Obedient Enough to Lose Who You Are

 

 

 

Buried Secrets
Buried Secrets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It becomes quite the guilty challenge when you have to fess up to things you’ve done in your past; especially when you aren’t ashamed of them, but you aren’t proud of them either. It’s a learning curve I suppose. I’m not sure how to look at things this day and age, since (we’ve all heard it) in my day and age we had much different things to do and be worried about. Raising your kids was your choice and whichever way you decided to do that… well it was your choice. Marriage was highly looked upon for value of oneself. If someone was getting married or got married, it seemed suddenly there was this huge amount of respect for them and their ability to undertake such an option and life movement. 

 

My mother was one of those people that looked highly of me when I got married the first time around. She made it clear that I was a much better person for getting married to a good man! The sad part is she didn’t see all that wasn’t good… and didn’t believe me when I tried to tell her either. It was my marriage and my husband and I was to stay “in love” and “obedient” to what he needed or demanded and make her proud. When you are married to someone there should still be a sense of self or privacy or something that says you don’t have to lose who “you” are. Somehow I let the task of pleasing my mother come before my own self confidence and endured all that was to partake in my life during my first marriage.

Let’s see, when you say I do there’s a good amount of words that you get to repeat and are supposed come from the heart. There’s also this sense of responsibility you get to feel when things start going downhill later down the road. “We need to work this out”, “We should try counseling”, “We are just confused”, and several other phrases get to come out of the mouth and mind. What if these words aren’t coming out because of phrases like; “We can’t pay the bills” or “We never see eye to eye anymore”. What if they come out because secretly behind closed doors, there’s more than meets the eye?

We’ve all seen the movies and heard the stories of physically, emotionally, sexually or otherwise abused housewives… so I’m not about to bore you with details of those scenarios. I will inform my wonderful audience of my extreme obedience and what that meant to me as well as how it came about.

When I was a child there were amounts of abuse that were far beyond the eyes or ears of many people. I learned to lie about my home or family for fear of anyone finding out about the abuse or what my so-called family really was like. I wasn’t very good at lying so I got caught by fellow classmates, family members, or church goers. I became a habitual liar hoping it would all fall into place so that I could keep my dignity as a person as well as my innocence as a child. Then came my teen years and I learned how cruel men can really be. I learned how much a female could get by with when she said “I was drunk”. I learned I could fit it if I stayed with men. I made my mother happy, friends happy and family happy. All I had to do was put up with the crap the guys put me through. I wanted everything to make my mother happy and generally did whatever she wanted so she would love me and actually show it.

Well as I got older, I learned how to deal with the crap that guys do to women and for the most part how to keep mother happy as well. Make sure she knew I had a man at all times, drink with her and play cards games no matter what day or time it was, and always tell her how great she looked or how awesome she did on her projects. Easy right? I thought so until I fell into a really bad marriage and I was told marriage was sacred and forever and no matter what you are to “work things out”. So I choked up everything that was going on and kept it in my poetry. I hid all my emotions and fears in the words of a book I published years back called “Voices Silently Speak”. I got real good at twisting words to certain meaning that no one could point fingers at me about, but I could shout things that were going through my mind and heart.

I felt this poetry was a great outlet to keep all my “secrets” hidden until I couldn’t handle it anymore and I finally broke to my mother about what was going on. Well I should have expected such a reaction. “You’re exaggerating”, “He loves you”, “You won’t take my grandson away from me”, “Grow up” and so forth. Then of all people to get a hold of,  I felt maybe this one was for spiritual help and contacted my bloodline father. Wow!!! Was I wrong again!!! Blah blah blah… Bible… God… blah blah blah… union… trust… honor… and so forth. Pretty much pray to God and he won’t put you through anything he knows you can’t handle. I was once again told to “tough it out” since he’s my husband.

At this time, I started to lose who I was or who I was supposed to be. Both birth parents told me to pretty much grow up and get over it. Wow! Head spin! So everything he was doing to me was ok since he was my husband? Even though I was drugged up or threatened or drunk or just plain passed out? So I lost my rights as a female and a human being when I said “I do” to this guy? When did this rule book come into play and how come nobody warned me of this before I decided to give this a good full honest try? How was I supposed to deal with all these feelings and fears and self doubt and inner tribulations and detriments of self destruction? Just smile and say everything is great since we are still together and now it makes it right because we were united under God? How do you tell both your parents they have to be wrong? Something must have been misunderstood. Something must have come across wrong. Something has got to be downright absurd about this rule.

Well, my obedience continued for quite some time and “surprise” my family continued to love me and support my ability to work through my marriage. I quit going to church… and I’m sure that was apparent as to why. I quit praying and continued writing… again… should be pretty obvious as to why. I stopped talking to most my family since he got controlling and I wasn’t allowed to unless he wanted me to. I had to be obedient remember? My life consisted of the internet and my communication with my BF. I even tried opening up to my brother at one point and he just brushed it off with “that’s not good” and “have a good night”. I was slowly but surely dying inside and I could feel every aching moment of it… Like every breath I took was another chance to collapse forever. Parts of me wanted to die!

