I’m going a little crazy. I feel like I am missing in my own life. On the surface, things otherwise seem great. I have a job, I’m married and I’m the mom of the smartest, most beautiful girl you’ve ever met. But I am unhappy, uninspired, lonely, sad, sick and exhausted.
I resent my husband. It builds up in me like a toxin and I don’t know how to make it better. I can’t expect him to change, I know that. But what I also know is that I can’t take it anymore. I dread going home at night, despite the fact that I need a break from my work and I can’t wait to see my girl. I dread going to bed at night despite how tired I am because he’s there and the absence of what we should have is so glaring, the pain just radiates through me.
I can’t recall an instance when this happened. It’s like my soul has been chipped away, eroded… a little bit more each day. There are no restorative measures, no glue or putty, no laughter or kindness to build me back up.
You see, I thought loving someone meant being supportive, acting loving, building someone up. I naively thought each adversity we faced would bring us closer. I believed that we would learn from one another and become better people. Yet with every step, I feel more and more alone.
I used to think that things could be fixed. He could be a little more considerate, I could be a little more forgiving. He could learn to adapt and stop falling apart and I could have more faith and loosen up. None of this happened. I thought that being more open and less constricting as a spouse would result in feeling less constricted myself. But now, it’s only made me more aware of the double standards that exist. This leash makes me act out in ways I never thought I would. Mostly though, I just eat. In the moment it makes me feel like I am getting my due reward and I feel like I am getting away with doing something for myself. But later, I just feel fat and out of control. Then I erase myself from pictures because I don’t want anyone to see me like this. I worry though. If I died tomorrow, there would be so little traces of me for my daughter. A mommy who cuts herself out of pictures cuts herself out of your memories.
I can’t make someone value me. I think my husband thinks he loves me. Perhaps he does even, to the best of his ability. However, the best of what he has offered is not enough. Ironic that I work with people all day long who have a specific strength or deficiency in one shape or another and I guide my day along on their accomplishments. However at home, the disability is one there is no reasonable accommodation for. With each silent car ride, huffed through dinner, each ignored sneeze or grunted arrival, my well becomes deeper. We are only in year 6 of this lifetime commitment, so I know the drought has only just begun.
I don’t know what we’d do without our little girl. She gives us something to talk about. Someone to shower us with the love we have not expressed toward one another for years. Yet I can’t help but feel like we are silently robbing her. With each stifled exchange, each separated weekend, we shower her with our energies in hopes of shielding her away from the absence we have for one another. Yet, there she goes, growing up in a family where love is not modeled. She’s too young now to realize it, but soon she will begin to wonder why mommy and daddy don’t go on dates, don’t hold hands, only call one another by their first names. She will wonder soon examine that Mommy & Daddy don’t treat one another with the same loving regard that Nana and Papa do. She is a smart girl. She’s sure to pick up on the relief mommy feels when daddy is away and they can go and be spontaneous and feel whole.
I just don’t know how to navigate these waters. I know I deserve more. I know that it would be harder alone, but I’d be ok. What I can’t come to terms with is being without her. To divorce means that there will be times in her life that I am not present for. There are times when this husband I distrust and struggle to communicate with now will have even less allegiance to do what is right, and not just what is right for him. There are times that I will not be able to protect her or make the best choices for her, while she is too young and dependent on others judgment. How can I bear that? How is that just? So do I stay chained to this marriage and lose these years when I could be more and could find love for myself or in another, so I don’t miss a moment when I can always be mom, with her, for her, protecting her? Or do I move on with my life, chained to the fear of what is happening when I am not there to be the adult, praying that his choices outside of “us” do not further hurt her, hoping that I can be enough?
How do I do less harm? What is the bigger sin?
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