My world is crashing in on me, and no one sees. That’s ok, because I am one of many.
My world is crashing in on me, and no one sees. That’s wrong, because I am a person, and people are meant to matter.
Nine years ago today I wore red as I walked out the door to get married. My future mother-in-law could barely contain her scorn at my attire. I didn’t wear red by deliberate choice, but when you leave the preparations for the wedding until the day before, you get what you can.
Memories of the wedding are sketchy, at best. We had a picnic the day before the wedding with the mother and two friends. We did this because we were expecting my future husbands family to ruin the wedding day… they did. One thing I remember clearly, is when the small gathering threw rose petals over us after the toasts, none of the petals went into my drink; so my mother-in-law picked some up off the ground, threw them into my glass, and made a smart comment about that being better.
Many weddings are about the expectations of the bride… mine were of dread. In many ways, the wedding was not my own… my sister-in-law has such a dominating personality, that she overshadowed everything – my hair, the photography, directing people around, etc. The sister, whom I hadn’t communicated with in over ten years passed sarcastic comments onto the mother about her not receiving a wedding invitation… yes, there was the double whammy of her sarcasm, and the mother’s need to inform me of that sarcasm… My future in-laws played games regarding whether they were going to attend, or not. They only came because their other son paid for the entire trip. Then on the day, my mother decided that her outfit was too similar to my only invited friends, so I had to help her find an alternative to wear… Many of these things are run-of-the-mill issues associated with wedding days; but, they increased my anxiety, and therefore levels of dissociation.
The drama didn’t end at the ceremony, but continued through to mix-ups with the billing of the hotel room for the wedding night… We met several very nice police that day…
Did I mention that I didn’t want to get married? I didn’t. The only reason the marriage happened, is because he needed to marry. He needed that security. Later, as the marriage was falling apart, he often said that if we separated that it would be the end of us both… that I would commit suicide, and that he would be devastated with grief as he returned to the comfort of my mother – note, that he was wanting to gain comfort from my mother, not his. That sentiment alone indicates his level of dysfunction, pain and confusion…
Marriage was never my thing. During school, when introduced to the concept of debating, I was on the affirmative team arguing that marriage was an outdated institution. It was rather amusing, as we drew a picture of marriage as a physical institution… the teacher changed the wording for the debate the following year. We did get an A though…
I’ve usually seen marriage as a tie to someone who would hurt you. My marriage didn’t dissuade me from that opinion. Saying that, I have seen happy marriages… marriages where a combination of compatibility, hard work, and a variety of other factors, have meant that everyone involved has grown in positive ways… At times, I wish I had that… But, I know I’m too broken for such things.
So yes, my world in crashing in on me… I have failed to work with Eating Disorder Services because I couldn’t meet the directives they established… I have failed at creating any sort of working relationship with my new team leader, and am now building a reputation as being difficult within the workplace… My continual poor communication skills have resulted in my withdrawal from my support system, and causing hurt to those who have braved staying around… Allison is left in the dark as to the reasoning for my behaviour, as I continue to withdraw and become less communicative… Then, earlier this week, the final straw, this chain email from the mother…
I remember the cheese of my childhood,
and the bread that we cut with a knife,
when the children helped with the housework,
and the men went to work not the wife.
The cheese never needed an ice chest,
and the bread was so crusty and hot,
the children were seldom unhappy
and the wife was content with her lot.
I remember the milk from the billy,
with the yummy cream on the top,
our dinner came hot from the oven,
and not from the fridge in the shop.
The kids were a lot more contented,
they didn’t need money for kicks,
just a game with our mates in the paddock,
and sometimes the Saturday flicks.
I remember the shop on the corner,
where a pen’orth of lollies was sold
do you think I’m a bit too nostalgic,
or is it….I’m just getting old?
I remember when the loo was the dunny,
and the pan man came in the night,
it wasn’t the least bit funny
going out the back with no light.
The interesting items we perused,
from the newspapers cut into squares,
and hung on a peg in the outhouse,
it took little to keep us amused.
The clothes were boiled in the copper,
with plenty of rich foamy suds
but the ironing seemed never ending
as Mum pressed everyone’s duds
I remember the slap on my backside,
and the taste of soap if I swore
anorexia and diets weren’t heard of
and we hadn’t much choice what we wore.
Do you think that bruised our ego?
or our initiative was destroyed
we ate what was put on the table
and I think life was better enjoyed.
I realise that she is reminiscing about her childhood… But, she also knows that I experienced sexual abuse within the environment that this poem glorifies… Oh, and yeah, she knows about my eating disorder too… The irony is that her childhood wasn’t perfect… if it was, she wouldn’t be this unaware of the potential impact of this poem on me…
So yes, my world in crashing in on me… Oddly enough, I don’t think it’s going to hurt.
Now playing: Audioslave – Doesn’t remind me