Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived with extra weight on her ass named Sheniqua and a very loud and obnoxious inner demon named Drazil - who called her life perfect if you asked her. Until one day when someone very close to her told her they thought she was a kept woman with no voice about anything in her life.
Well – I call BULLSHIT on that.
I’m documenting this story as proof that it is bullshit
AND for my girls…because I want them to know the kind of husband I married.
Because I want them to have it too.
Mostly because I want them to know that people on the outside will judge your marriage…even if they’ve never spent a moment in the depths of it.
I want them to know that I stopped the cycle of marrying and loving a man who isn’t willing to openly love and co-parent or even have a discussion.
That being said – parenting is the most difficult part of marriage if you ask me. Add in that Rambo disciplines and deals with the state’s worst criminals all day so his consequence system is skewed and the combination is sometimes confusing.
Case in point: I came home the other day to Watermelon standing at the top of the steps with “a face”.
The face that says “something is wrong”.
I asked what was up and Rambo said that he had told her she was going to help out at a church function with him on Friday night. She’s a very mature girl BUT if you throw an event at her without leading into it right – she panics. Then she reverts to about a 5 year old and throws a tantrum, refuses to go and cries.
That’s the worst thing about parenting in my opinion.
The moment when you realize your child picked up one of your worst traits –
and you were powerless to stop it.
She’s like me. She craves and needs routine. Spontaneous outings bring me to my knees. I have to have time to prepare, worry, mull it over, strategize and plan – how I’m going to get through it socially and physically. I need to know who will be there and when and every little detail so I can wrap my head around it. I need to know this all well in advance or the anxiety in me creeps up to levels beyond my control.
She is the same.
You can’t say to her, “Oh hey – you’re going somewhere with me where you know no one and it’s tomorrow.”
She panics. You can see the fear in her eyes.
She has great social anxiety and fears public things she can’t control.
Unless you talk it out with her.
Once Rambo said she was going and when – she of course – panicked. Fight or flight mode instantly. She broke down. Rambo doesn’t understand that reaction because he’s a social butterfly freak. So he told her she was no longer allowed to go. She had to stay home and babysit Banana while he and I went.
He wasn’t going to put up with that kind of reaction from a 12 year old.
So I hear the story and she says, “Now I want to go and work.”
Of course you do.
Too late honey. You’ve got to stop reacting so harshly and take a step back and voice your fears and not throw a 5 year old tantrum every time Dad and I ask you to do something on the fly. And at this point – I can’t go against Rambo. That’s a parenting no-no.
She says, “Well can I tell him I want to go? Is he mad at me?”
I said, “You’ll have to ask him. This was between you and him.”
I went about getting undressed and came back out into the kitchen to find Rambo say something with a “tone” about something dumb that didn’t matter. I think it was about a dish Banana wanted or something.
He was leaning against the sink/counter and I was standing in front of him pretty closely and I looked at him and said, “Really?” I gave him the look like *did you really just say such a dumb thing?*
Apparently he got the hint because the next thing I know is that he grabs me.
He kisses me hard and long.
Then he hugs me – tighter than usual.
I remember thinking to myself that I felt like this person that he was trying to suck the love and goodness out of and he was the sponge…hoping whatever he could get out of me would make him feel better.
And when he let go – he was better.
Rambo doesn’t often have bad moods. He’s just always been a pretty happy guy but that day? He’d had it with the inmates. He’d had to suit up in swat gear and gas a guy and it was rough.
Then he got home and his 12 year old threw a fit and gave him attitude = not a happy Rambo.
We went in the bedroom and talked. And really?
That’s all I need to say. That’s my point.
My husband had a discussion with me.
And then? I told him my thoughts.
Because I have a f*cking voice, thank you very much.
I explained to him that like it or not – Watermelon is me as a kid. She can’t do spontaneous. It’s a genuine physical social fear. She needs details and she has to plan. I told him I didn’t agree with his end decision of having her stay home but I’d support it because he made it before I could chime in. A mere 10 minutes after her blow-up, she calmed down and wanted to go. She had to process it.
He said he thought about taking away her ipod and phone too.
And then we both laughed.
Severe punishment much? Part of him is going to make damn sure he has kids who know the rules and what’s right and wrong and they have manners and are polite and are grateful etc etc. And part of him was pissed she questioned him.
Another part of him is used to punishing murderers and he has a tough time leaving the required hard and cold part of him at the prison.
He heard me. He understood. He listened.
And that was it. The night went on and the usual goofy Rambo was back.
That night when Watermelon was off to bed, Rambo stood up as she did to say goodnight to her.
As she wrapped her arms around his neck, I heard her say, “Dad, are you mad at me?”
He said, “No. But you have to understand that me or your mom will never ask you to do something that is going to hurt you. Ever. We’d never do that. Okay?”
She said okay and went to bed.
No – Rambo isn’t perfect and neither am I. Nor is our marriage if you’re on the outside looking in.
It’s MY perfect. It feels perfect to ME.
It’s night and day from the marriage I grew up witnessing. It’s everything I always wanted as a woman and everything I needed as a mother for my children.
She doesn’t fear him though she knows he’s the rule maker and consequence giver.
She actually had the balls to ask if he was mad at her. She talks to him. She hugs him.
She needs him and she knows he’s always in her corner.
What kind of person would I have been had I had that?
What would every person be in this world if we all had that?
I never spoke to my Dad about much. I never touched him. I always felt alone.
I felt unloved, unwanted and unnecessary as a person in this world.
The only way I know how to remedy that is to make sure my own daughters never look at Rambo that way or feel that way about their Dad.
Likewise – as a wife – I want a partner – not a roommate who is a dictator.
Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard. Usually.
Most of the time both of them just feel like joy. I struggle with learning to feel like I deserve such joy.
I struggle with not fearing when it will all be taken from me when God realizes he
bestowed it on the wrong person.
Whatever the outside world thinks or doesn’t think about me and my marriage and my kids – no offense – but it doesn’t f*cking matter.
It sure as hell doesn’t look perfect on the outside but inside when I lay my head on my pillow at night it damn sure feels perfect to me.
My greatest hope is that my girls find this same feeling.
And that they know they deserve it.
I hope they find this kind of joy on the inside while they flip off the rest of the world outside.
It’s MY perfect.
No one else gets to define it.