For the first time in my entire life, I had fleeting thoughts of being gone. That I will be better off gone than alive, present and miserable. It scared me afterwards but the feeling that I will be free of my pain was very tempting.
I told my therapist who suggested marriage counseling. To address the problem and to let my husband know that I am miserable. That his controlling ways have left me inadequate, inferior and scared.
I should have seen it – from the very first stages of our relationship he did a lot of things that, looking back – was very controlling, selfish and mean.
Case in point: I love fashion ever since I was a kid, wearing scarves, accessorizing. And when I was a teenager and in my 20’s, I had fun with expressing myself by wearing what I want. My now husband told me then that I should tone down my dressing style. And I did. He didn’t want male friends to be too close to me. My male friends noticed and they told him so. My best friend warned me about him, one of my male friends said he kissed and tell. I lost my male friends, my childhood friends, and my best friend.
All of these I never saw before. If I did, I justified it by thinking that since he’s older, he has this “I’m in charge personality”. Instead of controlled, I felt protected and sheltered.
Fast forward 20 something years later – he has not changed. Any single thing that I do, I do it wrong. Almost anything that I like, he blocks, disapproves, he negates. If I so much as leave home and spend time with my girlfriends – he calls me every 30 minutes to an hour. He gets mad when I do things with other people, or when he sees me having fun. Relatives visit and although he entertains, cooks and talk to them, he is mean to me and demands that my attention not be diverted. He has a set goal for me and the kids – he is big on title, brought on my his strict, egocentric upbringing. Older son has to be a doctor, younger son can be a dentist or can also be a doctor. And me? He wants me to have that title – to define me. Because otherwise, he can’t tell people what I am doing. One time he told me that I should take a master’s degree or else I will be answering phones the rest of my life. My co-worker was so mad! “Does he know what you do? That is an insult to you, how valuable you are to the company. How dedicated you are to your job”. I just shrug my shoulders.
Last month, I just had it. And that’s when that fleeting thought came to me. I know that if I run away he is going to find ways. He is vindictive and mean. I told him once or twice: “you are the meanest person I know.” And so I thought, I will finally be free – to choose, to be me – without judgment, without disapproval, without being made to feel so small.