Monday, October 19, 2009

today's entry on the story

One of the reasons I went back to work was because I didn't want to live in denial that something bad couldn't happen to us. The fact is, my husband might die or we might not make it in this marriage. I needed a way to support myself and my kids if God forbid that happened. After all that, I'm just in debt.

We moved here 7 years ago.

Somewhere along the way, as in so many relationships, I became "comfortable" in my routine, and have lost my spirit and identity. I see it in him, too. He spends his free time either on the computer playing games, playing with his dog, reading, and every weekend he spends at least 3 hours a day napping. He's checked out. He has no friends here. He's so far in it I don't think he sees it himself. He lives for his work, and the rest is all distraction until bed.

I got myself involved in local politics to save my sanity (which he also became jealous of), but even that was a poor substitute for having a real life with real, genuine friends.

We're in Utah. We're not of the predominant faith. We have no friends or family here. I'm a liberal in a very conservative state. And now I know why I've been drowning.

I need say that I've got nothing against the LDS religion (or any religion for that matter). I just don't want it affecting my life. I know lovely, lovely people who are members of the LDS faith who are open and accepting of me. I certainly don't want to paint with a broad brush, however my experience is my experience. The LDS church is involved in every State law there is in Utah. My family and I cannot help but be affected by "the" church so long as we live here. There is no separation of Church and State in Utah. Now, if I were a member of the LDS faith, Utah would be heaven on earth. There is a sense of community here I've never witnessed anywhere else in all my travels. It's truly incredible. It's just not my community, nor will it ever be. I can imagine it may feel the same for those who are from Utah and the LDS faith (and Utah LDS and others outside of Utah who are LDS are two very different groups) who have moved to communities where others like them are small in number.

I don't know why I didn't think about my own experience as a child growing up in Northern Utah when we were deciding on where to move. I was raised Quaker and was an outcast always. Now I am witnessing the very same things happening to my own kids. My son was recently told he would go to hell if he didn't convert. I was told the same thing at his age.

I'm supposed to want this. I'm supposed to want the home in the suburbs with the kids and the husband with the great career, especially in this economic climate. I'm dying. I have been for years. Drowning in my own body, feeling so guilty about it all.

I suppose, I actually do want it. I do. I just don't want it here.

4 comments:

Christy in Seattle said...

It is so good that you're waking up to this danger in life when you are -- the danger of settling, of becoming complacent, or getting stuck in a zest-less life. Far too many people never admit it to themselves or don't realize it until their life is mostly over.

helderheid said...

Christy, your comments mean a great deal to me. This last entry I was nervous about putting out there and your words are so encouraging.

lavenderdiva said...

I think Christy is spot-on. Everyone has the opportunity to recognize that their lives are either where they want them to be, accomplishing their dreams, or they are not- then do something about it. Most people just go day-after-day going through the motions. Their lives just pass them by, and when they get to the end, wonder what happened?

From what I have read over the past few days, I don't find it surprising that you are a bit uncomfortable with where you find yourself right now. Your background has been one of consistent change. You were raised moving new places, meeting new people and situations with amazing regularity. Now, you have been in one place for perhaps longer than you have been in any other. Your parents, whose presence in Utah helped decide where you would live, are no longer there. Their being almost next door, helped provide you stability and familiarity. You are in a long-term relationship, that perhaps feels very familiar and predictable. While those are wonderful qualities for any relationship, I kind of think you are used to things being a bit more unexpected, and like it that way. Its not surprising that you are taking a step back, and saying 'is this what I want, how did I get here, and where am I going?'

One of the lovely things about marriage is that it becomes like a favorite pair of slippers: warm and comfortable when you put them on, shaped to fit your foot perfectly. The challenge is to keep finding new things to appreciate and love about each other, over a very long period of time. Can you and your husband go for a getaway vacation, just the 2 of you? Would your parents be able to look after your children while the two of you were gone? Spend some time together, just the two of you, in a new place to the both of you. Mix things up a bit, and try to see each other in a new place, even if it is just for a short period of time.

I think it is wonderful that you are giving careful consideration to where you and your family are right now. I love that you are challenging yourself in so very many ways, and want to continue to grow emotionally; that is a wonderful quality about you!

helderheid said...

I'm literally in tears. Thank you, Lavenderdiva. Most of the time when I let down my guard this much, I'm judged for being "unstable" and that I'm going to put my children in a situation that is unhealthy by moving them from what is familiar. I see nothing healthy about my situation and I don't think comfort in history counts towards stability.

Thank you.