Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling - Zitebooks

As I walked into the kitchen the other morning to get my coffee, to start my day and knowing I had curlers in my hair, which is very odd for me. During this pandemic, I have let my hair grow, which was always a short pixie style but now it flows down my neck and gets in my eyes on windy days. Hey, it was 2020 so why not shake up some things even more. It is actually shocking that I did this, as I do not like change. I had this short hairdo for years, like twenty-five years approximately. I always felt the short hair would draw attention to my face, my eyes, or just my upper body since my weight had increased over the years due to life, depression, pregnancy and again, depression.

Normally, I am alone in my area of the house and no issues of crossing paths with my husband in the way our house is designed, which is actually perfect. It’s an odd set up, it’s an odd relationship. Still, that morning with the curlers, this would be one morning that he may come up the steps and see me. A cringe, embarrassment and fear struck me. How sad is that? He would see me. In that moment, thinking and feeling, the Ugly Duckling blog was born.

I never felt pretty to him, was never told I was in all these years. The closest I got was that my looks do not matter, as I have a good heart. Really?!?! I should have known early in our marriage, with those words spoken, things would not go well or that I would fully understand this man I married. So, I have a kind, loving heart and that is a good thing. Still, a husband is to admire their wife and make her the most important one in his sight. To love and to cherish, I heard those words in our vows. Maybe I had this whole thought of a marriage relationship out of balance, and I expected way too much, now feeling fake and non-existent. Perhaps I believed in the fairytale of it all.

“When a woman feels loved and cherished by her man, she feels more secure, not more insecure.”

Whenever in my kitchen, I keep a pair of readers on my windowsill for those instructions on cooking, ingredients, etc. It sucks getting old. While I wear a different pair now, actually I have a cheap pair in every room. A year or so before, while preparing for a holiday dinner of a gathering for his side of the family, I had these thin readers on that my sister had given me. He was over by the refrigerator looking at me and I heard him snicker. I could have cried but I did not have time. As I write this, I still have those little, thin readers now in the back of my cabinet, hidden. Hidden, just the way I have wanted to do so often while in his presence.

So many years I have seen this man gwak at women in my presence, not just a glance, I mean up and down and back again. Always denying this while I would stand and just watch him. So many discussions of just this over and over again and even in the church, it happens. Never admitting his viewing when mentioned. I am observant but I have learned to be through this, because it cuts to the core of a wife, I am his wife. How could he do this but not realize he is doing it? Years and years and many tears.

There comes a point to when you feel crazy with his denial and seeing things but the reoccurance was so often, how could this not be real. Maybe I am crazy, I thought often. I do know it was hurtful. Stuff like this, who in the world can you talk to about and hopefully they not think you are crazy also or defend him, he’s just a man. If I did make a hint of such or slight comment, I was informed of how nice he is and such a good father and everything was true. It was between him and I that they did not truly see, it’s not their relationship. It was not their place to see that and how hurtful it made my heart just ache. I quit having friends and family over due to watching this gawking in my own home. I do not deserve that and soon, the house was empty with nobody knocking on our door or over for dinner or is out to dinner, as couples. Was it my fault? I was just exhausted of having the same, deadend conversation that proved I was nuts, that he did not gawk. He did.

“He’s just a man. All men look.” I have been told this but hey, I am just his wife and this hurts, is disrespectful and is killing our marriage. Your invalidation that as a wife, I must accept. No! No, I don’t.

So this morning as I walked through my kitchen with my coffee, somewhat hurrying and cringing of the fact he might see me, I relived all the years that I was made to feel as an Ugly Duckling to my own husband. He still has no clue and will still not admit of his gawking back then and possibly now. Now, I really do not care as we go about life separately but that remembering the way we were together, I never want to experience again. No woman deserves to be treated this way, unknowingly or not.

Ugly Duckling Phase {Discussion} – Quilting Jetgirl

It was in 2014, walking into my former counselor’s office and my first words was that I felt I was going crazy. It was not just the gawking he was so good at but so many other things that just did not make sense. What is up with this stranger in my house? Thank God she realized after weeks or months that he has Aspergers. I was not sure of Aspergers or if that was fact. I did my research and the book I found, it was like he was a textbook example. His name might as well have been written on every page.

Now understanding him more so and why he did the things he did and now still does, it helps but the relationship is dead. It is just a legal-binding marriage license on paper that keeps us existing under one roof. In the way he is, he is nice, very calm and patient to a point, plus denial holds a place in his mind that we are a happily married couple. He will make it sound like we are when talking to others because we did this or that or went here. Going to Home Depot is a date, he thinks. He will hear enough of what I am saying to my sister or another, and share like he actually knows me. He does not know me.

