Monday, January 5, 2015
3:20 a.m. I wake up to my husband’s shufflings. He’s getting ready for work. I lay there. We are not speaking since Saturday when I spoke to him over a simple matter and he over-reacted and stormed off, leaving a gift I had asked him to bring to a child. I followed him, he drove off in a rush to evade me and I ended up having to give chase and throw the bag in the back of the van as he sped away. It was so unnecessary. What had happened should not have offended him to that point that he got so angry. Depressed already, I was not in the mood for more stress.
3:30 a.m. I hear the keys jangle as the door closes, the sound of the van revving up and he drives away.
3:45 a.m. I get up. I can’t sleep. I head to the living room with my pillow and a sheet, settle myself on the couch and start my computer. I start flipping through downloaded files and reading through some. I open up my internet browser and find an online learning toolbox from an Australian site. I start reading how to design learning programs as a trainer. The radio is playing gospel hymns and my mind is flickering everywhere so I can’t concentrate. I don’t know when I fall asleep.
7:30 a.m. I wake up with the laptop cotched on my tummy. The screen is sleeping. I get up and crack my windows to see there’s bright sunlight outside. It’s morning. I turn off the lights and open up my door. Oh well, another day.
I continue browsing through my emails. I find HUFFINGTON POST Monday mail and am taken to the gossip pages about the actress who had a baby for a boxer guy. She’s small, and he’s tall. Then a story about Kate Middleton captures my attention and I read through a series of Royals posts for the next three hours. I find myself reflecting, I don’t know why I am so fascinated with Kate and Williams’ life. They are not Gods. Just what’s the claim to fame? She has lots of fancy clothes and don’t really work,unless you call dinners and fun travels work. Seems like princesses and duchesses just push out babies every other year and they and their babies are fawned over by an adoring public. What a life though. I find myself wishing I had such an idyllic life nevertheless. Wonder if I would be bored though? These days I find myself easily bored.
12:00 noon. I must have drowsed off again. The government news is being read on radio. I switch stations back to gospel and a lady is praying.
I am hungry.
I get up and go search for food in the refrigerator. I decided against touching my husband’s fries in the freezer and opt for some raisins instead. I search for my phone. My girlfriend who is visiting from the States is supposed to call so we can meet up and chat. I find it in my bag. It’s off. I turn it back on and instantly see that my daughter has sent me some phone credit. A minute or so later it rings and my friend is calling. We arrange a lunch meeting out on the plaza for 2 0’clock. I checked and found I had some change I could use for my busfare. I wasn’t too sure I had enough, but she had promised to give me busfare to return home.
I head back to the couch. I sing along with a song that’s playing on the radio for a while before turning my attention to the laptop screen. I flip from email to web site. All I do is read, a bit of this and a bit of that. Oh, my poor flitting mind. I feel a headache coming on.
Then I decide to write this post.
Thoughts intervene. I need a job. I should be spending more time applying for a job. But where, what? There is nothing in the papers. Why can’t I find the motivation to do anything? Why do I sit here feeling worthless, having ideas, but not acting on them? I haven’t called my mother since the New Yrear. I should call, but I don’t feel like dealing with questions today about what progress I’m making with my job hunting. It bothers me. It seems I’m shut down. I feel miserably unhappy and stuck. I guess I’m depressed.
I also worry about my dad. Guilt rides me everytime I remember I haven’t seen him in just over two years now. I didn’t find the time to go when I was working and had funds and I can’t go now I am free and have no funds. I feel torn and very guilty. He’s recovering from a stroke which has taken his speech and leaves him speaking gibberish which I don’t understand. But I love my dad. I want to see him. I could ask my husband but I don’t really like him to see my father in this state. He’s sometimes comptemptuous of my family. I don’t want to subject my parents to him. I’d rather not share my parent’s lesser selves with someone who has no regard for me or them.
I need to see my daughter too. As you would have read in my About page, she doesn’t live with me and my husband. She lives with her father’s parents in another parish and goes to school there. She spends time with her father in Florida in the Summer months and should really spent time with me during the Xmas season, but in the last couple of years she’s been reluctant to come by me. I can’t say I blame her. My husband always finds a way to show her the side I try to keep her away from why she’s not with me in the first place. We constantly argue when my daughter is not here and he can’t make an effort not to create some offence when she is around for the short time I have her. I think she finds the environment in my home distasteful, or maybe just less luxurious than what she is used to in her second home. I don’t know. Maybe the grandparents are part of the problem too, spoiling her so she can’t accept what I have to offer her.
So as I was saying I didn’t see her at Christmas or New Year and I feel like a bad mother. I feel guilty and conflicted all the time since she’s not been with me, which is major part of my deep unhappiness.
I want to spend time with her, but I don’t like to be with her and feel depressed, and the idea of travelling so far to see her when I’m in a state that can’t deal with anything stressful, is additionally off-putting. She also doesn’t seem to need me that much anymore either. She’s almost 16 and has friends and activities that seem more important to her at this time than being around her mother. So I feel unneeded and a bit angry with her sometimes for that, but my mood soon changes to sadness. I can’t blame her. She is just a young girl trying to chart her path and make sense of the adolescent changes in her body.
How can I be upset at her? I didn’t take charge of my life. I made the mistakes. I decided to sacrifice having her by my feet and suffer my own punishment, so that she would have a better life and would not be harmed by my mistakes. It became imperative that she must never take the same road I have taken, never be smeared by the mud I had settled in. So I’ve decided to let her have a better home, an argument-free home where I pray to God, she will blossom into a confident young woman who will know how to assert herself when she grows up and never mistake sadistic romance for love.
