And it's weird the way things come together sometimes. A few days back, I was updating the blog I have on my son, writing about the vitrectomy he'd had last week - needed to tackle a macular pucker that had developed as a result of the Coats disease in his right eye. And surfed over to WorkitMom to read up on what other mothers were going through and coping with. Then Karen left a comment and I said to myself, I ought to restart the blog. And yesterday, the long-simmering troubles at home boiled over in a way I'd never have imagined. A few relationships have taken a fair amount of knocking and others have all but disintegrated. Unimaginable stuff happened, leaving me staring at the remains of my self-respect, my self-esteem and my theory that I had a more than a fair chance of coming out of this nightmare of a marriage with something of my being intact.
So it's back to the drawing board... sigh... well, actually, no. I have no intention of fighting any battles in this war any more. Ceasefires come and go, but the nightmare goes on forever. For me, there is no other way out. This is middle-class India we're talking about, where a woman who dares to walk out on an unreasonable spouse is punished by society (always, always), punished by the judicial system with respect to child custody and alimony (very often), and by her own family - parents, siblings (more often than you'd imagine). To make things interesting, you will have kids - especially boys - telling their mothers in some teenaged, hormone-surcharged rage, "No wonder Dad left you, you're a horrible woman."
But I digress... no more paralysis by analysis for me. I should put that up on my softboard at the office, at least. Or may be write it 10 times a day in a notebook, just to make sure my brain doesn't get ideas in the direction of self-pity.
For a change... I.am.going.to.love.me.
And at the risk of sounding cheesy and unoriginal, yes, I'm going to do it because I'm worth it. I'm worth a lot more than the s**t I get in return for back breaking toil and being somewhat true to my real self. Truth be told, I've no idea who I am anymore, because I've spent the past seven-odd years trying to be someone else, altering my behaviour to buy peace, bribe the spouse into a ceasefire, or just plain beg for some... what was it I wanted? Love? Respect? Acknowledgement, maybe?
I don't remember actually, and I don't care anymore. This is a new beginning. There are no counsellors involved, no outside help, no motivational speeches, no well-meaning friends, no self-help books. I've been see-sawing on this emotional rollercoaster for four years now and last night, I decided I was getting off the ride.
What am I going to do? I don't have a blueprint to a miracle solution. I'm going to take one day at a time (if you think that's a cliche, hang on and read the rest of the sentence) and every single day, I'm going to be true to myself. I am going to love myself. I am going to focus on me, what I've always wanted, MY dreams (trust me, I don't even have a real dream for myself because while I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to have any dreams, so it's an alien concept to me really), MY whims and fancies. I slave day in and day out and I get paid decently enough (enough to support a spouse and child and then save some) so I deserve to indulge in some whims and fancies every now and then.
I don't have the details - and given my irregularity in posting, I'm not even going to say 'watch this space' - but I am going to do some things for myself. No baby steps, but no giant leaps either. Yet remember, this is my road, my pace, my dreams my space.