terrifying it is to be alone after a rape.  I know how alone I felt when I was diagnosed with cancer and my friends didn’t call anymore.  I know when you’re holding someone’s hand, and they pass away, even when your parents are in the room,you feel utterly alone.  I know those kinds of alone.  I do not know what it would be like to spend the rest of my adult life alone, or lonely for that matter.  However, I am cognizant of the fact that lonely and alone are two very different animals.

I know some people can’t be alone.  I think we all know people who have one relationship after another, or people that choose someone anyone because it’s better than no one.  I have never considered myself one of them.

I realize that by leaving my husband, I may be choosing to be alone forever.  I don’t know what lies ahead of me.  I would love to tell you that I had faith, or hope, that everything will somehow work out for the best, but I can’t do that right now.

I love that I have a wealth of opinions thanks to my inability to censor myself.  A good number of people have shared the idea that “something is better than nothing” when it comes to my husband.   That at least I have a husband.  At least.  Yes, I have a good man who shares his life with me.  On the surface, I see where that looks appealing.

Please keep in mind, that he picks and chooses which parts of his life to share with me.   We share finances, a place to live, things.

He doesn’t share with me his feelings, his affection, his thoughts.  There’s no shared intimacy, passion or closeness.

The thought of  “at least you aren’t alone” is no comfort when I crawl into bed and he moves so close to the edge he might fall.  (Although, sleeping alone night after night would bother me.  Once you are accustomed to another warm body, sleeping alone would probably take some getting used to)

“You have someone” doesn’t make me feel better when I’m crying with no one to comfort me, or frustrated with no one to encourage me,  or aroused with no one to satiate me.

I know there are a lot of jerks and assholes out there.  I know women who are married to worse men.  I know divorcing means I may end up in a situation with one of those men.  Should I stay with my husband because if I divorce I may find an unsuitable suitor?  I may never find anyone better.  Perhaps better isn’t exactly what I would look for.  Do I stay because there isn’t anything else available?

If I had an oven that didn’t heat up, would you tell me to keep it?  Because who knows when I could afford one.  Because, even if it can’t be fixed, I did purchase the warranty.  Because I might never find an oven that got hot enough for my taste.  Because the restaurant version is out of my league anyway.

Yeah, comparing men to ovens is terrible, so forgive me; but you get the general idea.

Is a marriage, even an unfulfilling marriage, better than being alone?  That’s a question, the question, I have been asking myself for months.  Apparently, I’m not the only one pondering it.  Hours browsing books on marriage have shown me that (excuse the snicker) I’m not alone.   But those books can’t answer that for me.  Thousands of dollars to therapists and thousands of words here can’t tell me either.

Is the idea of being alone so frightening that people stay for that reason?  If so, I can’t fault them.  I just don’t think I can join them.