We have no vacations together, my choice, as I will not place myself in the same position of watching him gawk and deny. I don’t need that in my life or to be stressed over. We may go and pick up our own grocery items, visit his elderly parents and perhaps go see our two sons and a daughter-in-law. For the most part, I drive down alone to visit them, and odds are they notice and sense that their mom is less stressed and more fun.

Even in the short stints together, I can handle. Same for him, as his routine, that is part of Aspergers will come to the forefront and he can only handle so much before he changes. In the home, 10:00 pm lights out, not just for him but when the boys were growing up and myself. Now, even the cats in the house know what happens come 10:00 pm. Yes, the cats know they must settle down. It is the strangest thing ever. A routine, a timetable is a daily ritual for this man. At times, it’s fun just to mess it all up for him, just because I can. Life is boring without fun and laughter, for me anyway.

News Flash!!!!! I am not an Ugly Ducking. I am Worthy. I am made in the image of God. He loves me. My appearance, my approval from my husband is not required anymore. There comes a point of healing the broken pieces of a good heart and person, whether it be trusting the Lord, seeing a counselor, taking care of one’s health (physical, emotional, spiritual) to become a better you. I will never change him, but I can change me. When I am strong enough and get my ducks in a row, seeing that I can move forward in life, as I deserve more. I am getting closer. Taking care of me. Same for you, if you are in a familiar place that I have walked. There’s more to life than feeling like an ugly duckling.

It’s a sad to have a marriage relationship that is more like a business partnership, brother/sister and sometimes in this case through the years, as mother/son. My three sons, is my life.

This is not just my life but many that we may know and may not necessarily know, as pretending to be a happily married couple happens. My situation may not be the same of gawking as another but other issues, where marriages are crumbling behind the closed doors. Looking at the link earlier of Leslie Vernick, noted below, the comments tell exactly the same story but in different words and situations.

If this is you, do know that the Lord knows your name, He knows exactly where you are, He sees and collects each tear. He loves you, you are His Child, and you are worthy. Trust Him when all hope seems gone and in the midnight hours.

My Husband Looks At Other Women And I’m Told I’m Crazy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200911/advice-ogling-other-women

What’s It All About Alfie?

So many times watching movies or seeing couples together in public that seem happy and have a closeness, I become somewhat envious, to be honest. Recently, seeing a couple together, him sweeping her up in his arms and so happy she will be his wife. What would that be or feel like?

Marriage is love between two people but that love can die due to situations never expected. A death of a marriage and then the shock of it happening is not what was expected. What happened? There was to be a happily ever after. Whether male or female, we want our relationships to grow and be happy. To know one another so well that you know their next move or what will be said or thinking. They are to become one.

Sadly, some in marriages do just that, become one. The spouse is no longer engaged either by choice or by circumstance.

So many times I wonder what it would be like to be a happily married couple. A loss I will never gain, once a grieving but soon it becomes reality.

What’s it like? A day, in the life of a happy couple. Morning has broken and the day begins while both get ready, and soon a quick kiss and an I Love You as each go their separate ways out the door. The day is preoccupied with work or tasks but even so, thoughts of your love one crosses your mind or perhaps a call or a text of I miss you. The joy of pulling in your driveway and being home in the evening to share a hug and a kiss when walking through the door, eat a meal and discuss the day, perhaps the yesterdays or make plans for the future. There is a closeness of wanting to share and express life whether in talk, some tears shed perhaps or laughter with each another, your best friend. The one loves the other and there is a safety net with each other. As the night closes, the closeness of each other lying in bed next to each other feeling their warmth and of resting in their love only to repeat the next day again and again. Yes, I mentioned no sex. Now you know that will happen, in a happily married couple, how could it not. There’s love. Right? What would that be like, to feel loved and be desired? I forgot.

Now to others, it is not the fairytale marriage one expected in life. Instead of Good Morning, it usually is a grunt or a sad sounding hello as each other pass in the hallway while getting ready for the day and off they go. No kiss or even I will miss you. The day goes by and maybe a text or something, probably about an issue but not at all exciting to receive. Now, only to return after a long day to also go their separate ways within a home under the same roof. No connection. The bedtime is either together or perhaps in separate rooms and either way, the possibility of any sparks flying are diminished. Just go to sleep and repeat day after day. Where is the love? Is this what marriage is to be like?

As I observe and know of others and know my own situation, there has to be more to life. Sadly, I am not alone feeling the same. Many are in the same boat. Reluctant to rock that boat to move on due to one reason or another and just sail along as best as you can and just survive, basically exist. Is that happiness? No. It might be the best option at the moment though. Hopefully, taking care of oneself and preparing to gain strength from the worthlessness felt and to find the happiness lost and joy within. It takes two to make a relationship work but it also takes two to give up and to not even try or care anymore. The one may feel hopeless and just tired of even trying while the other exists and no desire to do anything about the situation.