Why would you want to keep waking up in a world of confusion and doubt to the point that everything you are being told “is right” to do is tearing you apart from inside to out?? Why would you want to continue believing in a world that just keeps pecking away at your confidence like some hungry crow that’s teasing a dying calf? What kind of strength would you need to have to keep that smile on your face while everyone is around and people can see you for who or what you are, but deep down you have to fight back the tears and try to forget the visions of how you could end it all? How could someone allow their child to go through all of this? Then not once offer a helping hand? Not once be a shoulder to cry on in real sympathy or a listening ear with an open heart and mind? How could you sit back and say, “Everything happens for a reason” or “you should really take responsibility for your own actions”?

Well, I did as told and continued to believe everything happens for a reason and continued to feel I was getting a response from my own actions. I kept my mouth shut and tried to ignore the several times I had woke up naked not remembering anything and being told I got up and stripped cause I was hot. I tried to ignore the several hundred pictures I ran across of myself on his phone passed out naked again. I tried to ignore all the times I got yelled at for always being tired when I stumbled upon sleeping pills that had been put into my hot drinks. I tried to ignore all the little comments of my indecency in public and how I embarrassed him by not showing him respect when he spoke to me. I tried to ignore all the times I was grabbed or groped in public for show and blatantly paraded around like a sexual trophy. I tried to ignore the accusations of cheating on him, when I wasn’t even allowed to leave or make a phone call without his presence.

I was obedient! I did what a wife should and would do right? I upheld my marriage vows? He had certain rights as a husband to having me as a wife and I did what I could to make sure he got those rights as he deserved, needed, and wanted. He had all rights to walk in on my taking a bath or a shower and watch or play or take pictures all he wanted because I was his wife right? It was my job to please him and make him happy and take care of him however that meant right? I did what my mother and father had so stringently taught me! So why did I feel so lost? Why did I feel so abandoned, forlorn, forgotten, abused, used, empty, and countless other things that came through my body and mind? If you do what your parents tell you, aren’t you supposed to feel proud? Aren’t you supposed to feel a sense of accomplishment? Aren’t you supposed to be able to stand up proud for your inner ability to climb a great feat that your lovely flesh and blood put you up to?

Well, I didn’t feel so proud. I didn’t feel so accomplished. I didn’t feel anything really except myself deteriorating. I didn’t know who or what I was supposed to be anymore. I felt God abandoned me or lied to me. I felt prayer was useless. I didn’t have the energy to care what I looked like anymore. I didn’t have the energy to even sing or write anymore. I honestly didn’t want to even wake up. Why?

I think it’s obvious! I lost who I was due to the obedience I was drilled to have. I lost my self worth, my confidence, my hope, my dreams, and everything in between. This is what mother and father wanted for me; A strong long lasting marriage to a very strong successful man. This is what I was supposed to be working and striving for through life. It was all supposed to be about what God wanted for me, what my mother needed to be happy, what my so-called father believed in  (cause he was a perfect human), and what life waited for. This Godlike life had torn me apart from body to mind to soul. If this is what family, love, and a proper union was about; what my life was supposed to be… wasn’t what I wanted.

Well sooner or later down the road, the alcohol overtook my ability to think or reason with any guilt I should have had and I finally left. It took me a long time to understand what real love and obedience was in a marriage since I have been through a couple and frankly … each one had its own trials. Though my level of obedience has changed throughout the years as to not get abused or walked on, I still look back and realize from time to time… that many things were out of my control and I know down deep I didn’t deserve what happened to me. I know everything happens for a reason, but DAMN IT sometimes I wish they were more apparent of what they were.

I guess it all boils down to this; who was my obedience for; my parents, my husband, or God? What I had to come to terms with… Why wasn’t I obedient to myself? Why didn’t my wants, desires, hopes, dreams, fears, realities, and life matter? Why was it so important to please others, when I was the one who had to live with me and my choices in the end?

I can now live happily knowing I’ve done what’s right for me and my family. I’ve done what makes me happy and finally I’m living for me and making choices for me instead of whomever else wants to claim right to that. I know in many eyes and hearts I’m not living the right way or I’ve made the wrong choices, but I know way down deep what I’m doing and how I’m living I can take pride and honor in. That’s what counts! My obedience is for me now!

I have changed many things about me and my personality is very different from what it was years ago. I did lose who I was for a long time, but I’m pretty sure I gathered it back when I woke up from the alcohol and drug induced reality my world had become. I don’t wish that life or experience on anyone for any reason and I hope I’m one of the only few who had to endure it. I’m not saying don’t listen to your parents, but sometimes only you know way down deep what’s right for you and your life… since you’re the one living it! It took me many years to realize that… thankfully it’s never too late…

 

 

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