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

No Bounce Back

2021 Happy New Year!

I am such a party animal, on New Years Eve I was in bed at 10:30 p.m. No party, no celebration, no nothing, nothing out of the ordinary, year after year. The house was quiet as a mouse. As I awakened, hearing the neighbors shooting off fireworks, I knew we were in 2021, and I rolled over and mumbled Happy New Year to the cat.

As I laid there thinking while trying to fall back asleep, knowing many go out and celebrate, ringing in the New Year, which has been a blur but remembrances of loneliness through the many years remain. For whatever reason, my mind went back many years ago of my counselor trying to get me to open up and talk through the depressed state I was exhibiting.

I could see her, telling me and showing that conversation is back and forth, like passing a ball back and forth, a beach ball was her visual. It takes at least two people to pass the ball back and forth, it’s more fun. As I pondered the years feeling alone, to remember that I love to slow dance but it’s hard with just one. I love to laugh and have fun, but it is impossible when he is humdrum. I’m not one to go out, drink and party whether it be a New Years Eve celebration, etc., but every once in awhile, just to have fun, as there is none. The seriousness in this man under the same roof is as dry as a desert in the hot sun. My exhaustion level increases if I even try to say something, all I get each and every time is a ‘What?’ It takes him time to process what I say whether a word, sentence or comment. I believe this is normal of having Aspergers, I get it. Understanding Aspergers more, I find it best to remain quiet and that’s no fun. I don’t have it in me anymore to bounce the ball after all of these years.

Slowly through the years, I am making and have made some changes and moving along when years ago, I saw no hope to do so. I felt stuck. My counselor and I would discuss issues to solve in order to move forward, and I would hopelessly reply to her that it cannot be done and I don’t know how. Now, almost four to five years later what we discussed is now complete. A miracle. I moved onto the next area, which was conquered, too. Progress was being made but I again am at a huge wall where I say I cannot do this, I don’t know how.

What I do know is to wait, ‘Be Still… and know that I am God.’ This verse is placed in front of me to see and read wherever I turn, whether at home or at work.

Today I have more hope and faith to prove in time I will know what and when to push through the wall that is blocking me now. I will have yet another but this one is huge. As I stated before, I know to take one task at a time and one day at a time. Often praying as in the past, ‘Lord I have to trust you. I don’t know how to do (whatever it is hindering me) but You will open doors and make a way when it is time.’ I’m not giving up and just die although it has certainly felt as if I would before going through this valley of death. I’m going through!

Again and again over the years, I would say, ‘Lord, surely the rest of my life will not be this way. There has to be more.’ I do know that timing is everything, even when I feel the clock has stopped and I am stuck once again. I know to be patient and hold on as soon the way forward will come about and I will see it done, as before. Just like that. His power, not mine. I stand in amazement, my faith increases and I become stronger within.

I may not have a partner to bounce the ball back to me, but I know who provides the breaths of air within me. To look over my life, even from a child, the Lord has been right there with me. When my faith was weak and I felt hopeless as each New Year came and I felt so alone, I knew He was and is with me. I hold on tight and say, ‘Lord I don’t understand but I trust You, I have to trust You.’

My plans are not His plans. He knows the desires of my heart. I know to wait and He will direct my path to move forward, which will be easy and quick. I have seen it too many times, as have my counselors when facing a wall that I cannot do this and I don’t know how. One day, it is done! Let’s move forward to the next. I wait.

The New Year is here. We are all uncertain what the year holds but we made it through the last one and it had all sorts of surprises and problems. We made it!
Let’s hope and pray that there is no bounce back from 2020, now that it is 2021.

Maybe one day before I die, I will have someone to bounce a ball with and enjoy laughter along the way. I do have hope.

Note: To be open and vulnerable in this blog is not easy. Do I post, do I not, is it just me writing? It hasn’t been easy, my health has taken some blows from it all. What I do know is that I am not the only one dealing with this issue and hopelessness felt in a marriage, feeling alone. There are many around us pretending to be a happy couple who is suffering within. It was once me. No more pretending, I’m too,old. Perhaps my path will lighten those that relate and provide hope. The beach ball can bounce again!

https://www.drcarolministries.com/how-to-know-if-you-are-released-from-your-marriage/

https://www.divorcemag.com/articles/3-reasons-why-we-stay-in-unhappy-marriages

https://www.verywellmind.com/throwing-the-towel-in-marriage-2300478