Well this was an interesting prompt: “What are you holding on to that you really need to let go of?” And that’s a really good question….
Grudges I suppose? I never used to be that way. Then again I never used to feel such loss, like a part of me was stolen and that opportunities had been robbed from me either. I used to be able to just shrug people’s bullshit off and just move on but not anymore. And with that comes pain.
It used to be that I could go on a date with someone – even with someone I had just met – and it not be a crisis. I could go places by myself and it not be an issue. I could just go and not feel the need to tell anyone where I was going. People could be closer to me than an arms length and that not feel like they were in my face. Not anymore. Not after my birthday in 2004. None of these things are true now. I can barely deal with the grocery store now. Too many people, aisles are too narrow, and people are always in my space bumping into me. Never mind how my youngest wants to run up to every one to talk to them and give them hugs. I want him to love the world, but all I see is how dangerous people have become. I wouldn’t even have dated my husband if it hadn’t been for the fact he had been my brother’s friend for almost a year. And now I’ve learned that doesn’t grant me a free pass.
I gave up my degree and dropped out of college with only two courses left because I felt pressured to do so. I believed it was what I had to do to best support him as a wife. Faulty logic. He was in poor academic standing while I had a GPA of a 3.2 at the time. It would have been better for the family in the long run if I had finished my degree and gotten a job rather than stroke his ego as the bread winner. That was almost 6 years ago and now he says he isn’t responsible for the choices I made. Fine, but I’m left with 60 thousand dollars of debt that I can’t get a job for and I’m struggling to pay off that he feels isn’t a priority.
And how did he repay me in all of this? Lost his job for 2 counts of shoplifting during his shift. Years of cheating. Treating me like living porn at best – no better than the man that raped me. And repeatedly over and over through the years I have been with him all I hear from him is about his rights. His priorities. His needs. His wants.
He’s the one that chose to join the Army, behind my back, after knowing that I couldn’t move out of the state. He left us claiming it would give us a better life. It’s been three years now with him living in another state miles away. And now he says if I file for a divorce he wants to take Little Bear away from his brothers and me for half the year because it’s his right to do so. That it’s my fault that he doesn’t get to spend time with the boys as much as he wants to. That I did this to him. Even though he can’t do anything about his stepsons he can at least take Little Bear because he’s the biological father and it’s his right. Don’t you think you gave up that right when you chose to leave? There were other alternatives than the Army. And yes, you did talk about the Army more than once – before and after we got married. You wanted to go to Germany. You wanted to see the world. You got stuck at a post you don’t like and haven’t been able to get compassionate orders like you thought you would. But somehow this has been all my fault.
It’s always my fault.
But I hold grudges. I hold pain. I hold fear. I would love to let all of that go if it meant I could have a normal, healthy, and happy relationship with someone that loved and respected me. Heck I would love to be able to go to the grocery store by myself without freaking out in line because someone is standing too damn close behind me. I just don’t know how to do that.
I also need to let go of the hope that my husband will change. Let go of the hope that someday I will be worthy of him. The truth is based on his behavior of the last 7 years he is never going to change and I will never be worthy of his true love. Whomever it is that he is holding a candle for is not me. It will never be me. This is why right from the beginning he has played around, looked for other women, told people ridiculous false stuff about my sexuality, demanded changes that I fit into gender roles that were never in my personality, etc. And yes, I hold a grudge against all that too.
And I lament. I wish I had realized the issue sooner. I wish I hadn’t ignored the red flags. I wished I hadn’t paid for one of his semesters in college with my own college loans so he could come back to college and move in with the boys and I. Not even sure how I was convinced that was a good idea – especially now when he denying any responsibility for that. I wish I had kicked him out and not take him back when he dumped me on my birthday when I refused to drive him to essentially a dinner date with someone else. I wish I hadn’t given in to the pressure to propose and marry him once I was pregnant after he had taken back three proposals already. I wished I had kicked him out when the campus security showed up to investigate complaints about screaming at night and he dropped out of the anger management therapy claiming it was my fault he couldn’t control his anger. I wish I had filed for a divorce right away when I moved back in with my parents when he lost his job due to the shoplifting despite the fact he dropped out of college to follow us. I wish I never believed his lies over and over again. I wish I would stop giving him more chances to change. I wish I could stop being afraid to leave him. I wish I didn’t have to worry about him committing suicide.
I wish he didn’t remind me now of the man that raped me.
I wish I could let go of all of this and just live my life.