If this is you and your situation, please take care of you. If this is a couple or someone you know that is going through such pain and being unsure about life itself, just listen and support. Nobody really knows what goes on behind their closed doors but them. The Lord knows and maybe a counselor, and both I recommend.

I feel almost positive that there are many married couples that appear happy and in love, engaged in one another only while in public and especially in church, sad to say. Behind those closed doors, in the privacy of their own home, lives two strangers under one roof. Leaving the home to go out, the mask is placed and adjusted for another show of a happily married couple. This becomes exhausting. There is no happiness or love and this is not okay. It’s time to look in the mirror and put the mask down.

I know of each of these scenarios myself and it is sad to admit but truth. I am not the only one. That would be truth, too. So many times I have felt seasick on the boat of life, but I have finally tossed the mask. Even though, I often think or say, ‘What’s it all about, Alfie?’

Of course, after that quick question and cute song title of ‘What’s it all about Alfie?’ I say or cry out in a sad, pitiful voice, ‘There has to be more, Lord!’

I know in time, the boat will dock and I will get off. I see the shoreline and that gives me hope. Faster, faster! I know His timing is perfect. I wait

While I have been blessed in many ways, I also know of the pain and heartache endured. One day, as I stand knowing I am free to live with no mask again to wear, sadness and loneliness of a dead relationship gone, I will look all around me with a joyful heart, finding myself in an unknown territory asking, ‘What’s it all about Alfie?’

There has to be more in life, Lord, and I want it. I do not want to die this way. There is happiness beyond our sadness.

https://leslievernick.com/tag/divorce/

https://www.proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2020/09/24/healing-for-the-heartbroken

Let Me Hide

Today at church, which has been great to attend again, a late, smaller service and no cameras. Just for me. Too many have been ill with the virus through the months, so I declined going. The morning was beautiful with the sunshine, even though it was quite cold. The joy of knowing springtime is near.

I was reminded today of how far I have come.

As I am sitting there waiting for church to start, a lady commented that my face looks thinner. I had to laugh and said, yes I hear that all the time. While nice of noticing a difference in my face, it actually hurts me when this is said. I get frustrated more with myself. It makes me feel hopeless.

Also, it is my internal thoughts that start stealing my peace and my joy each time, because it is like a look of disgust received that I am still fat. I am.

As I turned to sit in my seat ready for service, for a couple of minutes, I had a war within. All the negative thoughts were being thrown at me and an urge to go hide. Just go hide, as it hurts too much. I was considering to leave and go home to feel safe in my rocking chair, throw the covers over my head and call it a day. All because I am fat, the thoughts of unworthiness, I should hide my fat, I am a disgrace nobody wants to see me, etc. WOW

The struggle was real but I worked through it soon after and stayed. I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be. There were many years. I did hide.

Life can throw some heavy rocks of condemnation, unworthiness, shame and every negative word or thoughts to the point of hopelessness. I was there, in a pit of despair for so many years due to several circumstances. I had given up. What’s the use, just hide and let my comfortable chair hug me to a long deep sleep, sometimes hoping I would not wake up.

Even though I deal with weight issues, which I allowed to increase over the years. Depression will do that to you, as some of you may know. I have had to deal with being over weight. We probably each have a struggle in one way or another. Exactly where the enemy wants us, to hide and be depressed, believing the lies.

This won’t be the last time that I will be told my face looks thinner and then they glance at my body. It hurts because I see it happening, and I know I will need to deal with it afterwards. Thankfully, I did not leave church. I did not go hide in my bedroom and rock the negative thoughts to sleep. It can feel like a prison, locked up.

The first worship song, I sang along and clapped my hands, while still tossing a few of those negative thoughts. It was about the third time around of hearing and seeing the words on the screen and me singing, “He set me free, Yes He set me free, and He broke the bonds of prison for me” I actually felt joy rise up within me.

I know I have been in prison, not actual prison, but one in my mind that I am no good, etc. I don’t want to even type the words now of what I struggled with again or elaborate. I think you get it.

I am worthy of God’s Love whether I am overweight with a thinner face or whatever. He loves me. I don’t need to go hide away from life and people. I don’t need to fear but have peace knowing He is doing a work in me.

Perhaps you understand and at times want to hide yourself as the negative thoughts bombard your mind, or people are unkind in their words whether they know it or not. Whatever it might be. Please know, YOU are Worthy of God’s Love. He loves YOU.

I felt the prison bars opened for me today. I just need to walk out with my head held high. I don’t need to run off and hide. Just shut the door for no re-entry when those moments come and I want to hide.

Lord, don’t let me hide.

“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:2-3) 

..if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free. John 8:36

“God has opened the prison doors for you to walk out into the freedom He promised through Christ.

https://findingtruthwithin.com/2016/04/29/freedom-friday/

https://bessg.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/prison-in-our-life/

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/18/isaiah-611-the-opening-of-the-prison/