I take full responsibility for all the crap I’ve allowed to happen in my life, the learned helplessness, the mistakes, the fact I’ve allowed people, especially the men in my life to walk all over me and take my happiness, break my spirit and increasingly reduce my self-worth. It’s my pound of flesh to give so she can do much better than I have and achieve all the good things an empowered life can offer. But I still fret that it could all go wrong and my painful sacrifice could be in vain; wonder whether it is possible that I could have passed the learned helplessness and abuse psyche to her genetically and the cycle may stubbornly continue despite my best efforts to separate her from this curse.
1:30 p.m. I start getting ready to go meet my girlfriend. I was the dishes, mop the kitchen and straighten up the bed which I’d left tussled since I came out of it after 3 p.m. this morning. I battle with the little voice that tells me to cook dinner and leave it for my undeserving husband. I recall he had said his shift would end at 6 p.m., so I estimate I would have enough time to spend time with my friend and return in time to make dinner. A hurt voice of passive resistance tells me not to make any dinner. Don’t keep making him feel that what he is doing is okay. Stop being a doormat. I iron, shower, get dressed and head out the door 30 minutes later than I had told my friend I would be there to meet her. But she’s patient, I console myself. She’ll wait and won’t make a fuss. She calls to check where I am me and I tell her I am on my way.
2:30 p.m. I arrive at Megamart where we had agreed to have lunch at the food court. We spend time catching up talking about her ‘new friend’, her wish to have a baby (She’s 40 this year and a divorcee) and my inability to get pregnant with my husband. I counsel her to be careful on the dangers of rushing into a two month old relationship with a double divorcee. I am married to one, so I know first-hand the baggage they can carry. She extols his virtues and express concern about a few of his issues while we eat.After an hour she seems to be getting antsy and we leave.
3:45 p.m. I follow her to search for gifts to take back to Florida for friends, and then take a taxi to her home to pick up the few gifts she had brought me but which she had forgotten to bring with her to the lunch date. I greet and chat with her mom who I had not seen since college days. We chat for about 30 minutes about the state of affairs in the country.
4:45 p.m. My friend walks me to the bus-stop where I hail a taxi which takes me to the plaza we had left from. From there I take another taxi home. When I get home, I see my husband is already there. Guess the shift ended an hour early than he had claimed it would have. I let myself in, put down my things. We pass each other like two sailboats on the ocean. No horn is tooted. He goes outside. I change my clothes. There is soup on the stove that he had made for himself. I sit on the couch and turn on my laptop. I browse and read.
6:45 p.m. He comes back into the house. He picks up his laptop and puts it on his knees and soon is engrossed in his favourite game of cards. A popular radio talk show is booming through the radio speakers just beside where I sit. I am annoyed and want to turn it down but decide against touching his stuff.
8:00 p.m. He attaches his laptop to the radio sound system and watches the television news through WIFI Internet that I have not paid for in the last five months since I stopped working. I’ve been praying everyday they don’t come to cut it. It sounds bad, but I’d be really lost without the Internet to keep me company. I live with a man who does nothing but work, sleep, work. We have no social life. He has taken me out on a date since we married, even though I’ve asked to. We have been to the beach once in the last five years since we married. I never had a honeymoon because he asked back for the money he had given me to pay down so he could use it for his uncle’s funeral. His promises to make up for the lost honeymoon since then has been forgotten. He has never had the money to do such ‘foolishness’ since then. Neither has he told me ‘Happy Anniversary’ since we married because he always find something to be upset about the night or days before and the ‘malice’ always conveniently lasts until the day of the anniversary. And over time, my laptop has replaced him as my loyal, peaceful companion.
8:40 p.m. He sighs, gets up and irons his work shirt for the next day. I would usually have washed and ironed, but since the impasse, I have left those duties to him. On Saturday evening, I overheard him making plans with a woman to wash his clothes for him. He didn’t discuss this with me before to see how I felt about it, but I figure it is his way to reiterate that I need to get up and get a job which he has been saying these past few weeks in more and more disrespectful tones. I had asked him why he needed to go there. Amidst my distrust issues with him after an incident a few months ago involving a woman, he knew and I told him I didn’t like the plan and there was no need for it as I was already washing for him. But he let me know, I would be at work. The innuendo was not lost on me. But to go ahead without discussing this with me and letting me into who he was asking was I felt a form of disrespect and another attempt to alienate me in his psychological games and a show of passive resistance which he has subjected me to and taught me since we married these past five years come the 29th of January.
Now, I have become a master at the game too, and I give back as good as I get these days.
After completing his ironing, he listens to some more tv news. I read and browse some more.
9:00 p.m. He turns in for bed. I decide to complete this post which I had started earlier today.
10:30 p.m. I have completed drafting my post. I need to put some finishing touches on it before publishing. I need to publish it tonight too. If I let it sit, I may change my mind.
I realise I have shared a lot more than I am used to, but ‘cho’. . . I need to get some of this stuff out of me so my spirit can rise from the ashes at this dark time in my life. I need strength to bear my cross. My emotional turmoil has burgeoned into a stone that’s hanging around my neck. I’m in sink or swim mode, and despite my immobile feet, my spirit commands me to ‘swim’.
As a few of my fellow bloggers told me earlier this week, this is my blog, my story to write. I’ll write what I want to write. Maybe it’s time to break the cords of helplessness that has dogged me for too long, time to find my voice, reach for the fulfilment that has evaded me for far too long . . . time to smell the roses in the rose garden.