This particular day is supposed to be ‘huge’ for me. This is the date three years ago that I chose to go out drinking and lost my license. That event was the catalyst for nearly everything that has gone wrong in my life since. This was also the date I gave my husband, when I handed him an ultimatum and told him that three years was long enough to be dependent on him for everything, and he would either help me so I could help myself, or this would be the day I’d start taking my life back by force, if need be. The date of my DUI is one I could never forget; but I did!
I’ve had this date in my head from practically day one that this occurred. I’ve never faltered once in stating emphatically when I got my DUI and have held steadfast to it. This morning when I arose I looked at the calendar on my computer and groaned, just thinking about everything I’ve had to go through because my freedom was taken away and never returned to me. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, something just didn’t seem right (I have no clue why), and I found myself pulling up an April calendar from 2008. There it was right in front of me. It couldn’t have been April 9th, because that fell on a Wednesday and I got pulled over late Friday/early Saturday. I went out on the 11th?
Beats the hell out of me how I could get something like that wrong. Maybe this is my inner-voice, my guardian/protector, trying to tell me, “See?… We tricked you and this date isn’t as important as you thought or you wouldn’t have forgotten it. It only has the power over you that you give it. You no longer need to punish yourself for that error in judgment. These emotional ‘fines’ you’ve paid with your freedom, tears, and sanity, were for naught! Let this date, this incident, and the hold it’s had over you go. It’s a new day!”
A new day. Yes, it is a new day, and different from yesterday. Yesterday my son came home to find me lying on the couch again. My husband arrived not long after. I just lay there (I can’t seem to get the energy to do anything). I make few apologies for it anymore. I told them a while back that I’d finally begun to realize that it doesn’t matter how much or how little I do around here, because I get treated the same no matter what. Knowing that I’m not going to push myself beyond what I feel I’m capable of doing. Lately though, I don’t seem to be capable of doing much of anything. My mind and body seem to be on strike whether I like it or not.
We had another discussion last night when my son had the nerve to bring up to me that he needs his car fixed. He needs his car fixed? I just lost it. I really did. I started yelling, “What about my car? What about my license? What about my life? You’re seventeen and I’m 48. You’re still able to have a social life with your friends because they’re local. I can’t, because mine aren’t! I haven’t been able to drive for three damn years and have no social freedom whatsoever because of it. Now who do you think deserves their car getting fixed more…me or you?”
My son was quick to point out that my inability to drive or have a life was not his problem. And that if anyone was to blame for the situation I’m in to point fingers at my husband, because he was the one that keeps me under his thumb by refusing to give me a hand-up and out of this mess. He’s right, of course, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the both of them have friends, a social life, get out of the house, and just assume because I can’t and am here all the time I should be subservient to them and our home. I asked them both if they were completely blind to what was happening to me. Did they not notice that mom/wife was fatigued and unhappy all the time? My son told me that he noticed, but my husband sat there remaining quiet. I asked them both how they thought I felt knowing that my needs weren’t considered to be as important as their own, and that I was being forced into making the decision to sell some of my personal things just to be able to fix my car and have some kind of a life beyond them. I looked at my husband and said, “I know you thinking I’m bluffing and things are going to stay like this forever, but they’re not!”
My husband didn’t hesitate in responding to that comment. He looked at me and said very matter of fact “Sell them.” In a tone reminiscent of “Who cares? I don’t care.”
No he doesn’t. He doesn’t care. Why should he care if I have to sell things that belong to me, things that are important to me, just to get out of this mess? As long as he isn’t expected to do anything, spend any of his money, risk losing any of ‘his’ stuff, why should he care? He should care because I’m his wife. Because he knows how unhappy I am, and he has the ability to change that. Because I would and have done the same for him when he needed it and I had it. Because it shows the true character of a man when he’s called upon to do the right thing.
I lay there last night in bed alone—he chose to sleep on the couch—and thought about how truly fucked up he must be to think that the way we live and the marriage we have is normal. How messed up does a man have to be to expect a woman—never mind his wife, but any woman—to live the way I have had to live? To do without basic needs, more often than not, the way I’ve done. To give up and lose friends, the closeness of family, any freedom I once had, just to stay here with him. How fucked up is he?
I know only I am responsible for my DUI, and losing my license. I’ve paid dearly for that mistake. Most will never come even close to understanding what this error in judgment took from me. For most people, even after an incident like this, their life continues on much the same. They are already employed, people are more than willing to haul their asses back and forth for a few coins thrown at them, they pay their fines, quickly get through the required courses, and within a short time are able to get their license reinstated and are back to their old selves. For those who can’t get these fines paid and get their license back on their own because they’re not employed, they usually either have some one come to their assistance who’s willing to help them till they can get on their feet and repay that kindness, or they live locally and have little difficulty getting around because people don’t have that far to haul them. I am the contrary. I’ve been left here to wallow in feces of my own making, continually having to offer up yet another pound of flesh for what I’ve done. I wonder sometimes, how much is there of me left to give?
I sit here this morning alone. Again. My son spent the night with a friend last night. My husband left earlier to go hang out with his father and brothers. Nothing I said made a difference to them. I know that. Nothing today is different for them. I know that too. Is it different for me? I’m really not sure. I no longer think there is going to be a feeling that comes over me that pushes me. I think at this point it’s going to have to just be the sheer will and determination to save myself whether I feel up to it or not. I don’t trust my heart anymore to tell me the right thing to do.