what I wanted

Originally published April 27, 2009

I have kept journals ever since I was in eighth or ninth grade.  I have used them in different ways, but they have been very important to me ever since that time.


My journal writing stopped completely just after getting together with Mr. X.  Obviously I think that it is really significant, but the analysis will have to come another day.  I finally started writing again in February of 2008 after I had been seeing a counselor for a few months.  I had initially gone to her because of being overwhelmed by the infertility struggle, but very quickly many other issues came up.  Thanks to seeing her, and to some other work I did, particularly dealing with my compulsive eating issues, the abuse dynamic with X came into clearer and clearer focus in that last year until I left, and, well, here I am, processing about it all on the internet.

Once I started blogging, that kind of took the place of a physical journal, but I have two journals from more or less the last year.  I really wish that I had something from the intervening years–when I didn’t write anything, but I don’t, and that in and of itself speaks volumes.  Sometimes when I was at work, I wouldn’t be able to whip out my pretty little journal and just start writing down my feelings, so I would type things and sometimes print them out, if I felt like they were worth keeping.  I didn’t print out very much; usually I just typed to get my feelings out and then hit ‘delete.’

Before I made my Great Escape, I found one of these sheets of paper that I had written on one of those days at work.  The impetus for writing it was a conversation with my counselor.  She had asked me what I wanted out of my marriage.  I had started thinking of all the things that I had that I didn’t want, and I had started thinking about how I wished things were with Mr. X.  Below is what I wrote that day.  A lot of things are blatantly obvious to me as I read this now that were not when I wrote it.  As I read it now I pay particular attention to the phrases that I repeat.  I believe I wrote it sometime last summer (Summer ’08), as I referred to it in a journal entry last September.  Here it is:

What do I want out of my marriage?  What do I want in a husband?

I want to be accepted fully.  I want to feel safe.  I want…

I want to feel that I can relax.  I want to feel that the burden is shared.  I want to feel pampered sometimes.

I want to feel so secure in his love.  I want to know that even if I gain 100 pounds, he will still want me.  I want to know that he loves my body.  I want to know that he sees all of me and still loves me.

I want to know that he can take care of himself.

I want a husband who doesn’t want or need me to be his mother.

I want to know that he can take care of himself.

I want to know that his happiness does not depend on me.

I want to feel safe.

I have not felt safe.  I stay in a state of fear.

I want to have no more “crazy fights.”

Why can’t I get what I want?

When I say what I need, I want to be heard.  I want to be heard with my quiet voice, not just with my yelling, crying, freaking out voice.  I want to know that he will value what I want and need, even if it is very different from his wants and needs, and even if he does not understand.

I want us to be two adults, independent, interdependent, but not dependent.

Two grown, individuated people who have chosen to meet life together.

I don’t want to feel stuck.

I don’t want to feel like I have no choice.

I don’t want to feel like I have to sublimate who I am to be safe.  I don’t want to have to work so hard, juggling so many balls, in order to feel ok.

I don’t need him that much.  I don’t need anyone that much.

I am part of this, too.

I want a marriage in which each person worries about their own feelings, and the other is there for support, but not to change the feelings, make them better, or talk the other person down.

I want more independence.

I want less enmeshment.


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