As we get older we’re supposed to get better right? We learn from our failures and grow into better people. Is my husband the same person he was when we got married? Yes. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t learned and grown as a human being, but at the core he’s still the same guy. Was who I was then or who I am now the real me?
I recently was reminded that I’d stolen a car and drove about myself sixty miles back home after a failed date. I don’t remember telling my friends in 2002 that I’d love to be a writer, but I did. My husband says I used to have a ton of friends and spoke my mind without a care. Like my husband said, “If your mother cared what people thought would she have never married me.” I guess that’s true, but where does that put me now?
The conversations about who I am and used to be had me crying. I would never tell my family because I’ve conditioned myself not to blurt out or share my emotions. That doesn’t make my husband bad or me weak; it’s an adjustment I made probably because one or two times he was in a bad mood and I hit him with something and was snapped at. Seeing my behavior as a failure, I stopped.
I think the last time the “old” me emerged in front of them was at a football game when someone had the nerve to comment on how my husband was holding the sticks and talking with the ref. The funny thing is, when people snap at me for the same behavior I curl into myself. But someone questioning my man…well let’s just say I had to take over holding the sticks because my husband had to handle the situation I created. Mind you my husband has told me for years, “You have six-eleven black man behind you always, don’t let people talk stuff to you.”
The one time I use the virtue allotted to me through the marriage vows it backfired big time. I received a lecture and ended up crying, because there are two things I’m liable to go all Mama Bear about, my son and my man.
Those who’ve followed me for a while know I’m a scouter. I have many scouting activities and duties. My son has stepped away as of late, but I’m still involved. As I’m reassessing my life I began to realize why. My husband will tell you some Freudian BS about trying to win my father’s approval…blah, blah…Okay maybe in the beginning, but somewhere around year two of my involvement I believe there was a split in me.
I was good at being a scouter and I could be a nerdy, jackass, goofball, in fact I was encouraged to be one. There’s a slight rush I’d have while there and I believe it’s because the “old” me still lives there. Now, that’s not to say some the new me isn’t sadly there also, especially when it comes to my son, but this year with him no longer around has brought the smart ass car thief back.
Unlike most people I can pretty much pinpoint the death of the old me to exact moments. These were times when I lost my fight and when I tried to fight back I was shoved back down. The first was the loss of my identical twins at seven weeks gestation followed by a year of failed infertility treatments. The knock out punch and the shove. The second was when I left my job in the Emergency Room. I thought I was doing it for my own mental health and although I love the flexibility and the management team over me at my current job I have very little human interaction. You see I work from home and only have to be “in-house” four times a year. The mental challenges I have are no longer life and death, they’re computations. Even those are fleeting. Although, yes technically I could try to go back to my old ER or a new one it really wouldn’t work for my family. Returning doesn’t insure the old me would be back. Push, and then shove back down.
The final nail in the coffin, as it were, was my son’s third grade football team. I was still my old self. Making, what I thought, were friends only to be slapped with backbiting and stabbing at the end of the season. The worst part is what the parents were upset about we would have adjusted if they would have just talked to my husband and I. This was followed up with years of the same people attacking my husband and son and I was afraid to attack back because of repercussions for both of them. I’ve been suppressing my inner Mama Bear, hence why when she snaps it’s for many slights not just the one in front of me. When I fought, I was shoved back down, then I just stopped.
I’ve now learned I’m going to have to fight dirty because suppressing the real me has worse repercussions then what I’d feared would happen to my son. My son and my husband can survive anything my mouth dishes out (I hope) because my family can’t survive me being safe. You’ve now all been warned, the “real” me is coming out so don’t be stupid enough to leave your car keys lying around.