Monday, February 3, 2014
As a 17 year old, I was uncontrollable. I did what I wanted to do, wore what I wanted to wear, and said what I wanted to say.
I was hopelessly terrified of making mistakes, so I didn't do anything illegal, but I did do crazy stuff.
I wore crazy stuff, listened to crazy music, sang crazy music at the top of my lungs as I shifted gears in my Toyota... and I wrote crazy songs about crazy ex-boyfriends.
I was voted "Most Original" Senior Class Girl... riiiiiiight next to the Most Original Senior Boy who just *happened* to be featured in one of my songs.
The point is, I made my own choices. I knew what I wanted.
And when the time came, I knew I wanted Danny and marriage, even if it meant living on love and food stamps for a while (and it did).
As we spent our time getting in mud fights and running in the rain and trying to amp ourselves up to capture a tarantula (never got quite brave enough), I started doing something I hadn't done in a long time.
Like... since I was a little girl and lived with my father.
I became submissive.
I watched OTHER wives doing things I would NEVER DO.
They spoke up, spoke out, and even freaked out on occasion. I patted myself on the back because... I would never... and that made me more civilized, classier, better.
(This is really hard for me to write, just so you know. I don't like admitting I felt this way.)
The years went on, and my holier than attitude started to shift more toward something a lot like longing.
I wanted to speak up. I wanted to stand up. I wanted to freak out! But I didn't know HOW. I didn't understand the process behind going a little crazy anymore.
For so many years, I had worked SO HARD on being ENOUGH and GOOD and GOOD ENOUGH and those kinds of girls NEVER FREAK OUT.
I was already fully rejected by my husband in so many ways, and I couldn't risk any. more. rejection. I just could not do it. I felt the urge, the desire, but I never gave in. My holier than attitude became less of an attitude and more of a life line. It was THE ONLY GOOD THING about not freaking out.
I watched OTHER wives spend money on things they wanted, and sometimes they'd make financial mistakes: spend too much, overdraw, or BUY SOMETHING FRIVOLOUS instead of meat. Oh, how I longed.
But... meat is better than frivolity. And I had meat.
OTHER wives said things like, "tough cookie, if you don't like it that's not my problem."
OTHER wives said, "oh well."
OTHER wives seemed to be able to function without constantly wondering if they were pretty enough, witty enough, a good enough cook, housekeeper, and bottle washer. They didn't read piles upon piles of self-help books.
Comparison is the thief of joy, YES.
But when your insides are telling you something is wrong... and you look around and start to notice that what you're going through isn't normal or healthy, comparison can be helpful.
Did you know that in 9 years, I'd never allowed my husband to see me truly angry? Like... in the moment, emotions running, MAD?! I would be letting him down if I did, and besides, GOOD PEOPLE don't behave that way -they don't freak out.
(No wonder I got shingles in 6th Grade, holy moly, Batman.)
But in July, I did. In July, my husband hurt me deeply. In July, I had almost three years of recovery under my belt. In July, I'd rediscovered pieces of the girl who sang "Pink Triangle" at the top of her lungs until she was hoarse.
When I was in 8th grade, I had a choir director who used to hold sheet music up in front of his face and say to me every single rehearsal, "Remember, if you're going to make a mistake... make it loud."
You can learn from loud mistakes. Mistakes are GOOD. They're progressive tools. Even though I heard it over and over as a 13 year old, it didn't sink in until almost 15 years later.
In July, I spoke up, spoke out, stood up, and even FREAKED OUT. Was it a mistake? At that point, I needed to take that step anyway, even if it meant that I was stepping out of line.
And I felt -much to my surprise and delight -complete and utter peace.
In July, I left the world where I lived to appease someone else. I left the world where I had no financial say. I left the world where I had to answer to anyone else other than my God.
I left the world of emotional abuse.
Now I function in a world where if anyone encroaches -even slightly- on my choices, I have a reaction. I understand how sacred, how vital, and how holy my choices are. I understand how important it is to fight for my choices.
I understand God more.
I understand His plan.
I understand that I have no need of cowering.
I took control back -and promptly gave it back to God. Because as much as I don't like being controlled, I know one thing (and that's about it)... I sure as HELL don't want to try and control what's going on in my life.
I leave it to God.