Usually, my doubts about my marriage come about a week BEFORE my hormonally challenged week of the month. Not near the end of the actual week itself. So, either my issues with the marriage are, in fact, valid *gasp* OR, I'm going through some freak hormonal imbalance.
It'll be ten years next month. Ten years since we met. Since I gave up my dreams of going to Africa. Of my double major and double minor. All those plans and projects I put aside for "love." And I don't miss those things. I'm excited about what I have planned. And look at my sweet, adorable babies. Look at my two Masters degrees. Look at all the work and stuff I've done. All the growing. I don't mourn the projects, hopes and dreams of my youth.
I dreamt that I would spend my life with someone who adored me. And whom I adored. We were never a chocolate and flowers kind of couple. The first gift I ever got Sam was a small microwave (what dude lives alone for seven years with no microwave? That should have been an indication of how clueless he really was... Not simple and frugal... but clueless.). One of his first gifts to me was a vacuum cleaner. I LOVED it. Asked for it even.
So, this mourning I feel is not the mourning of some "romantic" (in the classic sense) affair. I miss eye contact. I miss being listened to. I miss connecting with someone. I'm not sure we ever really did. Maybe he just pretended to listen. I do a lot of thinking out loud. Maybe I misinterpreted his silence as reflection instead of what it really was--ignorance. Ignorance, his not knowing how human communication works; ignorance, my not knowing just how unreachable he is; and ignorance, his just plain, well, IGNORING me.
I looked back over it this morning. One month tomorrow makes ten years. TEN YEARS. A decade I have spent being ignored. Me. I never thought that would ever happen. Before, when I had boyfriends, if I found something I didn't like about them, I gave them another couple of months (and then, there were almost surely other things that I'd consider deal breakers that would come out of the wood work).
I want out. I don't love him anymore. Not that way. Not in the way where I want to grow old with him. For nearly the entire life span of our son, I've felt imprisoned. Stuck with him because of the child. And then there were others.
I'm not attracted to him physically. Probably because I have such little respect for him. Probably because if I met him today as a stranger, I wouldn't even consider having coffee with him.
He swears he still loves me, but he can't tell me why. The sad part is, I'm okay with him not loving me. Because I don't love him that way anymore, I have slowly devolved into someone he probably shouldn't love.
I stay for the kids. And a little for the money. I feel like he owes me. I have put up with it. I have done the major work in the relationship, the marriage, the parenthood. I have provided the energy, the direction and purpose. I have essentially become his babysitter, maid and cook. And I feel that I should be compensated for it. So, I don't feel guilty that he's paying my credit cards off (and when I say "my" I only mean that it's because they're in my name... We BOTH used it... how else were we supposed to pay for the new AC unit in our house? how else were we supposed to get a new roof?... it's not like we charged frivolous things.). I don't feel guilty that he's paying off my school loans. Those were my attempts to keep us afloat. Getting those degrees were my attempts to find SOME direction for us. SOME way to keep us together.
I grieve for the farm. My precious farm. Part of me stays with him for the farm, but I don't know if I can do it. I could do the farm on my own. Sure, I could. But it'd be a little plot of land some where in butt fuck Arkansas. If that. Because I can't pay for AND run a farm while working full time to pay for it. And then, what about the kids? Can't do it all by myself.
But I don't want to do it with him. I don't find him worthy. It's MY dream. Not his. He doesn't really want it. Not like I do. He wants a bit of grass for the kids to roll around in. He doesn't have any projects for bettering himself or the world around him. That disgusts me and I won't share my diamond with him. Blech.
My other option is to wait. Until the kids get older. Until they don't need my constant presence for parenting. Until Lolo is in high school (when kids don't like their parents anyway and wish they would go away... with email and Facebook now, there's no need for tucking in... advice can travel farther and faster over the internet)? I could work and save up until then. And then, I COULD move off into the Ozarks and have my little lonely compound. Probably by then, there won't be the same need for it. People will have learned that the only way to stay alive is to grow your own food. So, my farm will be for me. Or, I could just join the Peace Corps after all and go build schools and libraries.
But all that--the thought of not having the farm--makes me mourn for the kids. I really wanted them to grow up on a farm. But, in all reality... they wouldn't grow up there anyway, would they? Because Sam is so slow and reluctant, we wouldn't be able to actually HAVE the farm for at least another five years. By then, Ryan will be 10.
The only REAL solution in all of this would be to sell the house, split up everything and me buy a small plot of land somewhere near a city where I could be the evening/weekend farmer and the daytime librarian. I thought that city would be Charlotte, but it's looking like even a small piece of land is just going to be too expensive.
OR, I could just look at it as a compromise. I let Sam come with me. Let him pay for the farm. Let him help take care of the kids so that all of us can have some fresh air and tall grass.
But I don't think this will happen in Charlotte. I think it's probably going to end up happening in Lynchburg, Virginia.
I know, I know. What's a queer chick like me gonna do in Jerry Falwell country? I guess I'm gonna plant some seeds and watch 'em grow. The project Sam's working on now has an office in Lynchburg. The land is half price. The town is small and republican, but hey, I've been there before, you know? I'll just have to reign in my gayness... That way, I could have it all. The farm, the kids, the freedom to stay home and write in my "spare" time and still get to work closely with the local library. I could have it all right away. My kids could grow up on a farm.
Of course, I'll still be alone. I'll still be Sam's mother, too. I won't have a love partner. Won't have a fellow. An emotional equal. But, that's the sacrifice I guess I'm gonna hafta make. I'll just let him love me in his twisted deficient way. And I'll take my happiness where I can--those moments where the kids are cute and amazingly smart and miraculous. Sam will look at me and say, "Mama, look!" And I'll look. And then I'll be glad that we're both there. That there's at least one place our minds can meet.
And then, we'll see what happens. When the kids grow up and move off. When the farm has done its job. I'll drop it all and join the Peace Corps (or some such organization) by myself.