Last night I went on a dinner train event with my parents. The railroad is a local attraction and they served a delicious dinner while we road through scenic New Castle County. I realized not long after the train started its journey that if Chad and I weren’t getting divorced, I would have never gone on this trip. He would have found it boring and would have chosen not to go in lieu of sitting in the garage at home drinking beer with his buddy. And therefore because he was not going, I would have also chosen not to go as well and would have sat at home watching TV.
The night he told he wanted a divorce that is exactly what happened. I was supposed to go to Longwood Gardens with my parents that night. Chad had told me a few weeks earlier when we bought the tickets that he had no desire to go. When that day came along I told my mom I didn’t really feel up to going. Chad and I had a rough week and I wanted to stay home and spend time with him. Instead he went to his friends next door and I sat at home, lonely and sad. He came home later after I begged him too and told me he was ending our marriage.
Somewhere between year 2 and 3,Chad and I stopped doing things with and for each other. We did not go out on real dates anymore. We did not surprise one another with adventures the way we used too. At some point within that time period, I lost myself and it only continued to get worse the longer we were together. I rarely left the house unless I was going to work, run errands or the rare occasion of going back to the family farm to visit. My life was engulfed in that house, that farm and him. It even got to the point he would get grumpy about going to my parents and letting them feed us. The only words I used to describe myself anymore were what I meant to the survival of the farm and our lives. I would hashtag #dogmom or #farmwife often. But I’m reality I would say to him, I feel like a slave to this house. I’m your person maid and laundry mat. None of that resentment ever seemed to resonate with him. He just let me keep doing it all and I kept doing it all, because someone had too.
Even my dreams and achievements weren’t completely mine. I knew I wanted to teach but was not sure I was ready to make such a drastic change right after getting married. But Chad pushed. I started a part time job as a paraprofessional and started grad school 2 weeks after we got married. It was a struggle and I had very little help on the home front from him. I would tell myself that had pushed me better version of myself and pursue my dreams with grad school and my new job. I look back now and realize he was pushing me to pursue what would benefit him. I would make more money, I was off earlier so I could cook for him more often. He took and took and took and seldom gave anything back in return besides financial stability with his income.
I realized last night that I am in a season of shifting. No longer will I say no to things I want to do or places I want to go. I have gone out to dinner with friends more in the past 3 months then I have the past 3 years. Friends who have been in my life a long time, but took a back seat to chads friends and their wives, who we truly only spent our time with.
I am going to go on the adventures I want to go on. This summer I am headed to Disney. Chad took me there on our honeymoon, but he swore he was never going to take me back. I had a temper tantrum in animal kingdom and I was pissed at him. I wanted to go to avatar world more then anything, he knew that. But because Chad insisted we wait to buy our tickets until we got down there, we could not get fast passes for anything. It was my first time ever going to Disney. At 27, I had waited my whole life for this magical moment. I don’t do spontaneous. I need a plan, a second plan and a back up plan to the second plan. My anxiety was out of control because I could not plan this trip the way I felt was right. So yea, in the middle of Africa, I freaking lost it. Maybe I was a brat, but I had hit a breaking point.
I realize now how many breaking points I had truly hit in our relationship. Losing my shit over a dirty kitchen and piles of laundry is not how a marriage should look. I was trying to create a home, I was trying to be a first year teacher, I was trying to survive grad school. Add on taking care of a grown man, 2 dogs and helping run the farm. I was exhausted. I shouldn’t have ever been that exhausted. I will never be that exhausted again.
I will also never put someone else’s dreams above mine anymore. Chad has an active farming business thanks to all the hard work we put into it. But where are my dreams in all that? They were tightly locked away. With the assumption they would come out once the farm was stable. 4 years later, they are still locked away. But not for long.
I am going to buy a house, all by my damn self. I am going to travel and visit friends in new cities. I am going to read all the books I want. I am going to spend countless hours on the family farm. I am going to speak my truths and my opinions. No one will ever silence me again. I am going to be a badass social studies teacher. No one is ever going to put me down by telling me they are sick of always eating something I made in the crock pot. No I’m going to be thankful for what I made and so will anyone else in my life. No one is ever going to tell me I buy too many flowers when they know full well that gardening is one of my greatest loves in life. I will never clean up someone else’s messes, do any other grown mans laundry or feel like all I do is spend my whole life cleaning the house, because I am the only one who does it.
No, those days are long gone. I am in a season of shifting and this season is all about making myself happy.