Friday, September 14, 2012
continued from a previous post...
I didn’t want to be mean to another boy. Punish them for feeling like their entire sex had ended up hurting and disappointing me. He wasn’t tall and he was so different. He talked more than anyone I had ever met and I could tell he was one of these guys who would have thrown his jacket over a puddle so I didn’t have to cross in the mud. The short thing bothered me…so.much. I didn’t make it easy for me to my everlasting shame. I didn’t want to feel anything for him. I had written off boys so I could focus on my mission. He was so smart that I felt like I couldn’t possibly contribute anything to the conversation and when he talked news and politics and history and music and any subjects with his friends, I would just clam up. He talked a good talk. He wasn’t laid back. He had a temper and when a really big tall guy bumped into me at Homecoming he chased him down and looked up to him and demanded he apologize to me. I was disconcerted. I would find him gazing at me and it was intense. I hadn’t had too much attention and now here was this guy who seemed to love me enough for both of us. I tried to break it off several times. I wasn’t ready for all of this. It certainly didn’t feel like it had with Alex. I wasn’t running through a field of daisies and that’s what I thought it should be. And why couldn’t he be taller. I blamed his parents-just a few inches surely. He was so good to me. He would have blasted off and gotten the moon if I would have asked him to. I knew he wanted me to be madly in love with him. It seemed really difficult and he wanted it to keep moving forward until we were talking about marriage before I really understood what was happening.
I didn’t want to hurt him. He had such a messed up family and had already been hurt so badly. Whereas I had not dated very much, he had dated PLENTY. He had so much experience and I lacked it in spades. Why did he choose me? Why did he keep saying I was the most beautiful girl in the world? What was wrong with him that he would think that? He received an answer that marrying me was right and I didn’t receive any answer at all. It came down to only one thing. Did I want him in my life or did I want to walk away? I didn’t know for sure, but I know I hated for him to feel sad and he felt sad at the thought of me not being there. I wasn’t good at making choices then, let alone owning them so I felt as if I let the moments sweep me along until at last I was kneeling across from him at the alter.
Once I met T, I buried the hatchet with my father. I got up in sacrament meeting during testimony meeting and I apologized to him and felt the anger and hatred dissipate from my heart. Though I can never recapture that closeness to him now, I have never felt animosity for him since that day. Now I can hug him even though its uncomfortable and find a fondness there, but I am regretful for all those many lost years because now I understand that he had no idea how to be a dad to me. I will say this though. I was the kid. I have to say that because I can’t take the guilt on myself. I can only pick up my own pieces. I leave everyone else to pick up their own. It’s taken me all this time to be able to say that. My parents stones are their own to carry around, just like mine are and my kids will be.
My family took to T immediately. He was everything we were not. Everything. We were lazy with our feelings, T took them seriously. We were lazy with our words. T talked us all under the table. We didn’t have strong opinions, T did. We didn’t have any lofty goals, but T sure talked about his. I often think they would have adopted him over being stuck with me. T was just as kind to me when no one else was around as he was with me in public. I remember thinking that if this was just based on a righteous priesthood holder who treats me like a queen then what do I have to lose? Eternity felt like a long time though and my youth and inexperience were like bright red welts on my heart. There was nothing in my life that felt for sure. I had just started going back to church and my testimony next to his was small and feeble. So I coasted on his coattails for a lot. And I gave a lot of my choice and power to him. Take care of me. I’ve never felt taken care of or safe. This wouldn’t serve me well in the long run, but it was where I was at at the time.
I was glad to be out of the house. I loved my family. At least I was used to them. If I sound as callous as I think I do, I don’t mean to. I just detached from them at a pretty early age. I was such a strong willed little thing and realized that I didn’t feel like anyone had my back and I just found the world I chose to live in on the outside. I suppose this is a post for another time if all this internal exorcism is not enough. T must have been so happy. I was the dutiful wife. Our age difference was so apparent and I listened to everything he said and slid back into the shadows. I lived for him and his dreams. Whatever he said, it was law for me. I wouldn’t even pray aloud for our couple prayers the first few years we were married because I felt I was so lacking compared to him.
He interviewed for the CIA. He really wanted it, but it was not to be. He got an internship in Washington and it was the most exciting thing as we embarked across the country. I had to grow up quickly. I had a road map and nothing but a big smile as I drove all over looking for the two jobs that would sustain us since his stipend was so puny. I took him to the “slug” station early mornings where essentially everyone hitched a ride to work with complete strangers and then went back to our heinous basement apt where we lived below crazy people and got ready for the first of two jobs that wouldn’t get me home until 10 pm after he had gone to sleep. It was a hell of a way to start out, but I think we were happy there together. I felt so capable and he was happy in Washington. It was the stepping stone to his goals. He got a real job, but the pay was pitiful. A studio apt. was going for $800 back in 1996 and I would have had to keep working my two jobs indefinitely to be able to survive. Washington DC and Virginia are no place for young marrieds starting out.
We made the decision to come “home” and looking back I wonder if we made the right decision. Personally, I think we should have stayed. He would have if I would have pushed it or maybe even said why not? We wanted to start a family, but how could we have known it would take another 5 years to do that. We were all alone there. No family to lean on. It was good for us though. It was good for me to see T in an environment that he excelled in. Now I would see the opposite and it would be bad. I still was swallowed up in his life and came back to work while he entered the work force and slowly, slowly, slowly I began to see things were not working out well. And the more disillusioned I got, the more resentful I got and the more my anger showed itself. The anger had been a defense mechanism since I been a tiny child. It was the only way I felt I could try to control my own life.
I know he was surprised. Where was the dutiful wifey? Where was the sweetheart? Who was this anxious nag who worried about money and position at work? I felt trapped and didn’t want to just “follow” him any more, but I had given so much of my self over to him that I didn’t trust my own instincts anymore. He drove, he did bills, he did all the hard stuff and he was chivalrous and willing to do it and I leaned on him, remember? There was a slow burn smoldering underneath the surface with me. I sent him out into the world like he was an extension of my self and I was too afraid to stand on my own and I felt like he and I were both failing at it.